A warm sun and a trip to Stanton for butterflies. My favourite, the Small Copper was present – two, twinkling, orange jewels in the bright sunlight – and at last, after two years not able to find it (but reported by others) a Green Hairstreak! Most obliging – picture taken with my mobile phone. These three records over the past three years are the only records for Lowland Derbyshire in the past 30 years! (There is debate as to whether the records from Toton Sidings are in Derbyshire but I think they are in Notts!). Jim
Lovely, Spring day. Lots of chiffchaffs singing and my first willow warblers have arrived – that beautiful cascade song is at last back with us. A whitethroat singing (early this – not sure if there has been a Derbyshire record yet…). Stock doves. Great spotted woodpecker ‘chicking’. Blackbirds singing. Strangely, no hirrundines. Buzzard soaring to the North over Shipley way.
My first orange tip butterflies were suitably stunning, plus the regulars – peacock, a few comma, plenty of small tortoiseshell (good to see their numbers climbing again after last year) and a cracking, male brimstone. A pair of great crested grebe on Manners Flood don’t appear to be nesting yet, and a single bird on Swan Lake. A few tufties on both. An Egyptian goose! Lots of coots on nests and an early brood of four young on one of the small ponds. A pair of adult lesser black backed gulls on Swan Lake seems a bit odd. Male reed bunting. Frog spawn in a side pool. Lovely.
Trespassed onto DJ territory today. My first swallow of the season and two sand martins. 19 golden plover. 12 lapwing. 3 gadwall, 6 teal. Heron. 3 buzzards over the viaduct (doubtless doing survey work for Sustrans….) and 2 more to the South. Kestrel. Sparrowhawk. Stock dove. Chiffchaff singing. Reed bunting. Song thrush singing. Brimstone, peacock, small tortoiseshell and comma butterflies. An orange tip was reported from here today but I missed out on that one!
Earlier in the day from my living room window (Shipley View) I saw an early holly blue butterfly flit over a neighbour’s garden!
Temp. 13°C (55°F)-6°C (43°F), Wind Direction: North Easterly, Wind Speed: 5 mph, Visibility: Cloud, Good, Sunset: 19:46 BST.
A very decent day, I decided on Cossall to avoid the “holiday makers” and all that entails! plus I needed Yellow Hammer and Lesser Redpoll and the area around Spring Wood is good for farmland birds, I needed Linnet but missed out on that one! Buzzards everywhere, flocks of em’ An intimate episode with a group of Fallow Deer, females with young, lot of ears sticking up from the long grass, all viewed and photographed from deep cover and a very safe distance-nice!
Back at Bennerley and just to round the day off nicely, a flock of Golden Plover put in an appearance-and that folks was my Easter Sunday!
Bennerley: 2 Canada Goose, 10 Greylag Goose, 24 Teal, Grey Heron, 360 Golden Plover, 16 Lapwing, Green Woodpecker, 5 Sand Martin.
Cossall: 4 Buzzard, 4 Pheasant, 2 Chiffchaff, Green Woodpecker, Jay. Spring Wood: 4 Buzzard, Kestrel, 6 Skylark, 4 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Yellow Hammer, 1 Swallow, 1 Lapwing. Old Moor Wood: 2 Buzzard, Kestrel, Green Woodpecker. Plus: 3 Peacock Butterflies. 8 + Fallow Deer
Slightly warmer, sunnier day. Frog spawn in the shallow water at opposite Swan Lake. An immaculate lesser-blacked gull on Swan Lake itself. Lots of chiffchaffs singing. Reed bunting and stock dove. Green woodpeckers yaffling. Goldfinches, greenfinches and chaffinches. Great and blue tits singing in numbers. Buzzards over. Pair of great crested grebes on Manners Flood, several tufties and lots of coots – a few with nests. Long-tailed tits nest building. Some seriously large, queen bumblebees charging about. My first butterflies of the year (I know, the shame has been hard to bear….) were a pristine, male Brimstone at Pewit Carr, a Comma at Straw’s Bridge and a Peacock on West Hallam Screens – looking forward to more! Jim