Abbey Meadows

Abbey Meadows

Thursday, 25 June 2009


Meadow Cranesbill
Catsear and Great Burnet

The remains of an old platelayers cabin on the old Wanney line

My first day off for a while and it isn't raining! Biked to Meldon in search of the Nightingale. I didn't expect any decent views but it is a few years since I heard a one sing. It didn't disappoint; I forget how loud they are but the song is quite memorable. The bird was singing along the old Wanney line between Meldon lane and Howlett hall. Lots of ringlet butterflies along the track and Painted lady and my first Small skipper of the year. Two Redstarts were at the bridge, both males, one feeding young in an Oak tree and the other feeding fledged young nearby. Further along at one of the Meldon railway bridges another male Redstart carrying food and alarming. On the way back I heard young birds calling from a hole in a dead tree at Molesdon, I waited a while expecting possibly a Tree sparrow but yet another male redstart appeared carrying food into the nesthole. Four adult Redstarts within a mile plus Yellowhammers in double figures and 9 Buzzards, all of these I would have missed if I had used the car. Unfortunately I don't have the camera equipment for quality bird shots so the above will have to do.

Friday, 12 June 2009

Upper Coquetdale

River Coquet at Windyhaugh

Blood drop emlets...Rowhope burn

Thread leaved Water crowfoot...Coquet at Barrowburn

I don't visit this area enough. Some fine hay meadows add plenty of colour to the valley floor above Alwinton. We walked about 8 miles from Barrowburn up the Rowhope burn and up to the Border ridge, over Windy ghyle and Mozie law and back to barrowburn via the street; couldn't have picked a better day for it. Lots of birds such as Common sandpiper, Oystercatcher, Curlew and Golden plover on the tops. Up the Rowhope plenty of Wheatear, Whinchat and Buzzards. At Windy ghyle and Mozie law there were 3 Ravens. Many Small heaths on the wing.

On the home front I have seen 2 Grey squirrels in the Borough woods. I have been listening for Quail at Tranwell but no sign. On the Pont at Kirkley mill there is a fine show of Thread leaved water crowfoot. The above pic was taken today at Barrowburn but according to Swan it is found at both these sites. On monday there was a male Redstart at Mitford church but no Green woodpeckers this week but I did see a Cuckoo on Longhorsley common.

Monday, 1 June 2009


Cranberry...Steng moss

Green spleenwort...Whiskershiel

Cropped pic of a damselfly sp


The Mill burn flows from Steng moss and cascades down an outcrop of limestone down a narrow and steep valley on the edge of Harwood forest. This is a wonderful spot and a great place for plants. There are hundreds of Butterwort in flower at the moment, Marsh valerian and early marsh orchid to name a few. The best plant is Green spleenwort. It has a north and western distribution such as the Lake district and west scotland but is rare in Nortumberland but survives at this site. The other plant I came across on Steng moss was Cranberry which has a delightful delicate flower. Birds in the area were 9 Buzzards, 2 Raven and Siskin were feeding fledged young. A distant Green woodpecker was calling from the forest. I have included a pic of a Damselfly species at Whiskershiel; I cannot get sharp shots of insects but I'm sure Stewart will still be able to identify it.