The first half of this month’s ‘guided’ walk resembled a mystery tour. The stand-in guide had got it into his head to investigate some of the paths that he did not recall the walk taking in the last nine years. Initially, as we brushed through waist-high vegetation still damp with overnight dew, it seemed that few others had passed along those paths either.
In short, we headed westwards along the bridleway to meet the road to Ashover Hay, then south to cross Carr Brook and, continuing through and then behind Ogston Carr, eventually emerged at Nether Farm in Brackenfield. Here we were shown the location vacated by the just-removed well dressing, from whence we made our way to the Church and back along the West Bank. Eighteen participants enjoyed the leisurely pace, but perhaps not so much the wide variety and condition of some of the stiles.
It was fairly quiet in terms of bird-life although there were plenty of Yellowhammers still singing, albeit remaining largely invisible in the hedgerows.
Forty-two species of bird were recorded: Blackbird, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Common Buzzard, Common Whitethroat, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew (heard), Dunnock, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, House Sparrow, Jay, Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover, Magpie, Mallard, Mute Swan, Nuthatch, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Reed Bunting, Robin, Sedge Warbler, Song Thrush, Starling, Swallow, Tufted Duck, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren, Yellowhammer.
Other wildlife noted included Large White, Small White, Orange Tip and Holly Blue butterflies; Nettle Tap, Diamondback and Common Roller moths; Red and Black Froghopper; Rabbit and Squirrel.
Birding Top 1000