North Staffordshire Moorlands, 12:20 - 17:00
Instead of another Sunday at Uttoxeter Quarry and Blithfield, I thought an autumn visit wandering the moors would make a change. An occasional wander of the moors once in a while is good, but to do it regularly would probably have serious consequences for my sanity.
I've mentioned it before that moorland birding is different. Whereas places like gravel pits, reservoirs, and even spring woodlands have birds set up on a plate for you, with moorland you have to work at it, be patient, scan horizons regularly, and a bit of luck helps as well. Sometimes if you see anything at all, well, apart from Meadow Pipits, then you've done rather well. Remembering that on the good days does give a good sense of achievement.
Even after five hours of searching, my total list for today ended up at 15 species!
Thankfully in that list was a selection of raptors including a female Merlin, juvenile Peregrine, Buzzard, Raven, plenty of Kestrels. Unfortunately the large passage of Honey Buzzards across the country didn't make it here this time.
At Knotbury, there were also 1 Whinchat, 5 Wheatear and 13 Red Grouse.
PS, Rick Wright RIP.