It was high time that I had a day out so I took a day off work and went to Carr Vale nature reserve, just off the M1 (jcn 29a) in Bolsover. The weather looked promising so I set off with high expectations.
The first thing I noticed when I got there was that there were in fact two nature reserves adjacent to each other. One of these was the Peter Fidler Nature Reserve. Now anyone who has watched the old Carry On films will be all too familiar with the character of Mr Fiddler. So it was with images and sounds of Sid James, Kenneth Williams and Charles Hawtrey in my mind that I set off to explore..!
To cut a long story short, I didn't stay around for very long. Both reserves were very promising but there were far too many of the dreaded dog walkers around. One of whom thought it was a good idea to chuck a big stick into the lake for his mutt to fetch. The fact that this caused the Swans, Great Crested Grebes and other wildfowl to scatter in panic didn't seem to concern the dog owner at all.
So with double entendres and Sid James' laugh still fresh in my mind I retraced my steps over Mr. Fidler and left. I wouldn't let my experience put anyone off a visit to either of these reserves. Just make sure you get there early in the morning if you want some peace and quiet.
So it was off back up the M1, exit at junction 37, along the A628 and up to the Peak District to try my luck. I pulled off the road after a few miles and headed in an upwards direction and soon found myself here -
Another 10 minutes walking and it was sufficiently quiet and secluded to sit down and wait for something to happen. Must admit I wasn't too optimistic as barring the call of the odd Grouse I hadn't heard any birdsong on the way up.
I needn't have worried though. As usual, all I had to do was sit quiet and still and it wasn't too long before a very friendly Wheatear appeared. Not only did it stick around for a while but it kept coming back too. All very nice but the bird never came quite close enough to fill the frame of the camera as much as I would have liked. I was fairly pleased with these shots though.
There were plenty of Grouse around but they kept their distance.
I spent a nice, peaceful and relaxing couple of hours in this spot before returning home. Not another person or dog to be seen!
On the way back to the car I came across a few Meadow Pipits.
I thought these two were different types of Pipit but after checking with the people on the Wild About Britain website I was told that they were both Meadow Pipits. Apparently the patterns and colours can vary quite a bit.