Saturday, 20 June 2015

Peak District Field Course

Day 1
For the first day we headed out to Burbage edge to do a 'plant survey' of a recently felled plantation. Of course there were a few birds about, including a couple of Peregrines blogging around the cliff and a good number of singing Siskins along the edge of the remaining plantation. The real bonus for the day was a Merlin that flew past the coach as we were pulling up. When I first spotted it I thought it was a swift, but it soon became clear it was a small falcon, which could only mean one thing. Merlin is my 192 species this year.

Species List:
Burbage Edge: Merlin, Kestrel, Peregrine, Siskin, Robin, Grey Wagtail, Great-Spotted Woodpecker, Meadow Pipit, Chaffinch, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Reed Bunting,

Day 2
Another day out in the field, but this time looking specifically at Insects around the Padley Moor and Surprise View area of the Longshaw Estate, and area I am very familiar with. Sadly we did not get to explore the actual moor where the birds are, but we did get plenty of nice things down in the quarry and around the car park. Sadly we had to kill a number of the insects we found for our assessed collections, which was a real shame (though not the big dragonflies and moths), as many casualties were Green Tiger Beetles, which are my favorites.
-Golden-Bloomed Grey Longhorn Beetle
-Stick Caterpillar
-Freshly Emerged Common Hawker
-Oak Eggar (Sadly did not sit still for a photo)
Species List:
Lawrencefield Quarry and Surprise View: Jackdaw, Meadow Pipit, Long-Tailed Tit, Common Buzzard, 

Day 3
Today we started our personal group projects, and my group worked on the Moor itself, so I could sit and watch the birds that I am used to on moors. One of the lads in my group had not seen cuckoo before and I was quite keen to find one for him, as they are pretty frequent on the moor here. Sadly, despite it calling frequently, I was not able to pick it up. I did get a lovely male Whinchat, and a few Stonechats, including a juvenile. It was difficult to try and remain focused on our assessment whilst trying to get stuff seen.

Species List:
Padley Moor: Kestrel, Common Buzzard, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Carrion Crow, Whinchat, Stonechat, 

Day 4
While we crammed to finish off collecting the data for the project I got a few birds in, namely the Cuckoo finally gave us a flyby. Though breif it was decent, and more than enough to tell what it was. It landed in a tree further down the moor, before it took off again and entered the wood at the bottom. The Whinchat was still showing and singing, and one of the guys in the group picked out a Green Woodpecker flying down the moor, which was pretty nice to see.

Species List:
Padley Moor: Cuckoo, Green Woodpecker, Whinchat, Meadow Pipit, Siskin, Stonechat,

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