This is what it's all about. The Boy Reiver had another of his flying visits to Northumberland this weekend, to recharge the batteries. Not many would say an 800 mile drive in the UK over 3 days would recharge the batteries, but I love the travelling. The final destination doesn't really matter, it's being on the move which fizzles the excitement in me. Mind you Cornwall last weekend, London next, the boy does travel a bit. I may need to buy a new car soon!
So why am I standing in my pyjamas and looking at a view? Well dear reader this is Borders most favouritist view in Northumberland. There are more spectacular ones, there are more dramatic ones, but this view remind me of childhood, messing about in rivers, bird nesting and being a little scamp in the Coquet Valley. Somewhere in that view is a tree with my name carved on it. Tut tut. I've taken many photos from here over the years, and when the dark moods envelope me in Somerset, half an hour looking at this view in a photo, while munching on a sweetmeat get the humour restored.
But this is a wildlife blog. So here's a Wheatear sunning himself on a rock in the upper Coquet Valley. I also spotted a Whinchat, not a million miles from here, which gets my year total to 150. Below are Swallows, who seemed to be ominously preparing to fly further south, presumably somewhere near Darlington.
But I must have some views of the Upper Coquet Valley. Those from Northumberland will know what I mean, but there's nothing like it, photographs never do it real justice, but it was hot, sunny, not a breath of wind, so Border Reiver whipped off his socks and went for a paddle in the River Coquet watching the fish and looking at aquatic insects. I was in heaven, mind you, fish lept onto the bank, the homes of the Caddis Fly laval cases collapsed and the Environment Agency put out a pollution alert, purely because my feet were in the clean water of the Coquet.
Haymaking was in full swing on the steep slopes of the valley
And sheep were well, being just sheep really. In the hot weather they were panting a bit, mind you so was I.
But as I write this in Somerset, House Martins flying overhead, let me leave you with the view from Barrow Scar back down the valley towards Alwinton. Anyone going to the border shepherds show in October? See you there for a ham and pease pudding stottie in the tin shed, a warm pint from the Rose and Crown and watch the Rothbury Highland Pipe Band bring up colours.... cracking stuff. There's nowhere like it