BULBY’S WOOD is a lovely picnic area in Northumberland National Park on the bank of the River Breamish about 0.5 miles out of Ingram Village in the direction of Linhope Estate [GPS: 55°26’28.337″ N 1°59’20.22″ W]
Adders on the sunny side near Branton
During the recent heavy snow of the Beast from the East, adders were difficult to find. However, as soon as there was some respite, they could be spotted quite easily once more on the sunny side of the street!
Adder on south-facing woodland margin
Early adder at Branton
In 2015, I saw my first basking adder of the new season on 8 March 2015.
In 2016, it was around the same time of the year on 12 March 2016 that the basking adders were back.
Well, this year I caught sight of my first adder basking near the entrance to the Branton Lakes Nature Reserve on 20 February 2018 (between 2-3 weeks earlier than previous years). And here it is:
Wildlife report 2016
Following the transfer of ownership of Branton Nature Conservation Area/Branton Ponds from Cemex to the Hedgeley Estate, it was felt important to collect as much data as possible on the state of the wildlife on the site.
Consequently, Alnwick Wildlife Group (AWG) took the lead in compiling data. Almost all the records have come directly from members of AWG or from visits organised by AWG members. In particular, Ian and Keith Davison visited the site on an almost daily basis and have contributed the majority of the bird records and the ‘other sightings’ records. In addition, Stewart Sexton and Alan Fairclough organised a moth trapping night, and Richard Poppleton organised all the botanical survey visits.
By Hugh Tindle
THE SPRING WEATHER WAS rather unpredictable to say the least. Having struggled through April with some very chilly days and nights it seemed quite bizarre that we should end the month with more snow on the ground than there had been throughout the entire winter.
By then, of course, the wildlife had already settled down and birdlife in particular seemed intent on raising their families. The rooks were already busy and had young calling from several nests before the end of March.
The first swallow arrived in Powburn on 7 April 2016 and was joined by another three days later, although thereafter numbers were quite slow to build up, owing to the cold windy conditions. Other spring migrants soon followed, with willow warbler and blackcap quite noticeable on 17 April. One female blackcap resorted to a garden birdfeeder in the village while a male took advantage of insect life around the compost heap in our own garden.
Sister valley still flowering
About this time last year, I took a walk with Margaret and my good friend Paul along the Harthope Valley – our sister valley. Well, we repeated it again this year. And, once more, we were not disappointed.
South-west of the market town of Wooler (just 8 miles from the Breamish Valley), the Harthope Valley’s burns trickle and flow through high hills. And in Spring each year they are marked along their length by tumbles of bright yellow gorse.
Adders still basking in Breamish Valley
Well, if you haven’t had an opportunity to see them yet they are, of course, still there. Obviously, it’s best to choose a sunny day and look along any south-facing slopes close to shady spots, as these are an ideal habitat for this cold-blooded reptile.