Elsdon and Gallow Hill

24 Apr

Number 48 and Number 49

A gloriously sunny day today so decided to head inland to explore a little and plumped for a walk around Elsdon from the Northumberland National Park website (http://www.northumberlandnationalpark.org.uk/elsdonburnwalk-lo.pdf) which should take a couple of hours, but with a 4 year old in tow we expected to take a bit longer.

Immediately on leaving the village and into fields we had sand martins wheeling around a small burn and meadow pipits every few yards. Heading uphill a little towards what is described in the walk guide as a derelict house but which is in fact newly renovated and looking rather grand, we came across our first wheatear of the walk. No sign of little owls but there were some obvious candidates and some large nest boxes in the trees presumably for the owls.

The path took us steeply up hill towards a stand of conifers through a young mixed plantation which in a few years will look very different but held only a single meadow pipit. Cutting up along a ridge alongside Castle Hill gave fantastic views of the valley and climbing up to the summit of Gallow Hill had wheatear on every prominent rock or treestump, and curlews and lapwing around. A single skylark was singing from a great height above us and meadow pipits were everywhere.

Meadow Pippit

Meadow Pippit

Small tortoiseshell and large white butterflies were enjoying the warm conditions but we didn’t see any small coppers which the national park suggest are around – possibly a week or two early.

Heading back down to the village we had yet more wheatear and several curlew calling to each other as they circled the valley.

Back in the village itself there were a dozen or so swallows on the telephone wires and feasting on the flies.

Birds seen : Swallow, Sand Martin, Curlew, Jackdaw, Meadow Pipit, Wheatear, Skylark, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Wood Pigeon


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