Rain was forecast for pretty much all of the next fortnight, so I thought I’d make the most of today’s uncannily June-like weather by heading up to the Moor.
As I climbed the stile from the golf course, I spotted what I initially took to be a stolen egg in the middle of the track through the heather. It turned out to be a Titleist golf ball. There was nobody playing on the course at the time, so I pocketed it as a present for Dad.
Lots of meadow pipits, a few skylarks, and a lone lapwing as I headed up to the trig point. Having taken in the view, and touched the trig point to make it official, I made my way along the Edge to the cluster of rocks that appear on the cover of my book On the Moor. I decided to sit on the largest rock for half an hour, taking in the view down towards Hebden Bridge while having a brew.
The breeze was strong, but pleasant. Cloud shadows scudded across the heather. Bumblebees busied. A kestrel flew by, pursued by the obligatory crow. A couple of curlews called repeatedly from the fields below, but no lapwings. I neither saw nor heard any red grouse either, which is very unusual. Perhaps they were trying to be inconspicuous, with chicks about.
After my brew, I continued along the Edge, then turned downhill and headed along the wall at the edge of the Moor, back towards the golf course. More meadow pipits. A few linnets perched on the fence. I expected to see wheatears, but was disappointed. I expected to see lapwings, but saw only one. As I reached the old quarry at Johnny House, a buzzard circled overhead. Rare in these parts. Then, as I approached the golf course, I spotted what I took to be another golf ball in the middle of the track. Wrong again! This time, it really was a stolen egg. A pheasant’s egg, I think. Cracked open and abandoned to a very fortunate fly.
“…wonderful. Science and history and geography and evolution and culture all tangled up in musings while walking about the moors around Hebden Bridge.”—PZ Myers
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