Decent weather predicted for Derbyshire (White) Peak District area yesterday so packed the camera, rucksack with beef/tomato sarnies, flask of tea, cake and obligatory packet of Pom Bears lol and headed off for the start of our walk (5+ miles) parking up at the beautiful village of Hartington.
Quick pic taken on old iPhone showing Hartington church
From the village we headed across pasture where we watched a Hare scurry across the grass before we ventured on passing through a short track of woodland along a path that joined the River Dove and Beresford Dale, a picturesque area which meanders slightly through wooded habitat and opens into steep limestone hills either side of the River; this was an area back in time that mined for Lead and Iron and quarried for Limestone.
a photo of the Hare which was a scurrying across the pasture - didn't realise their legs were so long ! ......
then for some reason it stopped ! paused a while so I took another photo
an iPhone pic of the area of woodland just as we reach the River Dove
No sooner had we entered the banks of the Dove when we spotted our first Dipper, a favourite bird of ours to see although as is usually the case they tend to opt for the far dark shady banks and lurk at the edges blending into the rocks so you have to wait for them to start dipping in the river !
It has to be one of the most difficult birds to photograph when it comes to camera settings with high ISO and trying to get enough speed; sorry, these are the best I could muster. Was much darker than you could imagine in the heavily shrubby/ wooded river area.
Two Mandarin ducks where in the same area but on the near bank ! Not sure if its male in eclipse, juvenile or female lol
iPhone quick shot as the 300mm x 2 reach was too close - as you will see in 2nd pic !
too close but cute !
On to Wolfcote Dale
a group of juvenile Mallards were huddled together like a load of stuffed toys on a bed lol
A female Grey Wagtail hunted for insects .....
a sheep baa'd for its Momma who was up on the limestone crag and then clambered up to join her after I took this photo
a very tatty looking butterfly sunned itself
a juvenile Blue Tit foraged from the Alder ?
another dipper, possibly juvenile, flew along the river landing typically in an obscurred area close to its parent !
I could hardly pick out the bird between the thicket of ferns, grasses and shrubs
this was the adult nearby and a little easier to see albeit still in a heavy shaded area requiring high ISO !
close view ............
I will put these photos up in stages as there are a few more to come yet and don't want to overload you in one go !! I have Kestrels to come, more Dipper shots and a few too many photos of a very endearing young Spotted Flycatcher fledgling who stole my heart lol
Will upload a few more later.
More Dippers are always welcome - one of my favourite birds :-)
Despite the shady conditions you've captured some lovely shots of the Dippers. Such attractive little birds so a treat for me as I don't get to see them. The shots of the Hare are great too.
It looks like a lovely place for a walk on a summer's day.
Thanks Stuart and Tony, I think this area is one of our favourites to visit as it combines a beautiful (fairly easy walk mainly on the flat ! ) with a wonderful array of birds/wildlife in stunning surroundings. This place has such a huge number of species not only including Dippers but raptors like Peregrines, Buzzards, Kestrels along with other species like Linnets, Redstart, Wheatear, M.Pippit, and water birds such as Kingfisher, Wagtails. There is always something interesting to see most times you go and yesterday was no exception especially having a recently fledged Spot-fly at my feet lol I have a few too many pics of junior so I may put that on a separate thread and just put a couple of pics up here of it.............
so to continue ..... more dippers (we saw at least 4 dippers) these are barely cropped
and now the bird that stole the show - young Spot-fly :) almost too close for the focal length of the camera ! As I say I will put a thread up of this cute little bird as I took a few quick video clips of it too but for now here's two to be going on with.
Cute or what ? LOL
We heard Peregrines scream through the air although out of sight of the camera but did see distant Buzzards and Kestrels much closer
pretty distant Buzzard, one of at least 4 in the area
and although the sky was mainly grey by the time we reached Biggin Dale blue sky did open up for the Kestrel which passed overhead
(fill ya boots Wendy LOL )
going from this .................. hard cropped
to this ........barely cropped !
a different Kestrel methinks
and juvenile possibly ? not sure
It's a fantastic place for raptors ! not a great shot but showing two together
Lovely shots Hazel especially the Dipper it looks a great area for a bit of Raptor spotting.
Really like the juvenile Spotted Flycatcher - another bird I'm fond of - mostly from Crete, where they're really common.
lovely photo of the Flycatcher Stuart, as you say they are cracking looking birds
Luvverly Kestrels aitch, you've made my day!
Thanks Wendy, we were standing under their flight path so had amazing views of them. Is the one in the tree a juvie ?
Likely is aitch but very fluffed up so chest streaks not so pronounced!
Thanks Wendy, there were three around so guessing one was a juvie.
Great additions, Hazel. Lovely to see the young Dippers as well as the adults. Good to see so many raptors especially the young Kestrel.
Thanks Tony, it is a wonderful area to walk; here's a couple of photos on the old iPhone showing you a little of the area.
A wonderful collection of birds and scenery--thanks, Hazel! I can see why the Spotfly youngster captured your heart. What a cutie! It was not far from there where we had only our second glimpse of Dippers many years ago. I'll see if I can hunt down a video my Alaskan birder contact took of a Dipper up there in winter--rather a bit of a difference in temperature to that here in the last few weeks!
Thanks Ann, Mike almost had to drag me away from this endearing fledgling as I just sat on the grass bank and watched it hone its skills. It kept landing near me, totally fearless lol
I look forward to the video if you can find it via your friend.