Saturday, 9 May 2009

Seeing Red

It had been a week of very poor weather with three days of constant rainfall followed by very stong and cold winds from the north west. I was determined to get out with the camera and so on the Friday I left with a friend to see what we could find. The trip began very badly with more heavy and persistent rain and again very strong winds. We headed for the Bowland area and decided to shelter from the weather in The Riverside Cafe at Slaidburn. After coffe and cake the rain was easing but it was still very wintry.
We headed North up towards the County Boundary at Cross of Greet. On the way we called in at a small fellside woodland which I had visited in previous years and found it to be occupied by pied flycatchers and redstarts. We disturbed a Roe Deer on entering the wood and eventually we caught sight of a redstart. It was not easy to approach the redstart as it flitted about the woodland but eventually we noticed it perching on the fence and wall that formed the boundary of the adjoining moorland. Again it was difficult to approach closely but I did manage a few shots, none of which were good, but I will be back hopefully under more favourable conditions when the current very disturbed weather settles down.
We then drove up the winding mountain road to cross the County Boundary into Yorkshire. What a contrast there was in the weather as we crossed the watershed and a beautiful sunny afternoon greeted us with stunning views across the moorland to Ingleborough and Whernside.Along this section of moorland was a pair of Red Grouse with the female looking superb in her cryptic plumage , blending perfectly with the moorland grasses and heather. The journey home via quiet lanes and roads was fabulous with stunning scenery and great weather to finish the day. What had begun with very wet and wintry weather finished in glorious Spring sunshine and I was glad we had decided not to abandon this super ride through the stunning scenery of this part of Northern England. The images show the male redstart, the super cryptic plumage of the female red grouse and one of the views enjoyed on the way home.


  1. I have had utter horrid luck finding grouse here, but the common redstart we see every now and again. it is not as conspicuous as the vociferous black redstart (there are even a few pairs in the center of Innsbruck).

    the landscape looks wonderful. I find it hard to compare to anything I know.

    happy birding

  2. Enjoyed your commentary on your day Brian. You must let me know where the wood is that you mention, I know the area well and is one my hundreds of such areas I love....but this wood?

    Images it goes without saying are your usual excellent ones.

    My Kind Regards

  3. Thanks Dale and Pete for your comments