Today I went for a long meandering walk, the sort you play by ear and hopefully end up home at some point (you can probably gather by the fact I’m writing this that I did). I took a bus out to Lodge Moor, with the aim of swinging by Redmires Reservoir and Wyming Brook, with the intention of finding dippers, pied flycatchers and (very optimistically) ring ouzels.
From the bus stop, I decided to take a scenic route to the reservoir, instead of simply walking straight down Redmires Road. After trekking for a fair bit of wandering round farmland (seeing a good few meadow pipits and lapwings), I found myself on the moors overlooking the reservoirs, and heading towards Stanage Edge. The one day my walking boots have a broken lace and I’d worn my old Converse trainers instead, I accidentally found myself in a bog, but luckily the last few days of summer have dried it up enough to just about get through unscathed! The area was home to good numbers of low-flying curlews, more meadow pipits, and skylarks.
No ring ouzels though, but this was more than made up for on the dredged reservoir at Redmires. There were some waders on there, too far to make out down the binoculars but possibly common sandpipers, and I was just lamenting the low wader count when I noticed something land on the banks, which turned out to be a hobby. It stood there for a while, before flying off, looking like a giant swift.
At Wyming Brook I saw the dippers almost straight away by the river, and scanned the trees for pied flycatchers. I was starting to think it’d be an impossible task finding them, and decided I’d sit on the bench ahead and have a swig of water. No sooner had I thought this, but a pied flycatcher landed on the back of the bench, stayed long enough for me to have a good look down binoculars, before flying off again! Ah well, two out of three isn’t so bad.
The way back was quite quiet bird-wise, but a nice walk nonetheless through various footpaths around the Rivelin Valley, snaking my way back to Loxley Road.