Peaks Pageant

A handsome male Pied Flycatcher – one of the hoped for species

Although birding is not the focus of our current visit to Derbyshire, with such promising countryside on our doorstep, it would be rude not to do some. A trip to Padley Gorge, part of the National Trust Longshaw estate, produced a reasonable selection of the local fauna. An afternoon walk to Chatsworth House was, by contrast, a complete let-down, as they are in the midst of preparing for the Chatsworth International Horse Trials. The whole grounds are a tent city / car park and the magnificent house frontage was spoilt by giant cherry pickers replacing windows. Other birds seen on our various site-seeing excursions have included: Merlin, Wheatear and Raven. In the evening, on the way to the restaurant for the ‘birthday tea’, there were a couple of Swift over the village – my first of the year.

Tree Pipit – an unexpected bonus
Better views of a territorial Grey Wagtail
Tree-creeper at the nest hole

Today it’s raining.

Meet the neighbours

We’re up in the Derbyshire Dales for a few days to celebrate brother Rob’s 70th birthday, staying in a cottage close to the Chatsworth Estate. On my early morning walk I met a few of the locals.

Mandarin seem pretty regular around here
Dipper, always at home on these upland streams
Along with Grey Wagtail