6 a.m. and the sun is already up on the Moor.
Greeted by a pied wagtail who is always near the gate –
Over on Ramsley Moor I can hear the first cuckoo of the year. This bird may be getting rarer in many areas but they are a regular sound round here. A woodpecker is rattling away down in Barbrook plantation but today I am heading in the opposite direction to look for stonechats, whinchats and reed buntings. Pictures of all of these are in the photos section as I was reasonably successful in seeing all of them but the pictures could be a lot better. Maybe I could get closer once they start breeding and feeding or maybe I just need a better lens …..
2 bonuses for today. Firstly the green hairstreak butterfly. Several of these were fluttering in the sun on the banks of the Barbrook. This butterfly is smaller than I imagined and at first I thought they were day flying moths!
Secondly I caught a quick glimpse on the way home of a bullfinch in a patch of scrub willow. Although this is quite a common bird it is not often seen as it is somewhat shy and usually only becomes noticed when it decides to eat the buds on flowering bushes and fruit trees. His photo is in the birds of Big Moor gallery.