Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Black and Gold

I've been away in the wetlands of North Norfolk - a delightful contrast with our uplands, yet many subtle correspondences and similarities of colour and texture in the landscape.  The news of further fires on Calderdale's moors has been a worry and as soon as I got back I had to rush up to High Brown Knoll to check the area where the Curlews and Plovers nest.  As soon as I started up the hill there was a very strong smell of burnt moor so it was a relief to find no signs of fire nearby.  Of course I know that many other nests of Curlews, Twites, Skylarks and Golden Plovers will have been destroyed on Ovenden Moor and Blackstone Edge which is very upsetting.

I'm sure that many people think the moors are bleak and deserted places but there's a whole mysterious, secret world of life up there if you really look and listen. A pair of Golden Plovers were pottering around in the newly sprung cotton grass.  They are very beautiful and incredibly well camouflaged for this environment. This is the only (partially) successful photo I could manage with the very heavy long lens.

I think this must be Mrs Plover as the male has more black on his belly. In Norfolk I saw a grey plover on the beach, equally gorgeous but in a silver, white and black colourway. Listen to the sound of the golden plover here.


  1. Thank you Angie, for your interesting comments and photographic records of the local birdlife I especially enjoy the RSPB links you provide as back-up to the more informal information you provide.

    Like you I always love to see the hills of Calderdale following days away from our fantastic Calder Valley - my son lives in Cambridge, so I fully apppreciate the marked contrast between the flatlands and our hills.


  2. Very inspiring site, makes me feel I want to be out there in that fantastic landscape. I love the wild moorland and all the quirky rock outcrops. This so completely different from where I grew up in gentle undulating green Bedfordshire. Driving back from visits 'down south' I always got a tingle of excitement coming across the highest point on the M62 - I lived in Rochdale then and knew the Littleborough side best - Blackstone Edge and the 'roman road' more than from Hebden Bridge.
    Your writing and fantastic photos remind me so much of these. Lovely to hear the bird songs too.