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Sunday, 26 February 2012

Yet Another Teesdale Trundle

superdawg braves the wind

This is the penultimate reccy for the summertime Durham County Council walks programme. This one is just a bit of simple fellwalking. I also wanted to have a look at a bit of path that me and Louise missed a few weeks back when it went dark.

teesdale

bill the pig

And so, bright and early this morning, with Superdawg all revved up and me full of porridge, we hurtled off to Middleton in Teesdale, abandoned the knipemobile in the working mens club car park and took to the high road that goes to Newbiggin. This is a cracking easy bit of walking with a fine view of Teesdale and a small betusked pig, who either wanted our company, it being a bit lonely up there, or, more likely a tasty snack. Bruno barked at him. He didn’t seem too bothered. We pressed on.

bridge to holwick

We did the bit of missed path – just as well we didn’t try this in the dark, as it happens, followed by pleasant riverbanks to a footbridge and a path through sheep pastures to the outer suburbs of Holwick.

holwick scar

more holwick scar

A bit later and we were enjoying the brief drama of Holwick scar and then the wide-open spaces of Crosthwaite Common. Agoraphobics would not enjoy Crosthwaite Common. I couldn’t help noticing that today there were curlew, snipe and golden plover calling. Spring must be just turning the corner at the end of our road. We need to put the kettle on for when it gets home. Get the biscuit tin out and turn up the gas fire…  And the other noticeable bird, jinking around making squeaky toy noises were the lapwings. This is lapwing central. I determined to use the “movie” function on the digital camera to capture their antics. I got the camera out, selected “movie” – and they’d all gone. I put the camera away and they all came back. camera out – no lapwings. Camera in – lapwings. Eventually I got a poor and windy shot of two red grouse escaping and a panoramic shot of the fellside which was noticeably absent of small brown dogs. Bruno had gone hunting.

After a short period  that sinking feeling, he returned, apparently without having killed anything, despite the apparent access to large supplies of wabbits.  He always returns. He has a phobia about being left behind. We continued. 

lunch hut

At lunchtime, we enjoyed the plush comfort if a luncheon hut. (see pic)  This bijoux palace provides excellent shelter from the nithering wind which appears to have forgotten that it was supposed to be a nice, early spring day. The sunshine of the early morning had been replaced by a grey glaur; the hillfog creeping down the hillsides and there was drizzle on the wind. brrrrrrrr….

teesdale glaur

Later, we joined the Pennine Way back past Kirkcarrion to Middleton. I had another go at creeping up on some lapwings with my camera on “movie”. They buggerred off again. I ate an orange. Bruno snoozed briefly.

More later, I rediscovered Dawn’s chocolaty care package in the glovebox and whilst Bruno enjoyed a rodeo chew, I grazed on orange and pink chocolate drops on the drive home. Pink? What’s she trying to say? Eh?

The walk was ten and a half miles. Its quite a nice walk, really. I must try a different strategy for the lapwings. I’m determined to have a video of them.

 

11 comments:

Alan R said...

It sounds like video making is too stressful Mike. Pictures are fine.
Lovely scenery. Looks a good walk for your gang.

David said...

It's always a problem getting the wildlife to hang around for a piccy. Usually if you show a bit of interest it scarpers. I find the best way is keep the camera out on the belt and when you spot something interesting - pretend you are not interested. Also don't go into stalk mode (we do it without thinking). You know the stance slight squat and hunched shoulders, otherwise the birds think you are up to no good and scarper. As soon as you relax they do and come back. I find it is best to walk at an angle to them with little eye contact. Only thing is it takes ages and your companions tend to get bored and wander off. Bruno obviously did that today when he went exploring:-) Good luck

Yasmine Hamid said...

Ooh I love Holwick. Stayed in a tent at the Strathmore Arms a few times. I have two tips for the lapwings in that part of the world: 1) follow the last stretch of Holwick road towards Low Force and use the stone wall as a hide for the birds that use the right hand field, or 2) wait until their young hatch and just hang out at Cronkley Farm (or anywhere probably). I got seriously divebombed last year just minding my own business walking the Teesdale Way.

Mike Knipe said...

Thanks each - clearly, it's nesting time when the lapwings will be a bit more aggressive, which is what I want, really, not this scooting off into the distance stuff... They also seem to like the tussocky, slightly soggy ground. Yasmin's Cronkley/Widdybank will be the place. I'll wait till April, then leap out from behind a wall.... Leaving the dog at home might help, too...

Yasmine Hamid said...

Just wear a hat when you do it - I had to fend them off with my walking pole!

Mike Knipe said...

They're vicious, them lapwings, Yasmin. A tin hat, perhaps...

Alan Sloman said...

Lapwings? Pah! Oystercatchers are the real varmints! I was attacked by the swine when walking up Glen Tilt back in 1995. All on my own, I was, Minding my own business.

Nasty critters!

Mike Knipe said...

They prolly thought you were an oyster, Alan. I once got dive-bombed by a pair of curlews.
My Dad got bombed by the luftwaffe somewhere off Norway, mind.

chrissiedixie said...

Being a chocoholic, I'm curious to know where you get orange and pink chocolate drops from? And do they taste of orange and pink?

Mike Knipe said...

The pink ones taste of strawberries, I think (I have an allergy to real strawberries, so I'm not sue) The orange ones taste of orange and the white ones are like milky bars. Dawn gets them in That London. Thats all I know....

Jules said...

Looks really nice round there, specially that Holwick Scar. One to remember when we're next in the vicinity, methinks.