I live on the eastern flanks of the Pennine chain at the western end of South Yorkshire ( OK, read it again slowly ! ). You can gain a feel of the sorts of habitats available by looking at the map I posted in a previous recent entry. And it was to parts of this area that Matthew and I directed our attention this morning. Early on it was a bit murky at higher levels, but visibility was still acceptable.
The first surprise was near to home. A Little Owl flew from a perch on telegraph wires to "take on" a Blackbird in a nearby mature tree , perhaps a good indication of a breeding territory and a good record for the local patch. On to Whitley Common , where numbers of Lapwings, not that large but with some youngsters, was particularly pleasing. Ingbirchworth Reservoir held 4 Common Shelduck, 4 Grey Heron, a Cormorant, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 8 Grey lag Geese and at least 7 Great Crested Grebe, and that was without walking round. Scout Dike Reservoir held precious little, and so we moved on.
Immediately previous to the chosen " breakfast cabin " Matthew had a Hobby from the car, which I couldn't see, £$$%%**, damn. Restored with cholesterol and strong tea and coffee we moved on to Langsett Reservoir, setting aside the temptation to go for the much visited local Wood Warbler and even the Pied Flycatchers, and explored some woodland I doubt gets that many visits. I can understand why perhaps, but it was worth it in some senses, although we didn't unearth anything ! The reservoir had shown around 40 Canada Geese, a Mute Swan and a Mallard brood, but little else. Scrutiny over a local moorland provided Common Buzzard and Cuckoo.
On to Broomhead. The environs of recent international and national bike races of prominence and, as a consequence, improved road surfaces ! A longer scouring of local woodlands provided a good selection of expected and typical species , but no Crossbills as we had hoped for. Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Great Spotted Woodpecker, titmice, Nuthatch and a pleasing number of Song Thrushes in song was sufficiently satisfying plus a Grey Wagtail collecting food nearby to the local reservoir.
And so a long morning came to an end, but a satisfying one at that !
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