The Green Sandpiper was in its usual spot again this morning, on the Ouse Dyke. There was also a Grey Wagtail, Water Rail, Kingfisher and Little Egret. The bird table at the end of the Causeway is attracting a good mixed flock, including six Reed Buntings. Please feel free to bring food to replenish the bird table. PS.
This morning a large flock of finches and sparrows was in the field at the beginning of the Ouse Dyke, on Teal Close. Mostly Chaffinches with Reed Buntings and about forty Tree Sparrows, also a couple of Bramblings were seen. PS.
A large finch and bunting flock has formed at the dry end of the Slurry Lagoon, mostly consisting of Reed Buntings and Goldfinches but also containing a few Green Finches and Chaffinches, with one male Brambling. Also present were a few Meadow Pipits. On the Slurry Lagoon a Redshank was present early on and later five Egyptian Geese flew in and at least one Pintail is still present. Two Peregrines, probably both males, flew over calling loudly, one making occasional stoops at the other, talons outstretched. Also seen were two Redpoll and two small flocks of Redwings. 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.
The ‘Fat Hen Field’ at the northern end of the Deep Pit has attracted a growing number of finches. So far only Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Linnets, Chaffinches and Reed Buntings with the occasional Tree Sparrow, but its a good place to look for something unusual that they might attract to them. The Bitterns may have been forced out of the Deep Pit as most of the margins are now frozen. PS.
Today the Ouse Dyke was a magnet for birds with three Little Egrets, Water Rail, Kingfisher, and Common Snipe. Apparently earlier a Jack Snipe was present and a Woodcock flew over. JMD.
Two Bitterns were found today in the Deep Pit, one giving prolonged views as it crouched within a reedbed, and a Cetti’s Warbler was seen flying from the Deep Pit towards the Haven. The triangular field at the Deep Pit’s northern end which is full of seeding Fat Hen has a flock of approx. 20 Reed Buntings and contains some Tree Sparrows. PS.