Five members gathered on the railway bridge at Grindleford Station, in bright but breezy conditions, eager to sample the heavily promoted midday repast. The cafe not yet being open, Paul Beard led us off on a complex route in the opposite direction from Padley Gorge, through various mixed woodland and open areas before finally emerging at the Surprize View at Millstone Edge. From here the pace picked up as our leader had skipped breakfast and had omitted to bring any emergency rations, whereas everyone else had set off on a good breakfast and had by now all eaten a variety of sandwiches and muesli bars. No sooner had we reached the fenceline above Padley Gorge proper, than we were ushered towards the cafe. A veil must now be pulled over the ensuing consumption of monstrous chip butties (“a field of potatoes”) etc., in favour of the list of recorded species:
Blackbird, Blackcap, Blue Tit, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Common Buzzard, Common Redstart, Dunnock, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, House Martin, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Jay, Kestrel, Long-tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard with ducklings, Meadow Pipit, Nuthatch, Pheasant, Pied Flycatcher, Robin, Song Thrush, Spotted Flycatcher, Stonechat, Swallow, Tawny Owl, Treecreeper, Tree Pipit, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren. (38 species)
Few butterflies were flying – two or three Orange-tips, two Speckled Wood and an unidentified White. We had better luck with moths: Broom Moth, Common Heath, Oak/Northern Eggar larva, Scalloped Hazel and Wood Tiger.
Thank you Paul, for a thoroughly enjoyable day investigating some quiet woods off the tourist track and providing undisturbed viewing of flycatchers and redstarts, amongst others.