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Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Rothbury - Blaeberry Hill

Monday 14th April
A visit to Rothbury  to go up on the hills and look for Green Hairstreak , a sunny day with a light cool breeze , the detour to the town is still in operation its over a year since the road was closed must have been some slip. It's a bit of a slog to get up to   Blaeberry Hill as  its a straight and direct climb from the main street via a tiny alley next to Millers shop I think is the name . Well I walked all over the hill luckily rides have been cut through the heather  plenty Peacocks around masses of Bees but no Hairstreaks , so eventually I went for a walk around the edge of the hill and onto the top , birds encountered several WW lots of Chiffs, Brambling Redpolls a  single Red Grouse , Swallows over  3 GSW but not a single Raptor over , and yet on the coast I had 5 Buzzards in the air at Dru, and even 2 soaring near Morpeth on the way up . Later I arrived back at the hill and sat to watch but only more Peacocks around , I did find an Emperor Moth Caterpillar here once . Heading back down into town takes very little time it's so steep you could roll into a ball and end up in the river , the carpark on the river edge is now free  which is what it was & should have always been , visitors rather than pay for all day would park in the town blocking the streets preventing those with huge 4x4's from getting to the wine shop !. Goosander on the river and several Mallard and BHG  Dipper feeding young still in the nest Grey Wagtail and Heron to end the day , will have to try and get back up before the end of the month or try some other sites.
Looking down & over some Birch Scrub I picked out this Redpoll , it is a little overexposed but was very pale overall ,it was rather distant and I had great difficulty picking it up in the camera 
 Lots of Peacocks around
 Rothbury lies down in the valley , houses come right up to the wall at one point.

 Just noticed there is a face with the hat pulled down !!!!

 A couple of Small torts this one already been in the wars

 Lots of small patches of Wood Sorrell around amongst the bracken must have been woodland here at some time
 Distant ruin of a castle or manor House cant't remember the name
 Pixie cups & Matchsticks
 Several pairs of Wheatears around this one was singing , it's very faint song but the sound does travel ,took me ages to pick it out .
 Trying to get at that awkward spot !!
Dipper feeding young  ,there was only the one adult unless the other was still on the nest, I could see roughly where it was but did not venture to close
 Nice Grey Wagtail it seemed to be nesting on the opposite bank
 It spent the time flycatching
 It seemed puzzled with the Dipper which kept going under in the fast flowing water , managed to capture the two together
 Very obliging Goosander  there always seems to be one somewhere , that comes to bread , handy for photographs just keep the sliced white out of shot .
 Goosanders are actullay very hard to get the exposure right with the contrasting head against the super white body
Finally a Grey Heron drops in early evening

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