Thursday, 23 June 2022

A New Road and a Baby Barn Owl

On my Thursday walk with Mike Tinker today we had decided to walk the new road Langholm Initiative have had made to take the trees out of the felled wood at Hallpath. This has had to be done in the summer to prevent any damage to the habitat on Whita Hill.
This is at the Broomholmshiels end of the road.
A grand view of Langholm in the distance
Part of the road follows the track made by the people working on the pylons a couple of years ago
An even better view of Langholm
A little bit higher up from Broomholmshiels

We stopped for a Coffee Break at Broomholmshiels and Mike noticed in the distance a fluffy ball in the middle of the road so on closer inspection we found this baby Barn Owl.
It was very cute but in real danger from the forestry trucks going along the road
We decided to pick it up and put it back in the barn so Mike being very brave did the deed but not before it had stuck its claw into his finger and I had to remove it. 

This was the first time Mike had seen a baby Barn Owl never mind pick it up.

One of the Forestry Trucks plying the new road

A most beautiful bird. We contacted Langholm Initiative and two of the Tarras valley Nature Reserve team came up to look at it and managed to get it back into the nest box. They said that the Barn Owl expert Rick would visit tonight to see that it was ok. 

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

A Walk Round Jenny Nobles and New Seats

These photos are a week late in being posted, but I forgot to put them on my blog last week. It's the first time we have all walked together for quite a while. It was only round Jenny Nobles with Coffee at The Buccleuch Centre first and then Lunch there after our walk as well. The weather was excellent and the crack even better. 
At the Round House
It was so good to have Peter with us as he has had a difficult time recently and has now moved to Edinburgh to live so he got a lift down to Langholm with John and Sandria.
We have recently put several new Seats and Picnic tables on The Langholm Walks routes to replace damaged seats. This is at Colin's Turn on the Copshaw road. I was sitting on the seat admiring the view when Jane and Alan Kettle cycled by on their way to Newcastleton. They have been in Canonbie for about 3 years now and came as the first customers of Wild Eskdale and liked it so much they decided to move here. They have never regretted their move north from Lincolnshire.
The new Picnic Table at the Car Park on the Tarras Valley road to Cooms. This is Niall Weatherstone who sponsored the 2 Picnic Tables there and is with the new team from the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve, Jenny, Angela, and Kat.
Me with Jane Kettle. In a way I was responsible for them coming to the area as I helped set up Wild Eskdale which was the reason they came to see the Hen Harriers and a Black Grouse Lek.
The new seat at Elizabeth Street
Niall and myself at the other Picnic Table on the road to Cooms.
The new seat replacing the damaged one at Lands End. We placed 2 Picnic Tables and 4 Seats this week and have another 3 seats to place in the next month.


 

Thursday, 2 June 2022

An Early Morning Walk and Tree Planting on Tarras Valley Nature Reserve

Leo and myself at 7.00am this morning. It was glorious sunshine high up on the Moor but in the valley there was a river of mist.
Later in the morning we joined Kat on Tarras Valley to plant some more trees in lower Tarras.
I think its a Wheatear perched on the MacDiarmid memorial
This Raven in the bottom of the picture was being chased by a pair of Crows while we were planting trees.
A river of mist in the valley.
Leo was fascinated by the river of mist.
These are trees that Leo, Hannah and myself planted in about 2 hours this morning. 
The Langholm Monument on a beautiful morning. I will be back up tonight but the weather wont be as nice for the Beacon and Laser Show.
The MacDiarmid Memorial looking splendid with the mist in the background.
The River of Mist
 

Sunday, 29 May 2022

The Skylark Road

Once a year i try to walk the old Drove road from Kerr wood to Old Irvine. This used to be open ground but in the last few years there has been extensive forestry planted and eventually it will be all trees on the north side of the road and on some parts of the south side. This is the start of my walk looking back towards Kerr with a collection of wind turbines in the background.
Half way along the walk is the only burn on the route.
This is the south side of the road and a perfect habitat for the many Skylarks that sang to me the entire time I was on the walk.
Another view of the south side of the track.
The long straight road looking back from Old Irvine. Not sure what these wild flowers are but Mike Tinker will eventually advise me.
Newly planted young trees on the north side of the road. At the moment it is still a perfect habitat for ground nesting birds and Skylarks in particular but in a few years time that habitat will be lost as the trees mature. 
Looking back towards my car parked at Kerr road end.
Some more mature trees with the wind turbines in the background
As straight as a die for about 1.75 miles 

More wild flowers and a view towards the hills of Cumbria

A selection of wild flowers.
The last remaining area on  the north side of the road now planted.
Looking north toward the Langholm Monument on Whita Hill
 

Wednesday, 25 May 2022

Lower Tarras Valley and the end of a Coal Story

Today's Wednesday Walk was 3 of us for the first time in a while as Niall was able to join Tom and myself. We headed to The Laverock Bird Hide on the Tarras Valley Nature Reserve and parked the car there for a 4 mile walk down the road to the Tarras Distillery and then along the Tarras River up to Rachiel Bridge and then back up the road to the Bird Hide. It had been a wet morning and the ground was very wet and boggy in places. This is one of the many Hawthorn bushes we encountered on the walk and they are looking at their best now with loads of blossom. 
An avenue of Hawthorn

The first of 2 wooden bridges we had to negotiate and this one is not in very great condition so it was one person at a time.
The suspension bridge further up the Tarras and this one is in excellent condition but tends to swing a bit if there is more than 1 person on it. The Tarras is running quite high after a few days of heavy rain. 
The River Tarras with a few trees still to come into full greenery
This is the marshy area next to Rachel Bridge and its an area I and others would like to see made into a pond as a feature in  the new Tarras Valley Nature Reserve. 
I walked this path on Sunday but now it is a burn.

Tom on the Suspension Bridge
The view looking up river from the Suspension Bridge
One of the several places we used to think there was a coal seam came out next to the river but Geologist Niall soon put us right and it is in fact just Shale.
Crossing another burn that has become a raging torrent. We all managed to cross without mishap but it was quite difficult and I did get wet feet. 
The best example of a seam od Shale in the banking.
Niall crosses the rickety bridge. Despite the very wet and boggy ground it was an enjoyable 4 mile walk. 
 

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