1st April 2012 -
Short-eared Owl is one of my favourite of Britains owls, and although it's a fairly regular bird in the Midlands during winter I always tend to struggle finding them. I was reading the DarleyDaleWildlife blog and found some amazing pictures of 3 birds that are present on Beeley Moor, and probably have been all winter. So plans to visit this afternoon were put in place (this basically involves moving Sunday dinner to muchtime!).
Just time to make a small alteration to the moth-trap with my Dad and then we can be off. Dad was set to work chopping a bit of wood up and sanding it down as a lamp cross-piece to hold the new MV lamp (instead of using the tripod method that I'm currently employing). All was going well until my dad, whilst sanding down the side of the wood, managed to stab a splinter of the split wood through his finger end, and out the other side! After trying to extract it, we realised it was a hospital job, and 2 hours later we returned home with the splinter still in his finger, but with an appointment to see the hand specialist at Derby Royal.
So, slightly later than organised, we arrived at Beeley Moor and wandered over to Hob Hurst's House. It was such a beautiful day, and I've not been over Beeley in quite along time..it was certainly the first time that Jordan had been up there in his 10 years. He loved it too!
There wasn't loads of bird life to see, and we certainly didn't get a sniff of the owls but we did manage 3 x Buzzards and a Peregrine, tons of Meadow Pipits all displaying. Siskins were quite plentiful too with a cracking male displaying to a female only 10m away near Hellbank Plantation! Some Skylarks and Mistle Thrush were over by the house and on the return leg Jordan found this Mining bee. I've been reliably informed by Trev and Dilys at Eakringbirds.com that it is Andrena clarkella. Many thanks!
More time definitely needing to be spent exploring more of this moorland region, it's just so big and exciting, and I don't spend enough time there!