Sunday, 26 April 2015

Whinchat - male

I mentioned yesterday that Ken had seen a Whinchat on Friday and I came across what is presumably the same bird in song this morning.
Both of the chats are superb looking birds and its great to have them back on the moor, hopefully they will find partners and remain for the breeding season.
Whinchat - male

Stonechat in early morning sun

I've mentioned a couple of times previously that Stonechats are scarce on the moor this year, they disappeared after the snow and largely stayed away. It was pleasing therefore to come across this male in an unexpected location and I like the background colour of the dead bracken stems in the early morning sun.
Stonechat - male

Roe Deer - Beeley Moor

Had my first sighting of Roe Deer in the local area today. I do hear of occasional sightings and they appear to be expanding their range from the NW of the County. Interestingly Martin Derbyshire sent me a photo of a couple of Roe Deer taken with a trail camera in March in the Bakewell area, so it may be that they are reasonably well established but difficult to locate despite their size.

Roe Deer - male

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Blackcap - male in song

Plenty of Blackcap around now, male is one of our best songsters. Several Wheatear on the moor and at least three Cuckoo. Ken had a Whinchat yesterday but no sign today, couple of male Stonechat but there was a strong cool wind blowing over the moor making viewing difficult. 
A couple more Mottled Grey moths in the trap last night.
Blackcap - male

Friday, 24 April 2015

First Cuckoo

My first Cuckoo on the moors this evening and my first female Wheatear on one of the trig points on the moor, the females always arrive after the males.
First Mottled Grey in the moth trap last night.
Wheatear - female

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Common Lizard - Beeley Moor

My first Common Lizard of the year, benefitting from some sunny weather. The date is a bit surprising since the Great Grey Shrike was recorded catching lizards from the end of March but probably just shows how much better the shrike was at finding them!
Common Lizard

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Greylag Goose - Chatsworth

I saw two Greylag Geese crossing the moor yesterday and came across them again this morning at Chatsworth. Whilst we have plenty of Canada Geese locally and the Pink-feet pass over in Spring and Autumn the Greylag is a comparative rarity, in the immediate area around Darley Dale. 
Several Blackcap, Redstart, Tree Pipit and good numbers of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler this morning and the Mandarin are very visible at the moment, even flying over the house.
Greylag Goose

Saturday, 18 April 2015

More summer migrants

Added Tree Pipit and Blackcap to the local year list this morning plus 4 or 5 Wheatear around the moor and at least three Ring Ouzel early morning. A pair of Greylag Geese flying over the moor was an unusual record.
Caught up with Redstart this afternoon and Orange Underwing moth at Stanton.
Ring Ouzel - male

Friday, 17 April 2015

Pied Flycatcher - Clough Wood

My first Pied Flycatcher of the year in Clough Wood this evening. Quite a bit of brown on the head and wing coverts so maybe a first summer male. Great to have them back in the area.
Pied Flycatcher - male

Powdered Quaker

Although we have experienced some high day time temperatures the nights have generally remained cool in Darley Dale. Consequently the moth catches have been a little disappointing, last night this Powdered Quaker was my first of the year and I've caught a couple of Brindled Beauties, Double-Striped and Brindled Pugs but otherwise it's just been the commoner quakers.
Powdered Quaker

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Mandarin - Chatsworth

At least seven pairs of Mandarin along the river at Chatsworth plus a single pair of Gooseander.
Mandarin - pair

House Martin - Chatsworth

My first House Martin of the year at Chatsworth with a dozen Swallows and a Sand Martins.
House Martin

Saturday, 11 April 2015

Willow Warbler - Stanton Moor

It certainly didn't feel very Spring like this morning with a cold westerly wind and heavy rain showers so we struggled to find anything of note on the moor. As far as I am aware the last sighting of the Great Grey Shrike was last Sunday the 5th April.
My first Sand Martin at Rowsley with several Swallows was a welcome sight and I was struggling to photograph my first Willow Warbler on Stanton Moor when Ken called around 6pm to report an Osprey flying up the valley. I didn't manage to see it unfortunately, this is the second this week with Simon having seen one over Darley Dale last Saturday and there have been three at Carsington this week. There is an urgency to return to the breeding grounds in the spring so they seldom hang around but a sighting late in the day always offers the possibility of the bird roosting locally and continuing its journey tomorrow.
Willow Warbler

Monday, 6 April 2015

Philedonides lunana - Beeley Moor

A characterstic micro moth of the gritstone moors, Philedonides lunana flies in the early spring and there were several on the wing this morning. This male is easy to distinguish from similar species by the bipectinate antennae.

Philedonides lunana

Ring Ouzel - male

One of the first birds I saw this morning was a fine male Ring Ouzel from the road to Holymoorside. I've just been watching them in numbers in the Alps but its nice to see them on the local patch. Also had my first local Swallow of the year.
Ring Ouzel - male

Wye Valley from the Bar Road

Just back from a week in the French Alps and it sounds like we had similar weather to the UK. Nice to be back with some sunshine. As usual I'll post a few photos on flickr once I've sorted through them.
This was the view early this morning looking up the Wye Valley from the Bar Road.
Wye Valley

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