Apologies for the lack of posts during the last half of 2019. Due to more work being done on the house and changes to my employment, I found it difficult to do much photography during this time. But after settling back down, I managed to take a short trip to Edale in the Peak District at the beginning of December.
I didn’t have any plans to find any particular species of wildlife, and I fully intended to enjoy the changing landscape from what I am so familiar with back home (the very flat lands of The Fens!) As we arrived in the small village of Edale, nestled within Hope Valley, the rolling hills surrounded our self-catered house and distant cows and sheep called out all around the property. We were lucky to have our own wild garden behind the building, and already I spotted a variety of birds as we arrived including chaffinch, great tit and dunnock.
On one of our days, myself and my fiancé decided to climb up to one of the peaks within the valley; Mam Tor. Along the trail up, we spotted plenty of carrion crows and calls of great tit in areas of thicket and near small rivers that trickled at the bottom of the peak. We didn’t reach the top of Mam Tor, but we found ourselves at a high point in between the peaks and the views we saw were still amazing to see! Hope Valley laid below us and the skies were clear, despite there being a heavy wind as we rested at the top!
On our way back down, I spotted a pair of birds fly in front of us on the path and landed within an area of tall grass with it’s body just poking above the strands. Through the lens I noticed a distinguished red chest and white stripe across the bird’s neck, which confirmed that it was a stonechat. I have only ever seen this bird on the West Coast of Scotland a year ago, so it was a delight to see it in the Peak District too! As we returned to the outskirts of Edale village, there were large flocks of redwing and fieldfare on the field we were crossing, along with more carrion crows and curious robins flitting amongst the bushes bordering the tree line.
On our final day, I spent more time in the back garden and as well as seeing the previously mentioned species, I was lucky enough to see a brambling briefly in the bare hedges! I always enjoy seeing wildlife wherever I go, and I would love to return to the Peak District again for a longer amount of time!