Trip reports

Walk up Langden Valley

Wheatear in spring

Wednesday, 2 May 2007

Big surprises for everyone today. First it was fine but looking cold - then it turned out very warm. Secondly, those who arrived early for the walk (not me!) saw a red kite on the hillside opposite the car park. Thirdly everything else worked out well - which was a surprise to me!

We climbed the high path. Nearing the top we heard a ring ouzel singing and found a male sitting in a tree. He moved round the corner where we found him again before he went to ground. After a wander up on the moor, we returned on the path past Holdron Castle where a female ouzel was sitting in a tree ready to be scoped. Below her in the quarry a male was being chased round by a male stonechat.

On to Langden Castle for lunch - female wheatear was waiting for us, some saw a male also. After lunch we had in very quick succession, a heron, a hen harrier high on the skyline, a peregrine performing, and then a pair of hen harriers over the hill behind us with excellent views of the ring-tail.

Butterflies - green veined white, orange tip, peacock and green hairstreak.

Twenty six people turned out from a wide area. Our total birdlist (ie not all birds seen by everyone):
heron (1), mallard (c6), red kite (1), hen harrier (3), buzzard (1 very distant), peregrine(2 possibly 3), red grouse, pheasant, oystercatcher (30), curlew, common sandpiper (2), lesser black-backed gulls, stock dove (1), woodpigeon, sand martin (5), swallow (6+), meadow pipit, grey wagtail (pair), pied wagtail (2), dipper (1), wren, robin (1), stonechat (1 male), wheatear (prob pair), ring ouzel (2m 1f), blackbird, willow warbler, goldcrest, coal tit, blue tit, jackdaw, crow, raven (1), sparrow, chaffinch, goldfinch, greenfinch and reed bunting (2). Total 38.

Thanks to all who contributed to a good day.

Jeff Butcher - Trip Leader