page contents Bumble Wood, Wheeldale Moor.
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Bumble Wood, Wheeldale Moor.

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I've driven through the Wheeldale valley many times and although beautiful, I have never really explored. We visited with friends and as our friends know the valley much better than we do, we explored and explored. The area around the Wheeldale Beck is a really interesting area for birds of all kinds.

I picked up a Jay almost immediately and a Tree Pipit soon after, but I spotted a quick flash of another bird out of the corner of my eye wrongly thinking Stonechat! After I had properly composed myself and keeping one eye on a fast moving raptor in the distance, I refocused my bins and there it was, Whinchat!

Now in this part of the country Whinchat are not something you see every day and with those spindly legs they always look like they shouldn't be able to stand up.

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Above and Below: Whinchat
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Above: Lapwing with its iridescent coat.
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Above: Broad-bodied Chaser, female (Many Thanks to Keith Gittens From Yorkshire Naturalists)
Wheeldale Moor has Cropton Forest on its borders and Cropton produces some of the best birding in the North Yorkshire Moors with all the usual woodland species and Common Crossbill to boot. Raptors of all species are either resident breeders or frequent visitors to this very diverse area.

Without moving very far at all I had 26 species including Black Grouse, Blackbird, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Chiffchaff, Curlew, Goldcrest. Honey Buzzard, Jackdaw, Jay, Lapwing, Linnet, Oystercatcher, Pied Wagtail, Red Grouse, Redpoll, Reed bunting, Ringed Plover, Sky Lark, Starling, Stonechat, Tree Pipit, Tree Sparrow and Whinchat.

Many other birds are in the area including Turtle Dove but sadly not seen by me or my friends on the day. If you like snakes then it’s not uncommon to see them sunning themselves on the quieter paths in the morning and evening sun.
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