Friday 19 February 2010


Today, I had a day off work and woke to a nice, bright morning. I was given a choice, do the last visits to our atlas squares or paint the house.......

No Brainer!

The late winter visit would complete our Lanton/Copeland and Hethpool and West Hill squares. I've really enjoyed doing these two squares, they are quite different, even though they are adjacent to each other. Lanton and Copeland is in the river valley, an area I've not explored before and the Hethpool Linn square is very much an upland square with nice wooded valleys.

Looking down towards the Millfield Plain

Back up the track looking at Easter Tor

Today was much like most of this winter - very cold! with a bit of snow for good measure and I was interested to see how the birds had coped.

The most striking effect was the complete lack of a wren in either tetrad - not one seen, not one heard. Compare this to our early winter visit in early December when we had 5 in each tetrad, the cold spell as certainly hammered them.

Otherwise, around Lanton and Copeland there were good numbers of birds, highlights were 5 buzzards and a pair of great spotted woodpeckers - him drumming then chasing her round the wood. Despite the prolonged cold, there were plenty of chaffinches, house sparrows and even a few greenfinch.

Around hethpool, things were much quieter, a small flock feeding fieldfare were nice, but I was near the end of the square before I saw any more birds, but it was worth the wait - three ravens all together, it looked like two males displaying to a female, fantastic to watch.

Two red grouse on the flank on Easter Tor were the only other highlight. There were also lots of feral goats on Easter Tor, but this lone individual at Hethpool Linn wasn't phased by me as it howked lumps of bark from a tree.

My morning out was great, but by mid afternoon, I was back home, roller in hand, painting ceilings. Ho Hum.
Tomorrow I should have been at Druridge and getting paid for it! Coppicing the woods with our Young Rangers group, but due to the weather we have cancelled. So, what to do?

Painting or St James Park........No Brainer!


Warren Baker said...

Have you done all the tetrads in two 10km squares? Thats some going if you have well done!

PS the Wrens will soon re-populate, you know how they breed!

Stewart said...

Were there any Redstarts or Ring Ouzels, Wheatears etc? No, I thought not.....

Ipin said...

Warren - no, that would be too much, we've done about eight tetrads in that 10km square.

Stewart - bit sharp for any of that lot!

Warren Baker said...

8 Tetrads is still good going, I only did three.