25 Apr 2013

Head for the hills!

With Groucho doing a Cheshire year list and dying of the lurgy he picked up from his baby daughter I took pity on him and offered to drive (his car!) to the Eastern Hills after work to try and mop up a few of the specialities.

First stop was Tegg's Nose where we  located a singing Pied Flycatcher and a singing Redstart. Next it was off to nearby Wildboarclough in search of Dippers. We found at least 6 birds one of which posed for photo's. The colour ringing is part of an adult survival project.

Distressingly we came across an injured Buzzard that looked like it had been shot. The incident and photo's have been forwarded to the RSPB's investigation unit. Is it any wonder gamekeepers get a bad name.

Next we moved across to Danebower where we hoped to pick up Red Grouse. Sure enough within minutes we located at least a dozen birds but by now the light was fading fast.

We headed back to Trentabank Reservoir for dusk to try and catch up with a roding Woodcock. A quick scan of the reservoir was rewarded with 3 Mandarin (are you reading Pod?) and 2 female Goosander. Breedign art the Heronry and Cormorant colony is in full swing and there were nestlings calling everywhere!

As dusk fell we listened and soon picked up the distinctive pig like grunts and whistles of roding male Woodcock and we estimated at least 4 birds were present. With the Woodcock grunts and the prehistoric guttural calls of the Cormorants it sounded just like the Stretford end.

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