DECEMBER 2008 BIRD NOTES
December Highlights: Great Northern Diver, possible Great White Egret, Whooper
Swan, Brent Goose and Ring-billed Gull.
Great Northern Divers totalled 4 from 5th to 11th at least, including an adult whereas, last month, all 4 were juveniles. A possible Great White Egret was noted briefly at 1115 hours on 7th in Shiningford Creek before flying off southeast. This would be a new species for
Carsington if accepted by DOS. Two Whooper Swans were seen on 9th at the Wildlife Centre. A Pink-footed Goose was around the Wildlife Centre from 6th to 14th and 210 flew low over Millfields at 1030 hours on 15th, heading northwest. Two Brent Geese spent most
of 13th at the Wildlife Centre and a Water Rail was again in the ditch below the dam wall on 1st . Maximum counts were similar to December counts of recent years and included; 105 little Grebe on 18th, 59 Great Crested Grebe on 14th, 51 Cormorant on 15th, 2 Heron on 14th, 2 Greylag Geese on 15th, 45 feral Barnacle Geese plus 1 hybrid on 19th, 1 Shelduck on 27th, 406 Wigeon on 14th, 40 Gadwall on 14th, 94 Teal on 14th, 1 female Pintail on 6th, 4 Shoveler on 29th, 308 Pochard on 14th, 844 Tufted Duck on 14th, 2 female Scaup on 11th, 1 drake Common Scoter on 14th, 16 Goldeneye on 14th, 1 female Red-breasted Merganser on 5th, 20 Goosander on 3rd, 53 Moorhen on 18th and 1890 Coot on 28th . Raptor records are very few this month and waders included 20 Snipe at the Wildlife Centre on 20th, a Woodcock at Hopton End on 19th and 4 Redshank on 14th .
The adult Ring-billed Gull was seen only on 1st and the numbers of Lesser Black-backed Gulls significantly reduced from this date. The gull roost included a first winter Mediterranean Gull on 24th, 3 Yellow-legged Gulls on 1st, an adult Caspian Gull on 1st, 13th and 17th and a first winter Glaucous Gull on 21st . 15th 21st A Little Owl was on Oldfield Lane on and 2 Tawny Owls were reported on . Kingfishers have been recorded all around the site on many dates and 2 were noted on 22nd at Paul Stanley Hide. A Skylark flew over the Dam Wall on 5th and 6 Meadow Pipits were in Tail Bay on 15th. A survey, covering most of the southern half of the site, on 15th noted 1 Skylark, 6 Meadow Pipit, 19 Robin, 24 Blackbird, 4 Fieldfare, 73 Redwing, 2 Mistle Thrush, 25 Long-tailed Tit, 17 Blue Tit, 15 Great Tit, 2 Treecreeper, 2 Jay, 8 Magpie, 18 Jackdaw, 16 House Sparrow, 18 Tree Sparrow, 12 Bullfinch and 1 Reed Bunting. Other significant records include a Chiffchaff near Warrington Knob on 15th, 30 Siskin at Paul Stanley Hide on 16th, 1 Linnet near Fishtail Creek on 18th, 5 Lesser Redpoll at Lane End feeders on 19th and 2 large farmyard mallard type ducks at Millfields from 8th .
94 species recorded compared with 91 in December 2007, 99 in 2006, 88 in 2005, 95 in 2004, 97 in 2003 and 89 in 2002.
NOVEMBER 2008 BIRD NOTES
November Highlights: Ring-billed Gull returns again, Great Northern Divers, Scaup, Common Scoters, Water Rail, Little Gull, Caspian Gull and Waxwing. Last month’s juvenile Great Northern Diver became 2 GNDs from the 1st, then a site record of 4 on 10th, only 3 on 12th and just 2 by 30th . Pink-footed Geese movements were 32 northeast on 2nd, 25 east on 22nd and 3 on the ground on 23rd. A female Scaup was near Big Island on 16th and there were 7 female/immature plus 1 drake Common Scoter on 3rd, the 7 female type stayed and were last reported on 16th. Wildfowl counts included: 88 Little Grebe on 12th, 60 Great Crested Grebe on 12th, 62 Cormorant on 16th, 44 feral Barnacle Geese on 19th, 1 escapee Cackling Goose on 16th, 1 Shelduck on 19th and 27th, 341 Wigeon on 16th, 51 Gadwall on 16th, 75 Teal on 16th, 152 Mallard on 3rd 7th 16th 16th 16th , 2 Pintail on , 2 Shoveler on , 210 Pochard on , 343 Tufted Duck on , 16 Goldeneye on 22nd, 2 Red-breasted Mergansers on 21st, 1 drake Goosander on 12th, 26 Moorhen on 16th, 2175 Coot on 16th, and a Water Rail was heard on 28th in the ditch below the dam wall. Three Common Buzzards were in the air on 16th, a female Merlin was around Millfields on 22nd and a Peregrine was seen from the Wildlife Centre on 3rd and on several other dates. Lapwings were counted on 16th at 274 and again on 27th at a close matching 275 birds. Snipe numbered 15 from the Wildlife Centre on 16th and a Snipe race Faroeensis [more rufous plumage] was photographed here on 15th and seen on subsequent dates. Three Redshank were noted on 4th with individuals seen at most locations during the month and a Turnstone was close in to Sheepwash Hide on 3rd . Gulls attracted birders this month, with an adult Mediterranean Gull from 6th to 15th at least, the well forecast, and now annual, adult Ring-billed Gull turned-up in the gull roost on 7th and was seen on many evenings up to the end of the month, a first winter Little Gull was also in the roost on 7th, 3 Yellow-legged Gulls were present on 8th and other dates and a second winter Caspian Gull was in the roost on 25th .
Kingfishers were seen most days around the site and 2 were in front of Paul Stanley Hide on 3rd . Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Nuthatch were regularly on the feeders here. Two Skylarks flew over on 4th, 10 Meadow Pipits were at Sheepwash on 4th and 11 were on the other side of the Spit on 13th. A Rock Pipit was seen from Paul Stanley Hide on 3rd and a few lucky observers saw a Waxwing at the Visitor Centre on 16th . Note that many Waxwings have come into this country recently, they can turn up on any berry laden tree and bush, and supermarket car parks are a favourite. Wintering thrushes were moving through in flocks, stopping off to feed, with 50plus Fieldfare in Wildlife Centre Creek on 13th, 50 Redwing at Millfields on 7th and 50 around the Wildlife Centre area on 10th. Four Blackcaps were reported on 10th near the Wildlife Centre. Two flocks of Long-tailed Tits contained 29 birds on 24th and 8 Blue Tits plus 10 Great Tits were noted at Paul Stanley Hide on 19th. Starling flocks totalled 350 birds at dusk on 3rd, flocks of 30 Siskin were noted on 4th and 28th, 6 Lesser Redpoll were on Stones Island on 13th, 15 Chaffinch on Paul Stanley feeders on 19th and 11 Bullfinch were counted on 27th .
94 species recorded compared with 98 in November 2007, 97 in 2006, 97 in 2005, 95 in 2004 and 92 in 2003.
OCTOBER 2008 BIRD NOTES
October Highlights: Great Northern Diver, Gannet, Shag and Brambling.
A Great Northern Diver** was reported at 1430hrs on 26th from Sheepwash and probably the same bird, a juvenile, was seen regularly near Lane End Hide from 28th . A juvenile Gannet** [last recorded in 2000] was seen flying over the reservoir at 1500hrs on 29th and
one of the juvenile Shags found in October was still around the dam wall area on 4th . Maximum counts included: 33 Little Grebe on 12th, 39 Great Crested Grebe on 12th, 53 Cormorant on 8th, 31 Mute Swans on 12th, 3 Greylag Geese on 4th, 1 Shelduck on 11th , 295 Wigeon on 12th, 23 Gadwall on 12th, 51 Teal on 12th, 57 Mallard on 12th, 2 Pintail on 8th , 2 Shoveler on 7th, 144 Pochard on 29th, 500 Tufted Duck on 29th, 4 Common Scoter on 6th , 2 Goldeneye on 31st, 1 female Red-breasted Merganser on 29th, 26 Moorhen on 12th , 671 Coot on 12th and 1 Red-legged Partridge on Sheepwash Spit on 6th . Four Common Buzzards and 2 Kestrels were reported on 6th. Also on 6th, a Peregrine was seen on the pylon from the Wildlife Centre and was recorded on many other dates around the site.
Wader sightings included a Ringed Plover on Stones Island or at the Wildlife Centre from 4th 1st to 15th, 8 Golden Plover flew past Sheepwash on , a Dunlin was at the Wildlife Centre on several dates from 4th to 31st, a juvenile Ruff was at the Wildlife Centre on 15th and a Redshank was noted on 7th, 22nd and 31st . The gull roost held an adult Mediterranean Gull on 13th and 21st, 1200 Black-headed Gulls on 19th, 3000 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on 19th and 5 Yellow-legged Gulls on 11th .
Late dates for summer migrants were 2 House Martins on , 8 Swallows on , 4 Wheatear on 4th and 2 Chiffchaff on 21st. Autumn/Winter movement included 3 Skylarks flying over on 18th, 47 Meadow Pipits on 21st, 1 Rock Pipit on Sheepwash Spit on 11th and 20th, 1 Redwing on 6th, then 10 on 28th, 700 Starlings in a pre-roost flock at dusk on 31st, 2 Brambling at the Wildlife Centre on 27th, 20 Siskin on 28th, 10 Linnets over Stones Island on 6th and 6 Lesser Redpoll on 13th . Several escapee species have been reported this month with the male plus 2 female Cape type Shelduck on 13th and 28th, a Cackling Goose on 13th and a Black Swan [probably from Bradley pond] on 27th . **Both the Great Northern Diver and Gannet records require submission to the Derbyshire Ornithological Society Rarities sub-Committee with full supporting notes for consideration. Also any further details on possible records of Whooper Swan and Red-necked Grebe this month would be appreciated!
94 species recorded this October compared with 109 in 2007, 99 in 2006, 99 in 2005, 91 in 2004, 94 in 2003 and 103 in 2002.
SEPTEMBER 2008 BIRD NOTES
September Highlights: Shag, Pink-footed Goose, Common Scoter, Honey Buzzard, Osprey, Merlin, Knot, Ruff, Grey Phalarope, Mediterranean Gull and Black Tern
41 Pink-footed Geese were noted going north-east on 23rd, 2 juvenile Shags were found on the Draw-off Tower roof on 2nd and were still present on 16th, with 1 remaining until 23rd . Common wintering wildfowl numbers were increasing and maximum counts totalled: 39 Little Grebe on 14th , 32 Great Crested Grebe on 10th, 45 Cormorant on 8th and 14th, 3 Heron on 14-15th, 29 Mute Swans on 14th, 1 Greylag on 6th, 14 Barnacle on 14th, 1 Shelduck on 14th, 427 Wigeon on 19th, 17 Gadwall on 1st, 66 Teal on 14th, 148 Mallard on 14th, 3 Pintail on 10th, 6 Shoveler on 6th, 1 Red-crested Pochard from 1st to 6th, 39 Pochard on 14th, 512 Tufted Duck on 14th, 3 drake Common Scoter on 9th , 31 Moorhen on 14th and 1292 Coot on 14th .
A Honey Buzzard** was reported flying southwest over Sheepwash Car Park at 1400hrs on 14th , this was part of a large movement through England around the 14th . Other raptor records this month included a Sparrowhawk with prey on the dam being harassed by another on 29th, 7 Buzzards over Hopton on 7th, Osprey on 4th, 6th and 16th, a Merlin on 23rd, a Hobby on 2nd, 3rd, 7th and 9th and Peregrine on many dates. A Grey Phalarope** was seen briefly flying and settled on the water from Millfields on 6th, further searching could not re-find the bird. Other waders included 2 Oystercatchers on 14th, 3 Golden Plover flying over the dam wall on 13th, 178 Lapwing on 14th, 1 Knot on 15th, 1 Dunlin on 22nd, 3 Ruff on 24th, 14 Snipe on 21st, 1 Curlew on 25th, 1 Redshank on 9th and 2 Common Sandpipers on 23rd.
An adult Mediterranean Gull was in the gull roost from the 1st , 1 Common Tern was seen at Millfields on 6th, a juvenile Arctic Tern on 23rd and a Black Tern on 14th . A Yellow Wagtail was on the dam wall on 6th and 15th and a White Wagtail was there on 8th and 18th. A juvenile Stonechat was in Tail Bay on 18th, 3 Wheatears on the dam wall on 3rd, a Sedge Warbler in Shiningford Creek on 25th, 1 Whitethroat on 8th, 2 Garden Warblers on 8th and 2 Willow Warblers on 19th. Two flocks of Goldfinch on 10th totalled 60 birds, 40 Siskins were seen on 10th and 6 Linnets were noted on 9th .
109 Species were recorded this September compared with 108 in 2007, 101 in 2006, 101 in 2005, 94 in 2004 and 104 in 2003.
N.B. both Honey Buzzard** and Grey Phalarope** species require the record and description details to be submitted to DOS for consideration.
AUGUST 2008 BIRD NOTES
August Highlights: Little Egret, Osprey and Black Terns.
A Little Egret at 1040hrs on 23rd was the second this year. The egret flew in from Shiningford Creek onto Horseshoe Island then towards the Visitor Centre and, later, at 1400hrs, it was seen from Paul Stanley Hide. Breeding noted included the third brood of Little Grebe this year, the eighteenth brood of Mallard, eleventh of Tufted Duck, fourth of Moorhen and thirteenth of Coot. Cormorant numbers increased through the month to 38 on 30th and Mute Swans totalled 36 on 13th, including 6 juveniles. Wildfowl numbers included 6 Shelduck on 26th, 7 Wigeon on 25th and 30th, 18 Gadwall on 25th, 18 Teal on 31st, 122 Mallard on 20th, 3 Shoveler on 30th, a female Red-crested Pochard on 13th and a male from 21st to 31st, 3 Pochard on 20th, 288 Tufted Duck on 20th , a female Common Scoter on 30th and 741 Coot on 20th .
A young Sparrow Hawk was calling in Middle Wood on 14th, 4 Common Buzzards were in the air on 2nd and 11th and a young Buzzard was calling and flying over Hall Wood on many dates during the month. An Osprey was reported at 1630hrs on 30th and 2 Peregrines were seen on 17th and single Peregrines on most days.
This month’s wader passage has been very poor due to high water levels and tall vegetation along shorelines. By the end of the month there were signs of falling water levels and vegetation was being cleared from islands so, hopefully, September will be better. Waders included 1 Ringed Plover on 17th, 2 Dunlin on 5th and singles from 3rd to 8th, 3 Snipe on 31st, 1 Curlew on 18th, 1 Redshank on 8th, 10th, 22nd, 26th and 30th, 1 Greenshank on 14th, 3 Common Sandpipers on 4th , singles other dates, and a Turnstone briefly on 26th .
The gull roost started this month with mainly Lesser Black-backed Gulls and a near adult Yellow- legged Gull has been on site all month. The breeding pair of Common Terns and their flighted juvenile were last recorded on 4th and 2 other Common Terns were present on 20th and 5 on 30th . Black Terns have been well noted on passage with 2 adults on 13th and 17th, a juvenile off Stones Island from 19th to 21st and an adult with 2 juveniles on 30th . Two Stock Doves were noted on the tall dead tree trunk in Brown Ale Bay on 7th and were seen entering a hole in the trunk on 12th, suggesting probable breeding which would be the first for this site. A Barn Owl was near Sheepwash Hide at 1945hrs on 24th and Kingfishers have been seen most days at all ends of the site with 2 noted on 22nd and 26th. Four Meadow Pipits were on the Dam Wall on 18th, 63 Pied Wagtails were on there at 0715hrs on 28th, 2 Redstarts were noted on 10th 25th and 1 Wheatear was on the Dam on . There were two Spotted Flycatcher families recorded, an adult with 2 juveniles in Shiningford Creek on 12th and an adult plus a juvenile in Tail Bay on 23rd. A flock of 300 Jackdaws was noted on 4th and 26th and a flock of 40 Goldfinch on Stones Island on 20th included at least 25 juveniles. An early Siskin was on feeders on 15th, 7 Linnets were noted on 20th and a female Bullfinch was seen feeding 2 juveniles on 18th .
99 Species were recorded this August compared with 109 in 2007, 97 in 2006, 105 in 2005, 113 in 2004 and 110 in 2003.
JULY 2008 BIRD NOTES
Breeding records show the first two broods of Little Grebe by 29th, the seventeenth brood of Mallard this year by 16th and the seventh brood of Tufted Duck by 30th. The first two broods of Moorhen appeared on 21st and Coots reached twelve broods by 31st . Counts and records included 21 Great Crested Grebe on 21st, 3 Heron on 3rd, 28 Mute Swan plus 4+3+1 cygnets on 7th ,2 Greylag Geese on 1st and on later dates, 29 Barnacle Geese plus an oddity on 20th, 1 Shelduck on 14th, an early returning drake Wigeon on 14th, 4 Gadwall on 8th, 4 Teal on 14th, 10 Pochard on 31st, 154 Tufted Duck on 20th, 1 Common Scoter on 21st and 5 on 29th and a fox was seen from the Wildlife Centre taking a Mallard duckling on 8th .
Raptor records included a Sparrowhawk mobbed by the Common Terns breeding at the Wildlife Centre on 14th, juvenile Sparrowhawks calling from their nest sites on 20th and 31st, a juvenile Buzzard seen calling near its nest site on 18th and probably in flight with parents on 7th and 16th and several Peregrine records from 20th, with 1 seen on the pylon from the Wildlife Centre on 22nd .
Waders are currently difficult to see and may not be staying because of high water levels and tall vegetation leaving no open shoreline margin for feeding. Many of the local breeding Oystercatchers and all the local Redshank had left site by 16th although others moving south may call in. Other waders noted were Little Ringed Plover at Paul Stanley Hide until 23rd, including a maximum of 4 on 3rd , a Knot at Sheepwash at 2000hrs on 2nd , a Dunlin on Sheepwash Spit on 16th, 1 Black-tailed Godwit on 11th and 2 on 12th, 20th, 26th, then 1 on 29-31st. 2 Whimbrel were photographed from the Wildlife Centre on 4th, 2 Curlew flew south on 18th , a Greenshank was
present on 1st and 29th and up to 2 Common Sandpipers were around the site all month. Gulls included a near adult Yellow-legged Gull all month, seen at all ends of the site but most often on the raft near Paul Stanley Hide. A count of 27 juvenile Black-headed Gulls on 18th caused confusion as only 7 pairs had been noted breeding, with the first four broods totalling 4+3+3+3, and pairs evidently have just one brood per year. Maybe more pairs actually bred or additional juveniles flew in from elsewhere. The pair of Common Terns breeding at the Wildlife Centre had 2 chicks early in the month but only one remained by 21st. This chick left its raft and eventually showed on Horseshoe Island, being well fed by both parents.
Following heavy rain early on 29th a Black Tern was feeding off Stones Island with 9 Common Terns and a further 14 Common Terns were roosting on the Sailing Club jetty. The sun came out and the terns had moved on by 0930hrs. Together with the breeding family, 26 Common Terns were on site on 29th . 7th 13th Other records include 2 Stock Doves flying over on , 100 plus Swifts through on , a Kingfisher on 9th, 17th and 28th, all at different locations, a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker on Paul Stanley Hide nuts and a pair of Swallows are attempting a second brood in the Stone Shelter. The only Redstart record so far this year was an independent juvenile seen on 7th . A Reed Warbler is still singing at Hopton Pond and breeding is likely but viewing to check this is not possible. A Spotted Flycatcher family of 4 was in Hall Wood on 10th and 16th and another family of 4 appeared at Sheepwash on 13th. A family party of Willow Tits was in Hopton Arm on 24th and 2 Marsh Tits were reported near Brown Ale Bay on 2nd. A family of Jays was at Sheepwash on 29th and 7 Linnets were noted on 23rd .
97 Species recorded this July compared with 94 in 2007, 94 in 2006, 97 in 2005 and 102 in 2004.
June 2008 Bird Notes
No broods of Little Grebe yet, but two broods of Great Crested Grebe with 1 young at Hopton End 8th 14th on and 1 young at Wildlife Centre on . The pair of Mute Swans at Millfields Car Park produced 1 cygnet on 2nd and another pair showed 4 cygnets on Sheepwash Spit on 20th. A total of 604 Canada Geese, including young, were counted on 19th and all the Barnacle Geese families went on a trip across the water to Millfields on 15th. This group consisted 5 pairs with 6, 5, 3, 2 and 2 young. The pair of Cackling Geese reported breeding on Watersports Island last month were seen defending their nest against Crows on 5th but were noted away from the nest on 11th and may well have failed breeding. Mallard broods this year totalled 15 by 29th , Coot have 8 broods, Moorhen have no broods reported but a Tufted Duck with 8 chicks in front of Paul Stanley Hide on 26th is the first of more expected this year. For comparison, by this stage last year wildfowl breeding included 2 broods of Swan, 5 broods of Barnacle Geese, 18 of Mallard, 5 of Moorhen, 6 of Coot and 1 of Tufted Duck. A Red-legged Partridge has been seen at Sheepwash, occasionally a pair, noted carrying vegetation, mainly early morning, by the Rangers opening up the car park, hopefully this will result in a breeding success. Two Red-crested Pochards were at the Wildlife Centre from 8th to 11th and 3 were there on 25th .
Wader breeding has been difficult to assess due to the tall vegetation growth on most islands and some breeding may have been missed. Of the 7 pairs of Oystercatchers, only 2 pairs are known to have produced young on Millfields and Sailing Club Islands. The Sailing Club Island pair had moved their 2 young onto Watersports Island by 16th. Lapwing young noted include 3 fresh young on Horseshoe Island on 4th, which is the 2nd brood noted. One young Redshank has been reported and a pair of Little Ringed Plovers were still displaying. This time last year there were 4 broods of Oystercatcher, 4 of Lapwing and 3 of Redshank. Other waders recorded include a Ringed Plover at Paul Stanley Hide on 30th, a male Black-tailed Godwit (race Icelandica) at Wildlife Centre on 20th and a different bird on 29th/30th. A Whimbrel was seen on 2nd, and a Curlew on 6th was one of many records of single Curlew which may be one of a pair seen and possibly breeding in fields towards Ashbourne.
The pair of Common Gulls reported breeding last month had sadly failed by 15th. The 7 pairs of Black-headed Gulls continued to raise young and a pair with 3 young vacated their raft whereupon the pair of frustrated Common Terns immediately moved in and had a chick by 30th . A Barn Owl was noted carrying prey in the evening at Sheepwash on 30th and an adult Tawny Owl was perched near the memorial at Millfields end of the dam wall at lunchtime on 19th. A Kingfisher was at the Wildlife Centre on 22nd and 25th and was also seen in Tail Bay on 23rd. A pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers brought 2 juveniles to Paul Stanley feeders on 16th and a pair of Swallow were feeding young in the stone shelter near Millfields on 15th. Twenty House Martin nests were 1st counted on the Visitor Centre, Watersports and Sailing Club buildings on . A pair of Grey Wagtails were noted at Sheepwash on 2nd, at Hopton Arm and Shiningford Creek on 23rd, and a juvenile was near Paul Stanley Hide on 26th. Sedge Warbler were singing in Hopton Reedbed on 11th, Hopton Pond on 15th, Stones Island on 15th and Tail Bay on 23rd and 27th. A Reed Warbler was singing in Hopton Reedbed until 15th at least, but not on 29th, and another was singing from Hopton Pond all month. A Willow Tit family was in Millfields Car Park on 19th, a Tree Creeper pair with 3 young were near Shiningford Creek on 2nd and 4 Linnets were in fields by Fishtail Creek on 23rd.
90 Species recorded compared with 93 in June 2007, 89 in 2006, 94 in 2005, 96 in 2004 and 84 in 2003.
MAY 2008 BIRD NOTES
May Highlights: Spoonbill, Great Northern Diver, Garganey, Red Kite, Hobby, Grey Plover, Turnstone, Black Tern, Turtle Dove, Cuckoo and Pied Flycatcher.
The bird of the month must be the Spoonbill. A first for Carsington. It was found at 1030hrs on 29th on Horseshoe Island and had gone, high northeast, by 1100 hours. The Great Northern Diver was last recorded on 2nd, it had been here since last November and was attaining summer plumage. No broods of Grebe, Swan or Moorhen have yet been recorded but there are 4 broods of Barnacle Geese around Stones Island area, 1 brood of Coot and 12 broods of Mallard on site. Coincidently, by this time last year there were also 4 broods of Barnacle and 12 of Mallard. The long staying Pink-footed Goose was last noted on 9th. A Shelduck was on Sheepwash Spit on 25th and a drake Garganey gave excellent views from the Wildlife Centre on 11th. Other wildfowl included a Shoveler on 10th, 3 Pochard on 18th, 105 Tufted Duck on 18th, 64 Coot on 18th and a Goosander on 10th. A pair of presumed escapee Cackling Geese are breeding on Watersports Island.
Red Kite have been reported at several Derbyshire sites this month and at Carsington on 1st and 26th . The return of the migratory Hobby was noted by just 1 record of a bird flying south over the 5th 13th Dam Wall on and a Peregrine was noted from the Wildlife Centre on . Two pairs of Oystercatchers have young, 2 on Millfields Island on 8th and 2 on Sailing Club Island on 25th. Pairs on Big Island and Flat Island may have failed. Little Ringed Plovers have been around with a maximum of 3 at Paul Stanley Hide on 17th, but no signs of breeding. So far there is just 1 Lapwing brood of 3 chicks on Horseshoe Island on 18th and no Redshank young have yet been reported, which is the same as last year. Other waders on passage included 2 Ringed Plovers on Sheepwash Spit on 8th, a superb summer plumage male Grey Plover in front of the Wildlife Centre 8th 2nd on 16th and 17th , a Sanderling at Sheepwash on and another on 18th , 2 Dunlin on , a Whimbrel on 1st and 26th, 2 Curlew on 10th, a Greenshank at the Wildlife Centre on 16th, a Green Sandpiper at the Wildlife Centre on 11th and 2 Turnstones there on 14th . Little Gulls were again well recorded this month with single first summer birds on 8th, 9th and 21st .
The Black-headed Gull colony at the Wildlife Centre has 7 nests, 4 with young by 27th. A pair of Common Gulls, possibly attracted by the BHG colony, was seen to be displaying/pair bonding on 16th. On 17th they started a nest on a raft but a Coot stole the material. The pair was noted mating on 27th and on other dates and it looks as though they have a nest which is out of general view. Could this be a first breeding of Common Gull at Carsington? And even for Derbyshire? A pair of Common Terns was around the rafts at the Wildlife Centre from 18th, finally finding nest space on 21st. This nest was lost by 30th, a brood of 3 young Black-headed Gulls were on the same raft. Tern passage included 5 Common on 16th, 1 Arctic Tern on 9th and 2 Black Terns on 5th and 1 on 8th . A Turtle Dove on the Wildlife Centre Feeders on 20th must have been a surprise. It stayed all day, showing only occasionally and is the first record since May 1996. A Cuckoo was seen flying north on 4th, this species was last seen in May 2004. A Yellow Wagtail was at the Wildlife Centre on 13th , 1 White Wagtail on 6th, 1 Wheatear on 17th, a Reed Warbler at Hopton Pond on 29th, 2 Spotted Flycatchers in Hall Wood from 11th, a pair of Brambling on 5th, a pair of Linnets on Stones Island on 11th and another pair in Fishtail on 19th. A singing Pied Flycatcher was found northeast of Millfields spit on 3rd to 10th and another in Hall Wood from 9th to 12th. A count on a walk round the site by 2 observers on 7th totalled 40 Chiffchaff, 41 Willow Warblers, 15 Garden Warblers, 28 Blackcaps, 7 Whitethroats, 41 Blackbirds, 57 Robins, 51 Wrens, 31 Blue Tits, 23 Great tits, 42 Chaffinch, 14 Goldfinch and a Skylark singing over Upperfields Farm.
113 Species recorded compared with 103 in May 2007, 107 in 2006, 107 in 2005, 114 in 2004 and 110 in 2003.
APRIL 2008 BIRD NOTES
April Highlights: Some littles, Little Egret, Little Gull, Little Tern, some bigger, Avocets, Osprey,Great Northern Diver, and many spring migrants. The Great Northern Diver stayed another month and is gaining summer plumage. A Little Egret was on show from Paul Stanley Hide on 28th, last recorded here in April 2006. A Pink-footed Goose stayed with the local geese all month, a female Mandarin was in Tail Bay on 29th, a female Scaup at the Wildlife Centre from 13th to 30th, 2 drake Common Scoters from 3rd to 13th, 4 Red-breasted Mergansers on 20th and 21st and a Water Rail in Tail Bay on 2nd. Counts included 23 Little Grebe on 6th, 28 Great Crested Grebe on 6th, 14 Cormorants on 20th, 2 Shelduck on 4th and 13th 16th, 4 Wigeon on 17th, 4 Gadwall on 18th, 40 Mallard on 6th, 2 Shoveler on 3rd, 8th and 14th, 298 Tufted Duck on 6th, 11 Goldeneye on 2nd and 163 Coot on 6th. Three fresh broods of Mallard were noted on 17th and another brood on 21st .
An Osprey was viewed from the Wildlife Centre for 10 minutes on 9th, and both immature and adult Peregrines were noted on several dates. Waders included another record of 2 Avocets at the Wildlife Centre on 29th; see the photos on our website. Seven pairs of Oystercatcher have been busily establishing nest sites, Little Ringed
Plover arrived with 1on 8th and 2 on 19th, a Ringed Plover was seen on 4th and 19th, 1 Sanderling on 27th, 23 Dunlin on 27th, 7 Snipe on 7th, 1 Black-tailed Godwit on 16th, 1 Whimbrel on 17th and 4 on 25th, 15 Curlew at dusk on 15th, 14 Redshank on 20th, a Greenshank on 8th and 22nd, 1 Green Sandpiper from 17-22nd at the Wildlife Centre and 1 Common Sandpiper on 5th and 6 on 27th . Gulls included a Kittiwake on 7th and 6 Little Gulls on 5th, 3 on 23rd, an immature on 24th and an 27th adult on . Terns started with a total of 18 Arctic Terns on 20th and another 18 on 24th , 4 Common Terns on 27th and 2 Little Terns also on 27th .
The first Swifts arrived with 5 on 26th and 30 on 29th, a Tree Pipit flew over on 19th, a Yellow Wagtail arrived on 11th and 30 were on Stones Island on 17th, 3 White Wagtails on 7th, a female Stonechat on 17th, 3 Wheatear on 8th and over 100 Redwing were noted on 7th. Warblers arrived with a Grasshopper Warbler on 14th and 26th, 1 Sedge Warbler on 24th, and 1 Reed Warbler on 26th, 1 Lesser Whitethroat on 23rd and 4 on 25th, 1 Whitethroat on 24th and 4 on 29th, and 2 Garden Warbler on 25th and 6 on 29th. Counts of warbler species arriving last month include 8 Blackcap on 9th 29th 20th , 20 Chiffchaff on and 23 Willow Warbler on . Two pairs of Willow Tit were noted excavating nest holes, Treecreepers totalled 6 in Hall plus Middle Wood on 13th and 2 Brambling were on Stones Island on 6th .
118 Species were recorded compared with 103 in April 2007, 118 in 2006, 117 in 2005, 116 in 2004, 120 in 2003 and 107 in 2002.
MARCH 2008 BIRD NOTES
March Highlights: Whooper Swans, Egyptian Goose, Common Scoters and Osprey briefly. Long awaited Avocets stay a day, Long-eared Owl shows too well and Swallows and Martins arrive early.
The Great Northern Diver stays another month and is now showing some summer plumage markings on its back. Two Whooper Swans stayed all day on 17th. Last month’s Pink-footed Goose and the regular Cackling Goose remained with the local Geese all month and an Egyptian Goose joined the goose circus for a day on the 27th. Twelve Common Scoter, including 8 drakes, were seen from Sheepwash Hide on 26th . Counts this month total 54 Little Grebe on 10th, 33 Great Crested Grebe on 23rd, 31 Cormorant on 23rd, 4 Heron on 10th, 11 Mute Swan on 10th, 3 Greylag on 17th, 85 Canada on 10th, 40 Barnacle on 22nd, 3 Shelduck on 15th, 124 Wigeon on 15th, 2
Gadwall on 20th, 6 Teal on 10th, 89 Mallard on 10th, 1 Pintail on 14th, 7 Shoveler on 16th, 1 Pochard on 28th, 308 Tufted Duck on 10th, 20 Goldeneye on 23rd, 7 Goosander on 2nd, 32 Moorhen on 10th and 284 Coot on 10th. A Water Rail was reported in the stream in Tail Bay on 31st .
26th An Osprey was seen from Sheepwash Hide at 1330hrs on being mobbed by the local Oystercatchers and was reported again at 1215hrs over Sheepwash Car Park the following day. Ten Buzzards were in the air on 17th and 2 Peregrines noted on 10th . This month’s highlight must be the first formal record of Avocet for this site. Two were present on *15th , viewed from Sheepwash or Paul Stanley Hides, sometimes swimming over deep water or asleep on the spit. Either way, they delighted many birders. Six pairs of Oystercatcher were noted on 8th and another pair was probably on Millfields Island at that time. A Ringed Plover flew over calling on 10th and a Golden Plover was on Horseshoe Island on 15th. Lapwing totalled 82 on 10th and Redshank 7 on 10th and 16th. Thirteen Black-tailed Godwit flew west past Paul Stanley Hide on 8th and 5 Dunlin flew north past there on 19th . Curlew have been on passage and roosting all month, with a maximum count of 47 on Horseshoe Island at dusk on 24th . An adult Mediterranean Gull in full summer plumage came in to roost on 5th, and a partial summer plumage bird roosted on 6th . An adult Yellow-legged Gull was on Flat Island on 9th and at the Wildlife Centre on 12th. A Kittiwake was noted on 12th and later in the roost that evening. The next sighting of Kittiwake was a series of possibly the same bird on 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 25th and 28th. The number of Common Gulls roosting built up this month and 590 were counted on 28th .
Owls featured well this month with 2 Barn Owls out hunting on 27th, a pair of Little Owls mating on 28th and an over-obliging Long-eared Owl found among the swarms of visitors on Stones Island onEaster Monday 24th. This owl’s daytime roost was obvious and close to the path and it was flushed several times before departing to, hopefully, unharassed roosts on 27th. Sand Martin and Swallow arrived along with the Avocets on 15th. There was 1 Sand Martin and 2 Swallows, these Swallows being 10 days earlier than any other swallow record for Carsington. House Martins followed later, with 1 on 29th and 10 on 30th. Thirty Meadow Pipits were noted on 26th and 19 Pied Wagtails were on Stones Island on 27th, with an early White Wagtail on the same day. The first Wheatear was on Stones Island on 21st and 2 were on site on 23rd. A Redwing was singing on Stones Island on 20th and 47 Redwing were counted in Tail Bay on 26th . Blackcap on 14th and 19th were probably wintering birds as, probably, were single Chiffchaffs between 11-16th. Three Chiffchaff were singing on 17th and 21 were counted singing during a walk round the reservoir on 29th. A Brambling was seen on Stones Island on 30th and Reed Bunting have again been showing well on feeders, with 11 noted on 7th .
105 Species recorded this March compared with95 in 2007, 100 in 2006, 107 in 2005 and 98 in 2004.
FEBRUARY 2008 BIRD NOTES
February Highlights: Great Northern Diver, Whooper Swans, Pink-footed Goose, Curlew and Skylark.
The Great Northern Diver stayed all month, sometimes elusive over by Fishtail Creek. Ten 10th Whooper Swans flew over on . A Pink-footed Goose was seen with the resident Canada, Barnacle and Cackling Geese on 7th and it remained for the rest of the month. Two Shelduck were present on 5th and 1 on 14th. Two Pintail were at Lane End on 13th and 4 at Sheepwash on 19th . Counts for February included: 59 Little Grebe on 10th and 15th, 36 Great Crested Grebe on 10th, 32 Cormorant on 8th, 12 Mute Swans on 10th, 42 Barnacle Geese on 11th and 28th, 162 Wigeon on 18th, 4 Gadwall on 12th, 42 Teal on 10th, 99 Mallard on 10th, 2 Shoveler on 19th, 3 Pochard on 10th , 284 Tufted on 10th, 17 Goldeneye on 10th and 28th, 20 Goosander on 5th, 39 Moorhen on 10th and 470 Coot on 10th . It was noted that most of the wintering wildfowl had gone by the end of the month. There was little raptor activity this month. The regular Peregrine was seen mantling a coot or moorhen on 1st and Peregrines have not been seen since mid-month, suggesting they may well have gone to take command of their breeding site. Three Buzzards were noted towards Hopton on 3rd , a pair were displaying on 6th and 6 were in the air on 27th. Sparrowhawks have been much in evidence all around the site, darting through the leafless open woodland areas seeking prey.
Oystercatchers have been returning and claiming their breeding island. Although 7 birds on 15th was the maximum count, there could well be more, isolated on their islands, one familiar bird with a bar code type leg ring has returned and another pair looked as though they were mating at the Wildlife Centre on 27th. Lapwing numbers at the early morning roost near the Sailing Club totalled 340 on 22nd, and 2 Dunlin were on Stones Island on 5th. The first returning Curlew were on 19th , when at least 2 were heard in the day long mist of that period. By the end of the month 17 were noted at Sheepwash on 28th, with small numbers going to evening roost on Horseshoe Island. Redshanks have returned to their breeding grounds and 5 were counted on 8th, however, birds are scattered and site numbers may be greater than this. The gull roost was much reduced, with 2000 Black-headed Gulls and 130 Common Gulls on 13th , 330 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on 15th and 2 Yellow-legged Gulls on 3rd and 1 on 15th . Skylarks have been noted flying overhead, with a maximum of 5 over Stones Island on 27th. The 6th wintering Meadow Pipit flock in Tail Bay and dam wall area numbered 21 on . Wintering Redwing were always around, with 64 in Sheepwash car park on 4th and 70 near Oldfield Lane on 28th, but Fieldfare were difficult to come across, with just 2 recorded in Tail Bay on 20th, associating with 2 Mistle Thrush. Five Rooks flew over the Visitor Centre on 6th and 2 Raven were displaying on 6th and mating on 22nd. Siskin and Lesser Redpoll have been significantly absent this month, with just 3 Siskin in Shiningford Creek on 7th and 1 Redpoll at the Wildlife Centre on 3rd . Reed Buntings have been very prominent on feeding tables again this month, with 5 on Sheepwash and 2 on Lane End feeders on 4th .
Only 86 Species this month compared with 88 in Feb 2007, 89 in 2006, 90 in 2005 and 96 in 2004.
JANUARY 2008 BIRD NOTES
January Highlights: Great Northern Diver and Bewick’s Swan.
Last month’s adult Great Northern Diver stayed all this month, usually found off Stones Island. Two Bewick’s Swans were in front of the Wildlife Centre briefly on the 5th before flying around the site to mid-water. They left site late morning. Five Pink-footed Geese flew high south west over Tail Bay at 1100hrs on 11th and 60 were reported over the north side at 1050hrs on 20th. Site counts this month included 58 Little Grebe on 29th, 40 Great Crested Grebe on 29th, 34 Cormorant on 13th, 14 7th 13th 12th Mute Swans on , 13 Greylag Geese on , 40 feral Barnacle Geese on and 27th , 1 escapee Cackling Goose on 7th and on other dates with Barnacles, 2 Shelduck appeared on 21st and 27th, 229 Wigeon on 13th, 70 Gadwall on 13th, 162 Teal on 13th, 237 Mallard on 13th, 1 female Pintail on 2nd and other dates, 2 Shoveler on 19th, 113 Pochard on 13th, 495 Tufted Duck on 13th , 16 Goldeneye on 29th, 30 Goosander on 19th and 1880 Coot on 13th .
Peregrines have been active again this month, using the pylon seen from the Wildlife Centre as a perch, and 2 were noted from Paul Stanley Hide on 3rd. Oystercatchers are gradually returning to their breeding islands, with 1 on Millfields Island from 21st, 2 at the Wildlife Centre on 27th and a total of three seen on 29th. Lapwings have been roosting in front of the Sailing Club, numbering
350 on 19th. Seven Snipe were noted on 7th and 6 were flushed from Sheepwash Spit by a Heron on 8th. Five Redshank were at the Wildlife Centre on 27th and singles have been noted at various locations around the site all month. An adult Mediterranean Gull was in Millfields Bay at 1100hrs on 3rd and probably the same bird was in the roost on 12th. An adult Yellow-legged Gull was in the roost on 2nd and 19th. The gull roost visible from Lane End Hide on 31st included circa 3000 Black-headed, 200 Common, 1500
Lesser Black-backed, 150 Herring and 30 Great Black-backed Gulls. The Little Owl has been seen several times from the Wildlife Centre with 2 showing on 27th, and elsewhere, a pair of Tawny Owl was reported on 14th and 29th. A Kingfisher at Paul Stanley Hide was one of the only birds recorded on the very misty 1st day of the New Year. The Kingfisher has since been seen at various shoreline locations throughout the month. A Green Woodpecker on 6th was a welcome record of this scarce visitor. Two Skylarks flew over Millfields on 27th, calling as they went northwards. Other records included 80 Redwing in the Oldfield Lane area on 16th, 4 Goldcrests at the Wildlife Centre on 27th, 90 Jackdaw on Flat Island on 27th, a flock of 60 Siskin in 4th 2nd Shiningford Creek on and 5 Lesser Redpoll on Stones Island on . Reed Bunting are occasionally using the feeding stations at the Wildlife Centre, Lane End and Sheepwash and 2 birds were noted on 6th and 21st .
Just 85 Species in what has turned out to be a relatively dull birding month. This 85 is compared with 89 in January 2007, 89 in 2006, 95 in 2005, 91 in 2004, 87 in 2003 and 75 in 2002.