Bright, sunny and fresh
On this bright Autumn Morn in late September the Fisheries Cafe was suddenly blessed by the enthusiastic entry of a number of Team Tuesday who had decided to forego their now well established footloose and fancy free wanderings for a bit of nostalgia allowing themselves to be gently chaperoned about Chat Moss in the hope that a few Farmland birds may appear on their now ‘busy’ list of birds, but not before all had availed themselves of the assured hospitality that this oasis provides.
Cuppas and chat over, we started off our wander, which on this occasion was accompanied by a sweep of easy going sunshine which seemed to revel in our presence to such an extent that some overflying birds could not be seen owing to the brightness of the sky. Undeterred we all relied upon our ears to identify such birds—didn’t we!
First the Pools gave the opportunity to get a few wildfowl for our list thus Mallard/Tufted Duck and Canada Goose were duly noted by the TT resident ‘List- Scribe’ along with Moorhen and Coot after which we headed out to gain the open mosslands but not before checking out the now empty (but successful judging by the amount of droppings found below it) Swallows nest.
Pied and Grey Wagtail also gave us a shout and a view before we left the Fisheries as did a Peregrine and a Yellowhammer—phew perhaps on future visits we should set up our stall here within reach of oodles of victuals whilst totting up a good count of birds noted from one spot! Legs were now in motion and thus we were soon out onto Cutnook Lane peering across an open field, which was hosting a dramatic tussle for dominance between two Magpie and a Kestrel – the two species fighting for possession of a fence-line post below which an abundance of food must have nestled hence the tussle – the outcome seemed to lie in the Falcon’s favour.
A number of Robin then serenaded our way up towards Twelve-Yards Road over which we crossed to gain Croxden Peat Pools upon which stood a single Wheatear but this was quite distant thus we pushed on over to the SBI (Site Of Biological Importance) which gave a dramatic example of compare and contrast betwixt it and the milled peat with the former brimming with life – the latter voided of same—Man’s inhumanity to Nature makes countless conservationists mourn!
A steady move along the west bund of this heather-perfumed area then gave Meadow Pipit, Skylark and Snipe building our list nicely with their welcome presence whilst out on the bare peat were four more Oenanthe-oenanthe with these giving easier viewing than the one we had noted earlier. Black Darters hurried about the completion of their all but brief life-span on the wing looking for suitable mates before their but one summer was over, once mating and egg laying were completed, but as the weather was so balmy one or two males still found time to introduce themselves to one of our gathering!
A wander about more fields then followed giving all good views of several soaring Buzzard and ‘just about’ views of Linnet before we were treated to a covey of nine Grey Partridge after which we pushed our luck and checked out some nearby farm building which held evidence of, but gave no actual sightings of Barn Owl.
We then heard a Chiffchaff keeping in contact with others of its kind as they migrated a little further south each day staying one step ahead of the Winter to come—so ‘huitt’ to you dear Warbler safe journey and please hurry back carrying spring upon your wings.
Steps then needed to be taken to get us back to base, and as is often the case at such times in our trips we added little more to our day’s Tally but added greatly to that eclectic mix of chat that makes the Team tick thus eager to reunite the next time Tuesday comes around.
To finish our jaunt a few of us strolled into the cafe for a splendid lunch which was spiced up with plenty of relaxed chat—a lovely end to a sweetly delicious day out on’t Mosses! (DS)
Bird List (MH)
Black headed gull
.. and Black Darter, Southern Hawker and Speckled Wood butterlies