Saturday, 5 July 2014

Kinder Scout

Today is my last full day in Sheffield prior to my homecoming. Its sad to say the least. Since 'Le tour' was causing chaos on the roads of Yorkshire, I decided to venture into the peaks a final time, and climb Kinder Scout again. The day started with grim rain, but by the time I arrived in Edale the sun was breaking through and it had the look of a nice day.
I made my way through the small village, and on the way found a delightful family of 4 Pied Wagtails, one adult and 3 juveniles. They came quite close to me as I watched them from over the wall, so I was able to get some decent photos of them. The juveniles were hunting insects with the exception of one individual that was more interested in harassing its parent.
-Pied Wagtail
I climbed the hill making it up the top slower than last time, but still fairly quickly. The only birds I saw were Meadow Pipits, and one Kestrel. On the whole I had not expected many birds, and so it was surprise when they were in short supply.
There were a few more insects, including Small Heath and Meadow Brown on the butterfly front. The real noteworthy beast from the top was this caterpillar which I found crossing the path. For a caterpillar it was quite a monster. Sadly I had the wrong lens, but I did the best with what I could and the results are not bad. So far as I can tell, this is an Oak Eggar caterpillar, but don't hold me to that.
-Oak Eggar Caterpillar
I carried on round and came to the region where I had seen the hares previously. Sadly I failed to find any today, and the moor was very quiet. There were quite a few Meadow Pipits, also a couple of Swifts and a solitary Red Grouse.
Back on the edge of the peak the sun decided to come out and with it came one of my favourite animals, the Green Tiger Beetle. Again I lacked the lens for a good photo, but they were not very approachable, flying away if you got anywhere close. There were at least 3 in this area, but it was difficult to tell due to the flighty nature of the beetles.
-Green Tiger Beetle
Continuing round I found more of the caterpillars, with 3 in one area. These were on a more natural background than the one previously, so I tried again to grab some photos but it was difficult given the nature of the lens I had. 
-Oak Eggar Caterpillar
I finished the walk with little more wildlife. There were a couple more butterfly species with Small Tortoiseshell and Red Admiral added, but there were no additional birds and no more beetles were found.
But with a walk like this it is hardly about the wildlife and more about the scenery and stunning views. Having done it before I knew just how good the views were, but I had not brought the camera last time. This time I came prepared, hence the lack of the macro lens. As a result I was able to photograph the stunning views. Due to the bright nature of the clear sky, many of the photos were quite dark. But those that came out Ok I have included just to show how simply stunning a walk it really is.

-Kinder Scout Views
So not much wildlife, and no hares, but an incredible walk none the less. Sadly the wind and the clouds made it less pleasant that it had been before, the wind being a real issue in places. However, it was still a lovely morning, and a great way to spend my last day in Sheffield.

Species List:
Kinder Scout: Kestrel, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Red Grouse, Swift, Swallow, Blackbird, House Sparrow, Carrion Crow, Small Heath, Meadow Brown, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Oak Eggar Caterpillar, Green Tiger Beetle

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