Friday, 23 March 2012
Notts Trip & Famous Grouse
Although not strictly a birding trip, a 2 day break to Thoresby Hall in Nottinghamshire on the edge of Sherwood Forest revealed several birds. On Wednesday 21st March popping into Ollington Fishbar/ Tourist info (Notts) at the roundabout, on the journey up, I saw a Nuthatch fly over the road and into some trees, on the edge of Sherwood Heath reserve. Staying at the very picturesque Thoresby Hall, (a Warner Leisure Break, a special treat for Jenny) Jenny and I saw several birds including a singing Chiff- Chaff, 3 LT Tits, one Coal Tit excavating a nest hole in a tree. With Great- spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper all heard. Thursday 22nd March, as Jenny was having her Spa/ Swimming treat, I drove a 37 mile trip to the excellent Bamford Moor. Driving to the Ladybower reservoir P&D car park I decided to drive straight on over the bridge turn right at the junction drive for 2.1 miles park on the left handside of the road (opposite a Scottish style grey hunting lodge and walk a mile up (I met a very knowledgable and helpful dog walker who kept his dog on the lead the whole time and told me of the birds that could be seen here, including SEO & seeing Grouse was "no problem!" and meeting him on the way back he had just seen several Grouse on rocks at the top part of the walk) the main path (intersecting great swathes of heather) to the top of the moor. The areas were the heather had been burnt recently were best for the Grouse, just 5 minutes into the walk I saw a pair of Red Grouse to the left of the path, one male remained alert and I managed some picture another pair flew by calling their distinctive "go- back, go- back" call. Further up there was one male on the path and by a grassy area, A Curlew flew away. There were also several 6 Meadow Pipits seen too. By the rocks at the top there were several on territory, one female walked just right behind one rock and I stealthily crept up and managed to get some good pics of this pair of birds at quite close range, without disturbing them. The path forked left and taking this path another 3 territories seen, with 2 pairs of birds I observed from a distance and I retraced my steps. Around 25 excellent Red Grouse seen in all. A great walk which I hope to repeat again soon.