On the way we drove past a heathland area where I managed to pick out 2 Red Grouse in amongst the heath. When we arrived in a village next to the place we noticed a little bird on the road, it was a young Coal Tit, we moved it safely to the side because we didn't want the poor thing getting run over. Just Beside the spot of where the Coal Tit was I saw a bird land on a fence, I looked through my bins to notice that we had our first flycatcher of the day, a cracking Spotted Flycatcher! After a great start we moved on to have a walk down by the river. As we were coming into the car park a man told us that there was some Mandarins on the river about 20min walk through the wood so we decided to do that. Once we had got about half way through I noticed a flicker of red just out of the corner of my eye, I looked in the wood to see a very nice Redstart sitting up on a branch. It showed well for around 5mins.
We then walked a little further through where we heard a call which we had never heard before, we started scanning around for the bird and almost straight away my Dad spotted it singing on the edge of a branch, I took a look through my bins to realise that it was a stunning Wood Warbler! This was my first sighting of this cracking species and what a little stunner it was. It showed well for all of the time we were watching it, it seemed to have a favourite branch which it kept coming back to.
After that fantastic moment we moved on to the part where the Mandarins are supposed to be. As we were walking along the River I saw lots of Mallards sitting at the side, I started to have a look through them and then a few mins later I spotted our first Mandarin! A nice male was right in amongst the mallards, there colours are absolutely amazing! A little further down my Dad then spotted a female Mandarin in with another group of Mallards! Also my Dad spotted a nice Common Sandpiper on a little scrape at the side of the river. Quite a few Grey and Pied Wagtails were also flying around. After that we crossed to the other side of the river where we got a little closer to the male Mandarin. We also saw what we think may be a leucistic Blackbird which was feeding on a hill next to the river and while we were watching the Leucistic Thrush we could hear a Cuckoo in the distance.
When we were walking back through the wood we thought we heard the call of a Pied Flycatcher so we stood and listened and within a few mins a cracking male landed in a tree just next to us! It then flew into a nest box just beside the tree it landed in so we stood and waited and we got some really nice views of this little cracker. Also in the area there was quite a few Nuthatches up in the trees.
A little further on we spotted another one but this time it was a female and this one also was going into a nest box and near the car park we also had nice but brief views of another Redstart.