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Post Info TOPIC: Stalybridge country park- Brushes


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RE: Stalybridge country park- Brushes


Tuesday 14th August 2018, evening.

Wild Bank Hill.

2 juvenile Wheatear feeding in the fields around Shaw Moor Farm

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Saturday 11th August 2018, 9.00 - 11.30am

Brushes Valley, to Higher Swineshaw.

5 Spotted Flycatchers, a pair feeding at least three fledglings, one of which was being fed on the ground, with a possibly injured wing.
3 Buzzards, one over Harridge Moor, a juvenile at Wild Bank, and a juvenile perched within 100 yards of the houses at Brushes Road
2 juvenile Kestrels over Harridge Moor, and a male at Higher Swineshaw
1 male Stonechat at Higher Swineshaw, and a female with a juvenile at Harridge Moor
24 Red Grouse counted on Harridge and Swineshaw Moors
c 30 Meadow Pipits
30 House Martin feeding over the valley
2 Raven at Walkerwood
52 Black-headed Gulls on Higher Swineshaw Reservoir
Good numbers of juvenile Dunnock around the moors

A quiet morning, but a satisfying one.


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Sunday 5th August 2018, 9.30 - 11.00am

Harridge Moor, and the woods above the Gamekeeper's cottage.

100+ each, of Swallows and House Martins feeding over the moor
A Willow Warbler feeding at least two fledglings in the bracken, a few others singing.
10+ Coal Tits calling in the trees, very much in evidence in all the wooded areas at present.
1 Nuthatch
4 Treecreepers, with more calling
Several noisy Jays
1 Kestrel over Harridge
4 Kestrel, looking like a family group, noisily around Lower Swineshaw dam
1 Buzzard perched over at Wild Bank

Walkerwood Reservoir.

1 Cormorant
1 Grey Heron, present constantly at the moment. A juvenile bird has also been seen on a couple of mornings over the past week
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Pied Wagtail
2 Moorhen

Yesterday, around Higher Swineshaw.

No waders at all
42 Black-headed Gulls
1 juvenile Grey Wagtail
2 Pied Wagtails
3 Mallard
1 Reed Bunting flushed from low in the bracken on the track towards Irontongue, the only one seen or heard. This species seems to have disappeared from the area since the fire, despite their territories (at least half a dozen) being in areas of bracken around the reservoir untouched by the fire. I can only assume it is due to the disturbance caused by the firefighting machinery and personnel?
One pair of Stonechat with at least 2 juveniles at Lees Hill
At least 6 Lesser Redpoll between Higher and Lower Swineshaw
1 Linnet
c 35 Meadow Pipits on Higher Swineshaw dam banking

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Thursday 2nd August 2018, 9.00pm

Walkerwood Dam.

c 60 Swift. 10 feeding over the country park area, and c 50 moving through south west
4 House Martins through south west

I reinstated the feeders last week, and have had regular sightings once more, of the Willow Tit.
The other species which has visited regularly is the Nuthatch, which is very evident at present, all around the valley. They seem to have had a successful breeding season.
A single Common Sandpiper was the only wader present at Higher Swineshaw Reservoir on Tuesday evening.

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Tuesday 24th July 2018, evening

Higher Swineshaw Reservoir.

1 Green Sandpiper
2 Common Sandpiper
10+ Pied Wagtails, mainly juveniles, feeding on the shoreline.
1 Grey Wagtail
1 Buzzard, looking very pale against the blackened moor.

Lower Swineshaw Reservoir

3 Lapwing
5 Pied Wagtails
3 Stonechat (male and two juveniles) on the moor above the reservoir

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Saturday 21st July 2018, 9.00am - 12.00pm

Higher Swineshaw Reservoir

It's amazing the difference a muddy shoreline makes. All four reservoirs in the valley are stone-lined, and poor for waders, other than Common Sandpiper, which breed here. A combination of low rainfall, and (mainly) a vast quantity of water being pumped out of Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, to douse the recent moorland fire, has meant that the water level is the lowest that anyone can remember, giving a muddy shoreline to the entire reservoir, save for the dam itself.

1 Green Sandpiper
6 Common Sandpipers
1 Redshank
31 Black-headed Gulls
3 Pied Wagtails
2 Stonechat (male and juvenile), in the bracken
20+ Meadow Pipits, many feeding along the shore

Lower Swineshaw Reservoir

7 Lapwing
10 Mallard
Lesser Redpoll around the scout hut

Grasshopper Warbler reeling by Brushes Road (as it was at 11.00pm yesterday)

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Thursday 19th July 2018, 8.00 - 9.00pm

Grasshopper Warbler still reeling in the field adjacent to Brushes Road
30+ Swifts over Wild Bank
1 Buzzard over Wild Bank
Grey Heron on Walkerwood Reservoir

Earlier today in Cock Wood

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Nuthatch
Juvenile Treecreepers
Couple of family groups of Long-tailed Tits
Juvenile Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Chaffinch
Juvenile Great Tits everywhere
Several Lesser Redpoll

30+ Swallows, mainly juveniles, over Walkerwood Reservoir
Juvenile Cormorant on Walkerwood
Kestrel over Harridge

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Sunday 15th July, 9.00pm

Grasshopper Warbler reeling from rough grassland, in the field by Brushes Road, opposite the Country Park.

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Saturday 14th July 2018, 8.00 - 11.00am

Lower Swineshaw Reservoir

2 Common Sandpiper, an agitated adult, and a well grown juvenile. They were late breeding this year, but this is a breeding record that I thought I'd missed, due to the recent access restrictions in the valley. Good to see.
c 30 Meadow Pipits feeding around the dam banking
1 Pied Wagtail
1 Buzzard on the shoreline
5 Lesser Redpoll around the scout hut

Higher Swineshaw, and environs

4 Stonechat, a family party of a pair, plus at least two juveniles in the bracken, towards Lees Hill
4 Common Sandpiper
c 60 Black-headed Gulls
3 Lapwing flew over Lees Hill, from the direction of Arnfield, and dropped in briefly, before continuing west
40+ Meadow Pipits, mainly, as at Lower Swineshaw, around the dam banking
2 Pied Wagtails, an adult and well grown juvenile
3 Blackbirds, one carrying food into bracken, right at the edge of the burned Moor
1 Goldfinch
2 Lesser Redpoll in the bracken
1 Buzzard

Brushes Valley

6+ Treecreeper, calling everywhere, and feeding in twos, presumably young birds?
Several Coal Tits, a mix of adults and juveniles, one carrying food


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It has surprised me how much wildlife has remained in such a bleak and totally destroyed habitat to be honest David.

I have removed several toads from the moor, Meadow Pipits still wander around the scorched earth cool enough for them to step onto and butterflies and impressive dragonflies still populate the untouched gullies, few that they are.

There is also evidence of some regeneration in areas not too severely burned, with new green shoots already coming through.

Of course, much of the moor is depressingly damaged, with earth reduced to nothing more than deep ash fuelling impressively large and regular 'dust devils' and heavy rains will off course bring their own further problems to the area too.

A sad state but nature has its way and it will eventually get back to what it was though it will take time, in many areas, lots of time.

 



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Thursday 12th July 2018, 9.30 - 11.30am.

Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, and surrounding area, for the first time in three weeks.

Swineshaw Moor, to the north and north east of the reservoir is blackened and lifeless, but the reservoir itself produced more than I would usually expect, particularly given the amount of plant and personnel still arraigned around the area of the dam.

3 Common Sandpiper
3 Lapwing
1 Snipe flushed from the overflow
3 Mallard
2 Pied Wagtails, and adult and juvenile
61 Black-headed Gulls, many juvenile
1 Willow Warbler
1 male Stonechat at an existing territory within 100 yards of the dam.


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Saturday 30th June 2018, 7.00 - 11.00am.

No public access to Brushes Valley at present.

Concentrating on the north side of Brushes Valley this morning, taking in the moorland around Harridge Pike, and the oak woodland above the gamekeeper's cottage. To a constant sound of helicopters almost overhead. One of the stranger ambles I've had around the moor.

5 Stonechat, a pair and three juveniles
20 Red Grouse
50+ Meadow Pipits, some emerging from the heather, but most had the appearance of winter feeding flocks, gathering in the areas of short, or cleared heather. I wondered whether they may have been birds displaced from the destroyed moor, which in some places was only a hundred or so yards away?
2 Dunnock singing
Pair of Linnet, the male singing
2 Buzzard, calling over the keeper's cottage
4 Jay in the woods
1 juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker
Several Nuthatch


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Thursday 28th June 2018, 9.30pm.

Male Reed Bunting singing in the field adjacent to Brushes Road.

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Wednesday 27th June 2018, 7.00am.

Walkerwood Reservoir.

10 House Martins
12 Swallows, including juveniles being fed on a wire
1 juvenile Pied Wagtail

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Thursday 21st June 2018.

Combined sightings from this morning, and Wednesday evening. Dry, bright, but cold and windy on both visits.

Higher Swineshaw

7 Common Sandpiper, including one juvenile, parents very agitated at the presence of 16 Black-headed Gulls
5 Stonechat, a female and 4 juveniles
3 Curlew, one swimming in the reservoir
1 pair of Pied Wagtail
1 pair of Linnet
1 Buzzard


Elsewhere

2 juvenile Stonechat at a traditional territory on Harridge moor. First breeding evidence at this site of the year.
2 family groups of Nuthatch, at Brushes Cottages, and Brushes Valley. One of our nest boxes, in the Walkerwood area, fledged 7 juveniles (after a recount).
Family of Goldcrest higher up Brushes Valley
Meadow Pipits carrying food
Willow Warblers carrying food

Otherwise quiet.



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Saturday 9th June 2018, 9.30 - 11.30am

Around Higher Swineshaw Reservoir and Lees Hill. A few breeding records.

5 Stonechat across three territories. Two males, and a female with two newly fledged birds. My first confirmed breeding record of the year, in complete contrast to the bumper breeding season of 2017.
A pair of Pied Wagtails feeding a juvenile
1 Grey Wagtail feeding a juvenile
4 singing Reed Bunting
One pair of Common Sandpiper
1 Curlew over Boar Flat
Two pairs of Canada Geese, with 8 goslings between them
8 Linnet
Lesser Redpoll
Blackcap singing at the foot of Higher Swineshaw dam






-- Edited by David Walsh on Saturday 9th of June 2018 12:22:54 PM

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Friday 1st June 2018, 7.30 - 10.30am

Walkerwood to Higher Swineshaw and Lees Hill.

2 Oystercatchers on Lower Swineshaw Reservoir. Both flew off northeast at 9.00am.
Pied Wagtail carrying food at Higher Swineshaw Reservoir
Cuckoo singing in Brushes Valley
5 singing Blackcap
Otherwise quiet

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Thursday 31st May 2018, 10.00 - 11.45am

Walkerwood Dam, and a wander around the rifle ranges.

Rifle Ranges.

6 singing Willow Warblers
1 singing Blackcap
4 singing Song Thrush
5 singing Dunnock
1 Linnet
5 Lesser Redpoll
1 Greenfinch
1 Chaffinch
15 Meadow Pipits, many carrying food

Elsewhere.

1 Reed Bunting singing in the rough fields above Brushes Road, for over a month now, was pleasing. A pair used to breed regularly, but seemed to disappear for the past three years, with only sporadic sightings.
1 singing Whitethroat, on Brushes Road. The main reason for the trip around the rifle ranges, where there have been at least four singing males in previous years. A disappointing year for me, so far, with this species, and Warblers in general, in fact.
A male Grey Wagtail was feeding insects to two well grown juveniles at Walkerwood Reservoir
Several noisy Jays



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Wednesday 30th May 2018, 6.30 - 7.20am

Walkerwood, and along to Cote Farm

Only two Swallows visible at Cote Farm
35+ Swift feeding over Harridge. Another few around Millbrook Dam.
1 Cormorant over
2 Jays on the road, squabbling
4 singing Blackcaps
Several Greenfinch singing
Female Great Spotted Woodpecker picking insects from the telegraph poles
Six Nuthatch young, in one of our boxes, was a nice result last night. Food being shovelled in by both parents.
Cuckoo singing
2 Common Sandpiper
2 Grey Wagtail
1 Pied Wagtail

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Monday 14th May 2018, 6.30 - 7.15am

Around Walkerwood.

2 Oystercatchers flew over, down the valley, calling.
1 pair of Tufted Duck
1 Pair of Common Sandpiper
1 Moorhen
Cuckoo singing from above the gamekeeper's cottage
1 Whitethroat singing

On Saturday morning, a female Wheatear was at Higher Swineshaw Reservoir. My first sighting of the year in the valley, in what for me, has been a poor year for this species.

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Thursday 10th May 2018, 9.00 - 11.45am.

From Walkerwood Dam, up past the rifle ranges, and on to Wild Bank Hill.

22 singing Willow Warblers, all but 4 in Wild Bank SBI
2 singing Chiffchaff, one each at Flaxfield, and Brushes Road
6 Linnet, including 2 singing males, and a female at a nest site
7 Lesser Redpoll
30+ Meadow Pipits
1 Reed Bunting singing in the juncus between Brushes Road and Range House
Only one Whitethroat in the entire area, a male that has been singing along the Brushes Road edge of the country park since Monday. Some years I'd expect to have half a dozen males singing.
3 Swallows over Walkerwood Reservoir
2 Cormorant on the reservoir

A Cuckoo was singing from Cock Wood around dusk this evening.

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Monday 7th May 2018, 7.15 - 10.30am.

Wild Bank Hill, taking in Hollingworthall Moor, and Hobson Moor. Most sightings in Wild Bank SBI, hence this thread.

Wild Bank.

1 male Cuckoo giving great views, singing initially from a pylon, on the moor, before flying towards Brushes, landing several times on various walls and posts. Harangued the whole time by Meadow Pipits.
1 pair of Linnet
2 Snipe
2 Buzzard over the area of the trig point
3 Red Grouse
1 Grey Heron
Reed Bunting singing in the juncus behind Shaw Farm

Elsewhere.

2 Wheatear
1 Lapwing
2 Curlew
Many Meadow Pipits and Skylark, over the entire area

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Friday 4th May 2018, 6.30 - 7.15am.

Walkerwood Reservoir.

My first Cuckoo of the year, singing above the gamekeeper's cottage
Pair of Common Sandpiper on the reservoir
Buzzard over Harridge

A Common Sandpiper was calling from Brushes Reservoir at dusk last night

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Thursday 26th April 2018, 11.15 - 11.45am

A quick stop off at Walkerwood

10 Lesser Redpoll, including 8 flying together over Brushes Road
A couple of Song Thrush carrying food
Willow Tit on feeders
1 Nuthatch
Male Grey Wagtail at Brushes Reservoir

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Sunday 22nd April 2018, 8.30pm

1 Whitethroat singing along Brushes Road, between the houses and Walkerwood Dam. My first of the year.

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Saturday 21st April 2018, 7.30 - 11.30am

Brushes Valley, as far as Lees Hill.

Higher Swineshaw and Lees Hill.

1 pair of Stonechat, the male singing
1 pair of Pied Wagtail
2 Common Sandpiper, flying together
Skylark singing
2 Buzzard
1 Kestrel
3 Reed Bunting

Lower down.

2 Common Sandpiper on Lower Swineshaw Dam
1 pair of Pied Wagtail in the same area
2 Curlew above Lower Swineshaw
1 Treecreeper, doing a spot of wallcreeping
Nuthatch calling
Blackcap and Chiffchaff singing around Brushes Cottages

A Blue Tit seemed to be competing with bumble bees for residency of one our nest boxes

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Thursday 19th April 2018, 9.00 - 11.45am

From Brushes Cottages, to the far end of Higher Swineshaw Reservoir.

31 singing Willow Warblers; 8 around Higher Swineshaw, 4 around Lower Swineshaw, the rest along the valley.
1 Blackcap singing at Brushes Cottages
Weirdly, not one Chiffchaff heard singing in the entire length of the valley. Plenty around Walkerwood and the Country Park.
1 Grasshopper Warbler reeling between Brushes and Lower Swineshaw Reservoir
1 Treecreeper
2 Buzzards over Swineshaw Moor
Pair of Pied Wagtails at Higher Swineshaw Reservoir
2 male Reed Bunting at Higher Swineshaw
1 Linnet
1 Curlew on the shoreline of Lower Swineshaw Reservoir, more calling beyond Pack Saddle

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Wednesday 18th April 2018, 6.00 - 7.15am.

A circuit of the Country Park, then across Walkerwood Dam, to Brushes Cottages.

2 Common Sandpiper, my first of the year here.
13 Willow Warblers
5 Chiffchaff
2 Blackcap
9 Chaffinch
1 Lesser Redpoll
7 Song Thrush, including one carrying food
2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, drumming
1 Treecreeper
1 Willow Tit on the feeders

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Monday 16th April 2018, before dusk.

Wild Bank Hill.

2 Ring Ouzels skulking in the heather above Shaw Farm
3 Buzzards in the air over Hollingworthall Moor
2 Curlew in the fields above Moorside Farm
4 singing Skylark
10+ Meadow Pipits
1 Willow Warbler singing

Flaxfield.

18 Fieldfare
2 Linnet
2 Lesser Redpoll
5 Goldfinch
1 Pied Wagtail


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Monday 16th April 2018, 6.30 - 7.20am.

A quick walk from Walkerwood Dam, through the top half of the Country Park, and back along Brushes Road.

All Warblers are singing males.

1 Grasshopper Warbler reeling in the field next to Brushes Road
8 Willow Warblers
4 Chiffchaff
2 Blackcap
5 singing Chaffinch
3 singing Song Thrush
Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming

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Saturday 14th April 2018, 7.00 - 11.00am

Brushes Valley, to Higher Swineshaw Reservoir and Lees Hill.

Brushes Valley.

11 singing Willow Warblers
2 singing Chiffchaff
2 Cormorant over, down the valley
1 Curlew calling from Cock Knarr

Higher up.

6 Lesser Redpoll around the scout hut
3 singing Willow Warblers
1 Linnet singing by Lower Swineshaw Reservoir
5 Reed Bunting at Higher Swineshaw
One pair of Stonechat, the male singing
4 Skylark singing around Lees Hill and Boar Flat
20+ Meadow Pipits
1 Raven over

We had a couple of additional sightings of the Willow Tit last weekend. If these were at the feeders, and are submitted to GMBRG, please record the site as "Brushes Road", rather than Walkerwood Reservoir, or Stalybridge Country Park, to avoid duplicity of records. If anyone wants any information about any of the recording sites (not sightings, please) for this thread, feel free to PM me.

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Monday 9th April 2018, 6.30 - 7.20am

A quick walk with the dogs, around the top half of the country park.

All Warblers are singing males

5 Chiffchaff
2 Willow Warblers
1 Blackcap, my first of the year
Also, Grey Wagtail and Willow Tit at Walkerwood Dam, plus usuals.

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12.00-13.30 with Chris Chandler

Down the valley from Higher Swinshaw Res. back into Stalybridge

2 Red Grouse above Lower Swineshaw Res.
4 Redpoll in the trees by the Scout Hut
2 singing Willow Warblers, first of the year for us
1 Willow Tit, Bullfinch pair and Nuthatch pair on the feeders at Walkerwood Res.
Numerous singing Chiffchaffs down there too

That hillside at Brushes still looks juicy for Nightjars, fingers crossed!

Also of note, we saw a pair of Dippers gathering nesting material on the river in the middle of Stalybridge earlier on in the morning

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Millbrook car park to Higher Swineshaw and back.9.45-12

Willow Tit, Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 3+ Lesser Redpoll, 2 Red Grouse, Kestrel, 2 Common Buzzard, 6 Meadow Pipit, 2 Bullfinch, Goldcrest  2 Grey Wagtail, 4 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Nuthatch were the highlights .



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Sunday 8th April 2018, 8.45 - 11.45am

From Walkerwood Dam, up past the rifle ranges, then a full circuit of Wild Bank Hill, returning via Cock Wood.

Wild Bank Hill.

1 male Wheatear, my first locally of the year.
1 Ring Ouzel flew over east, calling, at 9.30.
7 singing Willow Warblers
2 singing Linnet
4 Lesser Redpoll
1 singing Skylark
2 Long-tailed Tits
50+ Meadow Pipits, displaying
2 Pied Wagtails around Shaw Farm
1 Chiffchaff singing at Flaxfield
1 female Sparrowhawk at Flaxfield

Brushes Road

20+ Meadow Pipits, many displaying
6 singing Willow Warblers
2 singing Chiffchaff
1 Nuthatch
2 Pied Wagtails at Walkerwood Dam
Pair of Bullfinch around the feeders
A Buzzard drifted down the valley, before veering off towards Millbrook.


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Saturday 7th April 2018, 6.45 - 10.15am

The full length of Brushes Valley, from Walkerwood Dam, and both sides of Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, before the rain.

9 Curlew provided the highlight of the morning, particularly 5 birds, including two pairs displaying, around Swineshaw Moor, an area to which they returned last year, following moorland restoration by the estate. Three birds also around Pack Saddle, and one on Boar Flat.

The most surprising sighting was of a Woodcock, providing great views as it flew along Higher Swineshaw Dam, before veering off across Boar Flat.
Willow Warblers seem to have arrived overnight, with birds singing from the Country Park, and along the valley, as far as Lower Swineshaw
10 Reed Bunting, including a couple of pairs, and one male singing, around Higher Swineshaw
3 Stonechat, at three separate sites, with one male singing
6 Lesser Redpoll, 4 around the scout hut, 2 at Walkerwood
Pair of Pied Wagtails at Higher Swineshaw
4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers. A pair at Walkerwood, and two around Brushes Cottages
Usuals around the feeder, including the Willow Tit




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Three Ring Ouzel over Lower Swineshaw at 9.40, heading in the direction of Chew. 

Info thanks to David Walsh



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Friday 6th April 2018, 6.00 - 7.30am

A quick walk from Walkerwood, to Higher Swineshaw dam, before work. Hoping for my first Wheatear this year, to no avail.

4 Curlew, 3 around Pack Saddle, with one displaying. The other at Higher Swineshaw Reservoir.
5 Lesser Redpoll around the scout hut
1 Stonechat
4 Song Thrush singing in the valley
1 Nuthatch at Brushes Cottages
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming around Brushes Cottages
Greenfinch singing
Coal Tit singing
Several Mistle Thrush
1 Chiffchaff singing at Brushes Cottages

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Thursday 5th April 2018, 10.30am - 12.30pm.

As part of a Willow Tit Survey, on behalf of GMEU.

From Walkerwood Dam, and around the wet woodland of the valley bottom.

1 Willow Tit no
1 Woodcock, flushed from the valley bottom
4 singing Chiffchaffs, my first of the year at this site
4 Chaffinch
2 Goldfinch
2 Lesser Redpoll
12 Great Tits
12 Blue Tits
2 Long-tailed Tits
4 Coal Tits
2 Song Thrush
1 Nuthatch
1 male Great Spotted Woodpecker on the feeder



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Monday 2nd April 2018, 9.00 - 11.00am

From Walkerwood to Higher Swineshaw, in awful conditions, ranging from driving rain, sleet, then snow, as I climbed the valley. Unsurprisingly, not a lot to report.

3 Goosander on Higher Swineshaw Reservoir (2 males, 1 female)
4 Mistle Thrush feeding on the dam banking at Lower Swineshaw
1 pair of Kestrel
1 Jay destroying the peanut feeder.

A drake Tufted Duck was on Walkerwood Reservoir at dusk on Friday. Not often seen in this area.

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Friday 30th March 2018, 9.30 - 11.30am

From Walkerwood Dam, up past the rifle ranges, and onto Wild Bank Hill.

Wild Bank Hill.

4 Linnet, with two males singing lustily, were a welcome sight and sound. Plumage still fresh, and the males looked particularly drab, but still good to see.
9 Lesser Redpoll, was my best count, in and out of the birch trees - like counting dust!
1 Curlew
1 Buzzard
1 Raven
20+ Meadow Pipits
1 Skylark singing

Walkerwood

A pair of Goosander flew off the reservoir at 9.30
1 pair of Grey Wagtails



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Thursday 29th March 2018, 8.30 - 11.30am

From Walkerwood Dam, up Brushes Valley, as far as Lees Hill.

3 Cormorant circled over Higher Swineshaw, then headed west
2 Curlew at Higher Swineshaw; more calling from Pack Saddle and Cock Knarr
2 pairs of Stonechat, at Higher Swineshaw, and Lower Swineshaw. The male at Lower Swineshaw was singing, another sound of springtime.
3 Kestrel - a pair at Lower Swineshaw, and a male at Brushes Road
Pair of Goosander on Higher Swineshaw Reservoir
4+ Lesser Redpoll along Brushes Valley
2 Nuthatch on the feeders at Walkerwood, along with the usual Willow Tit, and a couple of Jays.
Pair of Grey Wagtail at Walkerwood
20+ Meadow Pipit around the top of the valley, with some displaying
2 Treecreepers
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker at Brushes Cottages
A pair of Great and Blue Tits seemed to be disputing ownership of one of our nest boxes!


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Saturday 24th March 2018, 7.00 - 11.00am

From Walkerwood Dam, up to Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, then back along the opposite side of the valley, as far as Pack Saddle.

The first sighting of the morning was the most unexpected, in the form of a Woodcock flying, in broad daylight, over the country park, along Wild Bank, and into Cock Wood. Possibly flushed out of the country park, but they don't usually fly so far or high as a rule?

Walkerwood area:

1 Willow Tit
1 Nuthatch
3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, in an identical situation to one I witnessed the other week. One male was drumming, with a female close by, then another male arrived, causing a commotion which resulted in all three birds flying noisily away.
1 Lesser Redpoll over
1 Grey Wagtail
Pair of Pied Wagtails

Brushes Valley:

A Tawny Owl hooting at 10.45am, on my way back down, was a surprise.
2 Curlew between Cock Knarr and Lower Swineshaw
6 Lesser Redpoll
2 Goldfinch
Raven over Cock Knarr

Around the Swineshaws:

Pair of Stonechat
6 Reed Bunting, all except one being female.
2 Raven over, towards Boar Flat
1 Buzzard
1 Linnet
3 Goosander (1m, 2f), on Higher Swineshaw Reservoir
6 pairs of Canada Geese on Higher Swineshaw
15+ Meadow Pipits
1 Skylark

Around Pack Saddle:

5 Curlew
4 Grey Partridge
2 Pied Wagtails
20+ Meadow Pipits
4 Skylark
Lapwing visible in the fields past Ogden Brook, in Derbyshire.
A flock of Golden Plover were in the area midweek, but no sign for me today.



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Friday 23rd March 2018, 6.30 - 8.00pm

5 Tawny Owls in Brushes Valley; 2 males and 3 females
Curlew calling after dark
9 Woodcock flypasts. At least 3 males.

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Tuesday 20th March 2018, 6.30 - 7.15am

Around Walkerwood.

1 drake Mandarin swimming with Mallard
1 Lesser Redpoll around Brushes Cottages
1 Pied Wagtail on Walkerwood Dam
1 Grey Wagtail in the overflow
1 Willow Tit
Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming in the country park
Plenty of singing this morning, notably Song Thrush.

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Sunday 11th March 2018, 9.00 - 11.30am

Brushes Valley, from Walkerwood to the far end of Higher Swineshaw Reservoir, on a beautiful spring morning.

1 Curlew, the target species for the morning, dropped onto Lower Swineshaw dam at 11.00am, delivering one of the sounds of springtime. My first of the year.
5 Stonechat. 2 males and a female chasing each other around the rough grass above Lower Swineshaw Reservoir, and a pair around Higher Swineshaw Reservoir. One of the Lower Swineshaw males was singing on my way back down.
5 Reed Bunting, including a pair at Higher Swineshaw.
4 Skylark, with one singing over Boar Flat.
1 pair of Goosander on Higher Swineshaw Reservoir.
3 Meadow Pipit.
Buzzard seen in the valley below Lower Swineshaw, and also over moor at Higher Swineshaw, but could have been the same bird.
3 Ravens around Higher Swineshaw.
Nuthatch at Brushes Cottages.



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Saturday 10th March, 1.30pm.

An hour spent cleaning out nest boxes in Brushes Valley. Every box, including those not used last year, showed signs of being used for shelter over the winter, in the form of droppings on the floor.

8 Coal Tits were calling over a distance of just 400 yards on the way down. A lot of agitated sounding Great and Blue Tits suggested that perhaps a little prospecting had already taken place.

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Monday 5th March 2018, 6.30 - 7.15am

Walkerwood Dam, and the length of the reservoir.

1 Cormorant
1 Mandarin drake, swimming with Mallard
1 Grey Wagtail on the dam shoreline
1 female Sparrowhawk patrolling Harridge
4 Song Thrush singing
4 Mistle Thrush
8+ Chaffinch
Several Bullfinch
1 Willow Tit on the feeder, calling loudly this morning
The other four expected Tit species were present
2 Jay, one after the peanuts
1 Moorhen

Yesterday, a Nuthatch was on the peanut feeder.

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Note to self, Roger. "Next time, add buying a packet of seed to errand list".
.............................................................................................................................
Typical callous remark of youth ........ picking on an old age pensioner ... If I could afford seed I would be able to use it to make some gruel !!

Roger.

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Roger Baker 3 wrote:

Tuesday 27th February 12.00 - 12.20 hrs.

Just nipped up after my errands ..... seed feeder virtually empty





Note to self, Roger. "Next time, add buying a packet of seed to errand list". That squirrel will starve!

I had a wander up to Walkerwood Dam this evening, after the snow had subsided, between 7.00 and 8.00pm. A pair of Tawny Owls were hooting and calling from just inside the country park, upsetting a couple of Magpies.



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