My family decided today they were going to Ladybower Reser to cycle round the reser to test out their new tandem. I decided to tag along as I could wander around and hopefully see some good birds, with a goshawk still a possibility.
It was not goshawk that got me today though. It was another bird of prey. As we were driving along Ladybower having just come down the valley on onto the side of the reser I spotted a large bird in the sky. I my verbal thought process went something like this; 'seems like there are plenty of large birds around today, (Only bird in the sky) looks like a raptor or a gull... its a raptor... nope its a gull... S*it, its an Osprey. Dad pull over, just pull in here, now' or something like that.
It was a very low flying bird, but was almost directly above us, so a much better view of the underwings than the bird at Spurn. Sadly due to camera faults I could not nail the shot which the experience required to full show how close and well showing this bird was. It even crossed our minds that it might try to catch a fish, but sadly not, and it began to circle higher and higher until it drifted over the crest of the hill on the NE side. It was, simply, unbelievable!
Absolutely buzzing from that experience I set off for a wander round Derwent Reservoir. Keeping an eye on the sky and the other for anything else around. There were a few Common Buzzards and Kestrels but the sky was reasonably quiet over the course of the day, the standard having been set so high so early on.
The woods still had plenty to provide though. As I was walking along I picked up on a trilling call from the woods. Once I had noticed it I listened more closely and realised that it was a Wood Warbler, the species I had suspected it might be. Unfortunately it was in a fenced off paddock, so had to wait until nobody was around before trying to locate the bird.
Once I was onto it, it required little difficulty to track down as its song flight was very distinct and the call loud. The only downside was that it tended to stay high up in the trees, which was a bit disappointing but since I remained plagued by camera errors it mattered little, so I was able to sit back and watch the bird sing and descend, a real nice surprise for the day.
As I carried on up there remained good numbers of species. They were mostly commoner species but the highlights included 4 fledgling Treecreepers chasing each other round, and a Common Sandpiper on the shore of the reser.
I had planned to go all the way round Derwent until I reached the Dam of Howden and realised this was not an option. I took a moment here to have a breather and some lunch, but as I stopped I heard my second Wood Warbler of the day trilling from the woods. This one was not fenced off so I rushed up to try and get to grips with it.
This individual was far more mobile, and remained high up, but was a more constant singer than the first bird. I tried to take some sound recordings but failed, and only managed one record shot. Considering it was a lifer not 2 months ago, to see 2 in one day was pretty special.
-Second Wood Warbler
That was the icing on the cake for an awesome day. I headed a little further up the side of Howden to where the path curved round and I had a good view of the surrounding environment to scan for raptors. I only had Common Buzzard but was treated when this rather funky longhorn beetle flew in at my feet. A quick check of the book informs me this is a 'Rhagium bifasciatum' but please correct me if I'm wrong.
I say Common Buzzard was the only raptor, this was not true. whilst scanning I picked out a couple of young Kestrels on the dam wall, and when I got closer to have a look I could see there were 3 well developed young kestrels looking very nice all sat out preening. Its obviously been a good year for them.
I caught my parents as I was here, and as they were cycling back and I was not I decided to make a move. I did not get much else on the way back but it had already been such a super day, I was more than thrilled.
Ladybower and Derwent Reservoirs: Osprey, Common Buzzard, Jay, Swallow, Mallard, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Kestrel, Grey Heron, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Woodpigeon, Wood Warbler, Great Tit, Pied Wagtail, Swift, Siskin, Treecreeper, Coal Tit, Goldfinch, Wren, Chaffinch, Long-Tailed Tit, Common Sandpiper, Grey Wagtail, Cormorant, Nuthatch, Blackbird, Spotted Flycatcher, Curlew,