Today I visited Burton Mere RSPB to see my friend Ray. He hasn't been so well so it was great to see him looking good and even better there was a summer plumaged Red-necked Phalarope spinning around like Kylie amongst the Black-tailed Godwits. There was loads of Hemlock Water Dropwort aside the reedbed which was a new plant for me. Additionally there was a Willow Warbler which is apparently a very good record for the site.
Aside from visiting Ray I was working on the fringes of the Peak District this morning undertaking wader and raptor surveys on the moorland farmland interface.
Despite early rain the soundtrack of Curlew and Lapwing soon echoed around the valley as Crows were sent packing presumably to protect chicks hiding in the long sward of the meadows. My first Cuckoo of the year sang it's repetitive di-syllable from wires away to the north.
Moving to another site above a reservoir and the slightly ropey weather managed to keep activity to a low level but a pair of foraging Buzzards induced an angry reaction from a nesting Kestrel on a cliff. The Buzzards escaped with all their tail feathers still attached but only just. More prosaic but higher in the cute stakes were the troupes of lambs which were at that cute and chubby stage.
A great day and fab to catch up with Ray for the first time in a couple of years. Day 4 should feature seabirds and perhaps porpoises as I work off the Cumbrian coast.