Saturday, 14 May 2011

Peak District

Had a day off yesterday and went up to the Peak District, for birds and landscape photography. Weather was a bit hit and miss, cold at times, warm later and an on off wind.
Arrived at Strines Moor around 0830, and immediately came upon a number of Red Grouse. Most were distant and did not make good photos. Couple of Tree Pipits singing-until one decided to chase off a Cuckoo. A few Curlew and Lapwing as well as the ever present Meadow Pipits and Skylarks.
Parked by Cutthroat Bridge an hour later and walked up onto the moors. Met a guy who had not seen much at all-not a good sign.  Did not take long to find a Stonechat, and then bumped into another guy who put us onto a very distant Ring Ouzel near the top. Pretty handy as I have not heard of any passage birds locally this year. With him, we also spent a while photographing two pairs of Whinchat.

We were joined by a couple and after taking a few images we walked back and they drew our attention to another Ring Ouzel up one of the valleys but this was even more distant than our one.
 We next went to Padley Gorge and parked by the quarry on the road. A walk along the track did not produce many birds apart from one or two Dippers flying down river. The gorge itself was very photogenic.

We got to the station and met another birder who led us up onto the western side where we encountered several pairs of Pied Flycatchers. Up on the top, another Tree Pipit was singing, but we never found any Redstarts or Wood Warblers.

 On our way back, we hoped to get a few orchids. One site near Leicester we could not find at all, so we ended up at Barnack Holes. The wind had got up, and despite searching for well over an hour we could not find any Man orchids. Apparently according to a local, it has not been a good year.

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