Today’s been a good day. The weather’s been great and spring really seems to have arrived. Swallows are everywhere, willow warblers are singing all over the place, and butterflies are flitting around.
This morning I had a trip up to Rocher Head – after a couple of trips up to find wheatears recently, I finally got a tip where to find them (the fields near Cowell Flats) and got good views of two of them (cheers, Richard!). Wandering back down Agden Side, I heard two singing tree pipits. Believe it or not this is a life tick for me, despite them being fairly common in western Sheffield – it really pays to learn your bird songs! Other highlights included loads of curlews, lapwings, a singing blackcap and two linnets.
This afternoon I decided to have another short walk, and took the wooded footpath to the south of the River Loxley. I stopped suddenly when I saw a large buzzard perched in a tree a matter of feet away from me. A brilliant patch tick! But then it dawned on me this easily approached buzzard was a bit suspicious. I inched a bit further forward and it flew off, and I noticed there was something hanging from its foot. It didn’t move far, and I caught up with it before long, and my suspicions were correct – the thing hanging from its foot was a leather strap. Obviously some falconer’s lost their buzzard! I’ll be keeping my eyes open for this bird on future trips.
Other patch highlights included a male blackcap, a few swallows, six linnets, two curlews and the little owls at Old Wheel Farm again (if you want to see a little owl this is the place to go!). I also got a non-bird patch tick with a common toad at Old Wheel Dam.