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Trip Report

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Trip Report - 2018

The Field Trips Report for earlier years are still available.

Clumber Park
6th January 2018

Only two members managed the traditionally first field trip of the year. The weather was bright with just a couple of showers. The highlight of the trip was finding Hawfinch, the first here since our visit in 2013. There were 3 in the woods by the church and at least one other as we reached the bottom end of the lake. There were huge numbers of birds on the main lake, with at least 100 Mute Swan, 500 Coot, 200 Tufted Duck and 150 Mallard together with almost 500 Black-headed Gulls. Many of the regular birds were absent (no woodpeckers) but Bullfinch, Goosander, Goldeneye and Grey Wagtail were good finds for our list. Marsh Tits were with the other Tits on the feeders. The final tally was 43 which included feral Muscovy Duck!

Potteric Carr
6th February 2018

Only two members braved the cold weather and headed up the M18. Although very cold, there was no wind and it was bright for most of the day until gentle snow started during the afternoon and we made our escape! We started the day at Willow Pool hide where the feeders were strangely quiet. Among the tit flock was a single Willow Tit. We then headed for Piper Marsh hide and once again the pool was very quiet with no sign of any Bittern. We spent much of the rest of our visit at Huxter Well Marsh where there was a host of wildfowl. All the usual suspects were there in good numbers - Mallard, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Teal, Pochard, Shelduck, Shoveler and Gadwall were present together with a large flock of Lapwing. As we left the last hide on Hawthorn Bank, a Bittern appeared and flew off very quickly giving only a fleeting glimpse. Other highlights included a pair of Stonechats, a Green Woodpecker and a Whooper Swan. A Cetti's Warbler broke into song for a few seconds as we had our lunch in the Roger Mitchell hide. By the time we left soon after 2:30, we had recorded 46 species.

Carsington Water
6th March 2018

On this the third field trip of the year, for the third time only two members made it. The weather was much improved after last week's brief visit from the "Beast from the East" with very little snow to bother us. We were greeted like long lost friends by the locals as we entered the first hide where the wintering Great Northern Diver was rapidly pointed out, together with a more recently arrived Scaup - a good start to the day! Several Goldeneye were soon spotted and on the shore, Redshank, Oystercatcher and a well-hidden Linnet were added to the list. The numbers of wintering ducks such as Teal and Wigeon were relatively small and even the resident Coot and Tufted Duck seem to have had hard times with the recent shocking weather and their numbers too were limited. On the bird feeders Willow Tits were still to be found with the other four more common tit species but the usual Bullfinch were absent. As we walked to the visitor centre, we could hear Curlew calling from the surrounding fields and there were more Oystercatchers with the Lapwing flocks. Many birds had started singing, including Mistle Thrush, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Chaffinch and, of course, Robin. Maybe spring isn't so far away after all. We were a little dismayed to see the volume of vegetation clearance that has taken place here. It seemed that great swathes of brush had been entirely removed, to what purpose we wondered? The resident Tree Sparrows were very thin on the ground. As usual there were lots of Great Crested Grebes but the usual Mute Swans were missing. There was also a marked absence of gulls with only a few Black-headed and a single Great Black-backed to be found. Despite that and also the absence of common birds such as Starling, we still managed to record 53 species - being a fairly normal figure for this site.

Derwent Dale
8th April 2018

Eight of us met on a warm, bright and still morning, which was much appreciated after the recent lengthy spell of cold, wet and windy weather. Our first raptor of the day was a Peregrine as we walked under the dam wall - a good omen for the rest of the morning. As we headed for our usual watch-point at Howden Dam, John spotted a Goshawk flying quite low on the far side of the reservoir before it headed quite rapidly into the woods, giving poor views to just a few of us. A fine male Goosander flew by, heading north, and a drake Mandarin also flew over. At the watch point we saw two Goshawks circling and climbing very high in the sky, much too high for any display flight. There we also had good views of a male Kestrel and more views of the Goosander on the water. Four of us extended the walk and went a little way up Howden Clough where we added Buzzard and Meadow Pipit to our list but there was no sign of the hoped for Ring Ouzels. The only warblers found were a couple of Chiffchaffs. In total 34 species were recorded.