Go through the gate and carry on through the narrow path
looking out for the kingfisher at the river and many small birds in the
trees. As the path begins to widen there
are brambles, gorse* etc along the top part where you will hear and see
many birds such as yellowhammers. Have a look into the farm fields when you get a chance here, as there are often heron in the fields.
*Gorse and broom have very similar yellow flowers. Gorse has very spiny needles whereas if you
think of the broom as a broom you can tell it apart easily, it’s stems have no
spines. The gorse can flower from
January onwards, broom is later from about April and more an early summer
As the path widens into a narrow field all this area can be
full of wildflowers and butterflies. I
have seen a hawker dragonfly here and you can also see many bees, bumble bees,
and some ladybirds. The heron often sit
in this area and goldfinches can also be seen here, this is also the place to
hear and see the oyster catchers as the Spring begins to move on.
Walk along the track, through the grass, watch out for the cows if they are about. I’ve found the best way to deal and cope with the cattle is to walk on slowly and not look at them at all. They are inquisitive and if you look at them, then they begin to come over to see who you are and what you are up to.
Soon you will come to a stony area on the left next to the river.
Look at the start of this stony area for the dipper, grey
, sometimes pied wagtails and often small birds
, coming down for a
drink, such as chaffinches and goldfinches.
If you sit quietly here, you may get to watch the dipper. It is quite easy to see the dipper from some
way off as you can spot it’s white breast.
It is a dark brown coloured bird and often bobs about.
Here is a video that I took of a dipper having a good bath! You can see from this how they are quite camouflaged but easy to spot from a distance by their white front:
Note the dipper’s eyes, sometimes in photos you will
see them white. The dipper will
disappear under water for a while then re-emerge slightly away from where it
went down. Apparently, they can stay
under water for up to 30 seconds. They
have transparent eyelids which they can use like goggles to see under
If sitting quietly around this stretch of the river you may
get to see the ducks, mostly mallard around here, with their ducklings. In the summer you can see swallows and swifts
darting and swooping over the surface of the river catching the insects. If you look up in the sky you may see a
buzzard, listen out for their distinctive call, then you can identify it from
it’s wing markings. If you look much
higher up in the sky you might be lucky enough to see a red kite, I have
occasionally spotted an osprey passing, hopefully we will get more of them as
time goes on.
|Female Mallard with Ducklings
Moving on through the small section of bushes, at the stones, keep your eyes open in the Summer for the butterflies, wild flowers, ladybirds etc in this section. The tiny small copper is often found here. It can be difficult to spot at first, as they are much smaller than the other butterflies around. Walking through the stones to the other side, you might pass various small birds, willow warblers and blue tits in the willows by the river, wrens, yellow hammers and goldfinches on the various shrubs. Nearer the end of this patch are some buddleia which the birds often sit on the top of and the butterflies love. Many butterflies can be found around here on the flowers and also resting and sunning themselves on the stones. There are many peacock butterflies, white and small tortoiseshell butterflies. The orange tip butterflies are out earlier in the year than the buddleia. I have also seen a few comma butterflies and red admirals.
As you leave the stony area, follow the track up to where there are some trees and the path narrows again. At this section, look over the gate into the farm field, you can spot yellowhammers and there is often a heron in the field. Then look over the gorse bushes and check the stumps of wood down at the river. I have occasionally seen a kingfisher here. Recently I was delighted to see a pair of goldcrests.
This short, narrow stretch of path is full of wild flowers
and butterflies, gorse, bees and bumble bees.
In the winter you can often find various different birds eating the
berries from the bushes here, finches, fieldfares, blackbirds etc. There are dunnocks, wrens, yellow hammers,
chaffinches and sometimes bullfinches around this area too.