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

REMINDERS

 Posted by on December 1, 2019  Carsington Bird Club, Events, Things To Do  Comments Off on REMINDERS
Dec 012019
 

CBC Meeting Schedule for 2019/20

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

Autumn/Winter programme 2019/20 as below…

 
17 December – Michael Leach – “Owls of the World”
 
21 January – Dave Hollis – “Birds of Prey”
 
18 February – Chris Lamb/Gary Atkins – “Birding in New Zealand”
 
17 March – Chris Ward – “Our Changing Wildlife” 

  

– First Sunday of the month – Birdwatching for Beginners – Meet Visitor Centre (10am-12 noon)Outdoor Activities: Please contact CBC with any queries or for further information.2

Hope to see you there.

Rural Crime

 Posted by on November 21, 2019  Carsington Bird Club  Comments Off on Rural Crime
Nov 212019
 

November’s well-attended indoor talk was an interesting and meaningful insight into how Derbyshire Constabulary’s Matlock-based Rural Crime team go about their business, the areas they cover, from thefts, illegal hunting and countryside activities to trespass and criminal damage plus a range of other offences – including  of course, crimes against wildlife. 

The talk from PC Karl Webster particularly reached out to those with an intrinsic interest in wildlife, describing how we can all be extra-vigilant when we’re out and about, and inform Karl or members of the team of anything concerning them: “If it doesn’t look right,” stressed Karl, “the chances are it isn’t right.”

His advice: if something’s happening, don’t dally – call 999 (another number, 101, can be used for less urgent alerts or more general communication).  Karl’s own phone (always on when he’s at work) is 07712 424569 and his e-mail is karl.webster@derbyshire.police.uk.  Please contact the team with any concerns, he urges (their general e-mail is drct@derbyshire.police.uk).

The team also has an informative Facebook page (@ruralcrimeteam), which contains useful  examples and updates, and a Twitter presence.

 

No 4 / November 2019

 Posted by on November 16, 2019  Carsington Bird Club, CBC Newsletters  Comments Off on No 4 / November 2019
Nov 162019
 

Hello, fellow members – and a warm welcome to the final newsletter of 2019 after a very damp autumn that’s hardly been great for those of us wanting to get out and watch birds on a regular basis.  Let’s hope the winter brings drier, brighter and crisper conditions.

In the articles that follow you can read the regular ‘reservoir report’ which outlines the more exciting sightings around Carsington Water, including a Manx Shearwater, Long-tailed Skua, Arctic Skuas, a long-staying Slavonian Grebe and the now-traditional arrival of a Great Northern Diver (albeit a juvenile, so maybe we’ll have two overwintering this time).

We also review the highlights of our recent events programme – the initial illustrated talks that have, as usual, been excellent – and our most recent club trip, to Burton Mere in Cheshire.  And, as we move towards Christmas, with its upturn in festive activities, we’ve included in ‘What’s On’ not just the main CBC dates, but also a few of those events being staged by Severn Trent Water, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and New Leaf Catering that may tempt you out over the winter.

It’s encouraging to report that our membership is still holding fairly steady and we have, in fact, had a number of new members in recent months, so can I please welcome June Hatton, Dave Horsley, Leslie Beeston and Mr & Mrs Donald Shadbolt to the CBC fold.  Enjoy!

Gary Atkins

SCARCE SEABIRDS VISIT, A SLAVONIAN DELIGHTS AND A DIFFERENT DIVER RETURNS

The chief species highlights of this autumn have centred on long-haul seabirds, possibly the most surprising being the first ever Carsington record of a Long-tailed Skua, though the Manx Shearwater found on the morning of 21 October – only the fifth record for the site – came a close second.  This particular individual was lucky to escape the attentions of a predatory Peregrine later in the day.

The skua was spotted on 7 October in very poor conditions and was, at first, considered to be an Arctic (two of which had been seen the previous month) but closer examination of photographs showed it to be a Long-tailed Skua – reward for the perseverance of hardy observers who go out in all weather states.

Just three days earlier a most obliging Slavonian Grebe had arrived and remained for more than three weeks, affording plenty of very close views to visiting birders.  Then we had the traditional early arrival of the Great Northern Diver on 2 November – though this one was a juvenile; it has been mobile around the reservoir and is still around at the time of going to press.

The 73 Mute Swans seen in August was a site record, as was the 47 Ravens – all but one in a huge single flock –  counted on 5 October.   Seventy-six Cormorants during August was one of the bigger counts of this species.   Meanwhile, 40 Whooper Swans joined the shearwater on 21 October.

Winter ducks have been arriving in good numbers and variety, including Goosander, Goldeneye and, in September, a scarce visit by a female Red-breasted Merganser.  Pochard seem to be having a good year, with 299 counted on 15 November.  Coot numbers have risen to 750, and 65 Teal and 50 Wigeon were recorded on 22 October.

Among the autumn movement, which included 150 Pink-footed Geese flying east on 6 November, was a huge passage of 1,400 Meadow Pipits through at the end of September.  There were also plenty of terns speeding through, including Sandwich, Black, Arctic and Common varieties. 

… perhaps a few weeks early, but …

¯¯A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL OUR READERS! ¯¯

On site, the gull roost is building, too, as 4,500 Lesser Black-backs flew off on the morning of 10 September, and 5,000 Black-headed gulls were noted exactly a month later.  There have been counts of more than 100 Common Gulls, and other autumn gull records were Mediterranean, Caspian, Yellow-legged and Great Black-backed.

The site is regularly visited by Little Egrets, but Great Egret numbers are also on the rise with this elegant bird noted on both 23 September and 24 October.  With the reservoir so full and muddy edges more limited, wader numbers have been very thin, but a Grey Phalarope on 4 October was only the ninth Carsington record.  Golden Plover, Black-tailed Godwit and Greenshank were recorded, though, along with several Common Sandpipers and up to 30 Snipe.

Ospreys were plentiful (though most just passed through), with records on 10 dates in August and five in September.  Three Red Kites were over Millfields on 3 August, and that month was a good one for Hobby sightings, while a Merlin added to the raptor tally on 7 September.  As is becoming the norm, Peregrine records were frequent, and the maximum count of another regular – Buzzard – was 10 at any one time.

As ever autumn saw the departure of visitors, notably warblers and hirundines.  The last House Martins were 13 on  2 October, two Swallows were recorded on the 15th of that month, and the only two warblers to stay beyond September were Blackcap, which departed on the 15th, and Chiffchaff, the last of which was seen on the 21 October (just five weeks after 60 were counted around the site!).  These two warblers often over-winter, however, so more might yet be seen or heard in the coming months.

The first Corn Bunting to visit Carsington since 1995 was seen on 10 August, Whinchat and Stonechat were other passerine highlights as were Tree Pipits which, unusually, were around Wildlife Centre fields for several days in August/September, and the latest ever individual was noted on 18 September.

MEMBERS ENJOY BURTON MERE … AND TRAVEL THE WORLD BY PROXY

An intrepid group of seven CBC members braved a very gloomy weather forecast and headed off north- west in a small convoy of cars in late September for the club’s latest outing, to the Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB Reserve on the Wirral. 

On arrival there was an unseemly dash for the hot drinks machine, but soon we were settling down in the comfort of the modern and roomy Visitor Centre, which is beautifully positioned overlooking the reserve pools and, further out, much of the Dee estuary marshland.  The nearby pools contained a generous numbers of ducks, including Shoveler, Teal, Mallard and Tufted Duck, while waders were also present in moderate numbers, mostly Black-tailed Godwit and Lapwing, but the sharper-eyed observers were soon picking up a handful of Ruff and Dunlin that were probing the mud edges. 

Someone then spotted a Kingfisher, initially perched in the reeds and difficult to see, but the flash of bright colours was more obvious as it launched itself low over the water.  Still from the Visitor Centre, a Sparrowhawk rather obligingly perched on top of a bush for several minutes right in front of us, enabling some half-decent photographs (see website report).

Walking along the trail to the first of two hides, a number of common woodland birds were seen or heard, including Chiffchaff (still in full voice even in late September), Wren, Robin, Nuthatch, Great-spotted Woodpecker and Goldcrest.  At least one Cetti’s Warbler announced its presence in the reeds, but true to form remained hidden from view!  Reaching Inner Marsh Farm Hide at the far end of the reserve, the promised rain did fall, but this didn’t prevent us from enjoying more ducks and waders out over the water. 

We quickly added Shelduck and Gadwall to the growing list, along with 3-4 Snipe, including one which seemed to be swimming as it waded across deep water!  A Water Rail was briefly seen scuttling across a gap between two reed beds but, despite determined observation, didn’t show itself again, but any disappointment evaporated as a Hobby flashed past, mobbed by a pair of Lapwings.  Two Spoonbills which had been noted earlier by the reserve staff reappeared, giving us good views, and that other increasingly common sighting – a Great White Egret – was spotted in a distant field. 

Moving back to the Visitor Centre towards the end of the day, and warmed by another well-earned hot drink, we boosted our raptor species count to five as we enjoyed good views of a Marsh Harrier, Peregrine and Kestrel!  In total, 55 species were recorded collectively by our group on an enjoyable day (and we didn’t get too wet, despite the dire weather forecast, voting Burton Mere a great success).  

The full list of sightings were:  Teal, Moorhen, Coot, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing, Mute Swan, Grey Heron, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Shoveler, Mallard, Ruff, Dunlin, Kingfisher, Carrion Crow, Sparrowhawk, Pheasant, Tufted Duck, Woodpigeon, Gt Black-backed Gull, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Little Grebe, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Starling, Goldfinch, Wren, Chiffchaff, Gt Spotted Woodpecker, Robin, Goldcrest, Sand Martin, Shelduck, Cetti’s Warbler, Gadwall, Water Rail, Hobby, Spoonbill, Snipe, Dunnock, Swallow, Gt White Egret, Redshank, Jackdaw, Jay, Magpie, Long-tailed Tit, Black-headed Gull, Marsh Harrier, Peregrine and Kestrel.

Closer to home (though in spirit much farther away), the first two talks of our indoor season at Carsington Visitor Centre took us to places most of us have never been! Tony Davison’s September return thrilled us with brilliant photos showing his trip to north-east Russia, with all the amazing wildlife he witnessed there – and culminating in a rare view of the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, one of the scarcest waders on the planet.

The speaker originally booked for our joint meeting with DOS in October was unable to make it due to injury, so we managed to get Steve Williams, lead of Chesterfield’s RSPB group, along at short notice – and were very glad we did.  This award-winning photographer took us first of all to various locations in northern Britain.  His photos weren’t simply technically good, but they showed the character and behaviour of subjects.  The title of his talk had added “beyond”, which turned out to be Mexico, and some amazing underwater shots of whale sharks and other marine life interacting with human swimmers.

Chris Lamb

 

WHAT’S ON

With winter just around the corner, we are now well into our indoor season of wildlife talks.  Details of the full remaining programme of speakers and topics are listed below; note that the February date will begin half-an-hour earlier than usual (at 7pm), the talk preceded by the club’s annual general meeting.

19 November                Talk: Derbyshire wildlife crime by PC Karl Webster – Henmore Rm, Visitor Centre (7.30pm)

17 December                Talk by Michael Leach: Owls of the World (as above)

21 January                    Talk by Dave Hollis: Birds of Prey  (as above)

18 February                 Talk by Chris Lamb/Gary Atkins: Birds of New  Zealand (as above, but preceded by club AGM at 7pm)

17 March                      Talk by Chris Ward: Our Changing Wildlife  (as above; begins 7.30pm)

As usual, there are also a range of regular and one-off activities organised by Severn Trent Water or Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and, at this time of year, numerous eating / entertainment events provided by New Leaf Catering.  Charges and/or booking are sometimes required for these events, so it’s often worth checking with the host organisation for more details (via STW on 0330 678 0701, DWT on 01773 881188 or New Leaf on 01629 540363):

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

First weekend of month   Optics demonstrations RSPB shop, Visitor Centre (10am-4pm)

Every Tuesday/Thursday/ Join the knowledgeable volunteers in the          Wildlife Centre (10am-3pm)

Sunday Wildlife Centre to learn about the site’s wildlife

Last Saturday monthly     Sheepwash Spinners (wool-craft)                      Information at Visitor Centre

4/10/17 December        Christmas three-course Lunch and Carol Concert (£24.95)  – Book via New Leaf

14 December                Family Forest School (two 90-minute sessions – for youngsters aged 4+ and 7+; charges apply) – Contact DWT for timings/details

16 December                Nature Tots (charge applies but free parking)      10.30am-12.15pm; contact DWT

19 December                Christmas three-course lunch with Jazz (£24.95)    Book via New Leaf

18 January                    Family Forest School (see above for details)

20 January                    Nature Tots (details as above)                            

3/17 February                Nature Tots (details as above)

8 February                     Family Forest School (see above for details)

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

 

 

 

 

Committee Post

Name

Telephone

Email Address

Secretary

Roger Carrington

01629 583816

rcarrington_matlock@yahoo.co.uk

Treasurer / Membership

John Follett

01332 834778

johnlfollett@virginmedia.com

Recorder

Clive Ashton

 

01629 823316

 

cliveashton@btinternet.com

 

Publications / Indoor Meetings

Gary Atkins

01335 370773

garysatkins@aol.com

 

Events co-ordinator

Chris Lamb

01629 820890

cflamb@yahoo.co.uk

Ex-officio

Jon Bradley

01773 852526

jonathan.bradley4@btinternet.com

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

Webmaster

Richard Pittam

n/a

Contact Richard via the website

         

 

 

29th September – Club Trip – RSPB Burton Mere

 Posted by on September 3, 2019  Carsington Bird Club, Events, Member Reports, News  Comments Off on 29th September – Club Trip – RSPB Burton Mere
Sep 032019
 
An intrepid group of 7 CBC members braved a very gloomy weather forecast and headed north west for our latest outing to the Burton Mere Wetlands RSPB Reserve on the Wirral on Sunday 29th September.  With a welcome hot drink on arrival, we settled down in the comfort of the roomy Visitor Centre looking out over the reserve pools, which contained an expectedly large numbers of ducks, including Shoveler, Teal, Mallard and Tufted Duck.  Waders were present in moderate numbers, mostly Black-tailed Godwit and Lapwing, together with a few Ruff and Dunlin that were found with some careful scanning of the mud edges.  Soon we were treated to a Kingfisher flying low over the water, then a Sparrowhawk rather obligingly perched on top of a bush right in front of the Visitor Centre for several minutes.
 

Posing Sparrowhawk

 
Walking along the trail to the first of the site’s two hides, a number of common woodland birds were seen or heard, including Chiffchaff (still singing perhaps surprisingly at this time of year), Wren, Robin, Nuthatch, Great-spotted Woodpecker and Goldcrest, and at least one Cetti’s Warbler announced its presence in the reeds, but true to form remained hidden from view!  Reaching the Inner Marsh Farm Hide at the far end of the reserve, the promised rain did start to fall, but this did not prevent us from enjoying more ducks and waders out over the water. 
 

Swimming Snipe

 
Shelduck and Gadwall were added to the list, along with 3-4 Snipe, including one which seemed to be swimming as it waded across the water!  A Water Rail was briefly seen scuttling across a path between two reed beds but wasn’t seen again, and a Hobby flashed past being mobbed by 2 Lapwings. The 2 Spoonbills which had been noted earlier by the reserve staff re-appeared giving us good views and that other increasingly common sighting, a Great White Egret, was spotted in a distant field. 
 

Gadwall drake

 
Moving back to the Visitor Centre towards the end of the day, our raptor species count was boosted to five as we enjoyed good views of a Marsh Harrier, Peregrine and Kestrel, accompanied of course by another warming drink!  In total, 55 species were noted collectively by our group on an enjoyable day (and we didn’t get too wet, despite the dire weather forecast!).  
 

Burton Mere Visitor Centre (l-r Rob Chadwick, Jane Chadwick, Fay Follett, Chris and Nicole Lamb, Gary Atkins, scope and John Follett)

 
The full list of sightings are as follows:  Teal, Moorhen, Coot, Curlew, Black-tailed Godwit, Lapwing, Mute Swan, Grey Heron, Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Shoveler, Mallard, Ruff, Dunlin, Kingfisher, Carrion Crow, Sparrowhawk, Pheasant, Tufted Duck, Woodpigeon, Gt Black-backed Gull, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Little Grebe, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Starling, Goldfinch, Wren, Chiffchaff, Gt Spotted Woodpecker, Robin, Goldcrest, Sand Martin, Shelduck, Cetti’s Warbler, Gadwall, Water Rail, Hobby, Spoonbill, Snipe, Dunnock, Swallow, Gt White Egret, Redshank, Jackdaw, Jay, Magpie, Long-tailed Tit, Black-headed Gull, Marsh Harrier, Peregrine and Kestrel.

Hen Harrier Day 2019 at Carsington Water

 Posted by on August 12, 2019  Carsington Bird Club, Educational, Events, Features, News, Severn Trent Water  Comments Off on Hen Harrier Day 2019 at Carsington Water
Aug 122019
 
Chris Packham talking at Hen Harrier Day 11th August 2019 – Carsington Water
Picture by John Sykes ©

“Established in 2014 , with various events held at locations from Northern Ireland to inside the M25 and from the south coast of England to the highlands of Scotland.  Hen Harrier Day is now a recognised part of the ornithological and conservation scene and continues to raise awareness of the persistent illegal persecution by the grouse shooting industry of this beautiful, important and iconic bird………..”.

For more information, see the links below…….

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