Monday 14 July 2008


On Sunday I went up to the Harthope Valley to do my second summer atlas visit. The weather was nice so I got a good early start, I did the Langleefordhope tetrad first, just about the first bird recorded was a tree pipit with a gobfull of insects. Nearer to the shooting cottage at Langleefordhope I had three black cocks flying across the valley, a green woodpecker was in the wood and there was a few whinchat about, one with young, which weren't even in last visit. There was lots of ringlet butterflies along the track, buggers to photograph though, they never this is my best effort.

Tetrad F

Pheasant Chick - one of two

The second tetrad covers the Hawsen Burn and Cold Law, it was very quiet, whinchat and stonechat family parties were in the Hawsen and a kestrel was hunting....and only ONE red grouse in both tetrads.

Some people from my village with the Parish Council have taken over the management of the village pond and surrounding field, so I agreed to go along tonight and give them some advice on the site and particularly preparing a management plan. Hopefully they'll get it sorted. It used to be a good site for passage waders, but has too much marginal veg these days, it was also good for the occasional garganey in spring and breeding ruddy duck until Defra started it's slaughter programme.
Called in at Dru after the meeting, very windy and very quiet, so I photographed some big shiny slugs devouring two puffballs - they've made quick work of it! A barn owl was hunting over the Budge fields.


Lady's Bedstraw in the dunes

Common Restharrow in the dunes

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