Coombe Valley and Cromford canal


We had a quiet day on Sunday I was on a sewing day and we were both tired after work.

We therefore waited until Monday and decided to go looking for pied flycatcher, redstarts and garden warblers.

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We found the weather had become rather cooler and cloudy but it was dry and a bank holiday and remember that in the UK that in itself is a minor miracle.

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We arrived and as we found we were a couple of weeks later this year, the trees were nearly all in full leaf.

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A pair of great spotted woodpeckers foraged across the top field we suspected they had a nest nearby.

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Ciffchaffs and willow warblers were everywhere. Song thrushes and blackbirds were singing very vociferously. Robins, wrens and dunnocks were also defending territory.

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We found out first pied flycatcher by the bridge where we used to play Pooh sticks. There was a basket of sticks and a notice giving instructions for playing Pooh sticks by the bridge.

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Further down the stream I like to imagine the laziest beavers in Britain just poking their noses out of their lodge and collecting the sticks that flow down stream towards them. Who needs to forage for sticks when you have children providing a constant supply of them.  A sort of chavs of the beaver world.

The only pied flycatchers that we saw were males. I am assuming that the females were on eggs as we saw at least one male visiting the nest box regularly. One male was singing from the top of a tree  in full view for several minutes.

In the same location we saw a spotted flycatcher flitting into a small tree. We suspected it had a nest close by.

spotted flycatcher

We walked the shorter circuit and whilst we couldn’t find redstarts we did have a goshawk flying over an unexpected bonus.

The bluebell woods were lovely with real English bluebells. They droop and the flowers are only present on one side of the stem.

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Greater stitchwort was abundant.

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We also found wood millet, so that was three indicators of ancient woodland indicators.

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We also found several garden warblers singing lustily. By the pond we found a pair of grey wagtails together .

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 We found  cardinal beetles

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We also found dock beetles

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And we found a species of red and black planthopper. We found yellow pimpernel

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and wood sorrel

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Buoyed with our success we drove across the moors and visited Cromford, arriving at approximately 4pm.

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We walked to the bridge just to find scaffolding covering the structure. We thought that the structural work could have compelled the dippers to nest elsewhere and they were not in evidence.

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We saw yellow archangel

The woods were full of wild garlic which was magnificent if a little smelly.

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We found a glow worm larva crossing the path.

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I am off the London on Tuesday to have a few days away.  I will be in touch and let you know what I see and how I get on.

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