Padley Gorge

Pied Flycatcher, Padley Gorge – part of the National Trust’s Longshaw Estate.

A superb area of Oak woodland but also ridiculously busy on a warm, spring afternoon. Ideally I would have liked to have stayed a bit longer but it was proving difficult to escape the maddening crowd.

Pied Flycatcher (female)

With plenty of nesting boxes along the gorge great to see so many in use.

Noticeable that some of the males were visiting more than 1 box.

In comparison to many other birds interesting to observe that the Pied Flycatchers appear to have larger than usual pupils. A trait they share with Spotted and possibly other Flycatchers. Presumably an eye that is adapted to taking in as much light as possible is a distinct advantage in the competition to find the grubs and insects hidden amongst the usual woodland gloom.

Other birds seen included a Cuckoo perched up in one of several birches dotted around the moor and at least 2 Redstarts high up in the canopy of the Oak woodland. Also a great, but brief view of a Common Lizard basking close to the footpath leading down from the Surprise View car park.

The early stages of an unknown bracket fungus erupting from the trunk of an Oak tree.

Abandoned millstones at Bolehill Quarry.

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