20.5.13

Day 2 | Train Trip

Today we went to Hope Valley in Derbyshire, with the intention of seeing Redstart and Pied-Flycatcher. After two trains we set off across the farmland, and within a matter of minutes James had spotted a pair of Redstart. I got great views of the male and can now say that it is one of my favourite British breeding birds; absolutely stunning! The walk between Hope and the Ladybower reservoir was abundant with invertabrates. The first invert of interest was a lovely White-pinion Spotted (Lomographa bimaculata), a new moth for me (though what isn't...). Other species of interest were a Comma (first for the year for me), and a gorgeous Green Tiger Beetle (Cicindela campestris).We walked around the the reservoir, which had little in the way of birdlife, to the woods, which bordered on an area of Moorland. Red Grouse
provided a nice addition for the day and as Robert and Emma sorted out travel arrangements, James and I went ahead to the woods. After listening to the Pied Flycatcher call to jog our memories, we sat down on a log and minutes later began to hear the call. Emma and Robert joined us, and soon after I spotted a beautiful male on a branch down further into the woods, and James went on to find a female. Unfortunately, no extremely sustained views were had, but we managed to get some long enough to appreciate how beautiful they are. Definitely much more satisfying to see one on breeding territory and self-found than the young bird we twitched last year at Holy Island after a weekend of no sleep. By the time we arrived back at the station we were all out of energy, but unfortunately a non-existent train meant an extra hour in Hope so we ended the day with a nice cold drink at the village pub, ready for yet more trains. . .








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