This morning, during the Bird Walk, a male Whinchat was found near the sub-station railings, a Peregrine was on one of the pylons, a Red-crested Pochard was on the Slurry Lagoon, and four Snipe flew over the Slurry Lagoon reed-beds. Several large flocks of tits and warblers were seen and a passage of Swallows was under way. On the Large Gravel Pit the group of four or five Wigeon, seen on Friday, had grown to nearer eighty. PS.
Early this afternoon there were two Whinchats at the back of the Wader Scrape. In the field beyond were three Yellow Wagtails and a Wheatear. RW.
Later on the Whinchats and Wheatear were still present. Along the Deep Pit bank under the pylons two Garden Warblers were singing and by the railway bridge ten Swifts were hawking insects. At the dry end of the Slurry Lagoon there was a female Redstart. PS.
This morning there was a report of a Whinchat on the Deep Pit fence posts below the power lines. Two Grasshopper Warblers were reeling, one by the Hump and the other by Willow Pond. Some Swifts were passing through with some House Martins and a Shelduck flew through upriver. PS.
This afternoon a Bittern was seen in the Deep Pit. In the scrub between the substation and the reserve, three Whinchat, a male Stonechat and two Wheatears were also present. PS.
This morning, during the bird count, two Whinchats were found on the area between the substation and the reserve. Three Greenshank flew over and 44 Wigeon were on the Large Gravel Pit. A Peregrine attacked the pigeons on the Slurry Lagoon and a Hobby was catching insects over the Deep Pit. There were still some warblers about, with Garden, Sedge, Reed and Willow being seen as well as Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Whitethroat. PS.
A Whinchat was seen this evening in the weedy field beside the substation. RW.
All day a Whinchat sat on the same piece of dock on the Wader Scrape, occasionally turning around or sallying forth after an insect, but always returning to the same perch. On the Causeway a Spotted Flycatcher paused briefly on the fence, dropping down, Robin-like, to catch an ant in the grass, before returning to the fence to eat it. It was a flying ant and I think the Whinchat was hunting the same prey. Black-headed Gulls were also hunting the flying ants, and so were squadrons of Migrant Hawkers. PS.
This morning there was a Spotted Flycatcher in the willows at the river end of the Boundary Hedge. A Greenshank flew over the Slurry Lagoon but did not stay. In the afternoon three Whinchats spent some time feeding along the Ouse Dyke bank at the back of the Wader Scrape and the Lancaster Bomber visiting the Gedling Show flushed two Snipe from the Slurry Lagoon as it flew over the site. PS.
There was a report this morning of a Whinchat seen on the Deep Pit fence posts near the railway bridge. Also a group of 25 to 35 Black-tailed Godwits flew through and a Hobby was seen.
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.