A slightly later start to normal, in fine but "threatening"weather, which finally established itself and resulted in prolonged periods of rain over most of the remaining part of the day. We got wet, very wet in fact. Best not to ask.
The first call was to Tyzack Dam, Abbeydale, Sheffield to see Mandarin Duck (2013, 222 ). A batchelor party of resplendent males huddled together on the branches of a secluded tree overhanging the water. This has become an almost "guaranteed site" for this species. They doubtless breed locally and appear to be doing quite well.
Onward to Padley Gorge, Derbyshire with the rain beginning to become serious. This is a wonderful wooded gorge of deciduous trees and odd pines surrounded by moorland ( by now obscured by mist and low cloud ) that plays host to a variety of woodland breeding species. This was going to be hard work as nothing stirred or was singing! Onward and downward we finally heard, and then saw well, a single Wood Warbler singing and feeding away as if on a summer's day! Aha, this was a summers day ( well very late Spring day ) which, by now, was throwing down drenching rain in copious quantities!
Nonetheless, we pressed on , saw three soaked birders, a Treecreeper and, finally, odd Pied Flycatchers ( 2013, 223 ) with one visiting a nestbox. It wasn't enjoyable and, whilst we heard them call, none were in song nor did we see the usual Spotted Flycatcher or Redstart which are usually present at the site. A long trudge back to the car, a return to the haven of central Sheffield and the creation of the bathroom into something resembling a drying room in a laundry! Meanwhile ,we watched a film whose plot took some understanding and debated the weather forecast and whether the key migrants present on the East Coast might remain.
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