After a slow start because railway contractors had taken over most of the car park, 20 of us set off in an easterly direction towards Denny Inclosure. It was a warm dry morning but overcast.
As we crossed Shatterford Bottom we saw Swallows skimming over the bracken and Stonechats on the gorse, where some of us also saw a migrant Whinchat.
Denny Wood was very peaceful and still, the main bird calls heard was that of Stock Doves. These were easily seen on the bare branches of the elderly Oak and Beech which are a feature of this lovely ancient wood. A single Marsh Tit was also seen along with Chaffinches. Southern Bracket was growing in tiers on many of the elderly Beech and also Chicken of the Woods on Oak. After crossing the the wood we came to the main track leading to Denny Lodge.
Continuing on we saw 2 Roe Deer and in the field behind Denny Cottage a group of five plus Fallow Bucks were resting, their antlers giving their position away as they were visible above the bracken. One fully visible buck was standing thrashing his antlers in the bracken.
Our return route was via a path along the edge of the wood before coming out again onto the heath and across the mire of Shatterford Bottom. As it was now brighter, on a small area of water we managed to see Keeled Skimmer, Common Darter, Migrant Darter and Emerald Damselfly. Then finally in the distance we saw two Kestrels on a small single dead tree positioned centrally in the bog, probably a good vantage point for them.