Thursday, 31 May 2012

Peak District

An RSPB trip last Sunday started off at the Coombes Valley reserve in Staffordshire.
Here we saw nesting Pied Flycatchers and Great spotted Woodpeckers. A singing male Redstart showed very well and Garden and Willow Warblers were present all over the reserve, a Willow Tit visited the feeders but on the whole bird numbers seemed much lower than as has been the case in previous years.
 After lunch we visited nearby Danebower Quarry just over the border in Cheshire. No Ring Ousels this year but several Wheatears, a pair of Stonechats, a Curlew and a couple of sqabbling male Red Grouse who seemed quite oblivious of our prescence and  at on point came to within 30 or 40 yards away.

Red Grouse
A stop at Axe Edge as usual produced several more Red Grouse and a couple more Curlew but not too much else.

For our final destination it was decided we would drop in to the Middleton Moor reserve near Buxton as a few interesting passage waders had  appeared here in the last few weeks.
 This was an area of abandoned mines that had been allowed to flood. It was easy to see why birds would stop off here as it was the only suitable wader habitat out on the top of the moors, probably for miles around.
 Oystercatchers,Curlews, Ringed Plovers, Shelduck and a couple of Wheatear were seen along with more normal waterfowl but alas no sign of the recent Temmincks Stint or Curlew Sandpipers 

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