Trip reports

Ashes Hollow - Long Mynd

Sunday, 28 April 2019

A party of 6 were all ready for a prompt 8am start, welcomed by a close view of a dipper perched on the small iron work footbridge before the stile into the camping site.
A Cold and Windy morning but warmer with brighter spells from early afternoon.
Various small passerines were found in the mature deciduous trees beside the stream after the campsite, notably including Song and Mistle Thrush, Stock Dove, Chiffchaff, 3 (late) Brambling, Great Spotted Woodpecker and a female Green Woodpecker. Following the stream through the narrow gorge at the start of Ashes Hollow beyond Ashes Cottage, there were Goldcrests and abundant Willow Warblers in the Gorse with good views of a Male Green Woodpecker further up beyond the edge of the woodland habitat, where Blackcap and Male Yellowhammer were also seen together with Grey Wagtail along the stream.
Further up still, Stonechats were seen and a Male Peregrine flew off a rock and then returned before stooping opportunistically on a racing Pigeon crossing underneath, narrowly missing, also seen well with telescopes after perching up on hill ridge.
A Female Whinchat was found close to top of Ashes hollow, and another smart male Stonechat, whilst widespread Whitethroat were seen on Heather tops, rough grass and Rowan Scrub sapplings throughout the ascent. A Chaffinch nest was found of moss bound with Sheeps' wool around end of a Hawthorn Branch.
Lunch at the Trig point, where Red grouse heard, but unseen, and further sightings of Red Kite.
Another Brambling heard but not seen at Pole Cottage where there was a fellow in the grounds with several dogs so probably might have otherwise seen more. Close view of Male Reed Bunting in the wet reeds behind Pole Cottage, and Canada Geese.
Heading back saw 2 Hobby at Round Hill with possibly a third. Seen with a soaring female Peregrine beyond, this facilitated good opportunities to compare the respective shapes, flight patterns and plumage. One of the Hobbies perched up atop a Hawthorn tree enabling good clear views with telescopes. Curlew heard and seen flying high over Pole Cottage.
Buzzards and Ravens aplenty and a single Wheatear was found near Cross Dyke looking down into Callow Hollow.
A Jay nest was found with bird sitting, near the end of the walk, and after plenty of stops along the way we arrived back at our starting point at just after 5pm. Despite searching hard, no Redstart seen or heard, or Tree Pipit, which apart from a few odd early birds this year seem generally later than usual. High numbers of Meadow Pipit were observed more or less everywhere throughout the whole walk. some more vividly marked than others.
Long day and tired legs, but rewarded by 51 Species seen/heard altogether.