No one could have dodged the Chiffchaffs song in Derbyshire; there was at least one in a 100m radius singing away. These things are truly mental! It in fact may have been the key bird of the trip and optimised our third stay at the wonderful Lee's Farm. Last year topped this year with the likes or Redstarts, Pied Flycatchers (!!!), Wheatears and a Ring Ouzel! The one below as you can tell was singing its heart out, hope he finds/ has found the lady!
As some of you may have heard via through the best birdwatching tool in my opinion, Twitter (recommend to those reading, if there are any, to get), that I used the herding tac. It's true! I noticed a large flock of these with other bits and bobs here and there so decided to try and 'herd' them into the mega flock. Considering this is April 200+ is a fairly impressive sight. I succeeded in creating a chattering leaved trees! Last year I found 20-30 in a field near the copse, but this was late April. I'm implying that I suspect there could be some odd stragglers that breed here, you never know.
At the start of the holidays I heard the song of the Skylark. I searched far and wide to see the bird, but failed. Do you know why? I was looking towards the ground!!! Silly me thought they sang on the deck, then remembered a third of the way through, there 1/2 a mile up! After that point I began to see them everywhere, and oh their song is stonking!
I saw this bird twice, and that's all I needed to locate the nest. I can't state where it is as of course the DWT (derbyshire Wildlife Trust) would prefer me not to say. To confirm my premature thoughts the reserve below stated no access round this path which was the final piece of the puzzle. I must have sat there for 3-4 hours and at many different times of day so thought I'd see it sat there once, but no luck. Most times I was in the area you could hear them wailing, at first I thought it was a mick take!
The first few pictures illustrate how wonderful the lighting was that evening, fantastic. I was very pleased with the shot I managed below, it posed brilliantly. Although we have many down my way, it was still rather special sitting on one of the mounds enjoying their little twitter to each other.
Like the Goldcrest, nothing of particular interest to say about this bird. Most of you will already know the ins and outs of them. So here's just a few photos...
Beautiful things with a lot of character. The trim/haircut certainly adds to their act, but would make it more of an afro if I was him! Most rivers harboured them, but Bakewell proved to be a hotspot through bread etc. Which must have a negative affect on the ecosystem because of the high density of birds and fish. Also the turd must pollute the water terribly and have transverse effects further down the river. here are some pictures I captured while having a good old Fish & Chips.
Just a picture I rather liked again from the honeypot site (for birds) Bakewell. I do love their white eyelashes!
Yet another quickie... This Treecreeper pictured here, was just about to enter its little nest to the right hand side of this crack in the tree. I found many even though they're mostly silent.
Terribly dressed youth:
Little interlude with a picture of a 'random' weirdo exhibiting a unique dresscode. Many will be glad to hear the shocking white Crocs have been binned, I repeat they've been binned... Only to be replaced by another less drastic pair!
Oriental, non-native, but certainly not unwanted. They may not be naturally part of the British wildlife but they've certainly earn their place. If it was like a Rat I'd definitely not include it into my 'presentation' however, I believe these charismatic birds deserve a place and brighten up our British rivers.
I've gone against the order I said at the start but who cares, I just hope you've enjoyed the read. 3 metres, that was how close I was to a Water Vole! Not may people can say that, can they? I've seen a couple before but seeing this so close almost made me jump out of my skin! It's a mini Beaver I'd say, yellow teeth and largish size. The first picture shows you the more cute side of the Water Vole. However the one facing the camera shows an ugly rodent giving the "I'll kill ya" look.
Next came the Little Owls... All three years I had been here these little critters had hidden from me but by the end of the week enough was enough. My Grey Wagtail instincts helped me pursue the shots I was hoping for, and oh what a relief!