20 August 2020

A decent sunny day had finally been forecast, so I decided to head up to the Moor for an early walk to enjoy the heather at peak purple.

A kestrel hung in the updraught above the climb to the trig point. I took in the view, then headed along the Edge for a brew at the rocks that feature on the cover of On the Moor.

The view from the Edge

The weather really was glorious. I supped and snapped for 20 minutes or so, neither seeing nor hearing any sign of red grouse. Perhaps they were keeping their heads down in the aftermath of the so-called Glorious Twelfth. Or perhaps they had all been shot.

The heather was at its best, cloud-shadows scudding across. I took a nice, minimalist photo across the Expanse towards the oddly named hill Tom Tittiman. The shadows fell just right for me, accentuating the curve of the hill.

Across the Expanse

Down at the wall along the edge of the Moor, I was confused for a while by a small bird I didn’t recognise. I eventually worked out it was a juvenile stonechat. I later saw more stonechats. The adults were moulting, so were also difficult to identify. There were also scores of meadow pipits flitting about. I have never seen so many. It must have been a good nesting season.

Stonechat
Stonechat

It was was lovely to get back on the Moor, and I managed to capture some nice photos.

Richard Carter is a writer and photo­grapher living in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire.WebsiteFacebookTwitterNewsletterBooks
Buy my book: On the Moor: Science, History and Nature on a Country Walk
…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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