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Monthly Bird Notes

 Posted by on January 3, 2018  Carsington Bird Club, CBC Monthly Bird Notes, News, Things To Do  Comments Off on Monthly Bird Notes
Jan 032018

Why not take a look at the detailed monthly note provided by your recorders – Clive Ashton and Dave Newcombe.  Along with the many submitters of sitings, these guys collate all the sitings and publish them into monthly notes, which are then collated into ‘Annual’ notes, stored on the website.  Everything you wanted to know about birds at Carsington Reservoir, but were afraid to ask!

There is a ‘Bird Notes‘ link above in the menus, or click this link.

Try having a look once in a while – you’d be surprised how much information they contain.

No 4 / November 2017

 Posted by on December 5, 2017  Carsington Bird Club, CBC Newsletters  Comments Off on No 4 / November 2017
Dec 052017


The reservoir seems to be under greater scrutiny than ever under the watchful eye of a dedicated band of recorders, and detailed data is being submitted almost daily, so it’s hardly surprising that both September (with 118) and October (108) yielded the second-highest species totals ever at Carsington for those particular months.

When asked for his personal highlights in mid November, one of the regular observers Simon Roddis spotlighted the site’s first ever Dipper, seen near the stream in Tail Bay in September, and a single Manx Shearwater – one of many blown inland by storms – seen on 11 September, which was only the fourth record of this pelagic species at Carsington.

Simon was involved in massive counts during the autumn movements, including 11,400 Woodpigeons on 18 October, which is thought to be a site record, and flocks of up to 4,000 Starlings. He was also excited to see a Great White Egret on 12 November, one of two seen in the last quarter – further evidence (along with the site-record 12 Little Egrets on 21 September) of the drift north of egret species, which only 20 years ago required a flight to the Med to be sure of seeing.

There have also been site-record high counts of Hawfinch (26,) following a recent irruption in the southern half of the UK, and Shoveler duck, while Teal (522) and Gadwall (98) had their highest counts for more than a decade. Meanwhile, a Green-winged Teal was expertly identified among this huge flock, staying for over three weeks in October, and 26 Whooper Swans at Millfields on 12 November was an impressive sight.

Continuing with large numbers, more than 1,140 Coot were counted one day, and there are good numbers of other duck species around including Wigeon (385), Tufted (336) and Mallard and Pochard (both 150+). Canada Geese numbers peaked at a huge 1,250 in September, Greylags were doing their best to keep up with over 400 recorded during October and more than 100 Pink-footed Geese were counted overhead several times, while a single Brent on 8 October added to goose diversity.

The gull roost had over 8,000 individuals on 8 November, comprising around 5,000 Black-headed, 2,000 Lesser Black-backs and 1,000 Common Gulls, and a sizeable flock of 650 Lapwing reflected wader species’ delight at the wide expanses of mud resulting from consistently low water levels. Other waders of note have included Little Stint, Turnstone, Knot, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit, up to four Ruff and small flocks of Dunlin and Ringed Plover have been regularly seen.

Early morning vigils have been rewarding at Hopton end, where good numbers of wagtails, Starlings and Reed Buntings roost regularly, Woodcock and Water Rails are often seen and heard, and up to six Tawny Owls have been heard calling. Raptor activity, meanwhile, has been quiet, though an Osprey turned up on 12 September, a Merlin sped through on 17 October and Peregrines are an increasingly regular sight.

The last Sand Martin was seen on 25 September, which equals the latest date ever, while a few other summer visitors – including Wheatear and Blackcap (and Chiffchaff, possibly overwintering) – were still being seen in late October. Meanwhile, winter migrants like Redwing, Fieldfare, Brambling, Siskin and Lesser Redpoll have all been seen in good numbers – and, importantly, an adult Great Northern Diver (following one that stayed just minutes on 19 November) arrived on the 24th and looks like staying around.

… a bit early but …




It’s been a fairly busy few months for the club, with a trip squeezed in before the colder, more uncertain weather arrived as well as the new season of indoor meetings getting underway.

The location for the club’s second trip of the year on 8 October was the RSPB’s excellent Old Moor reserve or, more precisely, its expanding complex of sites along the Dearne Valley in south Yorkshire. After leaving Old Moor itself, half of the party visited another of these blossoming reserves, near Adwick village, while the other half took in the independent reserve of Broomhill Flash.

Overall, a collective total of 59 species was chalked up by the CBC group, including Little Egret, Kingfisher, Golden Plovers joining a group of Lapwing plus several other interesting waders, notably Spotted Redshank, Ruff, Ringed Plover and both Green and Curlew Sandpipers. A Kestrel, hovering and then perched on a nearby post, offered the best photo opportunities.

For more details on this trip, and the full list of species seen, and a few photos from the day, read the item on the club’s website at www.carsingtonbirdclub.co.uk/cbc/blog/.

Back indoors, our season of wildlife talks was kicked off by local photographer Ken Smith, who is a regular observer on Beeley Moor, and half of his presentation amazed his audience most of whom have also been to Beeley Moor on many occasions without seeing half of the species Ken saw and photographed. The second half of Ken’s talk took us on a quick tour of his some of his overseas highlights.

The high quality photography of our speakers is a given, and so it was for Tony Davison – returning for the second successive season, in October, this time showing us what he and a couple of fellow wildlife photographers (including our own webmaster Richard Pittam) had encountered during a marvellous trip to Alaska. Tony explained the highly detailed planning and logistics involved in reaching all their key target locations and, once there, how close they often managed to get to species that clearly did not view humans as a threat.

Another treat was in store for those who came along to the November talk, delivered by Wakefield-based professional photographer John Gardner. He’s visited us several times over the years, and this time the subject was Iberian birds. Once again, we got an insight into how much planning has to go into accessing the right sort of locations and habitats, and the limitless patience waiting in hides for just the right moment to get ‘the killer shot’.



It’s been a good ‘financial quarter’ for CBC with two generous donations amounting to £425 providing a welcome boost to the club’s coffers.

The first of these came from individual member Patrick Lawless, who surprised us when he haded over a cheque for £265, thereby effectively paying for the last issue of the club’s annual report. Thanks go to Patrick, and also to DOS (Derbyshire Ornithological Society) who provided their regular donation (of £160) to help the upkeep of the bird feeding stations around the site.



Club member and former DOS Chairman Bryan Barnacle informs us that there are still a few copies of The Birds of Derbyshire, a publication any serious birder in the county must have, available at half the published price!

This 376-page exhaustive study of the county’s avifauna describes the history of birding in Derbyshire, various habitats the county offers as well as the birds themselves, the status of each species and charts outlining breeding bird survey results, all illustrated with numerous lined drawings and photographs.

If you want a copy at just £22.50, contact Bryan either by phone on 01433 630726 or by e-mail at barney.mays42@gmail.com.



As we near the end of 2017 it’s hard to believe where the months have gone. This year has been one of the busiest on site for all sorts of reasons; not least because we celebrated our 25th anniversary back in May.

Whether looking back at this year, or the past 25 years, one of the things you can be most sure of is change. When the Queen opened the site back in 1992 the limestone buildings were gleaming white, tree guards marked the location of the hundreds of thousands of newly-planted saplings, and every fixture and fitting of the site was brand new.

Over the next quarter of a century the site has matured beautifully. the fields of tree guards are now established woodlands, any original fixtures and fittings are truly weathered in and the paths have been walked and cycled by many millions of visitors. All of this presents challenges to manage and maintain.

The growing demand for water has seen our levels fluctuate more in recent years than they have in the past. This is the reservoir doing exactly what it was designed to do but is tricky for Carsington Sports and Leisure and the Sailing Club, who find the water many metres from the shoreline, and for the rangers who have to keep the public away from the deep mud.

The way our visitors use the site has changed, too, and continues to evolve. We’ve all become more health conscious and we host sporting events throughout the year. New activities like stand-up paddle- boarding and Nordic walking have arrived and existing pastimes like cycling have seen an explosion in popularity.

We communicate with visitors via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TripAdvisor, and we have to formulate policies to deal with everything from drones to Pokemon Go! More recently we’ve seen many visitors staying later into the evening and an enormous increase in the number of disposable barbeques used on site, all things for us to address as we look ahead to 2018.

And, of course, no summary of the site would be complete without us also looking at the birdlife at Carsington Water – something which has changed as much as any other aspect of life on site.

Once scarce species such as Buzzards and Little Egrets have become part of the furniture and others such as Ospreys, Great White Egrets and Red Kites are recorded with increasing frequency, while sadly other species like Little Owl and Grey Partridge have all but disappeared from our records.

The Carsington Bird Club continues to record ‘firsts’ for the site such as Cetti’s Warbler, Richard’s Pipit and Yellow-browed Warbler in recent years, and first breeding by species like Gadwall and Red-crested Pochard.  Vis-mig totals are revealing enormous counts passing over our heads and eruptions of species such as this year’s influx of Hawfinches have provided us with remarkable records.

With a developing reed bed, maturing woodland and all that exposed mud we’ll no doubt see more changes in the site’s birdlife in the coming years. And so long as we can keep the drones, the barbeques and whatever future challenge we encounter under control it’s exciting to speculate which species will visit or even breed here in the next 25 years.

John Matkin, Severn Trent Water



We’re unlikely to see many more butterflies this year (except perhaps hibernating in our garages!) but the formal surveys undertaken over the summer months by a hardcore of volunteers on the Sheepwash and Shiningford transects have underlined that Carsington Water is one of the top dozen sites in Derbyshire for butterfly sightings.

And 2017 proved a successful year in its own right with nearly twice as many seen than in 2016 (1,125 compared with 590). Though Sheepwash has been surveyed more than a decade longer, Shiningford has already overtaken it in terms of species seen – 24 – and overall the site has logged 26 species.

With three varieties – Dark-green Fritillary, Dingy Skipper and Clouded Yellow – seen for the first time during the last five years, and Wall Brown reappearing after an absence of many years, there are high hopes that further species recorded at other locations nearby will soon make an appearance at Carsington. County recorder Ken Orpe predicts that next year’s volunteers should keep a particularly beady eye out for Purple and Green Hairstreak, Marbled White and Brown Argus.

All but one of the 52 transects (each should be walked every week for the 26 middle weeks from April-September) was completed, and an average of 22 butterflies were seen on each transect, above the overall site average.


CBC’s winter programme of indoor meetings is set to continue either side of Christmas in the Visitor Centre’s Henmore Room (start 7.30pm), with some interesting speakers and varied topics lined up (see below). It’s also worth remembering that our January meeting will begin half-an-hour earlier than usual (7pm) to accommodate the club’s annual general meeting, which will then be followed by the scheduled talk. Please get along to the AGM if you can. The full schedule is as follows:

19 December 2017 –  ‘Shetland Wildlife’ by Dave Hollis

16 January 2018 – AGM followed by a talk on Sherwood Forest wildlife and ringing by Andrew Lowe

20 February 2018 –  ‘Brown Hares and winter farmland’ by Christine Gregory

20 March 2018 –  ‘Wildlife and nature reserves of Lincolnshire’ by Steve Lovell

Severn Trent Water, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust, RSPB and New Leaf Catering also organise a range of activities.

It’s sensible to check if booking is required for any of the following events, so please call either 01629 540696 (STW), 01773 881188 (DWT) or 01629 540363 (New Leaf).

Every day                               Animal Antics Trail (trail pack £1)                                     Visitor Centre (10am-5pm)

First Sunday of month        Birdwatching for Beginners with STW ranger             Meet Visitor Centre (10am-noon)

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

Every Tuesday/Sunday    Wildlife Centre volunteers on parade                           Wildlife Centre (10am-3pm)

Third Saturday of month   ‘Family Forest School’ (two age group sessions: 1030-noon over-5s; 1330-1500 over-7s –   Millfields car park (contact DWT) – )

Last Saturday of month    Sheepwash Spinners (learn about wool spinning and associated crafts – Visitor Centre (10am-3pm)

4 December                         Nature Tots: Rockin’ Robins (charge applies)  – Daily until 24 December  Christmas lunch in Mainsail Restaurant – 10.30am-noon or pm (contact DWT) – Contact New Leaf to book

8 January 2018                      Nature Tots: Warm up for Winter (charge applies)                  10.30am-noon or pm (contact DWT)

6 February                               Nature Tots: Plant Power (charge applies)                10.30am-noon or pm (contact DWT)

21 February                             Wild Wednesday: Learn about Barn Owls                                   Contact DWT for more information

                                                      (charge applies)


KNOW YOUR COMMITTEE – Here are the club officials and their contact details……..
Committee Post Name Telephone Email Address
Secretary Paul Hicking 01773 827727 paulandsteph@hicking.plus.com
Treasurer / Membership John Follett 01332 834778 johnlfollett@virginmedia.com
Recorders Clive Ashton /

Dave Newcombe

01629 823316




Publications / Indoor Meetings Gary Atkins 01335 370773 garysatkins@aol.com


Jon Bradley

Roger Carrington

Chris Lamb

01773 852526

01629 583816

01629 820890




…..and the website address   –   http://www.carsingtonbirdclub.co.uk
Webmaster Richard Pittam n/a Contact Richard via the website



Old Moor/Dearne Valley nets 59 species for CBC visitors

 Posted by on October 9, 2017  Carsington Bird Club, Events, Member Reports  Comments Off on Old Moor/Dearne Valley nets 59 species for CBC visitors
Oct 092017

The RSPB’s well-established Old Moor reserve, plus a couple of smaller developing areas in the Dearne Valley in South Yorkshire, was the target for the Club’s latest excursion on Sunday, 8 October. Thankfully, a decent day was chosen by organiser Chris Lamb and the nine-strong group did not encounter a single drop of rain!

A good spread of wetland birds were on display, though it was only at the eastern end of the main reserve – with good views from the Wath Ings hide – that more interesting waders were evident, as well as a quick flash of Kingfisher. Highlights included Spotted Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Ruff and Ringed Plover, while those who stayed longest in that hide also enjoyed the sight of a group of Golden Plover dropping in to join the Lapwings.

Predictably there were several Little Egrets dotted around the site, while Gadwall was one of the more numerous ducks on show, along with fair numbers of Wigeon, Pochard, Shoveler and Teal. A small group of Snipe were eventually found in the bottom of some reeds, which had initially caught our attention courtesy of a Little Grebe determinedly trying to see off and eat a small fish!

Cetti’s Warblers were, as usual, heard but not seen at various points around the network of footpaths, and on the feeders a range of tits and finches gave a good show. The best photo opportunity was offered when a Kestrel, which had been seen hunting in several areas, decided to land on a post for a rest and didn’t seem in the slightest bit concerned as several people jostled for the best views and snapped away just 15 yards or so from his perch.

After leaving the main reserve, some of the group called in on Broomhill Flash where more of the same wetland species were observed, while other members drove a little further away to a developing area near Adwick village where the highlight was a huge flock of Greenfinches gorging on a field of sunflowers.

The full list of species recorded on the day were: Canada Goose, Greylag Goose, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Teal, Pochard, Gadwall, Wigeon, Shoveler, Little Grebe, Gt Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Grey Heron, Coot, Moorhen, Snipe, Lapwing, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Black-headed Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Pheasant, Kingfisher, Rook, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Magpie, Jay, Starling, Buzzard, Kestrel, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Robin, Wren, Tree Sparrow, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Linnet, Cetti’s Warbler, Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Blackbird and Song Thrush




Green Sandpiper

Common Snipe

Grey Heron



CBC Field Trip – 08 October 2017

 Posted by on September 3, 2017  Carsington Bird Club  Comments Off on CBC Field Trip – 08 October 2017
Sep 032017
Our next CBC members trip will be on Sunday 8th October to the RSPB Dearne Valley Old Moor Reserve. The reserve is located between Barnsley and Doncaster and has a cafe, shop and toilets. In fact there is not just 1, but 4 RSPB reserves within close proximity in the Dearne Valley (Bolton Ings, Gypsy Marsh, Old Moor and Wombwell Ings), as well as a small independently run reserve with a hide at Broomhill Flash. This should give us plenty of opportunity for seeing lots of birds and having a good day out.
We will meet at the Old Moor Reserve at 9:30am. Entrance to the reserve is free for RSPB members, for non-members it’s £5.00 for adults and £3.50 for concessions. The postcode for Satnav users is S73 0YF. Please make your own way there. If you would be interested in car sharing or getting a lift with someone, please contact Chris Lamb on 07836 368037 or email cflamb@yahoo.co.uk or Gary Atkins on 07988 751314.
For more information, visit the RSPB Dearne Valley – Old Moor webpage here:

CBC Newsletter No 3 / August 2017

 Posted by on September 2, 2017  Carsington Bird Club, CBC Newsletters  Comments Off on CBC Newsletter No 3 / August 2017
Sep 022017


Ever since hard-working former Chairman Peter Gibbon passed away late last year, the committee has been exploring ways of ensuring his name and legacy live on in the club’s annals – and a suitable long-term project dropped into their lap when it emerged that the usually prolific Tree Sparrow population at Carsington had mysteriously suffered a drop in numbers and needed some support.

As a result, a large consignment of Tree Sparrow nest boxes is being acquired to help consolidate Tree Sparrow numbers once again – and these numbered nest boxes will each carry the prefix “PG”.

Roger Carrington described why these gregarious birds suddenly seemed to need help on site: “We had noticed the lack of Tree Sparrows at their favourite feeding stations during February this year, and had also mentioned it in the 2016 annual report. We immediately set up a survey to determine Tree Sparrow numbers between Stones Island and Sheepwash car park, including all feeding stations, breeding locations and calling birds. We carried it out every two weeks, counting a maximum number of 28 pre-breeding whereas in the past two years there were pre-breeding flock counts of 40 and 50 at the Wildlife Centre alone.

“We discussed factors that could affect survival, notably habitat, food and breeding, but also considered the status of nest boxes. The 16-box unit on Stones Island had rotted with most units unusable but already birds were in it in late March, while other boxes were lost through age and tree management, yet we were already into breeding season. Severn Trent rangers immediately refurbished some boxes around Ranger Base.”

Feeding was considered, too, since the feeders at the Wildlife Centre can be emptied within a day by ducks and Jackdaws. So the Volunteer Rangers at the Wildlife Centre provided feeders suitable for Tree Sparrows and these have proved popular in providing a constant food source.

“Early post breeding observations have shown a potentially excellent breeding season with many more juveniles than adults around,” added Roger. “With counts of 50 and 58 at the Wildlife Centre, it seems the population may be well on its way back to normal – but we need to look after that population and this is where the extra breeding boxes will help in not only replacing those lost gradually in recent years but also in meeting the needs of an expected increase in breeding pairs in 2018 over relatively few in 2017.”



The next two months will see both the resumption of our indoor talks and another club trip – so please make a note in your diaries.

Full ‘What’s On’ details to the end of the year are given later in the newsletter, but here are two key dates for the calendar:

** SEPTEMBER 19 ** – Ken Smith, an excellent local photographer, will make his debut talk to the club, showing us some wonderful images from his travels near and far …

** OCTOBER 8 ** – We embark on our next club trip, this time to the RSPB Old Moor reserve (and, possibly, other Dearne Valley highlights) in South Yorkshire which is an excellent wetland site and usually bags a healthy number of species … Again, full details appear later in the newsletter



This year seems to have turned out to be a largely good year for breeding at the reservoir, despite lengthy spells of low water levels. There have been some surprises with both grebe species, three species of goose, four of duck and five of wader all producing young together with Mute Swan, Moorhen and Coot broods.

It had looked like Mute Swan breeding had failed, but then a single cygnet from one brood was noted and a pair with five cygnets was escorted by Severn Trent rangers from the road by Hopton Pond to the reservoir, and by late August all the young were well grown. Faring less well were Great Crested Grebes that raised just two separate broods from several nests, and Barnacle Geese that managed three broods but most of the young disappeared, probably through predation on Millfields Island where, additionally, just 14 Black-headed Gull young were logged despite an earlier count of 240 nests on the island.

Greylags were more successful, with four broods, while Canada Geese produced a conservative estimate of seven. Meanwhile, last year’s breeding ‘site debut’ by Gadwall was repeated with two broods and, more surprisingly still, a pair of Red-crested Pochard chose Carsington to register the county’s first proven breeding for this species, though only one of the original six-strong brood survived to fully grown status.

The more regular breeders were Mallard, with 19 broods, Tufted Duck (7+), Coot (5) and Moorhen (3). Wader breeding is always rather harder to monitor as tall vegetation conceals the young, but Redshank managed three broods, while Oystercatcher, Lapwing and Little Ringed Plover each had at least two broods. It was the first ‘LRP’ breeding success since 2011, but a bigger albeit welcome surprise came from a pair of Common Sandpiper that produced the first brood for 25 years – with three young on Flat Island.

Tree Sparrow concerns (as mentioned in the previous article) were eased as counts as high as 60 were made, including young, and either fledglings or feeding activity signalled that most warbler species seemed to have bred, including a family of Sedge Warblers on Sailing Club Island, while a very healthy count of 13 Reed Warblers contained young birds.

Although early interest in the Sand Martin bank came to nought, young Swallows were seen being fed around the draw-off tower, and both Grey and Pied Wagtails produced young. Fledged Spotted Flycatchers were recorded in June, a family of Redstart were regularly seen in the fields behind the Wildlife Centre and proven breeding successes were also noted for resident species including Bullfinch, Nuthatch, Treecreeper and various tits. Meanwhile, a juvenile Tawny Owl was spotted on 24 June, and six Raven seen in July could well have been a family group.

The healthy number of birds was reflected in other species, like Goldfinch, 200 of which provided an overload of charm on and around Stones Island in July and August, 40+ Linnets were seen in the same vicinity and 55 Pied Wagtails were counted between Stones and the Wildlife Centre. On consecutive days in late July, 100 Swallows were counted, followed by 60 House Martins, then over 30 Swifts.

Quality as well as quantity was confirmed in July, too, when 105 species equalled the site record for that month.

Raptors were showing well, with single Osprey sightings in both June and August, and Red Kites seen on 5 July and 7 August. A young female Peregrine was an almost daily ‘tick’, with two adults joining it on 17 August, there were seven sightings of Hobby in June and July, and as many as 20 Buzzards were counted aloft over Hopton end at 11am on 27 August.

A Sandwich Tern on 10 August was unusual, while up to four Common Terns were seen on a number of occasions. Two Great Black-backed Gulls were seen regularly, as were adult and first summer Yellow-legs, with adult and juvenile Mediterranean Gulls also recorded on separate dates in July, and 135 Lesser Black-backs flew south in late July.

Water bird numbers are rising now, with 700 Coot included in August’s WeBS count, when 407 ‘Tufties’ were around, and 650 Canada Geese were counted a week or so later. Teal numbers have been rising almost daily, and 110 were noted on 30 August. Another duck of note was Common Scoter, which was seen on several dates in the middle of the year, while two Egyptian Geese dropped in early August.

Little Egrets have become increasingly regular, with up to eight seen on any one day. Scarcer waders have included Knot, Sanderling, Whimbrel and Black-tailed Godwit, 11 of which were seen on 27 July, while another sported a ring that gave a fascinating insight into this species’ long-term travel history (see separate short article below). As many as 14 Common Sandpipers have been seen on any one day, and of 18 Little Ringed Plovers recorded one day in early July, 13 were juveniles.



On 28 July, one of our eagle-eyed posse of regular recorders noticed that a lone Black-tailed Godwit probing the mud on the edge of the reservoir was sporting a ring on its leg.

Knowing that this can often tell an interesting story about bird movements, Clive Ashton forwarded the details of the ring on to Professor Jennifer Gill of the University of East Anglia’s School of Biological Sciences and within three hours she had replied with a brief “CV” about a well-travelled bird of the Islandica race that is no less than 22 years old!

The individual movements and breeding season behaviour of the Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits have been studied for 20 years by researchers like Professor Gill at the Universities of East Anglia, Iceland and Aveiro (Portugal). Ringing has helped paint a fuller picture of this behaviour.

Their records show that this particular individual was first ringed in the Wash estuary in August 1996 and since then has been reported in dozens of different locations, ranging chiefly from places close to ‘home’ in the eastern counties of England such as Cambridgeshire, Essex and Norfolk, but also occasionally farther afield – in Lancashire and Hampshire and, unsurprisingly, a couple of times in southern Iceland!

Godwits are known to travel huge distances during migration, and this particular bird may well have touched down in many more exotic places during its two decades and more on the wing … but it clearly loves old Blighty, and we should be honoured with so much of northern Europe to go at, it chose this year to honour us at Carsington with its presence.



Our next CBC members’ trip will be on Sunday 8 October to the RSPB’s Old Moor reserve in the Dearne Valley, South Yorkshire, located between Barnsley and Doncaster.

In fact there is not just one but four RSPB reserves within close proximity to each other in the Dearne Valley: Old Moor is the biggest, and focal point, with a cafe, shops and toilets, the others being Bolton Ings, Gypsy Marsh and Wombwell Ings.

Also nearby is a small independently run reserve with a hide at Broomhill Flash, so we may be able to visit more than one location – an extra chance to see lots of birds and have a rewarding day out.

As with other recent trips, we will make our own way there, though if anyone is interesting in car sharing or getting a lift with someone, please contact Chris Lamb on 07836 368037 or email cflamb@yahoo.co.uk. We will aim to meet at the Old Moor Reserve reception at 9.30am. Entrance to the reserve is free for RSPB members, for non-members it’s £5.00 for adults and £3.50 for concessions.

The postcode for Satnav users is S73 0YF. Anyone turning up after 9.30 and wanting to catch up, can call either Chris Lamb or Gary Atkins (07988 751314) to discover our whereabouts on the reserve.

To get a heads-up on what’s around or for more general information about Old Moor and the other nearby sites, visit the RSPB Dearne Valley – Old Moor webpage: http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves-and-events/find-a-reserve/reserves-a-z/reserves-by-name/d/dearne-oldmoor/about.aspx



Our programme of indoor talks is just about to get under way, and between now and Christmas we’ll be travelling the globe – from Alaska to Shetland with a warmer interlude in Spain in between! The dates and details are below. We also have a club trip planned in October, selecting a venue – Old Moor in South Yorkshire (see above) – that should be productive as the migration gathers pace.

19 September     Talk by Ken Smith: Birding near and far – Henmore Rm, Visitor Centre (7.30pm)

8 October         Trip to Old Moor RSPB reserve, Yorkshire – Make own way, meet 9.30am

17 October       Talk (joint with DOS) by Tony Davison: ‘Alaska’  – Henmore Rm, Visitor Centre (7.30pm)

21 November      Talk by John Gardner: ‘Iberian Birds’ – Henmore Rm, Visitor Centre (7.30pm)

19 December      Talk by Dave Hollis: ‘Shetland Wildlife’ – Henmore Rm, Visitor Centre (7.30pm)

There will be a number of other regular and individual events being staged at Carsington Water over the autumn and early winter, run by either Severn Trent Water or Derbyshire Wildlife Trust. Below are those activities and events to the year end. Note that some incur a charge or require booking, so it’s always worth checking for further details (via Severn Trent on 01629 540696 or DWT on 01773 881188):


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/Sunday     Wildlife Centre volunteers on parade – Wildlife Centre (10am-3pm)

Third Saturday monthly     Family Forest School (charges apply) – Contact DWT to book

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

11 September                       Nature Tots – Wayward Dragons – Contact DWT to book

2 October                               Nature Tots – Colour Tots  – (as above)

7-8 October                  Derbyshire Beekeepers Association annual honey show and sale- Linda Darlinson 07733 224023 for info

25 October                             Halloween: Going batty about bats – Contact DWT to book

6 November                           Nature Tots – Stickman Adventure – Contact DWT to book

4 December                        Nature Tots – Rockin’ Robins – (as above)


KNOW YOUR COMMITTEE – Here are the club officials and their contact details……..
Committee Post Name Telephone Email Address
Secretary Paul Hicking 01773 827727 paulandsteph@hicking.plus.com
Treasurer / Membership John Follett 01332 834778 johnlfollett@virginmedia.com
Recorders Clive Ashton /

Dave Newcombe

01629 823316




Publications / Indoor Meetings Gary Atkins 01335 370773 garysatkins@aol.com


Jon Bradley

Roger Carrington

Chris Lamb

01773 852526

01629 583816

01629 820890




…..and the website address   –   http://www.carsingtonbirdclub.co.uk
Webmaster Richard Pittam n/a Contact Richard via the website



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