Saturday, 25 May 2013


Well it's another Bank Holiday and the weather was fine as well, so it was a question of where to go but not end up in a huge traffic jam, at first we thought about Martin Mere but driving up and down the M6 did not appeal. So it was off to Attenborough and hopefully boost our year list with a few nice and easy ticks.

After just crossing over the railway line into the reserve we pulled over to look at some House Martins collecting mud on a exposed island by the new flood defences a couple of Common Tern where also on the island.

House Martin and I think a Sand Martin on the ground

Common Tern Attenborough

The car park even at 11:00 was not that busy which was quite a surprise and the place can be jam packed.. Crossing over the lake on the wooden bridge a Sedge Warbler briefly showed itself before dropping down into the under growth further along the path a much more showy Garden Warbler was singing it's heart out.

Garden Warbler Attenborough

A Cetti's Warbler gave a quick blast of a call and flew alongside the path and wasn't seen again, Black Cap were also heard but not seen calling from the hedgerow.

Heading up to the Tower hide and just beyond quite a few Common White Throat were seen calling and the odd Reed Bunting

Male Reed Bunting Attenborough
A Cetti's Warbler put in a very brief viewing although it was still almost hidden in the under growth

Cetti's Warbler Attenborough
A Little Egret Flew over head and settled down to fish in the Wheatear Paddock area.

Along the foot bridge into the visitor centre as we went in for lunch a Reed Warbler seemed to forget that they are meant to skulk around in the reeds and posed on a fence post.

Reed Warbler Attenborough

Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Lake Vyrnwy

Yesterday was our annual pilgrimage to Lake Vyrnwy I have been coming here since a young lad and have spent many a happy day here and discovered some great wildlife even once stumbling across an Owls nest on the ground by one of the many bridges as a lad.

Any way that's enough wallowing in nostalgia back to the here and now.
As ever our first port of call was the area below the dam we can usually guarantee a great haul of birds around this area and this year was no exception.
We had already heard Wood Warbler by the dam itself when we stopped of to change Gem, although there were no Swift here yet just Swallows over the dam and of course loads of Siskin in the tree tops.
Walking along the river we could again here the distinctive call of the Wood Warbler along with Redstart and Pied Flycatcher all calling plus the usual other woodland species.
Stopping to watch a Treecreeper we soon also found a nearby Wood Warbler and it was quite showy, I even managed to bag a record shot of the bird, so I was well chuffed.
Wood Warbler Lake Vyrnwy

 Carrying on through the wood we found a male Redstart, Nuthatch and Willow Warbler plus a pair of Blue Tits using one of the boxes.
From the road we soon found another Redstart plus a male Pied Flycatcher.


Back at the car park below the dam while we ate lunch another Redstart showed along by the River.

Moving around the lake to the first hide we saw well nothing, but got to enjoy the views if nothing else, the centenary hide at the far end was much more productive with a Redstart from the car park plus Chaffinch and Coal Tit. From the hide itself we picked up Grey Heron and a female Pied Flycatcher.

Monday, 6 May 2013


Today found us heading for the Peaks, we at first wanted to head for Wye Dale after a quick call in at Dane Bower Quarry the targets here were Wheatear and Red Grouse  we didn't manage to see any Wheatear last year (I will give you a couple of minutes to stop laughing). Well this year we soon found three males dotted around still not as many as there have been there, Gem enjoyed pulling up grass and spreading a mole hill around the place. We also noted Curlew and meadow Pipit and finally picked up Red Grouse on the drive down in to Buxton.

Traffic into Buxton was mad so we took a circular route to avoid the town centre altogether, getting to Wye Dale the car park and unofficial over flow which is the entrance to the quarry were jam packed so we headed for Millers Dale instead and bagged the last space after someone left.

While we eat lunch we could hear Willow Warbler, Black Cap, Chiffchaff, Great and Chaffinch calling plus we saw a Shrew dash through the under growth.
Walking along the old train line, oh how much better it would be to have actual trains running rather the mountain bikes bombing along the line the sound of various Warblers kept us company although rarely could we actually make them out.
Walking through the now reopened tunnel we could hear Pied Flycatcher calling but again we just could not find the birds in the tree tops.
Heading back for a break by the river on the path to Chee Dale we soon picked up Dipper which darted along the river (our target Wye Dale bird) so no Dipper shots for me but was more then made up for by a very showy Grey Wagtail.

Grey Wagtail Millers Dale