Friday, 23 April 2010
Pennine Plovers....Green and Golden
I have been up to the Northern Pennines again this week, this time in the company of my good friend Paul Foster. Paul like myself is a keen and enthusiastic bird watcher and photographer. We had both visited Upper Teesdale earlier and had seen black grouse but bird photographers are never happy and are always looking for better shots. Despite the volcanic ash clouds over Britain the weather was fine but was still very cool and it did indeed feel decidely cool in the hills above Middleton in Teesdale.
Our main objective and target species was the elusive black grouse and that will be the subject of my next posting. Whilst travelling around looking for black grouse we saw probably hundreds of lapwings or green plovers. There seemed to be at least half a dozen birds in every field performing their wonderful acrobatic display flights and making preparations for nesting. The farming practices in the North Pennines are sympathetic to wildlife and nowhere else in England can ground nesting waders such as lapwing,snipe and redshank be seen in such numbers.
As we drove slowly around Paul spotted a Golden Plover very close to the road and we very carefully stopped and drew alongside the area where it looked like the birds were possibly nesting. For the next half hour or so we were treated to some stunning close up views of this handsome male golden plover as he kept watch for any intruders into his territory. Later we had brief views of the female bird as she was disturbed by a passing heavy lorry. We couldn't believe our luck at being so close to this fabulous looking bird and many dozens of images were taken of it before we moved on to look for the black grouse. Had I been alone I probably wouldn't have seen the bird but thanks to Paul's vigilance we were able to obtain some excellent images of this special bird of the Pennine Uplands. I hope you enjoy looking at the above images of green and golden plovers as much as I did in taking them. I will soon post another account detailing our efforts to obtain some close up images of that very special bird of the Northern Pennines...the Black Grouse.