The Curlew Country Project Farewell Walk
Close Encounters with Curlews!

After some atrocious weather during June, we feared the worst for the Farewell walk, but were pleasantly surprised to be greeted with a warm if somewhat blustery day.

Farewell Walk: Local countryside

Farewell Walk: Local countryside

Three guided walks took place, departing at 11 am, noon and 2 pm. The middle walk was led by Andy Collins, the first and last by Park Ranger Andy McGraw. The route took us from Newtown, a small hamlet near the head of the Manifold valley, across to Oakenclough to see the exhibition of Curlew Country project work, and back to Newtown via Shining Ford (crossing the Manifild river in its "infancy" twice)

Farewell Walk: Andy McGraw gets rapt attention

Andy McGraw gets rapt attention

The weather was not kind for bird watching as the gusty conditions meant that few birds were on the wing as we walked. An occasional display of aeronautical acrobatics was provided by the housemartins and swifts. However, we made steady progress taking in both the views and the knowledgeable commentary by Andy.

Farewell Walk: Exhibition


We arrived at the exhibition in just over an hour, and not one of the party was disappointed not to have seen a culew as it gave one and all the chance to look at some other birds, and learn more about the habitat underfoot that makes the area special.

Farewell Walk: Andy McGraw gets some more rapt attention

Andy McGraw gets some more rapt attention

After a refreshing cup of tea and a sit down to recharge the batteries, we were off to complete the second half of the walk. The weather was improving, and certainly out of the wind it was quite warm. Andy led the way again and - a Curlew!

Farewell Walk: Distant Curlew

Distant Curlew

Although the culew appeared to be on its own, Andy was of the opinion that it had young nearby, judging by its behaviour. It was rather difficult to get a close up photograph as she was not only hard to spot at the distnce, but kept moving!