06 March 2006

Catching up...

Friday... Went to the gym and did a "treadmill class" with Lynda and Sheila! Well, I did say that I'd take it a little easier with my Friday workout! To be fair, it was a good class, it's just that I'm used to working at a higher level on the treadmill.

Saturday... Work in the morning, which was a pain in the butt, then a quick trip into Derby for a haircut. Why is my hair growing so fast now a days? In the evening, Lynda & I went over to Nottingham to see our friends, Rob and Jane.

Sunday... I had planned on heading up onto the north Derbyshire moors for a morning's birding. The overnight snow put paid to that! We didn't get a large fall here on the lower ground but the roads were very icy so I didn't risk the drive north but instead settled for a few hours closer to home.

After a rather nice cooked breakfast, I headed out to Elvaston Castle Country Park, arriving there just before 7:30AM. In a little over 3hrs I saw 40 bird species including Siskin, Lesser Redpoll, 6 drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker, Green Woodpecker and an escaped Harris's Hawk! The latter will not be making it on to my County List, but it was good to see anyway!

Elvaston Castle and grounds in the snow...

After Elvaston, I moved on to Ambaston gravel pits. This site proved to be very quiet bird wise with just 14 species located. The "highlights" were a flock of around 400 Wood Pigeon and a count of 150 Black-headed Gull on the main pit. Yes, it was that quiet! I only stayed here for just over half an hour.

My final site of the day was Aston on Trent gravel pits. There I was hoping to pick up another new bird for the year, Pintail. I'd heard reports of one or two birds being seen over the past couple of days so spent an hour and a half there. I still left without finding the Pintail! I did see 27 species though including Buzzard, Dunlin, a pair of Smew, Shelduck, Grey Wagtail and Oystercatcher.

At just after 1:15PM I headed back home to a roast beef dinner! By the end of the morning, I'd seen a total of 57 species (not including the Harris's Hawk!) and added one more year tick to my Derbyshire List in the form of Oystercatcher.

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