29 March, 2018

To The Moor!

At last, some half-decent weather co-incided with my ability to take advantage of it.


Yes, it was soggier than yesterday's chips up there, but a little splashiness never stopped me before, after all, what are gaiters for?


I started off at Shipley Bridge and took a favourite route, deosil for good form [and complaining legs], of about 18km up to Three Barrows and back via the Sub and Avon Dam.

Nice and simples, yes? Well, yes; all lanes, paths, tracks, and roadway - right and proper as we are into the breeding season for all those poor wee birdies.

An amble in pictures and so on;

Scenic lanes, oh yes

Diamond Lane
Just looking at this makes my legs ache..

Up up up [at least it's harder to slip that way]

Onto the Moor and ooh, still some snow!

Up still and up more, but a commotion gave me an excuse to pause caught my attention. Oh dear, somebody having a harder time than me;

It's tough to be a Buzzard...

And that was only a part of the whirling mass of assorted corvids, too. Ouch.

First stop was at Skylark Tor. You won't find the name on the OS, as the tor in question has no listed name [tut]. Why do I call it Skylark? Go there. You'll hear. :)

Sat by a rock, there were four up at once. Glorious! This wasn't taken there, but it fits better here;

They just don't stop singing.

Even when being chased [I've seen this, it's true!].

Not bad for a snap shot

To the view;

Towards South Brent

Lovely Spring weather

After a brief cuppa and a longer look about, it was time to head on - past Hickley and then up again to the big one;

Going thattaway

You find the funniest things up there

Part-finished millstones being far from the oddest

The top

Time for more sitting about seeing what flies past careful observation - well, you never know - during rations break. Also, quite scenic up there.

Looking over the Erme

Stall Down stone row

You knew it was coming. Speaking of rocks left lying around in the distance;

Penn Beacon settlement

The archaeology shows up beautifully at this time of year - three humans in shot for scale, even!
And yes, this was also inevitable, so here comes what I'm sure you were expecting

The Longest Row, running to its
southern terminus at The Dancers stone circle

Closer view of The Dancers

The row heading off north up the Erme valley

Another closer view

It went thattaway
Green Hill on the right skyline 

A couple of parties of T10s were on that side of the valley, and they seemed to be having some fun finding a way across the river - having to double back from the circle right back up to where the sunny bit is in that photo before finding a crossing point.

Now for a far too far view; from Three Barrows you can see a ridiculous way when visibility allows.

No, behind that bit of Plimoth..

The Dodman [yes, that dark line up there]. Even further off - and out of crop as you just couldn't resolve it without proper optics - was a nice slice of The Lizard. Never fails to bemuse me that you can see The Lizard and The Bill from southern Dartmoor. At least, when visibility allows! [Couldn't get a sniff of the Bill, but Dodman photo'd just about ok]

Later on, the vis. shifted a bit, and another land- or rather sea mark was visible, wafting in the haze;

The Eddystone Light

Ok, enough long-distance nonsense..

After a lunch break which involved quite a bit more soaring raptor watching than I probably had a right to [indeed more than I'd even hoped to :) ],

Soaring blobs
[I said no more long-range stuff, didn't I? Oops.]

I eventually carried on, following the twisty path down to the old tramway and thence onwards and northishwards towards the Heap [that's Redlake works - the big spoil heap in the middle being quite a feature]. I turned off following yet another path leading to the direct way [follows boundary stones] from Three Barrows to White Barrow [technically Western White Barrow, but as Eastern is effectively under new naming, I think Western can be the only White Barrow]

Still a fair amount of melt water

And schnooow!!

What? I couldn't resist it.  :)

The Heap, seen from
White Barrow

Just surfaced

My final stopping point was of course The Sub.

The Heap, North Hessary, Great Mis
Viewpoints from a viewpoint

There had to be a sheep at some point

Rather than finish my walk the usual way - back down the ridge to Black Tor - I decided to head over to the Avon valley more directly, on the off chance something interesting had survived the inevitable hordes parading up and down the dam road. Well, you never know, right?

Turned out that I was right, though not in the way I expected, let alone hoped.. Birds, eh?

Can you guess what I saw? Can you?


Wait and see...

Avon reservoir

Shock news - reservoir full

And on the water.. No, not Mallards! Not Little Grebe, not Goosander, nor Tufty..


Told you you were wrong. ;)

Once I'd got over the shock, I ambled down the Avon valley, taking the odd picture as I went in vain search for a photogenic Dipper..

Is it just me, or does looking up at a dam 
make you feel just a touch uneasy?

Two sides of the Avon

And finally, something else;

That boulder's not going 
anywhere for a while..

Lovely to be out and stretching the legs again.

Be Seeing You..

26 March, 2018

Here Are Some Other Pictures

In which I post a variety of not-that-far-in-the-past taken pictures from about the Patch of various things. Some of these are quite pretty, being absolutely gull-free, but there are also some pictures of gulls coming, so be prepared. :)

Right then, back at some point in the past - it might even be a week ago - I took a wander about the Patch. It was not at that time covered in snow, and I saw a few things I deemed worthy of zapping with the camera. Here you go;

I don't always hate them, you know.

They're like cats - fine in the right place
[not the same ones, though]

Not just big foreign bushes, naturally [ho ho]

I don't know what these pinky things are,
I do know there's a few varieties,
they're all over the place, and have been out for ages

Ok, you've had the pretty pretties, now for the other stuff [heh heh]

The sea was feeling frisky

The surf was up
[bit messy, though]

Right, time for the horror gulls that were messing about over the flotsam and jetsam; standing out nicely over brown sea in flat light. These are all from the cliff top, but you can still see too much for the sane some stuff. I stayed up there due to the useful angle - lost by going down, and the way I was actually out of the wind for once! [A rare treat]

Clearly visible

Ok, maybe not quite that clear here..

Hmm, maybe hold off on the surfing..

2cy Herring Gull

Almost a lovely view in that last one; note how the mantle, rump, uppertail coverts and tail are very similar in tone, this also goes for the wing coverts. While there is [at this angle] a clear tail band and a very obvious set of secondaries [the wing shape - mid beat - shows them very nicely], this is clearly not a fancy gull. You'd want a standout white head and rump [rump and utc's], with more than just one bar in the sec's to give this gull a harder look. A very pale underwing wouldn't be bad, either.

Further up, we have various ages of Herring Gulls, plus a few others - Great Black-backed being easy, and Common not far off so obvious. The selection was picked randomly, as I wasn't able to see which gulls I was shooting: movement = shutter hit..!

That's about it for this one, though there should be more coming soon, as I have finally dragged myself off-Patch and done some yomping. Pics with Absolutely No Horrid Gulls Guaranteed will be posted at some point.

Be Seeing You..