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Birding In Staffordshire (2 Viewers)

Upland Birder

Birding On The Edge
I would love to hear of any birdwatchers experiences around Cheadle, the Staffordshire Moorlands and favourite walks/local patches. It can be any habitat from Upland Moors to farmland,woodland, to quaries, lakes and resevoirs

I've started the ball rolling on this one and look forward to reading the responses.

It would be great to raise the profile of Staffordshire Moorlands birding!

Let the show begin


Cheadle Birder
Hey Dean,

I'm from Hollington, less than 5 miles up the road from you, and although there's not much in the immediate area around my house, there's plenty up on the moors!

On a nearer proximity I regularly check Freehay Quarry, not that there's ever owt good down there, though have seen Med Gull and Little Stint on occasion, as well as the odd Peregrine and Raven, worth a look!! The surrounding bushes always strike me as perfect for warblers such as Lesser Whitethroat, yet to find any yet though....

Up on the moors Swallow Moss and Knotbury have got to be amongst the best places to visit, in recent years i've seen Hen Harrier, Whinchat, loads of Ring Ouzels, SEOwl, Merlin, Dipper and plenty of other bits up there, plus I know stuff like Rough Legged Buzzard and Black Redstart do get seen!

I tend to go to Blithfield a lot more than I do the north of the county, shame there's no decent bodies of water up our end (Rudyard and Tittesworth never seem to get much), ah well!!!

Finally have you been down to Dimmingsdale? I'm sure Terryeyre will catch up with this thread and give you the lowdown but it's probably the best place in Staffs for Pied Flys, and also holds breeding Redstart and Wood Warbler, as well as Dipper etc nearby.


Hi Dan,

Its great to hear from you. I received a private message from Jim Morris who lives at Forsbrook only three miles from Cheadle and not far from you.

It appears that there is a community of birders on and around the patch.

I have passed through Hollington on many occassions.

I have been to all the places you mention above except Blithfield and have not checked out Freehay.

I have walked to Dimmingsdale from Cheadle and back. I once watched a pair of buzzards high on the thermals against a blue sky directly above me from the garden of the Ramblers Retreat.

I often go to Tittesworth Resevoir and watch from the hide with the Roaches ahead of me. There is a bird log book behind notice board and it is surprising what people see. I have seen a pair of Barn Owls from there on many occassions over the last three years. I have also seen a family of foxes. Recently I saw two Common Snipe on the edges of the water opposite. I have also seen Whimbrel, Dunlin and other birds including Greenshank. Osprey have also been seen from Tittesworth. I'll go there again shortly and look at the latest bird species sightings and feedback.

I intend to build on this thread as I complete local walks and bird watching trips around Cheadle, the Churnet Valley and up on the Moorlands. I look forward to hearing
from you again on your birding experiences in this part of the world.

It will be great to hear from others and their birding experiences in this area and to see the thread develop over time. If we explore on foot throughout the area in all seasons and look more closely I am sure there will be a lot of different species of bird to be found. The North of the county is a diverse area.

Out of interest I have seen 29 species of bird in my garden in the last couple of years.

Oh and don't forget the hidden gem of RSPB Coombes Valley a place to savour and watch woodland birds. I spend a lot of time here and enjoy watching and looking for woodland birds. You have to be patient though particularly when trees are laden with leaves. Also a stronghold for pied flycatchers. I once walked from Coombes back to Cheadle and it was a long day passing through RSPB Chase Wood, RSPB Booths Wood and Consal on the way.

There are many other magical gems and hidden places throughout the staffordshire Moorlands and so many area's to report on including its borders with Cheshire and Derbyshire!

Cheers Dean

PS Happy Birding
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Tittesworth bird report 2005 now available from the shop £2.50, highlights, red kite,glaucous gull, ferruginous duck, r.l. buzzard.

Hi . I'm from just across the border in Cheshire and have birded the area for many years. While some birds have increased ( e,g, pied flys ) quite a few of our upland birds are not doing so well. Ring ouzels and whinchats seem to be getting harder to find year on year. Wheatear numbers are also down.
Is anyone still finding twite ? It's 3 or 4 years since I last saw them in the Knotbury area.
On the moors between Flash and the Roaches I have seen Meadow Pipits, Curlew, Wheatear and Lapwing. I know someone who has seen Short-eared Owls in the area.

The Twite population of the area is important but vulnerable, since it is the most southerly in England and is geographically isolated. In 2000 it was thought that numbers were possibly down to 5-10 pairs. There were said to be 64 pairs in 1996. So there is cause for concern about low numbers.

In the last 20 years there has been a decline in numbers of Eurasion Curlew, Golden Plovers etc.

On future walks I shall look out for Twite, Meadow Pipits, Lapwing, Red Grouse, Merlins, Short-eared Owls, Curlew, Golden Plovers, Common Snipe, Ring Ouzels, Common Ravens, Sky Larks, Whinchat and Wheatears. I will also look out for Reed Bunting, Common Cuckoo (in the Dane Valley), Grey Partridge. What about hunting Hobbies and Hen Harriers, Peregrine Falcon or even snow Bunting? Any BlueThroats seen? I have seen a Barn Owl up on the Moors in these parts.

Hen Harriers at Swallow Moss have been noted to have come from as far away as the Forest of Bowland.

Lets keep this thread going and comment on past and future birdwatching expeditions in the Staffordshire Moorlands area and its borders with Cheshire and Derbyshire. Sympathetic management of the moors is an important issue and the future is bright in regard to this.

As always happy Birding

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Hi S.G,

I am also a member of the North Staffs RSPB group and attend a lot of the talks/lectures. I also collect books on wildlife, birds,photography and at one time mountaineering and walking etc.

I will purchase a copy of the Tittesworth Bird Report when I am up that way in the near future.

Thanks Dean

Cheadle Birder
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Hello to Cheshire Birder.

It would be nice to hear more of your birdwatching walks along the Staffordshire Moorlands/Cheshire/Derbyshire border. I love walking in Wildboarclough, Dane Valley, The Roaches, the hills around Lamaload Reservoir, Macclesfield Forest area etc The scenery is beautiful and you never know what bird or wildlife you might see during the different seasons in this wild landscape. The views across the Cheshire Plain are particularly impressive


Cheadle Birder
Birding At Cotton Dell-Oakamoor

Hi Mick and Tina,

Hope you are both well. I have just read your posting. There are a number of birders about up hear in the Staffordshire Moorlands.

This weekend I am going birding at Cotton Dell, Oakamoor. I'll put a posting on when I get back from this hilly woodland adventure.


Cheadle Birder.
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11/02/07 - Rudyard Walking Towards Leek Via Old Train Line

Hi Dean
Nice to hear from you.
Took a short walk down the old train line at Rudyard towards Leek, taking in the feeders and an area that I'm told is called "Heron's Marsh".
Took along our recently repaired scope ( see vacational reports Norfolk - new year) to try it out.
Turned out to be very quiet, no sign of the usual Tawny or Little Owls.
Saw a Kingfisher (90 % chance these days), Grey Heron x 7, loads of common tits & chaffinch.
2 x redpoll taking grit on the track along with small flock of goldfinch.
20+ jackdaws.
Mixed flock of Redwing & Fieldfare.
Only other bird of note was a Reedbunting changing plumage.
The bones of snow drifts were still lying on the surrounding hills.
Best regards
Mick & Tina


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Today at tittesworth we had a Red Kite at 2.35 pm, first for the site for me and my mate so well pleased,could the day get any better, won the cricket,stoke lost and a red kite!!!

Stoke Lost

Obviously a vale fan !
Nice one with the Kite though.

s.g. said:
Today at tittesworth we had a Red Kite at 2.35 pm, first for the site for me and my mate so well pleased,could the day get any better, won the cricket,stoke lost and a red kite!!!

Staffs Moorlands Birding Feb 2007

Hi all
Tina and I took a short walk ( in birding time - 3 hours) around Tittesworth.
Some nice birds around on a lovely sunny Moorlands Day.
Whilst we were there, what looked like a Second World War aircraft flew so low over the Roaches that we thought that it was going to crash.

Biddulph Moor , Top Road Saturday 17th Feb 2007 am
2 x Skylarks , Common Buzzard, Mistle Thrush

Tittesworth - Conservation area & surrounding 12.00 - 15.00,
Sunday 18th Feb

Poachard, Teal and Wigeon present in Numbers
Surprising find was a Goldeneye in Eclipse (see pic)
There was a count of 18 common snipe and five grey herons visible.
3 curlew touched down and there were eight lapwing on the island.
A cormarant was on the scaffold.
3 Common Buzzards (one white phase) circled overhead
1 x Kestrel
Male and Female Great Spotted Woodpeckers visited the west bank feeding station, along with the usual Tits, Finches and male and female reed buntings.
Three grey wagtails flew overhead.
The woods were surpisingly quiet with nothing showing but
common tits.
In the fields a mixed flock of fieldfare and redwing foraged.

Mick and Tina Sway


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Biddulph & Rudyard

Is there anyone out there ?
Weather particularly inclement, rain, very grey and misty over hills:
Saturday 24th Feb 2007Biddulph Park 09.00:
Common Buzzard
Redwing - flock of about 50
Saturday 24th Feb 2007
Rudyard - Herons Marsh & Feeders:
Male & Female Bullfinch
Male & Female Reed Bunting
Common Finches & Tits - inc 12 long tailed
Grey Heron x 3
Large skein of unidentified calling Geese flew high over heading South East.
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Staffs Moorlands Birding

Sightings Saturday 3rd March 2007
Biddulph Moor - Top Road, cross roads with hills lane
Skylarks x 2
Tittesworth reservoir :
Mistle Thrush x 2
Song Thrush x 1
Curlew x 50
Snipe x 6
Goldeneye x 1 eclipse
Tufted Ducks x numerous
Pochard x numerous
Teal x good numbers
Wigeon x good numbers
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Buzzard, Common x 2
Kestrel x 1 male
Redpoll x 11
Redwing x mixed flock with fieldfare
Fieldfare x mixed flock with redwing
Grey Heron x 5
Common Gull x 5
Black Backed Gull, Lesser x 1
Black Headed Gull x numerous


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Biddulph, Pennine Way

Two common buzzards soared over head at our home today.
Must have been a couple of hundred feet up.


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Rudyard, Herons Marsh, Saturday 17/03/07

Conditions, mild gusty wind and overcast:
Common Buzzard x 3
Redwing (single)
Grey Heron x 3
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Grey Wagtail
Curlew heard but not seen
Reed Bunting x 2 male
+ Hare
+ Common Tits and woodland birds



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Hi Mick,

I have just been reading your entries and they are great. Also love the photo's both of the birds and landscape. You have been busy.

Lately I have been busy attending a course two weekends a month in East Yorkshire, have been doing some RSPB survey work in Cheshire and recovering from that flu type virus on and off over the last few weeks.

I must get some entries on here.


Staffs Moorlands Birding

Nice to hear from you Dean.
Is the RSPB work through Mac RSPB ?
Tell me is there anywhere in our area that we can tick a Ring Ouzel
this spring ?
My wife saw one up the Roaches about 2 years ago, however by the time that I got there it'd gone.
Get well soon.

PS Just got an Olympus 550 super zoom (18x) camera.
Was hoping for big things but it ain't that good really.

Dean Powell said:
Hi Mick,

I have just been reading your entries and they are great. Also love the photo's both of the birds and landscape. You have been busy.

Lately I have been busy attending a course two weekends a month in East Yorkshire, have been doing some RSPB survey work in Cheshire and recovering from that flu type virus on and off over the last few weeks.

I must get some entries on here.


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