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Post Info TOPIC: Stalybridge country park- Brushes


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RE: Stalybridge country park- Brushes


Friday 18th August 2017, 7.00am

Walkerwood and Cote Farm

1 Buzzard over Harridge
5 Kestrels mobbing the Buzzard, my highest post-breeding count this year
2 Raven, flying together, but also having a dig at the Buzzard
Lesser Redpoll over
Several Bullfinch
Willow Tit on the feeder yesterday morning

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Tuesday 15th August 2017, evening, until 9.45pm

1 pair of Stonechat, the male carrying food, on the moor between Lower Swineshaw and Harridge Pike. This will be a second brood, but a combination of the relative inaccessibility of this site, and me losing a month of the breeding season through surgery, means that this is the first confirmed breeding here this year. It also means that, of seven territories known to me in the area, six now have confirmed breeding this year.

Juvenile Buzzard calling over Wild Bank
3 Kestrels together over Harridge
Some very vocal groups of young Tawny Owls along the valley, from Walkerwood to Lower Swineshaw
Little Owl calling from above Lower Swineshaw Reservoir

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Saturday 12th August 2017, 9.30 - 11.00am

Around Higher Swineshaw, in atrocious conditions. Cold, low cloud, and intermittent driving rain.

2 Raven, harassed by Meadow Pipits
1 juvenile Kestrel eating a rodent at Irontongue Hill
9 Stonechat, in three groups: a pair with two young, a pair with one youngster, and a pair that became very agitated when the Kestrel dropped in with its breakfast.
Several Reed Bunting
Willow Warblers singing
3 Cormorant flew over from Arnfield direction, towards Carrbrook


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Monday 7th August 2017, 9.30 - 10.30pm

Brushes Valley

At least 10 Tawny Owls counted along the length of the valley this evening, including good views of an adult flying along the edge of the country park before dark, and another perched on a telegraph pole at Brushes Cottages.

There were also hunger calling juveniles in groups of three, two, and two (minimum counts) in three different areas.

The Grasshopper Warbler seems to have stopped singing over the past week.

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A circuit of Wildbank and the trig point this morning 8:30 to 10:00. Highlights were 2 male Kestrel, 1 Little Owl, 1 Buzzard, 2 Redpoll and 2 swift over

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Friday 4th August, 7.00am

Common Sandpiper moving noisily around the shoreline of Walkerwood Reservoir - my first ever August record in Brushes Valley.

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Tuesday 1st August 2017, 6.00 - 7.30am

Walkerwood

42 Canada Geese on the reservoir
23 Mistle Thrush moving between the fields on Harridge and Cock Wood
Plenty of juvenile Gold-, Green-, and Chaffinch

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Thursday 27th July 2017, 9.30 - 11.00am

Higher Swineshaw

A juvenile Cuckoo flew out of the heather at the side of the reservoir
1 skulking Common Sandpiper on the dam shoreline
1 Kestrel
1 Peregrine over
1 Buzzard

Walkerwood

1 ragged Sparrowhawk
The only thing on the feeder was an irritating Grey Squirrel

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Friday 21st July 2017, 10.00 - 11.45am

A Kingfisher flying around the top end of Brushes Reservoir was a first for me, and an unusual record for the valley.
Grasshopper Warbler reeling in the valley bottom
Male and juvenile Stonechat at Higher Swineshaw Reservoir
Common Sandpiper on Higher Swineshaw Reservoir

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Thursday 20th July 2017, 8.30 - 10.30am

Windy and cold, in low cloud at Higher Swineshaw.

3 Common Sandpiper on Higher Swineshaw Reservoir
Reed Bunting carrying food
Kestrel over Harridge, another over Wild Bank
Buzzard over Harridge
Willow Tit on the Walkerwood feeder

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Tuesday 18th July 2017, 7.30 - 10.00am

Flaxfield, Brushes Rifle Ranges, and a circuit of Wild Bank Hill.

One pair of Stonechat in their usual area at the southern end of Wild Bank Hill, but the highlight was another female carrying food in a completely new territory.
2 Little Owls
1 juvenile Kestrel
4 Linnet
2 Lesser Redpoll
1 Greenfinch
6 Goldfinch
4 Willow Warblers
20+ Meadow Pipit
6 Swallows around Flaxfield Farm
3 House Martins



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Sunday 16th July 2017.

Common Sandpiper calling at Walkerwood Reservoir at 10.30pm
Willow Tit on the feeder this morning

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Saturday 15th July 2017, 7.30 - 10.30am

Brushes Valley, as far as Irontongue Hill.

12+ Reed Bunting, including a pair feeding green caterpillars to their fledglings. As Steve noted earlier this week, there is an interesting plumage range amongst the juveniles, with birds of differing ages around the area.
4 Stonechat; a male with a juvenile at Irontongue Hill, and a female plus juvenile at Higher Swineshaw
2 Common Sandpiper at Higher Swineshaw
2 Buzzard, one over Turf Pits, and one perched up in Brushes Valley, calling repeatedly.
1 Grasshopper Warbler reeling at Lower Swineshaw
1 Kestrel over Harridge
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker at Walkerwood Dam
Pair of Linnet feeding four young at Higher Swineshaw dam
Chiffchaff and Blackcap singing at Brushes Cottages

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Thursday 13th July 2017, 9.00 - 11.00am

A full circuit of the Country Park, and around Walkerwood Dam.

Country Park - very quiet, with not one Willow Warbler seen or heard!

3 Blackcap, 2 singing, and one juvenile feeding in the willows
3 Chiffchaff singing
1 pair of Chaffinch. The female appeared to be carrying nesting material, but I was under the impression that they were single brooded?
6 Goldfinch
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
2 Song Thrush, one singing, the other carrying food
4 House Martins feeding overhead

Walkerwood Dam

1 Moorhen, feeding on a dead perch
2 Grey Wagtails, a female with a well grown juvenile
1 Blackcap singing
1 Chiffchaff singing
6 Long-tailed Tits
1 Buzzard over Harridge
1 Lesser Redpoll over

Around the newly reinstated feeder

1 Willow Tit, first sighting since April, despite several searches in the valley bottom over the past two months
2 Coal Tits
4 Great Tits
2 juvenile Blue Tits
Juvenile Dunnock


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Weds 12.07.17 - 13.10 - 15.40

circuit of Walkerwood, Hyde Green, Shire Clough, Turf Pits, Brushes Valley:

Linnets (inc male feeding juvenile)
Red Grouse (inc 5 well-grown young)
Reed Buntings at Higher Swineshaw (inc several very birght-looking juvs)
Willow Warblers (inc 4 recently-fledged juvs at Higher Swineshaw)
Common Sandpiper (silent) at Higher Swineshaw)

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Steve "Make your birdwatching count!"


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Sunday 9th July 2017, 9.00am

Millbrook Dam.

2 singing Whitethroat. I hoped to see juveniles, but no sign today. This is one of the most reliable areas locally for this species.
20+ of a mix of Swallows and House Martins, the majority being Swallows.

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Saturday 8th July 2017, 7.00 - 10.00am

Flaxfield, Brushes Rifle Ranges, and up Wild Bank Hill.

Due to an enforced absence, following foot surgery, during which I haven't been able to get far, or see a great deal, I made my first visit to the top of Wild Bank in two months, a panting shuffle up the last few hundred feet. Unfortunately (but not unexpectedly), I have missed the first Stonechat brood, but did eventually see an independent juvenile, as well as the female alarm calling.
What was most notable was the low numbers of Meadow Pipits, Lesser Redpoll, and particularly Linnet. All are plentiful in other parts of the valley?

Flaxfield

1 Buzzard
10+ Swallows
6 Goldfinch
1 Greenfinch singing
A family group of 4 Willow Warblers
1 Meadow Pipit

Wild Bank

15+ Meadow Pipits
7 Willow Warblers
1 Whitethroat singing behind Range House, and another in the field by Brushes Road
5 Linnet
4 Lesser Redpoll
1 Bullfinch
1 Song Thrush singing
1 Kestrel
10+ Swallows
House Sparrows at both Range House and Shaw Farm
1 Little Owl

Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, late morning.

1 adult and two very young Common Sandpiper. These are definitely not from the same brood as the juvenile seen last weekend, as they still do not look old enough to fly. Last year the young were flying on all four reservoirs by 25th June. This year they seem very late.

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Friday 7th July 2017, to 10.30pm, the last half hour in heavy drizzle.

1 Common Sandpiper alarm calling on Brushes Dam, possibly due to the half dozen teenagers camping on the dam itself. I hope they have decent mosquito netting biggrin
Two groups of juvenile Tawny Owls, hunger calling, with decent views of them flying before dark.
Male Tawny Owl hooting from the woods
Little Owl calling after dark.
Grasshopper Warbler reeling in the valley below Lower Swineshaw Reservoir

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Thursday 6th July 2017

Higher Swineshaw, 9.30pm

11 Pied Wagtails. One pair on the dam, and a flock of 9 flew from a northeasterly direction, down the valley.

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Tuesday 4th July 2017, 7.30 - 9.30pm

Higher Swineshaw

Pair of Stonechat carrying food for a second brood
Several Reed Bunting, including juveniles
1 Common Sandpiper
Linnet singing

Lower Swineshaw

1 Common Sandpiper
Grasshopper Warbler reeling
Several Lesser Redpoll

Brushes Reservoir

Several Lesser Redpoll
2 Blackcap singing
3 juvenile Jays

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Sunday 2nd July 2017, 9.30pm.

2 adult and one juvenile Common Sandpiper at Higher Swineshaw Reservoir

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Sunday 2nd July 2017, 9.30 - 11.00am

Higher Swineshaw

4 Raven over north
1 Common Sandpiper
1 Lapwing mobbing a Raven over Boar Flat. Yesterday it was up at a perched Buzzard in the same area. Seems strange behaviour for the time of year?
Several juvenile Stonechat
Several territorial Reed Bunting
Willow Warbler families in the bracken
Linnet singing
3 Goldfinch
Skylark singing over Boar Flat
40 Canada Geese on Lower Swineshaw Reservoir, including several well grown juveniles
At least 3 singing Blackcap around Brushes Cottages
Great Spotted Woodpecker in the same area


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Roger Baker 3 wrote:

That info off Bill would tie in with my history of Brushes .. started going up around 1961 for various reasons but I would not have been allowed out late at night.
The older lads at school who went nesting knew about the Nightjars ..... I would have been all ears !

The habitat has all changed round now over the years, on both Brushes Valley and T'Harridge with trees maturing .... the key being the birch scrub and heather with bare patches (think this is where the burn helped on Wildbank ?).

As Pete Berry mentions about putting in the time and effort , especially at dawn and dusk, I do think it would be probable (???
biggrinbiggrinbiggrin) for others to be found .... not only in this valley as they have been moving steadily over Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

Anyway, it's great fun trudging about in the dark, tripping over rocks in the rain with mozzies biting lumps out of you ..... give it a go ... you don't know what you're missing !

Roger.





--------------------------------------------

Sounds like great fun Roger; I might just do that. wink

-- Edited by David Walsh on Thursday 29th of June 2017 01:06:28 AM

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That info off Bill would tie in with my history of Brushes .. started going up around 1961 for various reasons but I would not have been allowed out late at night.
The older lads at school who went nesting knew about the Nightjars ..... I would have been all ears !

The habitat has all changed round now over the years, on both Brushes Valley and T'Harridge with trees maturing .... the key being the birch scrub and heather with bare patches (think this is where the burn helped on Wildbank ?).

As Pete Berry mentions about putting in the time and effort , especially at dawn and dusk, I do think it would be probable (???
biggrinbiggrinbiggrin) for others to be found .... not only in this valley as they have been moving steadily over Yorkshire and Derbyshire.

Anyway, it's great fun trudging about in the dark, tripping over rocks in the rain with mozzies biting lumps out of you ..... give it a go ... you don't know what you're missing !

Roger.

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This site used to be Bill Underwoods local patch until he moved to Arnfield in 1978!

Nightjars last bred in 1961 on the wooded slopes of Harridge. It was a traditional site and both Barry Walker and Bill looked for them in the early 1970s with no success. Ironically a bird was heard churring very early one morning by a Stalybridge dentist called John Pickup when he was fly fishing on Brushes Reservoir in 1969. Feel free to divulge to whoever you want.

Info thanks to Bill Underwood



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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Wednesday 28th June 2017, 6.30 - 7.30am

Lower Swineshaw. Strong wind, heavy rain, and 8 degrees - surprisingly quiet hmm

150 Swift noisily over north east at 6.45am
Pair of Kestrel with two recently fledged young
Cormorant at Walkerwood

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Evening visit with Simon Gough, nice to see Andy Makin & co.

As Karen says, 2 Nightjar seen last night.
Heard churring, then calling, then decent flight views against the moor to right of the Res occasionally breaking the skyline.

Other birds of note...
- Common Buzzard 1
- Kestrel 2
- Lesser Redpoll 2, more heard
- Tawny Owl few heard close by

Pete you are right, that's ironic as I was telling Simon last night the very same thing. When we were kids (in the 70's and 80's) my Dad used to take us birdwatching to Brushes on a weekly basis during the summer and we used to see all sorts, and I remember him saying there were Nightjars on the Brushes moors. Although I'm sure I can remember hearing them, we never actually saw them there.
Shortly after that if my memory serves me correctly, a spate of arsen wiped out a lot of ground nesters habitat, and I remember my Dad was gutted as we all were!



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I remember about 30/35 years ago someone(can't remember who) telling me there were Nightjars on the moors in the Staleybrushes area.I never bothered to check out this info and had completely forgotten about it until Karen found these birds up there.Could possibly be more birds about as there must be lots of simialar habitat in the area and across to Dovestones,etc? Anyway well done Karen for putting in the effort and time.
Pete

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Two Nightjars were seen tonight flying over Wild Bank, the area where the Nightjar was originally heard and seen and a male heard churring at frequent intervals from 19:50. This confirms my original thoughts that I did see two birds on the 13th. A very special night!

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Monday 26th June 2017, 5.45 - 7.15am

Higher Swineshaw

Curlew alarm calling at the presence of a fox on Lees Hill
13 Stonechat
6 Linnet, 3 singing males
4 singing Reed Bunting
Several family groups of Willow Warblers
4 Goldfinch
4 Swift

Juvenile Grey Heron at Walkerwood

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nightjar seen this evening above brushes reservoir at 10.30 , had churred a few times earlier from the usual area on the otherside of the valley, 7 birders present tonight who all saw the bird including ian campbell, john raynor and congrats to john tromans on his 200th county bird, county tick for me and ian campbell.



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Sunday 25th June 2017, 10.00am

Grasshopper Warbler reeling at Higher Swineshaw

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Saturday 24th June 2017, 9.00 - 10.30pm

Curlew up alarm calling and seeing off two Buzzards at Lees Hill, above Lower Swineshaw Reservoir
Grasshopper Warbler reeling in the valley after dark
Young Tawny Owls hunger calling
A female Stonechat with a fledgling in a new area was a bonus for an evening visit.

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Nightjar still present this evening churring at 21.50 from the hillside on the far end of the dam, i stayed until 22.25 but it  had been raining from 22.00 so it didnt sing again or show, thanks to Karen Foulkes and Simon Warford for there help and advice, so its back again for me tomorrow night for another go.



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Saturday 24th June 2017, 8.30 - 11.00am

Higher Swineshaw and Irontongue Hill

3 Buzzards together over Hoarstone Edge
1 Kestrel
Female Stonechat with five (possibly six) juveniles, high up on the moor: some attempting a bit of flycatching, some following their harassed looking mother. This is the sort of thing that, for me, makes all the trudging around seeing nothing, on cold, wet mornings (and evenings), worthwhile.
Pair of Lesser Redpoll on Higher Swineshaw dam, the male in stunning plumage.
2 pairs of Linnet
Male Reed Bunting on a new territory at the foot of Irontongue Hill
Juvenile (independent) Stonechat feeding at Higher Swineshaw dam
3 Common Sandpiper

All in all, a good morning, despite the Bob hat and gloves.

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Will give it a go this weekend cheers



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Chris Everett wrote:

where are the sandpiper we have not seen any this year



------------------------------------
Chris,

If you familiarise yourself with the call of the Common Sandpiper, then sit for ten minutes on the bench in your profile photo, you should locate them.


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I met with Steve on Tuesday where are the sandpiper we have not seen any this year and I did tell him the first bird I photograph will be a sandpiper ded to him



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Thursday 22nd June 2017, 8.15 - 9.30pm

Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, cold and windy.

Family party of one pair and 3 newly fledged Pied Wagtails, plus 2 other adults
One pair of Linnet with two dependent young.
Signs of second brooding by Reed Bunting. Adults have been carrying food for several weeks, and the first fledglings appeared two weeks ago. Several females have been carrying nesting material this week. I would estimate at least ten territories around the area.
Two Stonechat broods have also fledged over the past fortnight.
1 pair of Common Sandpiper on both Swineshaw reservoirs
Grasshopper Warbler reeling in Brushes Valley

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Nightjar heard churring 3 times last night (monday). Briefly at 9.45pm then again at 10.10pm for couple of minutes and then again at 10.25pm for about 5 minutes but frustratingly not seen on my 3rd visit. It was in the area where it was 1st located at the far end of the dam.

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Paul Shaw


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Any updates on the nightjar would be welcome this week please,  just back of holiday but unable to go until Saturday evening due to work commitments,  thanks Brian. 



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Nightjar heard to chur only once last night at 9.45....bird did not show....So dipped. No other birders looking but did meet up with Dave Walsh who was very helpful with directions and a pleasure to chat with. Thanks Dave.



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2 visits and bites all over my legs and arms to see the very elusive Nightjar. Thanks to Steve for spotting the proverbial needle in a haystack and letting everyone take a look through his scope. Thanks to Karen for sharing the find.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Sunday 18th of June 2017 11:38:01 PM

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3 evening visits this week to see the nightjar up at brushes valley, Thursday 15th heard only, Friday 16th heard only & Saturday 17th 3rd time lucky biggrin
after hearing it only in its usual spot & on the opposite side from there on Friday night I picked it up when it landed on the pylons over to the left hand side of the reservoir, distant but still able to tell what it was, even though I wasn't too sure at first, all the other birders present got to see it & it then flew off but only to return to the same pylon soon after & then started churring. it soon flew off again but was only heard but not seen again. also a cuckoo over on Friday.
a great find Karen well done.

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saburke


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Nightjar still present last night (Thursday 15th) briefly churring in some irritating wind and heavy cloud. Not seen so no GM tick, bah!



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Nightjar churring its head off tonight, till it went dark, thanks for sharing your find Tameside birders.

 

keep birding



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Further to Karen's post, although there is room for two cars near to the gate, there is a sign saying do not park there. There needs to be access for emergency vehicles, and in this area at this time of year, this means fire engines, so please park on Walkerwood Dam, and take the short walk. Two cottages sit almost on the dam, so please also respect this, and do not walk up the track behind them.

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Yesterday evening I was fortunate to find a Nightjar in the Brushes Valley.

Directions to the area the bird was are as follows:-

Take the B6175 Huddersfield Road in Stalybridge towards Carrbrook. Go past Copley Recreation Centre and take Brushes Road which is on the right hand side. Follow the road down and you will reach Walkerwood dam. You can either park along the dam or on the small car park at the top as parking. Walk up the concrete road and there is a cottage on the right hand side, Close to here is another dam between Walkerwood and Brushes reservoir. For the avoidance of doubt, Brushes is the second reservoir. The hillside at the end of the dam is where the Nightjar was churring from and flying around on last night.

Please park considerately and do not block any gates and do not walk through the cottage garden.

If you visit, take your insect repellent or be prepared to be eaten alive!

-- Edited by Karen Foulkes on Wednesday 14th of June 2017 06:52:28 PM

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Monday 5th June 2017

8.00am, around Higher Swineshaw in the rain

Several Reed Bunting
Whitethroat singing
Several Lesser Redpoll around the scout hut

10.00pm, also in the rain, around Lower Swineshaw

Unsurprisingly quiet, given the wind, cold, and rain.
Grasshopper Warbler reeling, as it was this morning. A lot easier to hear at dusk, with the removal of all the background noise.
Curlew alarm calling.

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Sunday 4th June 2017, 9.00 - 11.00am

Brushes Valley, and around Higher Swineshaw.

A Cuckoo was calling from the rough grass towards Boar Flat. It then flew into a tree at North Britain, being mobbed by up to a dozen Meadow Pipits the whole time, before flying off in the direction of Lower Swineshaw dam.

A group of around 25 Swift had been feeding over the moor for an hour or so, then a Hobby appeared in the area of Higher Swineshaw dam, chasing a couple of Swift, before heading off down the valley.

1 Raven over Irontongue Hill
1 Buzzard towards Hoarstone Edge
1 Whitethroat singing below Higher Swineshaw dam
1 pair of Common Sandpiper on Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, another pair on Walkerwood Reservoir
Curlew calling
Several Skylark singing
5 Reed Bunting singing
1 pair of Linnet
Grasshopper Warbler reeling in Brushes Valley
1 Buzzard in Brushes Valley
1 pair of Kestrel
Another Kestrel over Boar Flat

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This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar; rest in peace mum.