In June I went to England for my father's funeral. I did a bit of birdwatching when I was there - walking the old tracks I regularly walked 13 years ago near my old home, also around a reservoir system near Chesterfield, an ancient oak wood called Padley Gorge I used to visit frequently, and an ex industrial area near my mum's house that has now mostly reverted to nature. This write-up covers the first two. The other 2 are to follow.
Old barn near where I used to live
Ancient woodland Linacre Valley. The white flowers are Ramsons (wild garlic)
One of the Linacre Reservoirs
The farmland near my home hadn't changed much, except my old patch where I learnt many of my birding skills, an area of rough farmland that had reverted to scrub, had had most of the scrub ripped out and so was relatively birdless. No doubt the landowner/farmer had a bit of cash, so now it's good-for-almost-nothing rough pasture again. A Buzzard (malttongari) flew over - these were unbelievably rare 13 years ago, but have moved into the area since.
The Linacre Reservoirs near Chesterfield used to supply that town with its drinking water, but now are only for recreation, with walks in the ancient woodlands and plantations round them. It's hard to believe that 300 years ago there was an industry of mining the woods here for iron ore, but the woods are pock-marked with 'bell pits'. Birds here included a Mandarin Duck (wonang) - a recent introduction to the UK, Great Spotted Woodpecker (osaekttaktaguri), Nuthatch (donggobi) and Treecreeper (namubalbari). A nest of Grey Heron (waegari) was right above a path, and one Great Crested Grebe (ppulonbyeong-ari) was present