Tag Archives: Report

Nightjar Walk, Friday, 12th June

Nine of us met at 8.00 p.m. at the Blidworth Bottoms car park as we had been informed that the Longdale Lane car park was closed.

Just as we were to move off we saw a Jay fly across the car park into conifers. Leaving the car park we started walking up the main path when someone spotted a Yellowhammer sitting at the top of a tree. A little latter the Jay flew on again deeper into the wood.

As it was a bright light evening we realised that we would have a while to wait for either Nightjar or Woodcock. We sauntered slowly through the wood seeing both hare and grey squirrel, until at one point, I was completely disorientated and we had to use Tony’s Sat Nav to find out where we were.

With the time at about 9.15 p.m. the first of 3 Woodcock was spotted. We walked a little further and at about 9. 50 p.m. the first Nightjar was heard “churring”. As we waited a small group walk to an other clear area, keeping in touch with the others by telephone. The small group of 3 almost immediately heard a Nightjar quite close by. It stopped and flew but was not seen clearly. A couple of minutes later we had one singing in a tree almost above our heads. This one, a male, flew and gave as good views of the white squares on its wings and tail.

The rest of the group, as they joined us, could hear the bird churring as they approached – then silence! We waited and waited and decided to give it until 10.30 p.m.

At about 10.25 p.m. another started churring and, like the previous occasion flew off. Again the bird started in the tree above our heads. We had wonderful, clear views of it for 3 – 4 minutes before it too flew.

Having obtained our objective and time was going we made our way back to the cars and off home.

The bird trip list now stands at 120 for the year so far.

Report by Philip Burnham

Nightjar Walk, 5th June

I was very pleased to see seventeen people meeting at the car park on Longdale Lane on Friday, 5th June 09 for what we hoped would be an eventful evening. Dark clouds were looming but we decided to give it a try.

Garden Warbler was singing as we left the car park and we soon added Blackcap to the list.

While walking through the woods we heard a Cuckoo – my first of the year. As somebody said – “a new record” – for me it was, the latest I had ever heard one. We stopped at a crossroads and as expected we soon saw the first of five Woodcock, or was it the same one going round in circles!

We pressed on and as expected as we got to the furthest point from the car park the heavens opened. We bravely sheltered for about 20 minutes getting wetter and wetter until at last we gave up.

Seventeen very wet and soggy people said their goodbyes in the car park but not before planning a return trip the following week.

We recorded 11 birds on the night and we added 3 birds to the trip list that now stands at 119 for the year.

Report by Philip Burnham

Goyt Valley, Sunday, 24th May

Eleven of us met at the car park in the Goyt Valley, one of the best turn outs for a while. The weather looked promising after a wet and windy week.

From the car park the song of Common Redstart could be heard and it wasn’t long before it was spotted and we all got onto it. Spotted Flycatcher was also seen from the car park along with commoner species.

We started the walk up the valley road and it wasn’t long before Pied Flycatcher was seen – the first of over a dozen seen on the day. With 20 birds on the list including 2 target birds we continued up the valley to a path that took us nearer the stream. Tree Pipit and Raven were seen on this stretch although some of us missed the Ravens.

The surprise along this stretch was two bats that we seem to think were Daubenton’s. They were seen by most of the group skimming over the water looking for insects.

Upon returning to the road it was not long before we had superb views of Dippers taking food to their nest near by. The first of 6 -7 Painted Lady butterflies were seen along with many Orange Tip and Green-veined Whites.

It wasn’t long before someone said they could hear Grasshopper Warbler. We stopped and listened and soon all the group could hear it. This was unexpected bird as we were above the tree line and now on the open moorland.

Reaching the car park at the top of the road Whinchat was seen and heard at the top of a conifer, 3rd target bird.

After a short stop for lunch we continued up the hill with a very fine breeze and full sun. Meadow Pipits were everywhere so it was really no surprise when a Merlin was spotted sitting on a wall.

Turning off the track onto the moorland we passed a pair of agitated Curlew that obviously had young with them, their haunting calls carrying down the valley.

Red Grouse were eventually seen but distant. On the way down the narrow path three Green Hairstreak butterfly were seen on a Bilberry bush. Although there were bilberry all over the moorland, these were the only green hairstreak seen.

We returned to the road, crossed it and walked through a conifer plantation looking for an area were Black Grouse could be seen but to no avail.

After a pleasant break near to where we had seen the dippers, we took a leisurely walk down the hill back to the car park. Just before the car park a pair of Common Lizards were seen basking on the reservoir wall.
It had been a beautiful, hot sunny day in good company.

13 species of birds were added to the year’s tally that now stands at 115.

The Lizard was the first reptile of the year while we added 2 more butterflies to the tally of 10. The only mammals seen on the day were the bats and, surprisingly, we have not yet recorded any dragonflys.

Report by Philip Burnham