Today I took a day off work and caught the bus out to Lodge Moor, walked up to Redmires, up Stanege Edge to Moscar, down to Wyming Brook, Fox Hagg and then caught the bus home!
Things started out well at Redmires, with a grasshopper warbler reeling away. Although I didn’t get a glimpse, it still counts as a life tick! Elsewhere at Redmires four tufted duck were on the reservoir.
On towards Stanage Pole, the moorland was alive with meadow pipits, skylarks and curlews, and walking along the Edge I found a pair of stonechats, two golden plover, and overhead views of kestrel and buzzard. A cuckoo could be heard singing in the distance. At one point I flushed a red grouse with two chicks.
My main aim of the area were ring ouzels, and I got all the way to Moscar Moor before a group of walkers flushed two dark-coloured thrushes from deep in the heather. Although I didn’t get a view of any white crescent, they gave the impression of being slimmer and longer-winged than blackbirds, and made a chattery, almost warbler-like call as they took flight and disappeared into the moorland. And of course it would be a slightly odd place for two blackbirds to be. After great consideration I’m going to tentatively count these as ring ouzels, but it’s not a very satisfactory tick, and I’ll be back there before the summer’s out for a better look!
On the way back, Wyming Brook turned up three singing wood warblers and one tree pipit, and Fox Hagg turned up the find of the day, as a beautiful roe deer ran straight across my path, and watched me from a distance from behind a tree! A great end to a great walk.