Sunday, 27 July 2014

25 & 26 July 2014: Couple of days in the Peak District.

Last week my wife and I visited the Peak District to do some cycling on the Tissington and High Peak cycle trails and to visit a couple of stately home swhile we were ther - a non birding trip, though the camera was always there. The first opportunity to catch a few bird shots was while we were taking an early evening stroll around the village of Tissington. We were treated to a wonderful ten minutes of Swallow coming in to drink from the village pond. I only had the 17-55mm lens on the camera, but as we could stand right by the side of the pond, the results weren't too bad, though the 200mm would have been a better choice.

On the Friday morning we took an early stroll up part of Dovedale, so I was prepared with camera and 400mm lens. We were among the few early morning visitors and had a reall treat at one point as we passed a Dipper  -normally Dipper are very flighty but it may be that this one is used to having hundreds of walkers pass by every day. Not only did it not fly off immediately but each time it got quieter it flew across to our side of the river to feed amomng the rocks and flew back as more walkers appeared in view.

Further up the valley we could hear a juvenile Buzzard calling for food. Eventually it broke cover when one of the parents flew overhead.

As we came back down river, we came across a female Goosander fishing in the river, completely oblivious to our presence and no more than 20 feet or so away.

This was by far my closest encounter with Goosander - previously I have found them to be very flighty and either moving off rapidly on the surface or even flying off. This one was no more than 200yards away from the stepping stones area of Dovedale, which was itself rapidly turning into an inland version of Blackpool beach. After lunch and a spot of shopping in Buxton, we had a late afternoon cycle along the High Peak trail from Parsley Hay to Middleton top and back. En route we passed Harborough Rocks and could see quite  a few people climbing, so we stopped to watch for a while. I was then distracted by a nice male Kestrel who was hunting there and who was then buzzed by several Swallow.

Then it was on with the cycle ride and no more birding(-:).


  1. Nice birding reports , Bob.
    I especially like the Dipper sequence. Haven't had much luck even seeing Dippers so far this year.

  2. I'm truly amazed by the different birds you see. Hoping to see my first dipper when I go to wales next week.

  3. Excellent B_r_n, lovely Kestrel in particular but all others great too!!