........with Richard, Martyn, Reg, Max and Kay! Carol Ann Duffy? Move over new Poet Laureate!
Yes folks, out of the blogosphere came a meeting of birding bloggers. Although it was a pity that Stuart the Alrewas Birder was unable to make it, take care sir!
Saturday 2nd May. Dimmingsdale, 7:25 - 9:30
I had just opened my front door and getting stuff out of the car when the Blurred Birder arrived. Good job I'd had breakfast by then, so off we went to the mighty Dimmingsdale in the Churnet Valley.
Martyn and I had latched onto a Pied Flycatcher prior to Reg, Max and Kay arriving. After then a bit of a walk along the valley also produced some Siskins, Grey Wagtail, Goldcrest, a distant singing Redstart and least a couple of Wood Warblers which included a magnificent singing male.
Hawksmoor, 10:00 - 11:30.
You know, after much thought, I think this is my favourite of the Churnet Valley woods. And not just for the picture of Tony Robinson on the information board (sorry fellow bloggers, I forgot to point that out!). Another couple of singing Wood Warblers here, plus a showy Redstart and a parachuting Tree Pipit.
It was good to get the four woodland specialities under the belt relatively quickly, as that gave us all the more time up in the moors to the north of Leek. As I've said before on this blog, moorland birding is not easy and requires patience. An ice cream also helps.
Without giving too much away, location-wise, for obvious reasons. Highlights up here included Hobby, Peregrine, Golden Plover, Snipe, Raven, Wheatear and a few Red Grouse.
Incidentally, I've been meaning to mention this for ages. Up in the North Staffordshire Moors, along the A53 between Leek and Buxton is the village of:
I don't know why, but a Queen song and a floor-cleaning product, that does the hard work so you don't have to, always pop into my mind.
Bloggers Day duly ended at Tittesworth Reservoir's conservation pool, where there was a couple of Common Sandpiper. A most enjoyable day, which I'm sure will be repeated again at some point.