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 Posted by on May 18, 2024  Carsington Bird Club, Events, News  Comments Off on News Items
May 182024
 

CBC Meeting Schedule for 2024/25 commences in September

CBC indoor meetings are held in Carsington Water’s main visitor centre and they start at 19.30h.
 
 
Other Activities

– First Sunday of the month – Birdwatching for Beginners – Meet Visitor Centre (10am-12 noon)

Please Note:

Almost invariably held on the first Sunday of the month (meet in the courtyard at 10am – but please book with reception if you intend to come).

 
Outdoor Activities

For Severn Trent’s spring programme, it’s often sensible to book a place with the visitor centre (on 01629 540696).


CBC Newsletter No 2 – May 2024

 Posted by on May 17, 2024  CBC Newsletters  Comments Off on CBC Newsletter No 2 – May 2024
May 172024
 

The winter period was a particularly wet and miserable time, and while it’s still raining outside as I write this, there has at least been some brighter and warmer weather in recent weeks to enjoy amid the showers.  Whatever the weather, though, it seems the birds take very little notice and just get on with things as the reservoir report below details.

The bird club, meanwhile, has completed its indoor winter season of talks and undertaken a couple of trips and a ‘springtime songster’ walk, which turned out to be hardly that as it coincided with a particularly wet day; there were compensations, though, as species like Arctic Tern, Red-crested Pochard and Hobby made their way onto people’s year-lists from the warmth of the Wildlife Centre!

There are reports on all of this activity on the following pages.  The trips we’ve undertaken have been disappointingly undersubscribed, although the weather again had a part to play in at least one of them.  Hopefully everything will conspire to make the next one (which will be in the autumn now) a more well-populated success.

Hopefully you’ve now renewed your memberships for the current year, as we have a number of plans for events and activities over the coming months – and you should by now also have received your annual reports, which details the birding highlights and statistics for 2023.

Talking of ‘subs’, at our AGM at the March indoor meeting, we announced that membership fees will be rising from £7.50/£10 (single/family) to £8/£12 from 2025.  Also agreed at the AGM was the removal from the Club’s constitution of the £500 limit on a single item of expenditure, which could have proved a hurdle to our spending some of our funds to support habitat improvements at Carsington.

The new Sheepwash hide, as many of you may have experienced, is now open for business, offering a different (and for those who can remember) and well-loved perspective of the reservoir.  The committee is also working with our Severn Trent hosts to utilise a proportion of our club funds (happily growing in recent times with the injection of funds from John and Louise Sykes’ promotional and sales events) for habitat improvements in certain areas of the site aimed at aiding and abetting certain species.  We can hopefully update you more fully on these activities in future issues of the newsletter.

Gary Atkins

 

SPRING BRINGS SCARCITIES, REGULARS AND RECORDS

Comprehensive observation at the reservoir continued to help high counts, with the total species count for March of 110 being the highest ever for that month, while 123 seen in April was the third highest since records began over 30 years ago.

Our Great Northern Diver departed a little earlier than usual, on 22 April, after its usual test flights, but that was not the end of the visiting Gaviaforms for this ‘winter’ as a Red-throated Diver called in and offered good views on 5 May.  Sawbills also starred over this period, with a Smew that appeared on 7 March being the first of this striking species for 13 years, and a Red-breasted Merganser seen in April the first since 2022.

A Grasshopper Warbler found on 20 April was also the first of its kind at the reservoir since 2022, and represented the swathe of visiting migrants arriving this year – some passing through and some who will remain and raise new families.  Sand Martins turned up on 13 March, followed by the first Wheatear on the 16th, then Swallows on 28th, Blackcaps on 29th and Willow Warblers on the 30th.

During April, the new arrivals came thick and fast, starting with Redstart on the 6th, then Yellow Wagtails (8th), Reed Warbler (10th), Pied Flycatcher (12th), Sedge Warbler (16th), quickly followed in the latter half of April by Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat and Garden Warbler.  We had to wait until May for the first Swifts (on the 5th) and Spotted Flycatcher (9th).

Populations of both arriving and resident small birds were particularly evident as territorial behaviour, nest building and singing pinpointed their presence, and a perimeter walk at the beginning of May found 126 Blue Tits, 122 Chiffchaffs and Robins, 118 Wrens, 103 Blackbirds, 65 Blackcaps, 46 Great Tits and 39 Dunnocks, double-figure totals of Willow and Garden Warblers and nine Sedge Warblers.

Other passerine highlights included Brambling, still being seen regularly in late April, a single Hawfinch noted on 31 March, and a site-scarce Green Woodpecker on the first day of March.

An Osprey was recorded on 26 March, with four sightings of this iconic raptor during April.  A single Marsh Harrier on 24 April was nice to see, while up to three Red Kites were noted on several dates.  As noted in a later article, a Hobby was seen on 28 April, and Barn Owls were observed on two dates in March, and up to four Tawny Owls were calling on some mornings.

The high water levels have not left many margins or much exposed mud for waders, but still up to 11 species were noted in both March and April, highlights being as many as 15 Oystercatchers, 11 Golden Plover (albeit overhead!), 10 Black-tailed Godwits and two Bar-tailed Godwits on dates in late April and early May.  As many as 29 Curlew were recorded during March, and Whimbrel have been showing up more regularly during April and May.

A nationwide inland influx of Arctic Terns was reflected at Carsington with up to 17 counted pausing at the reservoir to feed, along with lower numbers of Common Terns, two Sandwich Terns on two dates in April, but an impressive 11 Black Terns showed up on 11 May.

Kittiwakes are a pleasure to see, showing up in March, April and May, as are Little Gulls, up to three of which were noted in March and April, when at least one Mediterranean Gull was around on 10 separate dates.  A roost observation in March produced over 500 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 2,000 Black-heads and a massive 2,650 Common Gulls.

 

TALKS SEASON ROUNDS OFF FAR AWAY – THEN RIGHT AT HOME

Southern Africa was the destination for the talk at our February meeting.  The rich biodiversity of this part of Africa makes it home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna and our speaker – Nigel Slater – took us on a journey to Botswana and Zimbabwe, showing us some of the amazing birds and other wildlife he has experienced there.

Our final meeting of the 2023-24 programme, in March, had a much more local theme.  Andy Broadhurst was our guest, describing the work of the Derbyshire Swift Conservation project, which was formed in response to the massive decline of Swifts across Derbyshire. His talk covered everything from the basics of the Swift’s lifecycle and breeding cycle, to the various theories of why Swifts are declining so much, together with suggestions of what people can do at a local level to help this iconic species.

At the end of the meeting, we decided to do ‘our bit’ by purchasing two of the Swift boxes Andy had brought along to demonstrate how easy it is to provide nest sites among our communities.

 

REWARDING BIRDING TRIPS – NEAR AND AFAR

The jury is still out on whether CBC’s membership prefers trips closer to home or those farther afield, exploring new territories, since both recent trips attracted fairly small groups of participants.

The wet start to the day may have been the reason for only eight well-wrapped-up souls turning up for our walk, in March, to Wyver Lane, the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust site on the outskirts of Belper.  It certainly did not look promising for seeing many birds, but the weather slowly cleared up and the the group was rewarded with a good variety of species seen or heard.

Setting off from the East Mill car park, a quick look from the bridge over the fast-flowing River Derwent for the chance of Goosanders or Grey Wagtails, proved unproductive, but the walk along Wyver Lane towards the reserve produced several common birds, including Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Wren, Dunnock and House Sparrow.

Reaching the wetland area we picked out a number of Tufted Duck, Teal and Gadwall on the water, along with a male Mandarin Duck which added a splash of colour with its bright plumage.  A female Goosander and a pair of Shoveler were observed from the hide, then as we left it a pair of Snipe were flushed and flew briefly before dropping out of sight.

A single Great White Egret was spotted creeping along inside the reeds, before flying away over the river. A couple of Grey Herons were more obliging, staying in full view on the water’s edge.

The sound of singing Chiffchaffs became almost a constant backdrop to our walk, with probably at least 10 individuals heard and in some cases seen high in the trees.  From the fields behind the hide and the observation ramp, the ‘yaffling’ of a Green Woodpecker was heard several times, but we were unable to find it.  Similarly, the distant drumming of a Great Spotted Woodpecker was picked out, but again the bird was not seen.

We spent some time watching the feeders towards the end of the lane and were very pleased to see a Marsh Tit, scarcer than its similar ‘Willow’ cousin in this part of the country, as well as Nuthatches, Long-tailed Tits, Coal Tits and, of course, numerous Blue and Great Tits.  A Water Rail was briefly spotted by one of the group in the reeds near the feeders, but couldn’t be located again.

By the end of the morning a total of 44 species had been recorded by the group, which was a far better result than could have been anticipated under the laden skies at the start

Our focus shifted further afield for the next trip – to the RSPB’s St Aidan’s reserve, near Leeds, earlier this month.  We had planned to go there last autumn, but the succession of storms left the site waterlogged.  In much nicer conditions on Sunday, 12 May, we were very fortunate to have the services of Paul Morris, brother of one of our members John Morris, as our guide for the day.  Paul is a very experienced bird recorder at the site and has extensive knowledge of the birds there.

Having started the day with a welcome drink in the aptly named Little Owl café, we set off and almost immediately spotted one of the resident Little Owls sitting on one of the girders of the dragline (a huge machine that was also home to a pair of Kestrels, Paul told us).  This massive structure, a famous landmark of the reserve, is a reminder of the site’s industrial past as an opencast coal mine. 

The sound of various songbirds filled the air as we continued our walk. A Cetti’s Warbler announced its presence with its scolding song, and the descending cadence of a Willow Warbler and the repetitive notes of a Chiffchaff were heard often. Reed Warblers sang unseen in the reedbeds, but Whitethroats and Sedge Warblers were more obliging, singing from the tops of bushes next to path.

In the distance the unmistakable booming of at least two Bitterns could be heard, but we were not lucky enough to see one.  The network of lakes which make up the reserve held a variety of ducks, with plenty of Shoveler, Gadwall, Tufted Duck and Pochard in evidence.  Thanks to Paul simply knowing where to look, another highlight came in the form of two male Garganays, just visible on the grassy shore of one of the lakes.  Later on, a handful of Shelduck were noted, as well as a few Wigeon and Teal still present.

Large numbers of Black-headed Gulls were nesting on the islands on the lakes, with their raucous calls providing a constant backdrop.  Smaller counts of Herring and Lesser Black-backed Gulls were seen, along with a single Great Black-backed Gull, but more notable still was a Mediterranean Gull which was identified as it flew past us.

One of the star species at St Aidan’s is the Black-necked Grebe, and it was a delight to see four of these smart looking grebes, now resplendent in their breeding plumage.  The Black-necked Grebe is a very rare breeder in the UK, but they have bred successfully at this reserve in recent years.

By the end of the day we had recorded a total of 52 species, namely: Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Shoveler, Mallard, Gadwall, Wigeon, Teal, Garganay, Tufted Duck, Pochard, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Common Tern, Cormorant, Bittern, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Little Owl, Buzzard, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Swift, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Skylark, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Cetti’s Warbler, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Wren, Blackbird, Robin, Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting

Our most sincere thanks again go to Paul for spending his time with us and sharing his extensive knowledge of the reserve. 

Chris Lamb

 

RAIN TURNS SPRINGTIME SONGBIRD WALK INTO A TERN-FEST

Unfortunately the very un-springlike wet weather experienced recently continued to make its mark on Sunday 28 April, the day of our annual Springtime Songbird walk at Carsington Water.  Nevertheless, our hardy (or perhaps foolhardy?) seven-strong group, led by Simon Roddis – having met up in heavy rain outside the Visitor Centre, but quickly choosing the haven of the Wildlife Centre – were rewarded for dipping on warblers with great views of a busy group of terns and a distant Hobby.

Traditionally we would start off with a walk around Stones Island to look for, and listen to, the many songbirds advertising their presence at this time of year.  Instead, from the warm and dry Wildlife Centre, it was a variety of wildfowl that filled our notebooks.  Canada Geese, Mute Swans, Mallards, Tufted Ducks, a pair of Gadwall, male and female Common Pochards were seen, along with a very fine looking male Red-crested Pochard.  On the bank on the far side a Greylag Goose with gosling was noted, and later two Barnacle Geese flew across the water.  With water levels obliterating most of Horseshoe Island, waders were in short supply, with just a couple of Redshanks seen and an Oystercatcher sitting on a nest.

Taking advantage of the rain were large numbers of hirundines flying low over the water feeding on the abundant insects.  Swallows made up the vast majority, with smaller numbers of Sand Martins present and a couple of distant House Martins to add to the mix.

A group of nine Arctic Terns flying over the reservoir soon grabbed our attention.  In recent days there had been a steady influx of these passage birds across Derbyshire, with the weather no doubt holding up their journey north to their breeding grounds.  A single Common Tern was also picked out and it obligingly sat on top of the camera pole, despite the repeated attempts of a Black-headed Gull to displace it.  Through a scope it was possible to see the black tip of its more orangey-red bill, which helps to differentiate it from its Arctic cousins.

Thanks to the keen eyes and identification skills of both Simon and Jon Bradley, who we met in the WLC, we were also able to find a distant Hobby perched high in a tree on the north side of Shiningford Creek. Sightings of this summer visiting falcon are always scarce at Carsington, so this was an excellent bird to add to our list.

As ever, we were indebted to Simon Roddis, one of our expert bird recorders, who even with the paucity of singing warblers helped us hoist our walk list to an unlikely grand total of 35 species in the hour and a quarter we were together. 

Chris Lamb

 

 

KNOW YOUR COMMITTEE – Here are the club officials and their contact details……..

 

 

 

 

Committee Post

Name

Telephone

Email Address

 

Chairman and Publicity

Gary Atkins

01335 370773

garysatkins@aol.com

Treasurer / Membership

John Follett

01332 834778

johnlfollett@virginmedia.com

Recorder

Rob Chadwick

07876 338912

rob.chadwick322@gmail.com

Events co-ordinator

Chris Lamb

01629 820890

cflamb@yahoo.co.uk

Secretary

Louise Sykes

01335 348544

louise.sykes5065@gmail.com

…..and the website address is:   http://www.carsingtonbirdclub.co.uk

Webmaster

Richard Pittam

n/a

Contact Richard via the website

         

 

Wyver Lane DWT Reserve – Sunday 17th March 2024

 Posted by on March 20, 2024  Carsington Bird Club, Member Reports  Comments Off on Wyver Lane DWT Reserve – Sunday 17th March 2024
Mar 202024
 
We stayed quite close to home for our latest walk on Sunday 17th March at the Wyver Lane DWT Reserve in Belper. Meeting up on a very wet morning, it did not look promising for seeing many birds, but the weather slowly cleared up and the 8 CBC members who made the trip were rewarded with a good variety of species seen or heard.
 
Setting off from the car park we had a quick look from the bridge over the River Derwent for the chance of Goosanders or Grey Wagtails, but the river was probably flowing far too quickly. As we walked along Wyver Lane towards the reserve, several of the more common birds were seen, including Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Wren, Dunnock and House Sparrow.
 
Reaching the wetland area we picked out a number of Tufted Duck, Teal and Gadwall on the water, along with a male Mandarin Duck which added a splash of colour with its bright plumage. A female Goosander and a pair of Shoveler were observed from the hide, then as we left it a pair of Snipe were flushed and flew briefly before dropping out of sight.
 
A single Great White Egret was spotted creeping along inside the reeds, before flying away over the river. A couple of Grey Herons were more obliging though and stayed in full view on the water’s edge.
 
The sound of singing Chiffchaffs became almost a constant backdrop to our walk, with probably at least 10 individuals heard and in some cases seen at the top of the trees. From the fields behind the hide and the ramp, the ‘yaffling’ of a Green Woodpecker was heard several times, but we were unable to find it. Similarly, the distant drumming of a Great Spotted Woodpecker was picked out, but again the bird was not seen.
 
We spent some time watching the feeders towards the end of the lane and were very pleased to see a Marsh Tit, which is becoming increasingly rare across the country, as well as Nuthatches, Long-tailed Tits, Coal Tits and of course numerous Blue and Great Tits. A Water Rail was briefly spotted by one of the group in the reeds near the feeders, but couldn’t be located again.
 
By the end of the morning a total of 44 species had been recorded by the group, which was far better than expected given the heavy rain earlier on:
 
Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Mandarin Duck, Shoveler, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Tufted Duck, Goosander, Little Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Water Rail, Snipe, Pheasant, Woodpigeon, Black-headed Gull, Great White Egret, Grey Heron, Green Woodpecker (heard yaffling), Great Spotted Woodpecker (heard drumming), Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Raven, Coal Tit, Marsh Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Wren, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting
 
Chris Lamb
CBC Events Organiser

Newsletter No 1 / February 2024

 Posted by on February 13, 2024  Carsington Bird Club, CBC Newsletters  Comments Off on Newsletter No 1 / February 2024
Feb 132024
 

*****  ATTENTION ALL MEMBERS – IT’S TIME TO PAY YOUR ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTIONS  *****

I’ve elevated the annual reminder about renewing annual CBC membership subscriptions – apologies to all who have already remembered to do so. 

For those that have not, we like to give a gentle nudge!  Treasurer and membership secretary John Follett will be delighted to hear from anyone wanting to renew (at the long-standing rates of £7.50 for single and £10 for family membership); either send him a cheque to 8 Buckminster Close, Oakwood, Derby DE21 2EA or you can pay by bank transfer if you contact John first either by phone on 01332 834788 or e-mail at johnlfollett@virginmedia.com

So, come on!  Where were all those folks who loudly proclaimed in last year’s trips survey they would attend our club outings if they were a bit closer to home? ???? … We staged just such a trip last month – to the Wildlife Trust Attenborough reserve just 10 miles or so from the centre of Derby – and a grand total of seven people turned up! 

We realise the weather forecast could have been a factor, but it turned out to be a glorious morning, with 45 species seen.  You can read Chris Lamb’s report a little later in the newsletter – and find out about another pretty local trip planned for next month, to DWT Wyver Lane on the outskirts of Belper.

We are delighted to see that work is now under way on construction of the new hide at Sheepwash.  The access path has been widened to allow access and the first phase is to install a stone base – impervious to the water during periods of high levels – onto which the wooden structure will be assembled.  It could be ready for use by or before the middle of the year.  This is great news as the location of this hide has always been regarded as one of the best for observing the reservoir’s birdlife.

Please note, among the diary dates below, that our Annual General Meeting (when a new proposal for spending Club funds will be presented to the membership) will precede the March indoor meeting, so if you’ve anything else you wish to raise or comment upon, please turn up half an hour earlier – at 7am – for that opportunity. 

Something else that should be complete by the time the next newsletter comes out, in May, is the Annual Report, which several people (including me) are beavering away on presently.  As ever, it will contain a comprehensive overview and detailed record of the birding year at Carsington Water in 2023, along with club officials’ reports and some interesting articles.

Gary Atkins

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY …

20 February (7.30 pm) – talk by Nigel Slater on the wildlife of Botswana and Zimbabwe

17 March – local Club trip to the DWT’s Wyver Lane reserve, meet Bridge Foot car park in Belper (9.30am)

19 March (7pm) – talk by Andy Broadhurst on Derbyshire Swift Conservation; the earlier start is due to accommodate our AGM to which all are welcome

28 April – Spring Birdsong Walk at Carsington Water, led by Simon Roddis (meet 9am, Visitor Centre)

 

DIVER RETURNS – AND SITE BAGS COUNTY COMMON GULL RECORD

The annual return of the Great Northern Diver got off to a false start on 23 November, when a bird flew in but it was found to be a juvenile, and did not stay around for long.  Eventually, it was over a month later – on 28 December – when ‘our’ bird flew in; an adult that did not seem inclined to go anywhere else, and within a few weeks had lost its flight feathers so definitely was not.

Winter ducks arrived in decent numbers, particularly the diving ducks like Pochard that registered 551 individuals on 1 February and 25 Goldeneye, which was a good return, though there were fewer ‘dabblers’ around than usual with just 72 Wigeon and 51 Teal being the maximum counts.  Coot exceeded 1,000 on 17 December, when 386 Canada Geese, 232 Mallard and 138 Gadwall also boosted the waterfowl presence.  Up to four Red-crested Pochards added to the variety and Mandarins were noted on six dates in December, January and early February.

Seven Egyptian Geese on Boxing Day represented a site record, and Whooper Swans graced the reservoir in both December and January, when a group of 10 were recorded.  With high water levels, waders were at a premium and only four species were logged in December, including three Woodcock and Snipe, though numbers edged up in January when Curlew were noted on four dates, 110 Lapwings were seen and the first Oystercatcher arrived back on 26 January, growing to 12 by 11 February.

As usual, gull numbers remained healthy during the late autumn/early winter period, most particularly Common Gulls that reached an outstanding 3,250 on 10 December – a record not just for Carsington but for Derbyshire.  A Caspian Gull was seen several times each month, a Yellow-legged was found on 30 December, then three times in January and a single Great Black-backed Gull, recorded no fewer than 18 times in December must have called his friends along as seven were seen on 30 January.

Diligent recording by our regular contingent was reflected in the number of species registered in November, which at 102 was the joint second highest ever for that month, while in January 98 species equalled the previous year’s highest ever January species total for Carsington.

Raptors were unspectacular during this damp and cold period, though there were seven Red Kites aloft on 30 December.  Owls on the other hand were more evident than usual, with up to six Tawny Owls recorded on individual days and a Barn Owl noted on six dates in January and early February.

Among the smaller birds on site, the highlight had to be the Shore Lark found on 29 November, which was the first of this attractive species at Carsington for 20 years.  Winter visitors were around in fair numbers, 250 Fieldfares being seen on 16 December, and up to 200 Redwings the following two days, while a healthy 245 Siskin were around on 29 January, Lesser Redpoll were noted in twos and threes and single Bramblings were logged on 11 December and 19 January.

The decline of Tree Sparrows continues with a maximum count of just five in December.  Willow Tits are regularly seen, as is a Marsh Tit recorded on 14 dates across December and January.  A Stonechat was a good find on 16 January and, while Pied Wagtails don’t seem to be enjoying the high water levels, two Grey Wagtails were recorded on several dates.

 

YEAR LISTS UNDERWAY WITH TRIP TO ATTENBOROUGH

A group of seven CBC members made the relatively short journey to the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust reserve at Attenborough on Sunday 21 January for our first outing of the year.   It literally was a case of the calm before the storm, as we enjoyed a dry and bright morning before the strong winds and heavy rain of Storm Isha swept across the country later in the day.

Given the recent rainfall, it was no surprise that all the lakes were very full, though some still had ice around the edges from the cold snap of the previous week. Ducks, geese and swans were naturally seen in numbers, including Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall, Tufted Ducks and a couple of male Pochards.  At least 10 Goosanders were noted during the morning, some affording very good views close to the paths, and several Goldeneyes were also seen.

Our collective gull identification skills were put to the test as we tried to pick out the adult Caspian Gull (successfully we think), which had been present on the reserve for a while. In among the large numbers of Black-headed Gulls a handful of Common Gulls were identified, and from the Tower hide, Herring Gulls, Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Yellow-legged Gull were also found.   Waders were in short supply given the water levels, with just a handful of Lapwing present and later in the morning a single Curlew flew over the path by the river. A couple of Grey Herons were spotted in the distance on the edges of the lakes, but perhaps surprisingly no egrets were seen.

Apart from the ubiquitous Blue and Great Tits, it seemed to be a relatively quiet morning for passerines, though a pair of Reed Buntings did show well near one of the feeding tables. A couple of Redwings perched obligingly on the tree tops, and a lone Fieldfare was seen later on the cricket pitch in Attenborough village.  Still in the village, a Goldcrest and a flock of Long-tailed Tits were observed in the churchyard towards the end of our walk.

By the end of the morning 45 species had been recorded by the group, namely: Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Egyptian Goose, Mallard, Gadwall, Wigeon, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Goosander, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Lapwing, Curlew, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Caspian Gull, Herring Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Redwing, Fieldfare, Robin, Dunnock, Pied Wagtail, Goldcrest, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting

 

… AND OTHER EVENTS PLANNED ON THE HOOF

For our next walk on Sunday, 17 March we will once again be closer to home, so let’s give it a try.  We will be visiting the Wyver Lane Derbyshire Wildlife Trust reserve in Belper, lying alongside the River Derwent.  This is one of DWT’s most important wetland reserves and has a good variety of resident birds, as well as winter visitors which should still be around on the day of our visit.  We will meet in the East Mills car park, Bridge Foot, Belper at 9.30am, then walk along Wyver Lane towards the reserve.

Then, the following month, you can join us on Sunday, 28 April for our ever-popular annual Springtime Birdsong Walk at Carsington Water.  It will once again be led by one of our very experienced bird recorders, Simon Roddis, who will help us to help identify species we encounter by their songs and calls.  Most of our summer visitors will have returned to the site by this date and should be present in good numbers.  The walk will last a couple of hours or so, starting from outside the Visitor Centre at 9am.

Chris Lamb

 

IT’S BEEN A FULL HOUSE AT RECENT INDOOR MEETINGS

So many members and guests flocked in to our last two indoor meetings in December and January that we almost ran out of chairs – and did struggle to find enough cups during the refreshment breaks – but all agreed it was well worth it with some fabulous photos in stunning locations around the world

For our final meeting of 2023, in December, award-winning Derbyshire-based wildlife photographer Andy Parkinson described a year in his life as a well-travelled wildlife photographer.  Andy’s work appears frequently in magazines such as National Geographic and BBC Wildlife, and we were treated to some stunning photographs he had taken of birds and animals on his travels around the world.

We kicked off the new year at our January meeting with a tour of the Scottish highlands and islands in the company of professional birding and wildlife guide Craig Round.  Craig has been leading tours in Scotland on behalf of Speyside Wildlife for many years, and his talk featured the spectacular scenery and many of the specialist species only to be found in that area.

Looking forward to next week, we will travel down to warmer climes – to southern Africa for our next meeting on Tuesday, 20 February.  The rich biodiversity of this part of Africa makes it home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna and our speaker, Nigel Slater, takes us to Botswana and Zimbabwe to show us some of the amazing birds and other wildlife he has experienced there.

Our final meeting of the 2023-24 programme is on Tuesday, 19 March and has a much more local theme.  Andy Broadhurst tells us about the Derbyshire Swift Conservation project, which was formed in response to the massive decline of Swifts across Derbyshire.  These iconic scimitar-winged summer visitors are in trouble and need our help, and Andy explains how we can get involved.

 

KNOW YOUR COMMITTEE – Here are the club officials and their contact details……..

 

 

 

 

Committee Post

Name

Telephone

Email Address

 

Chairman and Publicity

Gary Atkins

01335 370773

garysatkins@aol.com

Treasurer / Membership

John Follett

01332 834778

johnlfollett@virginmedia.com

Recorder

Rob Chadwick

07876 338912

rob.chadwick322@gmail.com

Events co-ordinator

Chris Lamb

01629 820890

cflamb@yahoo.co.uk

Secretary

Louise Sykes

01335 348544

louise.sykes5065@gmail.com

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CBC trip to NWT – Attenborough Nature Reserve – 21st January 2024

 Posted by on January 24, 2024  Carsington Bird Club, Events, Member Reports  Comments Off on CBC trip to NWT – Attenborough Nature Reserve – 21st January 2024
Jan 242024
 

A group of seven CBC members made the relatively short journey to the Attenborough Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust Reserve on Sunday 21st January for our first outing of the year. It literally was a case of the calm before the storm, as we enjoyed a dry and bright morning before the strong winds and heavy rain of Storm Isha swept across the country later in the day.

Given the recent rainfall, it was no surprise that all the lakes were very full, though some still had ice around the edges from the cold snap of the previous week. Ducks, geese and swans were naturally seen in numbers, including Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall, Tufted Ducks and a couple of male Pochards. At least 10 Goosanders were noted during the morning, some affording very good views close to the paths, and several Goldeneyes were also seen.

Our collective gull identification skills were put to the test as we tried to pick out the adult Caspian Gull (successfully we think), which had been present on the reserve for a while. In among the large numbers of Black-headed Gulls a handful of Common Gulls were identified, and from the Tower hide, Herring Gulls, Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a Yellow-legged Gull were also found.

Waders were in short supply given the water levels, with just a handful of Lapwing present and later in the morning a single Curlew flew over the path by the river. A couple of Grey Herons were spotted in the distance on the edges of the lakes, but perhaps surprisingly no egrets were seen.

Apart from the ubiquitous Blue and Great Tits, it seemed to be a relatively quiet morning for passerines, though a pair of Reed Buntings did show well near one of the feeding tables. A couple of Redwings perched obligingly on the tree tops, and a lone Fieldfare was seen later on the cricket pitch in Attenborough village. Still in the village, a Goldcrest and a flock of Long-tailed Tits were observed in the churchyard towards the end of our walk.

By the end of the morning a good total of 45 species had been recorded by the group, namely: Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Egyptian Goose, Mallard, Gadwall, Wigeon, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Goosander, Great Crested Grebe, Moorhen, Coot, Woodpigeon, Stock Dove, Lapwing, Curlew, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Caspian Gull, Herring Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Wren, Starling, Blackbird, Redwing, Fieldfare, Robin, Dunnock, Pied Wagtail, Goldcrest, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting

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