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Post Info TOPIC: Stalybridge country park- Brushes


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RE: Stalybridge country park- Brushes


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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Friday 2nd June 2017, 9.30 - 10.30pm

Brushes Valley

Grasshopper Warbler reeling in the valley bottom, between Brushes and Lower Swineshaw Reservoir, around dusk.
Young Tawny Owl hunger calling
2 Curlew alarm calling at the presence of a Little Owl.

A Whitethroat was singing in the willows at the foot of Higher Swineshaw dam at 8.00 am on Friday.

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Saturday 27th May 2017, mid-morning.

2 Cuckoos singing from the woods around the gamekeeper's cottage
1 female Buzzard over Walkerwood Reservoir

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Thursday 25th May 2017, mid-morning.

My first Cuckoo of the year, singing from the trees above the gamekeeper's cottage. The gamekeeper himself reported hearing one at the weekend, but I have been unable to wander far for the past week.

10 House Martins feeding over Walkerwood Reservoir, and around the same number (possibly the same birds) an hour later around the Besom Lane area of Cote Farm.

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Saturday 20th May 2017, 7.00pm.

Higher Swineshaw.

1 Curlew on the shoreline
1 female Wheatear
1 pair of Pied Wagtails

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Monday 15th May 2017

Higher Swineshaw, 6.00 - 7.00am, in torrential rain.

1 female Wheatear
2 agitated Curlew
2 Reed Bunting singing a two note song, instead of the usual three. Not a rare bird, but one I never tire of seeing and hearing.

7.00 - 8.00pm, in torrential rain.

Lower Swineshaw area

2 Curlew
1 Blackcap singing
3 Willow Warblers
2 Chaffinch singing
1 Song Thrush
1 Common Sandpiper on Lower Swineshaw Reservoir

Despite the weather, quite lively around Walkerwood.

1 pair of Common Sandpiper
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Pied Wagtail
1 Moorhen
Blackcap and Whitethroat singing next to the dam

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David the behaviour of the curlews is an interesting points , we don;t discuss or record behaviour enough, its more thoughtful than just listing.

Keep Birding 



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Sunday 14th May 2017, mid-morning

Irontongue Hill

1 Reed Bunting singing
2 Willow Warblers singing
1 pair of Stonechat
1 Kestrel
1 Buzzard
4 Meadow Pipits
4 Swift feeding over Boar Flat
2 Skylark singing over Boar Flat
1 Curlew on Boar Flat

Around Higher Swineshaw

The Buzzard drifted across Swineshaw Moor towards Turf Pits, causing a Curlew on the moor to sound a couple of notes of an alarm call. It may have been a coincidence, but another bird started calling from across the valley around Pack Saddle, then flew low and fast, calling the whole time, to join the first bird, and both began mobbing the Buzzard. It was as if the second bird responded to the call of the first? It's interesting stuff, this local birding.
1 Lapwing also joined the two Curlew, then a third Curlew appeared.
2 Wheatear
Another pair of Stonechat
Several Linnet


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Saturday 13th May 2017, 9.00 - 11.00am

Range House, around the rifle ranges, and up onto Wild Bank Hill. Cold, with intermittent drizzle.

Around Flaxfield and the rifle ranges.

1 pair of Linnet
2 Goldfinch
2 Whitethroat singing
2 Willow Warblers
1 Reed Bunting, picked up on song, was a welcome sighting. Used to be a regular, but I didn't record any last year.
1 Bullfinch

Higher up, as far as 1,000 feet.

1 male Wheatear
6 Linnet, a couple singing
4 Lesser Redpoll, minimum. Difficult to count in all the birch growth
1 Chaffinch
15 Willow Warblers
2 Chiffchaff

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Friday 12th May 2017, 6.30 - 7.30am

For the second Friday running, access to the top half of Brushes Valley was blocked by fire crews, having worked overnight, extinguishing another moorland fire, bang in the middle of the nesting season. For the second Friday running I decided on a circular tour of the country park, predominantly to count singing warblers. Last week's figures in parentheses.

10 Willow Warblers (11)
5 Chiffchaff (8)
6 Blackcap (4)
1 Whitethroat (1)

3 Chaffinch
1 pair of Lesser Redpoll
1 Greenfinch
3 Mistle Thrush
3 Song Thrush
4 Long-tailed Tits

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Wednesday 10th May 2017, 6.30 - 8.15am

Mainly around Higher Swineshaw

8 Common Sandpiper : 4 on Higher Swineshaw, 2 on Lower Swineshaw, and 2 on Walkerwood
1 female Wheatear at Higher Swineshaw
10 Linnet (3 singing males)
10 Reed Bunting. 9 singing males, plus a female flycatching over the reservoir
1 drake Tufted Duck on Lower Swineshaw was a strange one
1 pair of Lesser Redpoll at Walkerwood Dam
Pair of Pied Wagtails on both Higher and Lower Swineshaw

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Tuesday 9th May 2017, 8.00pm

2 Common Sandpiper on Lower Swineshaw Reservoir

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A few bits from my weekend's wanderings.

Flaxfield, Brushes Rifle Ranges, and Wild Bank Hill

1 Lapwing in the fields below Shaw Farm
5 Wheatear in the fields above Shaw Farm
18 Linnet, including two pairs, and 4 singing males
2 Lesser Redpoll
30+ singing Willow Warblers
2 Chiffchaff
5 singing Skylark
Blackbirds, Robin, Mistle, and Song Thrush carrying food
1 male Stonechat, one of the targets for this visit, as another pair further up the valley hatched young last week. After a frustrating and fruitless search, I located this male on my way back, having given up. The pair have relocated 400 yards from last year's site, so presumably the last brood was predated.
1 Little Owl

2 pairs of Common Sandpiper displaying on Higher Swineshaw Reservoir
1 pair of Common Sandpiper on Walkerwood Reservoir
1 Kestrel at Lower Swineshaw

Higher Swineshaw, this morning, 6.00 - 7.15am

1 Buzzard, perched on the moor, causing alarm in 2 Curlew, a Raven, and a pair of Canada Geese
3 Linnet, including a female carrying nesting material
3 Pied Wagtail
1 Grey Wagtail
2 Wheatear on the dam
2 pairs of Common Sandpiper

6 Reed Bunting singing, at dusk, along the overflow.

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Thursday 27th April 2017, 8.30 - 11.00am, cold, wet, miserable.

5 Common Sandpiper, 3 on Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, 2 on Walkerwood Reservoir.
1 Curlew on the shore of Higher Swineshaw
1 pair of Linnet on Higher Swineshaw dam

And that was about it.

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Tuesday 25th April 2017, 6.15 - 7.15am

Despite the thermometer reading minus 2, another lively start to the day, truncated by having to go to work.

Higher Swineshaw

3 Common Sandpiper
4 Wheatear dropped onto the dam
4 Linnet
Stonechat singing
Pair of Pied Wagtail

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Monday 24th April 2017

3 Common Sandpipers moving noisily along the shoreline of Walkerwood Dam at dusk.
1 Moorhen in the overflow

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Sunday 23rd April 2017, 7.30 - 10.00am

BBS for SJ9899, which takes in the Pennine Bridleway from Brushes to Harridge Hall, then from Lower Hyde Green, down Besom Lane, and into the valley bottom, via Millbrook Dam.

The highlight was a Grasshopper Warbler reeling alongside the Bridleway, the first time I have seen (or rather heard) this species in this area.

Other highlights:

1 female Wheatear, not completely unexpected, given the bumper numbers in the general area this week.
23 Willow Warblers, all singing males
4 Chiffchaff
1 Whitethroat
1 Blackcap
17 Greenfinch, a surprisingly high count. Singing and calling everywhere today
10 Chaffinch
6 Linnet
3 Lesser Redpoll
10 Goldfinch
23 House Sparrows
40 Blackbirds
2 Song Thrush
1 Mistle Thrush
4 Swallows
3 Pied Wagtails

Also 1 Common Sandpiper calling from Walkerwood Reservoir after dark tonight.

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Saturday 22nd April 2017, 6.00 - 10.30am

4 Common Sandpiper; 3 chasing around Higher Swineshaw Reservoir at 6.30, and one on Walkerwood at 10.30
2 pairs of Stonechat around Higher Swineshaw
1 Willow Tit at Walkerwood


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Friday 21st April 2017

Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, 7.00pm

A Shelduck flew around the reservoir a few times, before flying off southeast towards Arnfield.
2 Curlew noisily overhead

7.00am today

1 Common Sandpiper at Higher Swineshaw
10+ Linnet, several males singing
6 Lesser Redpoll around the scout hut

Yesterday I had my first Swallow of the year in the valley, quickly over Higher Swineshaw, plus a female Wheatear

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Nothing further to add today except for 5+ Lesser Redpolls.



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Tuesday 18th April 2017, 6.20 - 7.20am

Higher Swineshaw

More life than we've had up here for weeks heralded my first day back at work for almost a week!

7 Wheatear dropped onto Higher Swineshaw dam, just as the ice melted around 7 o'clock, following 4 birds at dusk last night on Lower Swineshaw dam.
Pair of Stonechat
Several Linnet
Several Reed Bunting
At least 6 singing Willow Warblers
Curlew calling

Also at dusk yesterday, both of the top two reservoirs had a Common Sandpiper each.

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Friday 14th April 2017, 8.30 - 10.30am

Brushes Valley, following an early morning bank holiday excursion to Mossley, in worsening conditions, the highlight of which was a conversation with a soggy Steve Suttill on Moor Edge Road.

The only things visible at Higher Swineshaw were a pair of Pied Wagtails on the dam wall, and a Curlew flying through the gloom.

The biggest surprise of the morning was a drake Wigeon on Lower Swineshaw Reservoir, swimming with a couple of Mallard.
One Common Sandpiper was picking along the shoreline.

Around Walkerwood:

First sighting of the Willow Tit for several weeks, but the feeder has been neglected of late.
Linnet singing low down on the Harridge side was unusual
Several Coal Tits
3 Jays
Several Bullfinch and Chaffinch
3 Lesser Redpoll
2 Moorhen
Willow Warblers and Chiffchaff singing

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Tuesday 11th April 2017, dusk.

Common Sandpiper on the shoreline of Higher Swineshaw Reservoir.

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Tuesday 11th April 2017, 8.30 - 11.00am

Windy and very cold, with not a lot of life, but the sight of the first Common Sandpiper of the year in the valley, at Walkerwood Reservoir, is always a big event. It means that summer is officially here, despite the winter clothes. It equals my earliest sighting of 2014.

The only other item of note was another pair of Stonechat at Lees Hill, a duller male and brighter female than the other pairs. Once again, the male was singing.

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Monday 10th April 2017, 6.30 - 7.20am

A circular walk around the Country Park, counting warblers.

All warblers are singing males.

6 Blackcap
4 Chiffchaff
2 Willow Warblers
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming
Lesser Redpoll heard

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