It was an icy start. It was an early start, arriving in Stow through isolated but impressive blankets of fog. Graham and I watched the sun sparkle against the technicoloured sky as it lifted out of a crisp eastern dawn.
The crowds were assembled, scouring rooftops for any signs of vagrancy. The Blue Rock Thrush then surfaced, appearing incongruous as it blundered around a residential garden before announcing it's presence on top of a TV aerial. It all felt rather unsatisfactory.
My mind was drawn to a spectacular Spanish rock-faces, listening to the fluty abbreviated melodies of this mountain dweller while peering furtively from behind rocky crevices.
Plonked on a satellite TV dish wasn't the image I really wanted to 'entertain' for very long.
Bemused but reasonably content, we left the village, heading onto our next target while patiently awaiting news of its presence. The Dusky Thrush was still in situ. After a brief hiatus at a conveniently located coffee outlet, we were back out on the road as news broke.
The village of Beeley is set within the wonderful backdrop of the English countryside settled at the periphery of the Peak District.
A small group of birders were lined-up halfway up a grassy knoll. And there we joined them.
Skittish but elegant and appreciatively distinctive, the Dusky Thrush dwelled for long periods along a tree-line interspersed with brief nervous forays onto the frosty turf in search of lumbricids.
Now this was utterly satisfying, particularly with the obliging weather and the picturesque surroundings.