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 Posted by on October 21, 2020  Carsington Bird Club  Comments Off on STUNNING TALK: MONGOLIAN ADVENTURE TO FIND ‘THE GHOST CAT’
Oct 212020
The presentation available in the link below was given to a joint ‘Zoom’ audience of DOS and CBC members by Tony Davison, whose self-admitted obsession with finding and photographing the Snow Leopard (aka ‘Ghost Cat’) saw him visit Mongolia twice in the last 12 months.  There were plenty of birds and mammals to enjoy on both trips, and, as ever, Tony’s photographs of each are stunning … but what set this presentation apart was the tense back-story of Tony’s increasingly dramatic and emotional search for the Snow Leopard – finally achieved – and his brush with Covid-19 as the global pandemic was just beginning to take a grip.  
Please access the link and watch the drama unfold (it starts about two minutes in ).  This is one of the very best talks I’ve enjoyed – even under the less-than-perfect conditions of a Zoom link – and I rate it a ‘must-see’ for lovers of wildlife everywhere.
Gary Atkins


 Posted by on September 28, 2020  Carsington Bird Club  Comments Off on CBC TALK – OCTOBER 20TH: WE’RE VIRTUALLY IN MONGOLIA!
Sep 282020
Dear fellow CBC member – the ‘rule of six’ restriction has unfortunately put paid to our plans for group events for the time being.  However, we can all still enjoy wildlife talks and fantastic photos courtesy of Zoom meetings.
Our joint meeting with DOS was planned to welcome Brian Shaw to Carsington, but Brian would prefer to postpone and deliver his talk face-to-face.  DOS has, however, managed to obtain another excellent speaker – Tony Davison (who we know well from previous talks) – to tell us about his experiences earlier this year on a trip to Mongolia.
Tony’s obsession with Snow Leopards had led to two trips to this remote corner of the world; the first failed to result in a sighting, and the second was timed for March 2020 – the date when Covid-19 first raised its head on a global scale – and his mission this time proved to be more adventurous than he anticipated on a number of levels.
If you want to find out how it all turned out for him, join us on your computer, laptop or tablet for Tony’s presentation on Zoom at 7.30 on 20th October.  To do so, please visit the DOS website, click on the “information” tab, then “meetings and trips” (https://www.derbyshireos.org.uk/meetingsandtrips.php) and scroll down to the Tony Davison meeting.  There you can buy a FREE ticket from Eventbrite, an online booking facilitator that makes the whole process easier for us.  Tickets are ‘on sale’ from 1st October.
The booking process is described in detail on this page of the DOS site, along with Zoom protocols for such online meetings.  If this all sounds complicated, don’t worry, it isn’t.  Have computer (or tablet), will travel – even to Mongolia.  Hope you can join us, virtually, on the 20th.
Back to our overall programme of events, even if we continue to be unable to meet in the coming months, we hope to be able to stage a few more Zoom presentations during our ‘indoor’ season – depending on which of our planned speakers are ‘Zoom-able’ and assuming we’re able to accommodate Zoom technology under our own steam.  Watch this space!
We also hope to be able to stage REAL trips to good birding locations, because we are able to spread our presence in a large outdoor space much more easily than indoors and we tend not to move around as one single group (we often don’t get more than half-a-dozen people attending trips, anyway).  Again, watch this space.
Hope you can make it.
Gary Atkins


 Posted by on September 16, 2020  Carsington Bird Club  Comments Off on “ALL-DAY WATCH” AT CARSINGTON – 7th SEPTEMBER 2020
Sep 162020

In 2019 some of the regular Carsington birders had the idea of spending a whole day – well, dawn to dusk – at the site just to see what we might spot.  On 21 May we recorded 81 species and the same number again on 10 September. For obvious reasons we were unable to repeat the spring ‘big sit’ this year but we have just repeated the exercise, with at least one observer present from 05:45 to 20:00, and with five observers for part of the day – for the record, they were Roger Carrington, Alan Stewardson, Neil Moulden, Andy Butler and myself.

The first areas that we covered were Hopton reedbed and Brown Ale Bay, which yielded Hobby, Reed Warbler and five Tawny Owls but disappointingly few wildfowl.  At Millfields, three Yellow Wagtails were among the Pieds on the dam wall, a Kingfisher put in an appearance, while fly-over Crossbill and Siskins were useful additions.  

With the total at 60, I joined Roger on Stones island, Neil arriving shortly afterwards and promptly finding a Common Scoter out on the water, while Andy had walked the dam wall and seen single Wheatear and Skylark.  The weather went a little bit downhill at this point, with low cloud and heavy drizzle, but the total nonetheless soon rose to 73.

New birds kept appearing and a pair of Shelduck spotted by Neil took us to 76, while two Red Kites that appeared took us beyond last year’s total, still with much of the day remaining.  Just after midday the probable highlight of the day, a juvenile Marsh Harrier, flew the length of the reservoir and took the growing tally to 85 species.

At least one of us remained on Stones island at all times while others checked other areas of the reservoir, and constant scanning and listening yielded Swift, a single flying Red-crested Pochard, a Willow Warbler, a surprise flock of four Lesser Redpoll that dropped into Wildlife Centre creek and then, to take us to the 90 mark, a distant Pheasant – something of an anticlimax to reach that milestone but hey, birders can’t be choosers!

It was inevitable that further additions would be slow to come, but a Common Gull appeared in the early evening, the only one of the day.  Just two of us remained to watch dusk fall and count the incoming Lesser Black-backed Gulls (2,300 in total by the time we left).  

But finally, just as we were about to finish for the day, a Great White Egret flew over Stones island and headed north-east across the reservoir.  


Great White Egret – library image

This was certainly a quality end to a very enjoyable day – and hoisted our day’s total species list to 92.

Simon Roddis


 Posted by on September 15, 2020  Carsington Bird Club  Comments Off on LATEST NEWS !!
Sep 152020
Carsington Water reopened to the public on Wednesday, 3rd June – although there are some restrictions to be aware of when visiting.   The car parks are open, but for the time being the bird hides remain locked. 
For the latest news and situation for the facilities at the Visitor Centre, please check the STW “Carsington Water” web pages – HERE
And remember, social distancing ‘rules’ should be observed throughout the site.
For those with annual parking permits, they will be automatically extended by 71 days – the period the site has been closed.

Future meetings to be arranged

Cancelled Events

 Posted by on September 9, 2020  Carsington Bird Club  Comments Off on Cancelled Events
Sep 092020
Dear fellow CBC member — it is with huge regret that we must cancel our previously advertised events this month as a result of the government’s latest rule change, reducing the size of public assemblies (inside or out) from 30 to 6.  This effectively means we can stage no indoor meetings at the Carsington Visitor Centre or club trips until further notice.  This is a great shame as we had negotiated to hold indoor meetings in the New Leaf restaurant, a huge space compared to the Henmore Room that would have given us ample scope for social distancing.  As well as Ian Newton’s originally-scheduled talk on the 15th, we will also have to cancel (or hopefully postpone) our trip to Old Moor on the 20th.
We will update you on any changes in this status (an occasional check on the website is advisable) – either to confirm further cancellations in the coming months or, more hopefully, to inform of any resumption in events as and when things change for the better.
All the best … and keep on birding.

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