Sunday, 7 November 2010

Phwoarrrrr, look at the wattle on that !!

Red Grouse on Guisborough Moor.

Green Woodpecker on the edge of Guisborough Woods.

 .................Don't forget to double click, you'll see the wattle in all its glory

With a good weather forecast i took the trip down to Sleddale that i had cancelled last weekend. I was obviously going to try to view the Rough-legged Buzzards but having seen the area on Memory Map had decided a nice walk would also be on the agenda. Arrived at 8.15a.m. and spent a chilly 30 mins. at "The Chevrons" without any success so decided to park along Percy Cross Rigg and start walking from there. A good craic with a few birders while at The Chevrons, two of whom had been there since just gone 7a.m.
Anyway, in perfect conditions for walking,birding and photography set off  before dropping down to the track that passes Sleddale Farm in the valley. As i walked Red Grouse were rising all around me. I did go possibly 10 minutes one time without seeing any but otherwise they were lifting every couple of minutes. Must have seen over 150 birds while i was there. As i rose up from the valley with Codhill Heights on my left and Gisborough Moor to my right i flirted with the Cleveland Way for a short time. This took me to the edge of Gisborough Woods which i skirted for a few km and as i did so caught a flash of vivid green which rose up into the tree tops. A Green Woodpecker came to rest but as i shuffled closer dropped down to the floor of the woods. Just before i left the edge of the woods to travel along the eastern side of Sleddale i got a quick glimpse of a pair of Bullfinches. Heading in a southerly direction with Gisborough Moor now on my right, i proceeded along North Ings Slack crossing Whiteley Beck towards the end just before coming into Commondale. No more birds of note on this section but still Red Grouse lifting all around me.
I was now on the B road heading back to The Chevrons and as i arrived there spotted the two guys from earlier. By now it was 2.30 and all they had seen in that time was a Common Buzzard and a Hen Harrier. So the Rough-legged Buzzards hadn't shown all day and by now there was a gallery of around 20 people with cars littering the roadside on the climb to said Chevrons. It really is a good view along Sleddale. Another 30 mins.and more craic before setting off to finish my walk. In all i covered 14.3km. and ascended 323metres.
A cracking day and if you like to do a bit of walking while birding, highly recommended.


  1. Amazing range of colours on the two birds John

  2. The Green Woodpecker is a very bonnie bird. This is the first one i've seen up a tree. Of course the best time to see the Red Grouses wattle is the spring when they fill with blood when they are displaying to the females. They were also looking rather dapper in the beautiful autumn sunshine. It makes the world of difference to EVERYTHING.

  3. We always find the best place to see Green Woodpeckers is up on the moors. We normally go up on the tops near Osmotherly and regularly see them there, a nice bird to watch.

  4. Thany you for that Mick and Sylvia. This was my first venture down to N. Yorks. birding and walking but i will be visiting the moors a lot more. A guy i was talking to that day mentioned Weary Bank, Yarm as a spot he saw quite a few.
    Thanks again, much appreciated.