Saturday, 26 March 2011

Leash Fen and Burbage Moor - 26th March 2011

Just returned from a couple of hours up on the moors looking for early returning migrants - without any luck!!! I did, however, get a few "year ticks" and some new information for the BTO's Bird Atlas.

I started off at Leash Fen where I found my first singing Yellowhammer of the year. This was joined by several Meadow Pipits, also singing and displaying. Shilitoe Wood held the usual Chaffinches and a Song Thrush.

Next stop was Burbage Moor, which was also very quiet, but I did hear Red Grouse, Wren, Stonechat (year tick) and several Siskin, which were flying over.

Stonechat (male)

Driving home I decided to go via Barlow. Just as I was heading up towards Dronfield I noticed a pair of Mandarin Duck flying around and landing in a tree. I pulled over and whilst watching them, 3 Stock Dove also flew in and landed in a nearby tree. All the birds seemed very interested in a potential nest site - great records for the Atlas. I stayed and watched for about 10 minutes, during which time a pair of Nuthatch also flew in and looked at the same hole, as did a male Great-spotted Woodpecker and a pair of Jackdaw!!!

It's interesting to speculate where the Mandarins came from, but with Linacre just a few miles away as the Mandarin flies, it seems very likely that they came from here, doesn't it?

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