Initially cloudy but becoming sunnier and warmer through day
An intrepid team of TT Birders gathered at Lamaload Reservoir in anticipation of the day tour of the Goyt Valley all expressing disappointment with the cloudy and slightly chilly start to the day. The disappointment extended to the small range of birds seen here, just chaffinch, goldfinch and a grey squirrel in the trees, a kestrel hovering above and Canada geese, great crested grebe, mallard, a coot and grey heron on the water. No sign of the redstart seen last year at the barn nor of any swallows or house martins.
On to Pym Chair and again a less than productive visit. Despite the good visibility, just sightings of meadow pipit and skylark around the car park, but the interest was held mainly by two kestrels, one of which attacked a skylark nest and made a showy meal of one of the young skylarks on a nearby wall.
The team’s lack of fortune continued at the first car park at Errwood Reservoir as a foray along a meadow walk above the dam and the bottom end of Fernilee Reservoir yielded little of note. A little disappointed, the team settled down behind the Errwood Hall car park for lunch (or ice cream) with the weather becoming increasingly warm and bright. And hey presto, our luck changed as the nearby copse of trees yielded close and clear sightings of a pair of pied flycatchers, a blackcap and a stonechat! Much invigorated, the team set off for the usual circular (or more accurately triangular) walk along the River Goyt and were richly rewarded with views of greylag geese and common sandpipers on the reservoir, the same pair of sandpipers, pied wagtail and grey wagtail below us on the river bank, and a mistle thrush, a song thrush, a jay, a spotted flycatcher and (joy!) a brilliantly coloured male redstart within the trees.
On what was now a beautifully clear and bright afternoon, the Team then stopped on the moor above Derbyshire Bridge and enjoyed views of curlew, skylark and a single red grouse which cheekily popped up close to the cars for a minute or two. And finally on to the layby on the A54 above the disused Danebank Quarries for good sightings of wheatear and red grouse, but alas, no sign of ring ouzel. However by common agreement an excellent day’s spotting! (SC)
Bird list (MH)
Great crested grebe
Squirrel in a tree
Walk along River Goyt
Moor above Derbyshire Bridge