Tuesday 19th March 2013

Whetstone Gate

On a lovely sunny, still, chilly morning with some snow still on the ground, I took what is becoming a fairly regular walk for me, up to Whetstone Gate.
Early signs were good when a Little Owl, seen last week also, was sitting in a tree below Upwood Farm, in the field opposite two Common Partridge were feeding.
As I approached the stream below Bradup  two Pied Wagtail were seen, the first there for me since the Autumn.  Further along the road toward  Bradup the air was filled with the sound of calling birds. Lapwing, Curlew, Snipe and Meadow Pipit were heard. The Lapwings were widely dispersed on the ground and difficult to count , 30+ would be an estimate. Snipe were heard only , probably a single bird. Meadow Pipits were flyovers in two's and three's at a time, but fairly regular. As I approached the quarry I was chuffed to see a female Stonechat, followed shortly afterwards by a male. On the way down , some 300yds below the first pair of Stonechats yet another pair  were in evidence.  
Stephen Lilley