With Friday being an official day off and coinciding with regaining enough fitness to get out - honestly a complete coincidence- I forced myself out of the house for at least an hours birding.
At Orgreave I was greeted by a nice crisp frosty morning scene, which if nothing else would make for a good day.
Typically with nice clear January mornings a few Pink-footed Geese began to move through, firstly a few small skeins then an all mighty one containing at least 700 birds. Added to this two Whooper Swans went north and a tight flock of 30 Waxwing headed northwest. After just half-an-hour of action it was all over and the old saying "quit whilst you're ahead" never seemed more appropriate, particularly as the next few hours proved fruitless.
Later I met up with Jo at Pit-house West and spent a couple of hours searching, unsuccessfully, for roosting Long-eared Owls - though we did find a single fresh pellet. It's not like the old times when you could find them fairly easily, particularly around RVCP. In the late eighties one roost often held birds in double figures and provided the local scum dogs hours of entertainment. This particular roost lasted a good few years until the, then, bright sparks managing the Park planted the favoured hunting area with stupid trees! The next roost lasted a good few years until a now ex-employee of RMBC decided to remove a fence, that kept cattle out, and despite numerous requests the stupid stubborn bitch refused to put it back. Deep breath.... The latest site to go, not only provided a roost for up to 6 birds it also provided much more precious breeding habitat. Like the previous site a fence was removed and stupid cows and thick sheep were let in to graze and cause irreversible damage to the trees. I'm sure it was no coincidence that within a couple of years the birds had stopped roosting and a year later the birds bred for the last time - which is a real shame as they were always very successful. I'm not blaming anyone for their disappearance I'm sure that there are other factors at play and not just bad (non-existent) management!