Sunday, 28 April 2013

Lets Go Lekking

Saturday and a very early start, picking up John A at 04.30 and an hour later we were hitting Teesdale where the average speed dropped dramatically as the weather changed from a bit chilly with slight rain to this.  We pulled over to let a couple of gritters pass us, the only vehicles we saw for about 10 miles but the roads were still treacherous.  We were fully equipped for the weather though, John had put an extra pair of socks on and his new Jacket which stops you sweating (I think he had broken the zip) and I had an extra pair of underpants on (lined trousers actually)

The flurries of Snow, Sleet and Hail were stop start for about the next 3hrs but we did manage to get to the Black Grouse Lekking with some great views.  There were, at one stage, 17 male and 4 females on view although they were a bit difficult to hear with the wind whistling down the valley.  We then went for a drive round Langdon Beck and the Cow Green area stopping often to look at the many birds we saw but rarely getting out the car and only being able to open one window at a time as the wind made it impossible to look into it.  We saw Red Grouse, Lapwing, Redshank, Whimbrel, Snipe, Golden Plover, Pied Wagtail, Skylark, Curlew and practically everything you would expect to see.  Watching snipe drumming was pretty impressive though, pity the weather was too bloody awful to get decent pics.  Here are a couple of pics from the rest of the visit.

We then started a slow drive back through the Blanchland and Derwent area and stopping to watch Red Grouse, Golden Plover and whatever we saw when just before the Derwent Valley when we were watching some Curlew a Policeman on a motor bike with blue lights flashing pulled over and said we had to move and pull over completely off the road as there was a bike race coming through.  This we did a bit further up towards Derwent Reservoir and we were eventually joined by others being told to do the same and a couple of photographers covering the race.  We fortunately choose quite a nice position and not only got some great views of the race but also some close up views of Wheatear, Red Grouse, Skylark, Meadow Pipits but what we did not know was that the race was a 5 Lap affair so we had to stay for an hour before a convoy of vehicles were let through.

Then as we departed I asked John where should we go next, how about Prestwick Carr said he, how about going to see the Kittiwakes on the Tyne I replied, all right he said.  WHOOPS

Post a Comment