It has to be said that over the last few years that when it comes to local birding I've seldom strayed from the patch. The Peak District is a mere 30 minutes from home, in fact I can see it from my front door! Yet it's been well over a year since I ventured out there, which considering how impressive it is, is appalling. Today we made the effort and after parking at Blackamoor, walked Houndkirk, Burbage, Higger Torr and back via Fox House. The amount of birdlife was astounding. Astounding in that there was barely anything! A juv Stonechat, Curlew a handful of Kestrels and Meadow Pipits, seemingly the only birds up there in numbers. Thirty years ago when my friend and I would come up here in the six week school holidays we would see lots of Wheatears, Whinchat, Ring Ouzels and lots of Curlews! Maybe they were all hiding!
|Fantastic views from Burbage, but not many birds!|
I did however get a surprise first just a 100 metres or so from the car, a Harvest Mouse. I almost stood on it as it sat on the path in the managed verge and it wasn't until I picked it up that I realised what it was. After putting back into the grass I was surprised to find another just 10 metres along the path. Not sure of the status of Harvest Mouse in the Peak District, but I guess they're not that common.