Thursday, 30 May 2013

Happy Valley.......with Commas.

Fly catching Wagtails, Grey and Pied, displaying Sandpipers, Dippers and breeding Oystercatchers made for a fabulous day, and that was just on the Colgate Mill Stream. All the main Warblers were viewed along with Wrens and Robins in the varied habitats of the valley itself.
We came across 2 possibly 3 pairs of Oystercatchers with young. The first pair kept alighting on a fallen tree which was some 2 metres above the surrounding gorse giving a great vantage point for any potential threat. When not on the old bough one of the adults would either circle around the area or land on the ground nearby. I reckon JOHN and I covered around 2/3rds of the distance to the ford near North Middleton on Saturday but I had the use of the car on Sunday so, knowing everywhere would be busy headed back to Happy Valley on Sunday.
Heading out from the parking area in the Harthope Valley at Skirl Naked I climbed the stile and mingled in amongst the gorse. I was a little later than the previous day hence it was much quieter bird wise but I had my macro lens and tripod hoping for some images of insects or plants. This time I did make it all the way to the ford close to Colgate Mill, the building and in doing so passed through some nice mixed woodland disturbing a female Roe Deer which scarpered through one of the many patches of still blooming Bluebells. Sadly no Odonata seen but there were loads of White Butterflies including Orange Tip and Green-veined but the highlight here was 3 Commas.
Having returned to the car I headed along the Harthope Valley as John and I had done the day before but this was around 5pm whereas it had been nearer 2pm previously and again a bit quieter. Whereas on Saturday we had Flycatchers and later Ring Ouzel I had the pleasure of a calling Cuckoo. Always high above the valley, i asked a few walkers who had also heard it if it had been seen, but never showed. It called on and off for over an hour.
Comma butterfly.
Oyster. lookout point.

Macro of Common Broom



  1. I had to do a double take John when I read '........Naked I climbed the stile and mingled in the gorse'. Well, whether naked or clothed you seem to have had a very good day.:-) Cheers.

  2. You gotta watch what you are doing when you mingle in the gorse naked I hear. hmmmm.