29 March, 2016

Wandering and Wows

Here it is, that somewhat delayed photo-filled frolic;

I had a couple of good Moor days last week, first with the Folks, then on my tod.


Monday saw us heading up to Scorhill and doing the Wild Tor loop for the first time in 5 years. Yeah, ouch.

The sun shone and it were glorious up there, oh yes indeed!

Watern and Wild Tors

Bird-wise there were many many Skylarks and Mipits, plus a flock of 71 Golden Plover which flew over in loose v formations.

And speaking of formations...

By utter chance, we happened to be on Hound Tor when there came the sound of rotors.. That's right, the Farewell Flight of the Junglies. We had no idea why 5 RM Seakings were flying our way so low and in such neat formation, but oh did we appreciate when they saw us waving and turned to treat us to a burst as they passed by towards Okie.

Wows fail me..   :D

So yeah, we had a great time, even if we all were feeling it by the end of the day [oh so out of practice..]

After a day doing quieter more responsible things [and creaking a bit..], I was out again on Wednesday, this time playing with a couple of circles I hadn't gotten around to visiting before, and then doing some path-finding and map-correcting. I was to the north and west of Ryder's Hill, starting from Hexworthy and messing about the upper reaches of the O, the Avon, and the Swincombe.

Hexworthy Circle has an amazing location,

Approaching from Hexworthy
[and the Bronze age settlement]
On the north slope of Down Ridge, it overlooks a vast swath of the central moor and Dart valley, from North Hessary to Buckland Beacon. No attempt at a picture could do the panorama justice, so you'll only get bits in the background.

The circle is mostly fallen and/or missing, but some of the uprights are very impressive;

The stones in the SW are overlapping,
a style not often found in this part of the country

  There is also one 'official' outlier - a teeny thing off to the SE;

I took a shot of it from the circle, but it's a frickin' dot.

I also noticed a couple of stones sitting at interesting points on the skyline, and when I went up to have a look at them, they looked very much as if their placement [aligned with two of the still-standing stones] wasn't likely co-incidence.

Again, in the picture it's a pixel, so reversing the view;

There are a fair few stones on the hillside, but not so many have been wedged in place.

The third one is a little different - I describe it as a backsight, as it's actually notched.

Again you can't make it out thanks to my 3 pixel phone..

How's this for a sighting point?

Ok ok, enough with the circle...

After wandering over to the O, I had lunch in the workings by the Henroost. Deliberately no pics of that; go see it. Ultimate gert.

I also noticed something else..

Oooh, what's that bird?
Only a Merlin!
The change in perspective being due to me having circled around into those tin workings you can see in the background in that first shot. Where I had lunch. Watching said falcon sitting on her boulder. For two hours. Two hours!
[There are those who may think spending two hours watching a small falcon do very little other than the odd bit of preening 

is a bit odd. I say, you've never watched a Merlin. Up on t'Moor where they belong.]

After she got bored[!] and flew off, I moved on in search of the cairn circle on Skir [or Skaer] Hill. This I found, it didn't photo well;

  Can you see it?

The rushes are growing out of the flooded cist. They came out.

While the site had a serious view, and the circle was a neat little thing, the best part was the accompanying letterbox, which had a truly wonderful stamp. Again, no spoilers; you want to see this.

Anyways, I then played 'update the map', as time and hordes of 10Torsies will change things up there, and the last time I'd been to Avon Head, Blair was PM.. [oh, the horror..]. I took the chance to bounce up Ryder's but it was a little hazy for the full 360° panorama of wowness.

With the afternoon wearing on, I headed down via Ter Hill and the Swincombe, and on the famous wall on said hill found a Wheatear!! He was irritatingly mobile, and I just could not even get him into frame, let alone focus...

To further improve my mood, the path I was scouting then led me into flooded tussocks [if you don't know what these are, be grateful]...

Finally getting to Swincombe Res, I found a spot in the lee of a big rock to finish my coffee and admire some swaling [crispy..]. One last bird encounter; a flock of 67+ Fieldfare and 9+ Starlings foraging by Deep Swincombe.

It was a good yomp, with great birds [unexpected ones, too] and great stones, and while the path-finding didn't go exactly to plan, at least I didn't fall in anything.

Be Seeing You..

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