Our first songbird walk last sunday began in a sundewed wonderland up Northumberland’s Harthope valley: Wooler was still enshrouded in a chill mist but as we came over Skirl Naked, patches of blue sky were opening up for the sun to disperse the valley’s mist. Someone must like us.
Some expected birds did not show up. But the unexpected highlight for me was a pair of pied flycatchers weaving through the alder branches just above us on our morning coffee break. They were taking a close interest in all the little holes in the trees around us and the male was delivering his sweet song while at work house-hunting. Gorgeous.
The sun shone. The company was choice. Cue an impromptu rendition of a swan song from Poppy and Glen.
Thanks to all who came along, birds and people.
“Thank you so much leading us on such an inspirational walk today and giving us such a delicious lunch. I have never been on a walk to listen before – always to feel and see. Hearing is usually incidental. So I learnt a lot about what I can gain by deliberately listening.” D.B.