Mrs W and myself decided on a ride out covering some of the north-east moors , with no particular destination in mind. We left Penrith and drove over Hartside and headed for Alston , then we took the road to Nenthead and dropped down into Weardale. At Stanhope we turned left and made our way to Derwent Reservoir. Above pics Small Skipper,Ringlet ,& Meadow Brown
We hadn't intended going out to birdwatch but well you can't resist really and we always have an old pair of bins in the car just in case. On the water there was a pair of Great crested grebes displaying , a huge raft of Goldeneyes, c. 50 Oystercatchers, c.200 Lapwings , and some Greylags. Also close to the water we found a good collection of butterflies. pics above. As we continued our journey we came across four Stoats playing chicken on the moorland road and sat watching them for a while. We also saw quite a few Red Grouse , and unbelievably a small flock of Starlings skimmed the roof of the car they were being chased by a Peregrine, it actually drove one of them into the roof of the car. We watched the pair circling overhead later. There was a lot of roadkill about and unusually a lot of young Lapwings.
An excellent unplanned day out.