This morning there were plenty of insects about, especially bees. An Orange-tip was seen on the Lower Path as well as three Commas, two Peacocks, a Brimstone and several Small Tortoiseshells. A Sand Martin was seen near the railway bridge and three Oystercatchers were on the flooded field across the river. PS.
This morning a Bittern was seen flying from the Slurry Lagoon reed bed towards the south. Also there were two Grasshopper Warblers and several Whitethroats. Butterflies were about as well with Orange-tip, Green-veined White, Comma and good numbers of Peacocks, Tortoiseshells and Brimstones. PS.
This morning three Willow Warblers, a Whitethroat and two Sedge Warblers were singing as well as plenty of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs and a Lesser Whitethroat was singing as it passed through. At least four Water Rails were calling from the Slurry Lagoon reedbed and two Oystercatchers flew noisily over. Butterflies seen included Brimstone, Orange-tip, Green-veined White, Peacock, Comma and Speckled Wood. PS.
The sun brought out the butterflies this morning with 11 Brimstones, 5 Peacocks, 2 Small Tortoiseshells, 1 Comma and 1 Orange-tip being seen. A Curlew called as it flew over and three Sand Martins were seen near the river, also a Blackcap sang briefly near the Haven. On the Slurry Lagoon two Shelduck were present first thing. PS.
The first Common Blues of the season were seen this morning with twelve males being seen. Quite a relief after last year’s dismal showing. Also seen was a Small Copper, several Orange Tips and Small and Green-veined Whites, and a Small Tortoiseshell. PS.
A Garden Warbler was feeding and calling in bushes close to the Ouse Dyke bridge early afternoon. JMD.
A second Garden Warbler was singing and showing well by the riverside, and two Cuckoos were heard calling. The warm weather also tempted some butterflies out and 5 Brimstones, 11 Orange Tips and 8 Green-veined Whites were counted. PS.
Padley Gorge – May 2010
On what was to be the hottest day of the year so far, Deryck, Jackie and I left Nottingham at about 0730 to meet Brian, Norman and Steve in Baslow, Derbyshire. While we waited a Garden Warbler was singing near the stream. We looked for Dipper, as this was a spot I used to see them regularly but not today.
We moved off to our first stop at Padley Gorge. We parked up, dosed up with sun cream and donned our sun hats then set off down the Gorge. Our target birds being Spotted and Pied Flycatcher and Common Redstart. It wasn’t long before Redstart was heard but not seen. Continuing down the path we soon had views of 2 pair of Redstart at two nest boxes, close to each other. A few yards on down the path we were soon enjoying views of Pied Flycatchers, again at a nest box. A few of the group went a little further down the Gorge to see if they could connect with Wood Warbler but to no avail. Cuckoo could be heard calling all round but not seen. We had good views of a Nuthatch, a Treecreeper and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. With the weather so warm there were Wood Ants all along the woodland path. Also seen were Small & Green-veined White Butterflies along with Orange Tip and Peacock. We returned to the cars, the day trip list now standing at 22 birds, 2 mammals and 4 butterfly.
We moved on about a mile to Surprise View Car Park were after a coffee break we moved onto the open moor for the first time. Here we added Tree Pipit and Carrion Crow to the day list along with a fleeting glimpse of a Green Hairstreak butterfly.
We moved on again, this time to Stanage Edge, taking a slow walk up to the edge over the open moorland. On the way we could hear a Reed Bunting calling from a gully and Curlew were heard across the moor. As we approached the Edge brilliant views of Green Hairstreak were obtained and photographed. Then the next target bird was spotted sat on a rock – a male Ring Ouzel. 3 males and a female were seen before we left the Edge. A Buzzard was seen being mobbed by Curlew.
Wearily and hot we returned to the cars to move on the Cutthroat Bridge, near the Ladybower Dams were we stopped for lunch.
After a refreshing break, another load of sun cream applied we set out on what I believed to be a steady walk around the moors. I had done a similar walk about 10 years ago and had found it very pleasant. Oh how the memory fades! The path we took was not the path I had taking all those years earlier. We were however rewarded with fine views of a Whinchat. A little further on we entered the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust reserve – Ladybower Wood. The track here was very rugged but again we were rewarded with the first sighting, on our trips, of a Grizzled Skipper. These are tiny butterflies, about 22 – 26 cms
(about 1 inch or less)that can easily be over-looked. (See article – Dingy and Grizzled Skipper) Three more were found a little further on along with a Small Copper. While in the wood a peregrine glided over the treetops.
We continued on the path past the rear of The Ladybower Inn were Jackie had a visit from a strange little creature on her camera case that Brian and Norman did their best to photograph. Jackie and I later identified it as a House Longhorn. Also in this area were a few Rose Chaffers.
While going through a conifer plantation we had views of Siskin and Goldcrest.
The path seemed to go on and on, out of the trees and on to the open moor, getting steeper all the time. We were all shattered on getting to the top but here we were rewarded with fine views of Red Grouse and two chicks. After a well-earned rest we continued down hill on a well-worn path towards the cars. On the way down Stonechat were heard but we could not locate them.
Although it had been a very hot and tiring day, all agreed that it had been worth the effort with good views of the surrounding countryside and some wonderful wildlife.
I would like to thank Neil Matthew for providing us with such a good itinerary.
The yearly trip lists now stand at: – Birds – 145 (117) : Butterflies – 8 (10)
Mammals – 6 (5) : Dragonflies – 0 (0) : Others – 3 (0)
2009 in brackets.
This afternoon there were twelve Common Terns on the tern rafts. A flock of around fifty Swifts drifted high over the reserve and a Hobby alarmed the Swallows by the railway bridge, other raptors were two Buzzards, two Kestrels and two Sparrowhawks. There were several butterflies about, including Brimstone and Orange Tip and a Stoat was running up the Deep Pit bank, following a trail, its tail held high. PS.