Chee Dale Charmers

While no expert birder, I impressed my son-in-law last week by identifying a grey wagtail just from the description that he'd done a walk in Chee Dale and saw an unusual bird!  Chee Dale really is a hidden gem in the Peak District, and a great place to spot dippers and yes, grey wagtails. Scores of people walk and ride bikes on the Monsal Trail above not realising there's a beautiful limestone gorge below that's a haven for wildlife.

Anyway yesterday we revisited the dale and saw all the usual culprits, at least 4 species of butterfly and, just above the gorge, a pond full of newts and tadpoles.

In parts the path becomes a series of stepping stones (occupied by a dipper in the photo below) under the cliffs which becomes impassable after heavy rain. We watched several dippers, two of which were popping in and out of the nest we spotted in the cliffs. The grey wagtail below is presumably a fledgling waiting to be fed but which was surprisingly chased off by a dipper (which I failed to photograph as I was changing the camera battery!).

  • Terrific photos Mike love the dipper yet to see one myself
  • ILR has said word for word what I was going to say... but i'm going to the newt too! Thanks for sharing Mike
  • In reply to i love robins:

    Thank you. I guess we're lucky here in that they're quite a common site on the many rivers running through Sheffield, as well as in the Peaks. Apparently there're now even otters on the River Don which was essentially an industrial sewer in the past (although I've yet to see one).
  • Wonderful photos and sightings Mike, thanks for sharing.


    Regards, Hazel 

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

  • Chee Dale is a charmer to put it lightly, and somewhere not too accessible for me these days, so it was good to see your fabulous photos Mike, and many thanks for sharing.

    Perhaps I'm being a bit selfish here, but I often feel that is good many folk are taken up with the Monsal Trail, along with the Tissington and Peak Trails, which then means the likes of us can enjoy the quieter places unspoilt, or at least, not so spoilt.


    Flickr Peak Rambler