Ive been meaning to have a mini tour to get some well needed year birds but as Ive been busy its been left to now. I was up early and in the car park by the Cromford canal for 06.45. The obvious target here is Hawfinch so I hung around the car park for ten minutes before heading down the canal. Birds noted were Pied Wagtail, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Canada Geese, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Chaffinch, Wren, Jackdaw, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Mallard, Mute Swan, Coot, Moorhen, Hawfinch, Great Tit and Greenfinch. The Hawfinch flew along the canal, over my head then perched in a tree. Quality.
I visited here a couple of weeks ago to find the Great Northern Divers that have been present for ages. I missed them on that occasion and was willing for them to be easily found. I was not sure where to go and the first hide I drove to was all locked up. Bugger. I then headed for the dam looking where to park and drove under the dam, parking halfway along (proberbly where I should not have done), walked up the dam to view the reservoir and there was 2 Great Northern Divers right in front of me. What a bonus. I was not going to stop at any sight once got the target bird but a quick scan also produced Pied Wagtail, Carrion Crow, Oystercatcher, Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Canada Geese, Coot, Mallard, Barnacle Geese and Great Black-backed Gull.
A quick drive over into Staffordshire and I drove straight into thick fog. This was not going to help me find my next target, Red Grouse. A bit of a drive around the Knotbury area looking for where I parked up last time I was here. I eventually got there and headed off down the track. Fortunately the fog had lifted a little, enough to be able to see a fair distance. Birds noted were Curlew, Song Thrush, Robin, Great Tit, Blackbird, Pheasant, Lapwing, Meadow Pipit, Red Grouse and Dunnock. The grouse turned out very easy to find with three calling as I got out of the car. A quick walk down the track and a male was standing on top of a tuft calling before flying off.
River Dane south of Flash.
This is where I saw my first Staffs Dipper and so I returned to find another for my year list.
The first Dipper was easy to find but today I struggled before eventually giving up. Birds noted here were Carrion Crow, Dunnock, Wren, Mallard, Blackbird, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Rook and Pheasant. It would have been nice to have got a Dipper today but I was not too bothered as I will be heading to Lathkill Dale in May to photograph them.
Park Hall CP.
I was passing through the Stoke area, heading to my next destination, and I was passing the country park so I decided to have a quick look for any Long-eard Owls. I dont know how long they use this area as a winter roost and, not having heard any reported recently, I was not expecting anything. I was not disappointed. I didnt find any. Birds noted were Robin, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Wren, Blackbird, Great Tit, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Magpie, Sparrowhawk and Goldfinch.
I have not had chance to get up here to see the Great White Egret so I thought I would have a look here just in case. I headed for Tad Bay before heading round to Blithe Bay. Birds noted were Great Spotted Woodpecker, Buzzard, Woodpigeon, Jay, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Nuthatch, Blue Tit, Mallard, Canada Geese, Wigeon, Teal, Tufted Duck, Cormorant, Coot, Mute Swan, Shoveler, Goldeneye, Reed Bunting, Goosander, Great Crested Grebe, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Dunnock and Moorhen. I then drove round to both the causeway and the dam end but I didnt add any more birds to the list.
I spent the last couple of hours walking around Whitemoor Hayel. Birds noted around the lanes were Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Wren, Black Headed Gull, Carrion Crow, Starling, Robin, Yellowhammer, Lapwing, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Blue Tit, Chiffchaff, Dunnock, Reed Bunting, Tree Sparrow, probable Meadow Pipits, 37 Mute Swans, Grey Heron, Song Thrush, a single Grey Partridge, Magpie, Fieldfare, Long-tailed Tit, Kestrel, Stock Dove and Moorhen. I have seen a few small birds which I have noted down as possible Linnet but written down as LBJ's. That was until the other day there was about 15 Meadow Pipits close to the track. I saw about forty small birds today though distant. Linnets or Mipits? Onto the quarry pool and I added Mallard, Wigeon, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Oystercatcher, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 11 Shelduck, Pied Wagtail and Tufted Duck.
A busy day visiting a few sites just to target certain birds, being succesful on 3 of them. Not bad and enjoyable but knackering.