A very early start got us down to Chatterley Whitfield Colliery, near Stoke, for 06.45. As we leapt a fence for post drive wees, a small dark falcon flew over our heads and landed on a telegraph pole. Tassel away, bins up and onto my first Red-footed Falcon, an absolute cracker in grey and red. Great, close views in less than ideal light before the bird took flight, disappearing and not returning before we left at 09.00. Brief views, but well worth the trip. Also here were Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker, plus my first Gatekeeper for a couple of years.
A drive around the south of the Peak District and back north to Hatfield Moor near Doncaster. Disappointing on the bird front with the White-rumped Sandpiper gone and no sign of Hobby or Crane. Superb though for Dragons and Damsels. On show were Emperor, Four-spotted Chaser, Broad-bodied Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, Common Darter, Brown Hawker and Southern Hawker. Damsels were everywhere with Common Blue, Azure, Blue-tailed and Emerald. Brown Hawker was a tick for me and were very impressive, bossing the sky on shimmering, bronze wings. My new favourite dragon! Plenty of Gatekeeper here too.