Thursday, 20 April 2017

Crook Peak and Wavering Down

As we started our walk at the bottom of the peak and walked through the small wooded area we were greeted by the sight and sound of Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Blackbirds, Great Tits and the surprise of the day the sound of a reeling Grasshopper Warbler.  We tried very hard to find the warbler but just couldn't find it in the thick scrub.   Gale force winds and thick grey skies accompanied us up the steep slope to the top of the peak.  The strength of the wind almost had us bent double as we continued  up the path, very nearly decided to go somewhere else. No sign of any Wheatears or Ouzels on the way up but we did catch a glimpse of a Dartford Warbler. As we trekked onwards towards the trig point and beyond the wind eased a little and gradually the cloud broke up to give us some sun.
Plenty of Stonechats, Linnets and Meadow Pipits plus a Redstart, Kestrel, Buzzard & Ravens along Wavering down.  Several Swallows were also passing overhead.
Plenty of sun now joined us as we walked into Kingswood which is now a beautiful carpet of Bluebells and Ramsons plus a few Early Purple Orchids here and there.  You just can't beat the sight and sounds of a wood in early Spring, magic! 
As we returned to Crook Peak we were this time successful in locating some Wheatears at least 4 of them. Lovely sharp colours on these returning migrants, beautiful little birds. In the same rocky short grass area were several more Early Purple Orchids, their colour really standing out against the limestone rocks.  We spent some time watching the Wheatears and looking at the Orchids.
Back to where we started and the 'butterfly area' was now in full sun. So pleased to find several Grizzled Skippers, Orange Tip, Brimstone, and Peacock.  
Another 'topper' day out on the hills! 

    Distant view of Dartford Warbler! 

                 Linnet from the Hawthorn 

   Male Linnet singing his heart out!

                   Bee-fly on Ramsons

                    Kingswood bluebells - a woodland carpet

   Springtime stars Ramsons and Bluebells




   The sweet fragrance from the bluebells is intoxicating!


Early purple Orchids, all shades of purple appearing now 



   Oil Beetle 

                   The Wheatear, so pleased to see the return of this beautiful migrant.


      More Early Purple Orchids found growing around the rocks around Crook Peak




              Grizzled Skipper, the first of the year and several out in the sun

   Sun posing Grizzled

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