Hartington and Biggin Dale walk

Weather turned out better than expected today as we headed to Derbyshire and the quaint village of Hartington where we took a walk down to the River Dove as far as Biggin Dale turn off, then circular route back to the village again which was around 5 and half plus miles.     Long time since we got a decent walk in so bones were complaining and even though we had comfortable walking shoes our toes and feet were grumbling at the end when there is a long walk up a gentle gradient.      To be honest there were very few small birds being that in-between season and end of moult and although a passer-by told us they had seen a Dipper we did not see it.     We saw and heard more than I managed to photograph;  I am struggling a bit with the camera as my eyes have deteriorated despite having had new prescription for glasses a few months ago.   It's a bind juggling between glasses, binoculars and then camera viewfinder as often the bird is gone before I can get some sort of lock on the focus and I am having to change to my other eye in the viewfinder which is like asking someone right handed to write with the left    !!   However, here are a few quick pics.      It was good to see a lot of butterflies including pristine Painted Lady, Comma, Small Tortie and a couple of Speckled Woods and quite a few dragonflies - Common Darter methinks.    Anyway, here we go...……..

First a quick view of the start of our walk from Hartington village across pasture towards the woodland and River Dove.  (taken on old iPhone)

There were a few Common Buzzards in the air and a nice blue sky for much of the time

Eagle-eyed Mike spotted something distant up on a bare twig …        Great Spotted Woodpecker (f)

Two Grey Wagtails were seen on the River Dove - reminded me of Wilma as this is also a female.  

I tried my best to get Kestrel photos for Wendy but alas they sped off too quickly -   not the best but ….

There were lots of butterflies and what I think were Common Darters

There were still pristine looking varieties including this Painted Lady ….

and a hard cropped showing that tongue extracting the nectar  !

Lots of sheep grazing by the Dove and along Biggin Dale …..     this one made me laugh as it posed for photos

"Hey Mrs ….. like my new earrings ?  "  

take a closer look Mrs I have different coloured earrings …..    

  I told it.....  " they look more like Klippits to me which I use to fasten up my sandwiches in polythene bags  ! "

Dragonfly who found a tasty meal which I'll show you in 2nd photo       Common Darter methinks ?

Small tortie butterfly in pristine condition 

couldn't come home without a photo for Paul (MC)    !!    BDR   (Biggin Dale Robin)  

and the last stretch of the walk towards Hartington - just over the brow of the constant incline and finally heading downwards

Right, time for a cuppa so will leave it there.      Thanks for viewing.



Regards, Hazel 

"Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Beautiful looking walking area Hazel... and if these are dodgy pics coz of failing eyesight, then I'd better get some of your glasses!!
  • LOL PB !! I can't tell half the time if my pics are in focus as the diopter on the camera doesn't adjust that far !


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Really lovely pics of your walk Hazy. No wonder your feet were aching - five miles indeed and the track wasn't at all smooth!!!! Gorgeous countryside though to enjoy and though short on birdlife the pics you put up of Kestrel, Wilma and GSWoodie and Robin in the sunshine are great to see. The sun is bringing out the butterflies again, and well done on the Dragonfly.

    Lot to learn

  • That looks like a beautiful walk, Hazel, and in glorious sunshine too. Cracking shots of the birds and butterflies. The Painted lady and Small Tortie look stunning and really fresh. Always good to see a Grey Wagtail and a cheeky Robin peeking out from behind the ripening Hawthorn berries.



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  • A shame you're having problems. I hope you can find a solution. At least cameras tell you when they've got focus - as long as you can tell what is actually in focus

    In the meantime, a good set, even if there weren't many birds around. Nice to get the Common Darter with lunch and the late season butterflies. 


    Nige   Flickr

  • In reply to Nigel O:

    Thanks all, much appreciated.    The area around Hartington and River Dove is really beautiful and a privilege to explore;   it's a bit end of season for sightings but you are almost guaranteed to see something special and bonus to see so many butterflies and the C. Darters in the warm sunshine.      On previous walks we have been fortunate enough to see Peregrines, Kestrels, Ravens, Wheatears, C.Redstarts, M.Pipits, Linnets, Kingfisher, Dippers ……….. and all on the same day !    Last years visit to this area produced a recently fledged Spotted Flycatcher who was so unbelievably confiding within a metre and half of my feet - some moments you never forget or the time I had to pick up a newly fledged Blackcap straight out of the nest (that had wobbled its way over to the footpath) and place it back towards the stone walling with its siblings.     That is the lovely thing about nature and bird watching as you never really know what your day will bring !   

    Nigel O said:
    A shame you're having problems. I hope you can find a solution. At least cameras tell you when they've got focus - as long as you can tell what is actually in focus

    Yes, my failing eyesight is a bit of a hinderance and takes some of the joy out of my photography hobby when I miss a lot of opportunities faffing around with glasses, binoculars and locating the subject in the viewfinder before it's gone !      I had my eyes lasered 20 years ago and it was very successful until I aged !    Once we get settled into our new place next year I may have to look in to  (no pun intended ! )  other alternatives such as lens replacement as contact lenses (according to optician) would give me distance vision but I then I would lose my reading vision and wouldn't be able to see my camera settings.    On a positive note …. at least I have good hearing  lol      

    @ Gaynor,   you should have seen the rocky path before we got to the one in the photo !   To be honest, it's not really a hard walk and nothing like the moors and fells that Alan and Nige venture up on - it's a while since we climbed up Shutlingsloe (1.660ft) or "The Cloud" or Tegg's Nose near Macclesfield Forest;   we prefer canal walks now where you are guaranteed no inclines unless they have a series of locks   lol    


    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Envious of your ability to trek around for such a distance aitch, not something I can do anymore ... great pics & many thanks for my Kestrel!


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  • "Shutlingsloe 1,660 ft" blimey, Snowdon would be no problem for you then Hazy:-)

    Lot to learn

  • Very nice Hazel, and you did well getting these if you were using the other eye to look in the view finder.

    Met a chap in Boscastle who saw two dippers on the river but we never came across them but the light was wrong so will be going back in the morning when the light is better on the river.


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  • Lovely shots Hazel it looks a beautiful area, my favourites are the GSW, a bird I don't see enough of.

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