The Cholmondeley Estate is one of my Local Patches, and we are lucky enough to have had access to the estate for about 13 years as Lady Cholmondeley is the Patron of the Nantwich Natural History Society.
Yesterdays visit with Ashley and Alex was unplanned and as often happens it turned out to be one of the best visits we've had for bird sightings in a long while.
Deer Park Mere was quiet so we headed off on foot to the Hide on Chapel Mere. En-route we met the Estate Manager, James Hall, who usually has plenty of information on any wildlife sightings on the Estate. Todays subject was snakes and slow worm, and just how many are on the Estate. As we continued our walk to Chapel Mere we noticed some good numbers of House Martin feeding for a short time and then moving on. Other birds seen included Raven, Buzzard and Kestrel.
At Chapel Mere the reed beds still held plenty of Reed Warblers and we even had a Sedge Warbler. Dragonflies were everywhere, which could explain our next sighting, a pair of Hobby feeding around the Mere. The Hobby is a good record for the estate and we watched them for around forty minutes and managed a few photos. Butterfiles were abundant and I got some good clear photographs of them too. As we were leaving this part of the estate, I found a Spotted Flycatcher - another good bird for the estate record book.
Back at Deer Park Mere, whilst trying to photograph a second Spotted Flycatcher off the Bridge. I spotted a Flock of Waders heading towards us - 38 Lapwing 3 Ruff and 6 Dunlin. Unfortunately they didn't land, but again all good birds for this Estate.
A great few hours out and just a few miles from home.
Cholmondeley Castle showing Dear Park Mere