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Trip Report - 2007

Clumber Park
6 January

Coal TitThree of us turned out for this walk on a cool, dull day that eventually brought showers after midday, but this didn't dampen our spirits. There were several flocks of various sizes of finches including Siskin, Redpoll, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Brambling (c. 150 birds) in different parts of the park. Wildfowl were well represented with the usual ducks and geese, but also a few Little Grebe and Goosander. A solitary Redwing was seen in a Yew tree. As the rain started, at least 2 Buzzards were seen and heard beyond the ford passed Hardwick village. Sadly, Hawfinches and Lesser Spotted Woodpecker remained elusive as we reached a total of 57 for the day.

Ogston
22 January

Overnight snow in the valley caused havoc with our plans but 5 members eventually managed to get to Ogston an hour or so late. There was no snow there but after a few cold flurries during the morning the weather was excellent this afternoon. There was nothing unusual to report. Highlights were a single Pink-footed Goose with the Canada Geese, several Goldeneye and up to 5 Reed Buntings on the bird feeder by the club hide. We stayed until after 4:00 to witness a massive gull roost developing. There were well over 1,000 birds of the usual 5 species when we left, with hundreds still arriving, but we failed to spot the Glaucous or the Iceland Gulls that have both recently been reported.

Blacktoft Sands
4 February

Marsh HarrierA rather frosty start quickly gave way to a a glorious sunny day and by the end of it we had observed 57 species. A few Fieldfare were glimpsed as they flew over, but there was no missing the large flocks of Golden Plover over the Trent. A couple of Bearded Tits were seen at the edges of the reed beds, while a Barn Owl quartered over them. A pair of very confiding Stonechats gave lovely views of their plumage. A distant Merlin, a couple of Whooper Swans and a flypast by a Kingfisher all added to the excitement, but it was the Marsh Harriers that stole the show.

Derwent Valley
24 March

A cold northerly breeze and a misty start didn't promise a lot but we were well rewarded for our efforts. We had grand views of at least 3 Goshawks displaying before we even reached Howden dam where we usually wait to find them. At the dam we had even better views of a Peregrine over the dam wall. Twenty Whooper swans were flying over Derwent reservoir as we walked and were settled on Howden later. We enjoyed an excellent morning and recorded 32 species.

Carr Vale
20 April

Despite rather cooler cloudy weather, seven members enjoyed an excellent visit, recording 55 species. There were 5 warblers including a reeling Grasshopper warbler (unseen), and 6 waders. Other highlights included very good views of a pair of Yellow wagtails in front of the 'mound', and also Willow tits and Reed buntings at the feeding station. As we left, we watched a Great-crested grebe swallowing a really large fish that few thought it would manage!

Clumber Park
28 April

MandarinThe dawn chorus was excellent and within the first hour we had ticked 42 of the 69 species we would observe on this trip. A party of about 6 quarrelling Marsh Tits, a handsome drake Mandarin, a couple of Yellow Wagtails, several Yellowhammers and singing Woodlarks and Tree Pipits were among the highlights.

Whisby Pits
26 May

NightingaleThe 5 members on this trip were soon rewarded with the fantastic song of a Nightingale and, later in the day, even good views of one. Little Ringed Plovers were courtship displaying and a pair of Oystercatchers had two young. Most of the warblers were seen: Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat and Willow, Garden, Sedge and Reed warblers. All told, 60 species were observed.

Clumber Park
10 July

This year's Nightjar display didn't match last year's spectacle, but that was only to be expected. Nonetheless, club members were treated to several close albeit brief views of a couple of Nightjars, together with churring and a few wing claps. Several Woodcocks were flying around repeatedly, sometimes calling, and this made the evening memorable.

North Cave
16 July

The 7 members that made the trip to North Cave were welcomed by a Corn Bunting singing on wires some distance away. After early drizzle the weather improved and we enjoyed a hot and sunny visit. The water level was very high, so that only 41 species were recorded with very few waders. Some of us had great views of another Corn Bunting, which sang loudly in the hedge behind our lunch spot. Luckily the many butterflies, damselflies and dragonflies made up somewhat for the poor showing of the birds! A quick visit to South Cave a few miles away proved excellent with good views of a Hobby. A Buzzard and a couple of Kestrels were seen together with a fleeting glimpse of a Red Kite.

Blacktoft Sands
28 July

GarganeyThe water levels in the lagoons were reasonable, though perhaps some were a little too high for waders, though plenty were present: Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlins, Avocets (100+), Green Sandpipers, Snipes, Redshanks, Spotted Redshanks, Lapwings and a Curlew Sandpiper. A male eclipse Garganey was the most unusual bird present. Many hirundines and Swifts were flying through. A pair of Marsh Harriers and two juveniles were also quartering the reed beds. In total, 54 species were seen or heard.

Old Moor Wetlands
7 August

The water level at Old Moor was still very high from the floods but much lower than a month ago. The high water mark was clearly visible on the trees, some 4 feet higher than the highest part of the reserve paths. Much of the low lying ground will take time to recover and looked in a sorry state. The highlight of the day was a pair of Little Egrets. Waders were represented by one Common and about 3 Green Sandpipers together with a pair of Ringed Plovers and over 300 Lapwings. Among the 50 species recorded was a family of Shelducks, at least 2 broods of Tufted Ducks and over 400 Canada Geese. In the early afternoon we spent an hour at Broomhill Flash where a pair of Grey Partridge appeared just as we left. There were at least 4 separate broods of Tufted Ducks present.

Gibraltar Point
25 August

SanderlingJust two members travelled to the reserve, just south of Skegness. The Red-backed Shrike, Redstarts and Pied Flycatchers that had been reported earlier seemed to have gone overnight, nonetheless, 65 species were seen. The highlights were: several Marsh Harriers quartering the reed beds and marshes, several Buzzards including a possible immature Honey Buzzard, Turtle Dove, Little Tern and Arctic Skua. Among the many hundreds of waders were: Avocet, Knot, Sanderling, Ruff, Redshank, Dunlin, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Ringed Plover, Grey and Golden Plovers, Turnstone, Curlew, Lapwing and a possible Whimbrel.

Far Ings
5 September

Four members made the trip. The weather was fine but surprisingly windy by the river. The disappointing show of birds was somewhat made up for by the large number of dragonflies that were around. There were very few highlights during the day - a couple of Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a Spotted Flycatcher were about the most memorable. Fortunately, just before leaving, a visit to the riverbank after the tide had receded provided views of a number of waders including Redshank, Lapwing, Turnstone, Knot and a large flock of Golden Plovers. Over 40 Shelduck and a few teal increased the species count to 42 for the day.

Spurn Point
22 September

Three members made the trip to Spurn and enjoyed an excellent day. After driving through a large crowd of twitchers to get into the car park we discovered the attraction - a Bluethroat sitting in bushes by the adjacent cafe. Despite not having enough time to visit Beacon Ponds this year, we still managed to record 61 species. High tide was around 2PM by which time there were thousands of waders close to the roadside. As well as thousands of Knot, there were Golden, Ringed and Grey plover, Dunlin, Turnstone, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Sanderling and Curlew, Bar and Black-tailed godwit. Other highlights included an Arctic Skua, at least 3 Red-throated Divers and a fine pair of Wheatears.

Leighton Moss
20 October

Great White EgretWe enjoyed lovely weather at Leighton Moss, though it was rather quiet on the bird front. That said, the 3 club members on this outing were treated with great views of a long-staying Great White Egret. There were also a couple of Kingfishers providing much delight. The day's total was 62 species.

Sprotborough - Denaby Ings
14 November

A perfect winter's day - cold and sunny with no wind - was spent at two sites in the Dearne & Don valleys. The usual wildfowl were present at both Denaby Ings and Sprotborough. We had excellent views of a Kingfisher fishing at Denaby. After a grand lunch in the Boat Inn near the lock at Sprotborough, we had more views of a Kingfisher there. Sadly, both of the hides at Sprotborough have been destroyed by vandals but it's hoped to have them both replaced before the end of 2007. Around 30 species were recorded at each site, with a total of 35 for the day.

Rutland Water
25 November

A pair of Stonechats as we left the reception area were soon followed by close views of a Water Rail at the first hide and the day got even better. The weather was excellent and we later saw another water rail, at least 2 Kingfishers and had a good view of a wintering Chiffchaff right by the next hide. The usual November wildfowl were complemented by a male Pintail, around 2 dozen Goosanders and almost as many Goldeneyes. A couple of Ruffs, two Green Sandpipers and about a dozen Dunlin were with the usual large flocks of Golden Plover and Lapwing. A few winter thrushes and at least three Green Woodpeckers were soon on the list and we eventually found a snipe hiding between a Grey Heron and a Pheasant, on the water's edge, from our last hide. An excellent day with 58 species recorded.

Carsington Water
7 December

Strong and rather cold winds failed to deter 6 members from the trip to Carsington. We were greeted by a fine male Bullfinch in the Sheepwash car park and later saw several more. In addition to the usual wildfowl, the feeders at Paul Stanley hide provided Willow Tit and Great Spotted Woodpecker, together with some Tree Sparrows and the unusual sight of a Moorhen and a Pheasant on the bird table at the same time. In the afternoon a Little Owl was spotted from the wildlife centre and we had good views of this on our way back to Sheepwash. Despite the strong wind, we still managed to record 47 species.

Martin Mere
23 December

Pintail Much of the Mere was frozen and almost all of the outlying pools were solid. Despite this, four members enjoyed a sunny but freezing day. We found 3 Bewick's Swans among the hundreds of Whooper Swans. There were the usual massed ranks of Pintails and Shelducks. In addition to the large numbers of Lapwing, there were a few Snipes and over 40 Ruffs. Raptors were represented by 2 Peregrines, a Kestrel, at least 5 Buzzards, a Marsh Harrier and, for our most patient member, a female Merlin in the last half hour. In total 57 species were recorded.