Feb 262012

Derbyshire is blessed with some terrific birds.

We may not have the coastal areas, mudflats and sea cliffs, but we make up for that with wild rugged moorland, peak dales and river valleys. These habitats harbour some excellent birding opportunities. With patience, local knowledge and a little bit of luck, Derbyshire’s specialists will eventually give themselves up. What a treat…. 
The weather looked perfect for a morning’s “Gos” watching but before that, Hawfinches had been showing well during the week at a traditional site. The “Crack of Sparrows” is the best time to see them, before the dog walkers and tourists begin to arrive. We were not disappointed and we soon located a stunning flock of 8 birds. At first the birds were quietly feeding amongst tall Yew trees. Then in bright sunshine they sat out on the tallest nearby Beech tree and began to enjoy the early morning sunshine. Nearby two pairs of Dipper were performing on the river and a Great Spotted Woodpecker was drumming close by. 
We then set off to our traditional “Gos” site and after an initial supporting cast of Common Buzzard, a male Goshawk was soon up in the air. Several good views were had before the bird disappeared.
We then decided to head-off and drive across the moors to locate a wintering Great Grey Shrike. The bird was showing well but at some distance. We also had another Goshawk, this time a female, hunting across the moorland. There seemed to be a lot of Raven activity to-day with at least 6 sightings during the morning. The year list moves on to 140.
IMAGES – No: 1 &  2 – male Goshawk, Derbyshire /No: 3 Adult male Hawfinch / No:4 Adult Coot /  No: 5,6, & 7 – Adult  Moorhen.
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