A bird patch tick is a rare thing, but a mammal patch tick is even rarer… I was walking down the road at Old Wheel Farm, and saw something dart in front of me, and suddenly realised there was a mustelid watching me a few feet away from inside a dry stone wall. Sadly only its face was visible, and none of the distinguishing features there for me to make a 100% ID between the two common Mustela species, but its small size is making me lean towards weasel. Either way, other than badger, it’s the first patch mustelid I’ve seen in all my time trekking across the Loxley Valley.
Elsewhere there were a total of 33 mallard ducklings (24 at the Fisheries and 9 at Old Wheel Dam), several willow warblers and chiffchaffs, a blackcap on Low Matlock Lane, 8+ swallow and 2+ house martin, a calling curlew, at at least six stock doves. A moorhen is now on a nest at Old Wheel Dam, and the coot is still nesting.