We went round the orange walk north of Bakethin Reservoir this afternoon. A good walk with a rather tough uphill start, a scramble across a rough field and then a tall fence, but ultimately allowing great views across the reservoir and the hills.
We travelled to Keilder across the Wannies. Not a raptor or Wheatear in sight. In fact there were very few birds, apart from Crows. I know that birds tend to be quieter around mid day, but today it was ghostly quiet.
Once we were at the highest part of our walk, some 60m above the reservoir, there were plenty of Siskins and a few Redpolls. Willow Warblers were present throughout the two and a bit miles, which includes a good variety of habitat and it would be worth visiting in about a month's time when the breeding season is in full flow. I suspect an early rise and a morning walk would be much more rewarding.
Towards the end of the walk there is a small deciduous wood in which we had superb close up views of Siskins, which otherwise flitted around seeming never to land. Lots of spring flowers and Orange Tip butterflies present throughout the walk.
By the reservoir a Common Sandpiper was displaying; something that I have never witnessed before. It was flying with quick very shallow wing beats and towering up before swooping down to the ground, all the time trilling excitedly. There was a brief trill from another unseen bird, I am not sure if this was courtship between mates or a display of strength against a rival.
Not a single raptor of any sort all day. I suppose that they all took advantage of the sunny morning, caught food at first light and avoided the heat for the rest of the day.