WE’D FINISHED a morning of errands and stopped for a coffee and bagel and it was then that we realised that we had a free afternoon. Ninety minutes and 33 miles later, we arrived at Hope in the Peak District and took the easy walk alongside the river to Castleton.
A Dipper stood ankle-deep in the water by a gravelly island on a bend in the river, pecking amongst the pebbles. The last time I saw a Dipper was 5 weeks ago today when I spotted one flying along just above a river on our return train journey from Wengen, Switzerland.
Sitting with a pot of tea in the back garden at the Castle Inn with Mam Tor, the Shivering Mountain, as a backdrop isn’t quite as spectacular as sitting outside a mountain restaurant at the foot of the north face of the Eiger but it’s equally charming and far more accessible for us. Here Jackdaws replace the Alpine Choughs that came down to the cafe tables at Kleine Schiedegg.
One of the Jackdaws lacks a black cap; a youngster. It begs for food from both parents without success before one picks up a scrap of food from the turf and feeds it.