Welcome to the Carsington Bird Club website, containing information about the club, Carsington Water, latest bird sightings and much more!

******* LATEST NEWS *******

 Posted by on November 23, 2021  Carsington Bird Club  Comments Off on ******* LATEST NEWS *******
Nov 232021
For the LATEST details of Severn Trent Water’s Carsington Water site restrictions and availability of services, relating to COVID-19 – CLICK HERE

CBC Meeting Schedule for 2021

21 December:  Our very own Louise and John Sykes take us to Panama

18 January:  Nigel Slater describes his birding highlights in the Scilly Isles

CBC indoor meetings are held in Carsington Water’s main vistor centre and they start at 19.30h. Entrance fee is £2.00 to members and £2.50 to guests – Parking is free.

Other Activities

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

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 4 / November 2021

 Posted by on November 8, 2021  Carsington Bird Club, CBC Newsletters  Comments Off on CBC Newsletter – No 4 / November 2021
Nov 082021

Welcome to the autumn issue of the club newsletter, which contains a detailed look at the latest sightings at the reservoir plus, pleasingly, an opportunity to say a little about some club activities now that ‘real’ events with real people are now permissible.

At the September indoor meeting we were also able finally to stage our postponed AGM that would ordinarily have taken place in February but which we had been unhappy to conduct until the easing of Covid restrictions allowed us to meet face-to-face. 

Here, we were able to report on the club’s robust ‘togetherness’ and the maintenance of membership during what has been a difficult period not just for birding, of course, but society in general.  We were also pleased to use this occasion to announce that Rob Chadwick had accepted the role of club Recorder.  He was voted in on the night, along with other existing posts, including that of Chairman, which has not been filled since Peter Gibbon’s sad passing in 2016.  I (slightly reluctantly) agreed to add this role, while handing over the commissioning of talks for our indoor meetings to Chris Lamb, who had already been organising events, notably trips and walks, for a number of years.

I’d like to add my commiserations to the family and friends of Rod Key, who passed away due to a Covid-related illness a few weeks ago.  Though not a member of our club, he was a – or perhaps the – leading light of recording in the county, operating as Derbyshire Ornithological Society joint County Recorder for more than 40 years, as well as taking on the chairmanship of the county’s Rarities Committee. 

As such, he had an abiding interest in Carsington, and those recorders and individuals who submitted records from the reservoir over its entire lifetime.  Rod’s death is a further blow for DOS, who also lost their treasurer Malcolm Hopton late last year.

Back to the future, below are the dates of our next three indoor meetings, which are invariably on the third Tuesday of the month and are currently taking place at the Visitor Centre’s large and roomy restaurant.  They will transport us to some amazing birding territories – Lesvos, Panama and the Scilly Isles – so I do hope you can make one or more of them.

Gary Atkins



16 November:  Ian Newton talks to us about a favourite birding spot, Lesvos

21 December:  Our very own Louise and John Sykes take us to Panama

18 January:  Nigel Slater describes his birding highlights in the Scilly Isles



Late summer and early autumn have provided plenty of exciting moments, not least the ‘full deck’ of white herons, as the more regular sight of Little Egrets was topped off by a Cattle Egret (the first on site since 2014), which was mobile around the site for 24 hours on 4-5 September, Great Egrets seen on one date in September and two in October and a juvenile Spoonbill that settled on Horseshoe Island on 9 October and was still around Sheepwash the following morning.

Another species not seen on site for several years was Gannet, but a juvenile bird showed up for just around five minutes on 5 November.  In that very brief stay it was seen to dive twice and throw into a panic a party of nearby Tufted Duck, who had never seen the like!

A very obliging Snow Bunting stayed for around a week in mid October, treating birders, particularly those with a camera, to fairly close views.  It seemed to enjoy the large stones on the top of the dam wall – the closest Carsington has to the craggy mountaintops preferred by this attractive species.  Indeed, the dam wall has proved popular with another mountain bird, the Wheatear, while up to 215 Pied Wagtails and a handful of Yellow Wagtails also enjoyed this general area.  Another passerine highlight was the appearance of three Rock Pipits over Stones Island on 26 September.

The last of our summer visitors have finally left for winter quarters, with Swallows one of the last to depart on 2 October, though Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs were seen on later dates, which could indicate an intention to overwinter.  Other migrants registering their latest dates in September included Swift (5th), Sedge Warbler (9th), Redstart (10th), Spotted Flycatcher and Whitethroat on the 11th, Willow Warbler (16th), then Lesser Whitethroat (18th) and the final House Martins on the 22nd.

Meanwhile, the winter visitors began to appear, some in very large numbers.  On 5 November, the same very good birding day when the Gannet was seen, there were ‘vismig’ counts of 6,153 Fieldfares and 2,218 Redwings, along with 2,769 Starlings and 1,938 Woodpigeons (though the autumn movement of this species maxed out at 11,070 three days earlier).  Most of these were moving in a southerly direction, as were four Hawfinches, also seen on the 5th.

As would be expected, waterfowl numbers began to rise as the autumn set in, with a (perhaps undesirable) site record 1,915 Canada Geese seen on 26 September, though numbers dropped the following month.  A very healthy peak of 800 Greylags and 56 Barnacles completed the goose flotilla, though 220 Pink-footed Geese added an aerial force, overflying on 11 October.

Wigeon, Teal, Mallard and Tufted Duck numbers all exceeded 200 in September, when other highlights were the presence of Common Scoter from 17-21 September, then four Scaup at the end of October, by which time Pochard numbers had risen to 99.  By early November, a few Goldeneye had also dropped in.

September was a good month for waders, with 13 species noted, including an Avocet on the 3rd, Grey Plover on the 8th and Ruff on the 17th, along with Little Ringed and Ringed Plover, the latter also cropping up on two dates in October, when two Jack Snipes were viewed at Hopton end.

For those turning up early enough, the departing gull roost can be quite spectacular, and 9,000 Lesser Black-backed Gulls were counted on 11 October, with 8,000 Black-headed Gulls nine days later.  Much smaller numbers of Great Black-backed, Yellow-legged and Common Gulls were also recorded, while Caspian Gulls were identified among the masses on one date in September and two in October.  Six Black Terns flew through in early September, while a few of their Arctic and Common cousins were also on the move later in the month.

It’s been a decent spell for raptors, too, with Osprey noted on six dates during this period, and what is believed to be a site record six Red Kites aloft over the east side of the reservoir on 24 October.  A Marsh Harrier was seen in early November; another had been seen earlier – on 6 September, when it was among the highlights of an all-day watch (by Simon Roddis, Roger Carrington, Brian Boothby, Neil Moulden and Alan Stewardson) that also included one of the Osprey sightings among the grand total of 84 species recorded from dawn to dusk that day.

Apart from the regular Buzzard, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk records, three Hobby sightings were listed in early-mid September, and a female Merlin was spotted on 29 September.



After a prolonged period of restrictions, it has been encouraging to get some strands of our events programme back into action, with indoor meetings starting up again in September and, following a springtime visit to Middleton Lakes, a second club trip – this time to another old favourite, Frampton Marsh – completed in early October.

We had to postpone our Annual General Meeting from the usual February slot due to Covid and, in order to take the opportunity of getting together in person, we chose the occasion of our first indoor meeting, on 21 September (a few notes on the AGM are included in the earlier introduction), to stage it.

The decision was made to hold indoor meetings in the Mainsail Restaurant because of its higher ceiling and generally roomier space, allowing more people to assemble with sensible spacing.  We were not sure how well it would work, but the first two meetings have certainly put those concerns to bed.

The ever-reliable and entertaining Paul Bingham was first off the blocks in September, talking about the wildlife he and his wife encountered in Sri Lanka.  What a fabulous location!  Then, in October it was time for our joint meeting with DOS, for which we welcomed (after an earlier postponement) Nick Martin who delivered a fascinating look at the Forest of Dean, not just its wildlife but also an intimate look behind the scenes of this often overlooked location.

It is now our fervent hope that we can complete our seven-date 2021-22 indoor meetings programme, which continues on 16 November with another postponed talk – by Ian Newton on the Greek isle of Lesvos.

For trips, separate cars are still the order of the day, and a group of nine members made the journey east, to the Lincolnshire coast on 3 October, for the club’s occasional pilgrimage to RSPB Frampton Marsh.  On the long approach to the reserve, a couple of our group were treated to a Tawny Owl perched on a gate post, and a single Marsh Harrier was seen from the car park by some.  During the day other raptors delighting the group included a few Kestrels, while a hunting Peregrine was an exciting addition to our list late in the day.

As anticipated, wintering duck and geese numbers were starting to build, with large counts of Wigeon and Teal, along with smaller numbers of Shelduck, Shoveler and Gadwall.  Dark-bellied Brent Geese, recently arrived from their breeding grounds in the Arctic regions of northern Scandinavia and Siberia, numbered well into the hundreds, and a variety of waders were recorded, including sizeable flocks of Lapwing, 20-30 Black-tailed Godwits, a handful of Dunlin and Redshank and a couple of Ruff and several Snipe that emerged in front of the visitor centre late afternoon.

A group of 6 Spotted Redshank was a good find and this elegant wader provided us with a useful comparison of its shape and size with a nearby (Common) Redshank.  Later on in the afternoon a pair of Avocets obligingly appeared in front of the visitor centre.

The weather was pretty kind to us, being mostly sunny though quite blustery, and we enjoyed a good day with a total of 40 species accumulated by the overall group.  As well as those already mentioned, other species seen were:  Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Mute Swan, Mallard, Moorhen, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Heron, Little Egret, Lapwing, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Starling, Skylark, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch and Linnet.


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





Committee Post



Email Address


Chairman and Publicity

Gary Atkins

01335 370773


Treasurer / Membership

John Follett

01332 834778



Rob Chadwick

07876 338912


Events co-ordinator

Chris Lamb

01629 820890







Roger Carrington

01629 583816


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


Richard Pittam


Contact Richard via the website




CBC Members Trip to Frampton Marsh RSPB Reserve – 3rd October 2021

 Posted by on October 5, 2021  Carsington Bird Club, CBC Newsletters, Events, Features, Member Reports, Miscellaneous, News  Comments Off on CBC Members Trip to Frampton Marsh RSPB Reserve – 3rd October 2021
Oct 052021
A group of 9 members made the journey to the Frampton Marsh RSPB Reserve on the Lincolnshire coast on Sunday 3rd October.
This is always a popular destination and we went with the anticipation that anything can turn up at this time of year. 
On the way into the reserve a couple of our group were treated to a Tawny Owl perched on a gate post, and a single Marsh Harrier was seen from the car park by some. Continuing the birds of prey theme, 2-3 Kestrels were observed and a hunting Peregrine was an exciting addition to our list towards the end of the day.
As expected the numbers of wintering ducks and geese were starting to build up, with large counts of Wigeon and Teal, supported by smaller numbers of Shelduck, Shoveler and Gadwall. Dark-bellied Brent Geese, recently arrived from their breeding grounds in the Arctic regions of northern Scandinavia and Siberia, numbered well into the hundreds.
A variety of waders were recorded, including large numbers of Lapwing, 20-30 Black-tailed Godwits, a handful of Dunlin and Redshank and a couple of Ruff. A single Snipe put in a brief appearance before disappearing back into the reed-beds in typical fashion.
A group of 6 Spotted Redshank was a good find and this elegant wader provided us with a useful comparison of its shape and size with a nearby (Common) Redshank. Later on in the afternoon a pair of Avocets obligingly appeared in front of the visitor centre.

Common Redshank [rear], with Spotted Redshank in foreground

The weather was pretty kind to us, being  mostly sunny though quite blustery, and we enjoyed a good day with a total of 40 species seen by the group:

Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Brent Goose, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Shoveler, Mallard, Gadwall, Wigeon, Teal, Moorhen, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Heron, Little Egret, Avocet, Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Snipe, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Tawny Owl, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Peregrine Falcon, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Starling, Skylark, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Linnet

Brent Geese selection – from a flock of 200+ birds.


Minutes of the club’s 28th Annual General Meeting

 Posted by on September 30, 2021  Carsington Bird Club, CBC Newsletters  Comments Off on Minutes of the club’s 28th Annual General Meeting
Sep 302021

(held Tuesday 21st September 2021 in the New Leaf Restaurant,

Carsington Visitor Centre at 7pm)


Committee attendees:        Gary Atkins (Publicity/Indoor Meetings)

                                                John Follett (Treasurer / Membership)

                                                Chris Lamb (Field Trips Organiser)


In the absence of a Chairman, John Follett agreed to take the chair



Apologies were received from Rob Chadwick and Roger Carrington.



The Minutes from the previous AGM (in February 2020) were accepted as an accurate record (proposed by Sue Jones, seconded by Dave Horsley).



There were no matters arising from the previous Minutes that would not be discussed at the latest meeting.



A copy of the Club’s 2020 Accounts was made available to those members attending the AGM.

The year ended 31st December 2020 saw Accumulated Funds increase by just one penny to £5827.65 with income of £775.44 exceeding expenditure by this amount. Government restrictions resulting from the Covid pandemic had a significant impact on both total income of  £775.44 (previous year £1105) and total expenditure of £775.43 (previous year £1443).

Carsington’s site closure, limited access and closed hides meant it was not possible to continue with bird feeding and, as a result, lower bird food costs of £126.79 for the year (£332 in 2019) was offset by donations of just £75 (£213 in 2019), without the DOS donation towards winter feeding of £180 in the previous year.

The necessary curtailment of indoor meetings saw speakers costs at just £55 (for one meeting!), compared with £369 in 2019, while door receipts of £93 (for two meetings) compared to £288 for the previous year. 

Other items of expenditure included a £15 increase in the cost of the Annual Report to £275, higher postage and stationery costs (£270.70 against the previous year’s £217) and higher website hosting fees (£47.94) due to a change to a new site and partial rewrite required to overcome operating problems.

Adoption of the 2020 accounts were proposed by John Bland and seconded by Hilary Hodkinson.

Though unsure of the potential continuing impact of the pandemic, the finances for the current year are expected to result in a modest overspend.  Income is expected to improve to 2019 levels if not better.

Membership income will be similar to previous levels with numbers holding up well throughout these difficult years with any losses being offset by evident interest in the club that has resulted in a good number of joiners. We are also able to report that a donation of £275 was received from existing member Patrick Lawless which was to cover the printing costs of the 2020 Annual Report.

However, expenditure is forecast to be higher as the club will incur costs associated with indoor meetings with £120 venue hire (for four meetings to December 2020) in the Mainsail Restaurant and also the expected need to purchase a projector screen for future presentations.



In the absence of Roger Carrington, no Recorder’s report was received.



This is a very different report to that delivered at the last AGM in February 2020, when we were on the very verge of the global pandemic that has since affected our lives at every level – including our ability to enjoy the wildlife around us, and the club’s ability to support comprehensive recording, one of our key roles, although this has picked up again as Covid restrictions eased.

While Covid remains a spectre in the background, we do now see some light at the end of the tunnel as the nation seems to be accepting it’s something we’ve got to live with … and, in that sense, a level of normality has returned.  Meanwhile, the club has soldiered on and done what was possible when we were able, including trips, learning new skills like Zoom (which delivered talks last winter via DOS and RSPB) and, today, the relaunch of our indoor meetings in the company of other club members.

Our membership has remained remarkably steady in the face of Covid.  It’s been gratifying to note a steady influx of new members, and the feel of solidity as a wildlife-loving community. 

With regard to the committee, it was a rather turbulent 2020 as we lost two committee members as the Secretary and Recorder resigned their posts, and were down to just four for much of the year – the necessary quorum, but only just!  In recent weeks in 2021, however, there has been a bit more positive news, and AGM attendees will hear shortly when confirming the election of officers.

I would like to thank everyone for sticking with us, and particularly the club officials – together with webmaster Richard Pittam – who have kept various administrative elements and events ticking over.  Let’s hope that we can now pursue the planned indoor season of entertaining talks here in the restaurant, and manage to get a couple of trips and walks in before the next AGM.




We started 2020 with high hopes of maintaining our recent record of organising two trips for club members in the year, plus having a springtime walk at Carsington Water in the company of one of our expert recorders to help with birdsong identification. With Covid restrictions coming into place from March, all our plans had to be shelved, of course, and no group trips or walks were possible. 

As we moved into this year and the restrictions started to be eased in the spring, we were pleased to be able to have an outing to Middleton Lakes RSPB Reserve at the end of May.  Our next trip will be to Frampton Marsh RSPB reserve on Sunday 3rd October. Hopefully as we start to look ahead to 2022, we will be able to hold our usual range of activities.

Meanwhile, and for the same reasons, our last AGM and indoor meeting in February 2020 turned out to be the last time we were able to gather as a club for some 18 months.  All our indoor meetings and talks for the remainder of 2020 and the first half of 2021 unfortunately had to be cancelled.  Thanks to the wonders of Zoom technology though, and the kind invitations of both DOS and the Derby RSPB Group, our members were able to join their online meetings and enjoy a variety of talks on birds and other wildlife from the comfort of their own homes.

We are so pleased now to be able to restart our indoor meetings again, and look forward to a varied programme of talks during the 2021-22 indoor season.  With the help of New Leaf Catering, we have been able to secure the use of the Mainsail Restaurant for our meetings for the time being.  This will enable people to spread out much more than in the smaller Henmore Room which have traditionally used.



After the last AGM we lost the services of our then Secretary and Recorder, but recently were delighted that Rob Chadwick agreed to pick up the Recorder’s duties, working closely with the crop of regular experienced site birders.  Ahead of this meeting, Gary Atkins also accepted the long-absent position of Chairman, while Chris Lamb kindly agreed to take on a second element of managing club events, and will organise indoor meetings taking place in 2022-23.

John Follett underlined the continuing goal of recruiting more people to the committee, both to fill still-vacant key posts (notably Secretary) but also to share the load and, importantly, to inject some new blood and fresh thinking into the management of the club.

On the night, the following members therefore stood for election / re-election:

Gary Atkins – Chairman and Publicity Officer

John Follett – Treasurer and Membership Secretary

Chris Lamb – Events Secretary

Rob Chadwick – Recorder

Roger Carrington – Ex-officio

The election of this Committee was proposed by Dave Armitt and seconded by Louise Sykes.



There was no other business raised.

The meeting closed at 7.41pm