Trip Reports

Report on Cheviot Hills Day Tour in April 2007

Six of us joined Mark and Dave on a beautiful cool
spring morning in the Harthope Valley. We were greeted by a cuckoo calling and the rusty voice of the red grouse followed by a mistle thrush high above us, chasing off a sparrowhawk that in turn had flushed a male Ring Ouzel.Not a bad start!

A grey wagtail with its vivid yellow breast and later
a whinchat posed long enough for a great close ups,
especially through the telescope.

As we walked up the valley following the stream, the
sun warmed the clear air and brought out the bees,
butterflies and swallows. Later we saw a beautifully
marked adder enjoying the sun.

The only sounds were the curlews, woodland birds, the
stream, bleating of the sheep and lambs as well as a
tractor! The hills and fresh green of the trees were
spectacular.

We now think we can tell the difference between the
song of a willow warbler and chaffinch and recognise a
chiffchaff calling. I would not swear to knowing a
tree pipit from a meadow pipit though.

It took persistence to see a redstart and blackcap but
Mark's eagle eyes managed both. We could not track
down the green woodpecker but at least we heard its
yaffle.

As we left the more sheltered Happy Valley and the
scent of gorse in flower we had a farewell from a buzzard and goosanders.

We resisted a snooze in the warmth of the Tankerville
Arms for tea and a recap - a great day out in stunning
countryside.


Sheila, Newcastle


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email : mark@birdwatchnorthumbria.co.uk
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