Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Lyme Park

Today was my first birding trip to Lyme Park, with target species of the Pied Flycatcher and drake Red-crested Pochard which had recently been reported here. Almost immediately I saw the latter on the pool just inside the entrance gates (Disley Dam), and so I stopped at the kiosk and walked back to take some photos. It was associating with two Mallards and, after a brief squabble, all three birds took off and circled the pool before landing again on the far side.

Red-crested Pochard on Disley Dam

Also present here was a Grey Heron, some Coots and Canada Geese, two of which had six chicks. I could also hear Chiffchaffs singing from the nearby trees.

Grey Heron

Then, after I had parked on the main car park and was walking towards Crow Wood, I saw another drake Red-crested Pochard in amongst the Mallards on the Mill Pond, which was probably the same bird I'd seen earlier. It seems very tame and I believe it comes for bread, but it's still worthy of a photograph or two.

Red-crested Pochard on Mill Pond

I wasn't quite sure of where to go in Crow Wood, particularly as it has an adventure playground at one end, but I soon made my way through the screaming kids and on to a woodland path. I found a spot where there were a few bird boxes around and within a couple of minutes had found a female Pied Flycatcher.

Female Pied Flycatcher

I then carried on along the path towards a cattle grid and gate overlooking some fields, and in the trees to the left of the path I spotted a Redwing, much to my surprise. I ventured off the path in to the trees to get some photos, but the bird was very elusive.

Elusive Redwing

I also saw a Willow Warbler, a Swallow, a Wren, a Robin, some Blackbirds and Blue Tits around here, as well as the ubiquitous Jackdaws and Crows. I walked up to the top of the hill and then circled back down to the path without seeing very much else.

Willow Warbler

Desperate to find the male Pied Flycatcher, I took the path down to the stream below the playground and was about to try a different fork in the route when I heard a bird calling. I wasn't sure what it was but it soon proved to be the glorious black and white male bird.

Male Pied Flycatcher

I spent over an hour and half trying to get some shots, but at best they're only half decent as it moves quickly and the autofocus is often confused by leaves and branches - I may return to this spot later for another go, particularly as I didn't see a single Treecreeper or Nuthatch today.

Male Pied Flycatcher

Mission accomplished, I set off for home quite contented.


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