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Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Harthope Valley 16-5-2010

Sunday was a planned visit to Harthope valley the drive up in the rain did not bode well, it was overcast as we pulled up at Carey bridge ,but Cuckoo calling was the first bird heard another Garden Warbler singing but not showing, several Oystercatchers around a couple of pied wags on the stream, and a Buzzard low over the field ,lots of evidence of some very high levels of water with trees uprooted and areas swept away.
A walk along Harthope Burn to the small waterfall ,some serious erosion along here ,another two Cuckoos, and two Spotted Flycatchers at Langleeford , no sign of any Tree pipit for me counted 7 Whinchats singing , but all distant, Wheatears and Stonechats , WW, Chiffs, Meadow Pipits, Song and Mistle Thrush common & several Red Grouse on the hillsides Common Sandpiper on the stream ,it stayed overcast for most of the time but the sun came out late afternoon , but still no Adders yet. I went off on my own to look for Ring Ouzel leaving the camera behind as I seem to carry it everywhere and not use it, well I was just about to turn back after only seeing , Wheatear , Stonechat, and Willow Warbler, when a stunning Male Ring Ouzel landed about 30 feet away , facing away from me tail cocked showing every detail, it turned as if to look at me and say, "you should have brought your camera " which was just what was going through my mind ( lugged it for two weeks in Turkey over many ,many miles ) it took off and landed near a Female that was either carrying nesting material or food , both showed very well , got back to the car but as it was warm set off to look for an Adder....................but did not add it to the list. This area is a fantastic place to visit and if petrol was cheaper I would be there often !!!!!!!!!!!!!
First time ,Iv'e had Cuckoo call, seen and photographed in one day, always a cracking year tick, they always look out of proportion with those long wings and tail

again the long wings

Whinchats in numbers today but still keeping distant

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