Trip Reports - 2009
Only 3 members turned out on a cold but bright and clear day at Clumber.
The usual wildfowl were on the lake with 3 Goosanders, 4 Little Grebes,
a female Goldeneye and 2 pairs of Mandarin ducks to keep us interested.
There were a few small flocks of Redpolls around and a large flock of Chaffinches
by the ford. All of the thrushes were noticeably absent and, despite failing
to see a reported Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and a Water Rail, we still managed
a respectable count of 51 species.
Eight members braved the wet conditions hoping that an afternoon start
would be dry (as forecast). It was still raining heavily when we left the
Horse and Jockey at Wessington after an excellent lunch and headed for the
members' hide. The rain continued all afternoon and with poor visibility
we struggled to reach a total count of 36 species. Several Goldeneyes were
present and 2 Pink-footed Geese were found between the hide and Brackenfield
village. There were quite a few Snipes. The gull roost was building rapidly
when we left soon after 3:30. Only Herring, Common, Lesser Black-backed
and Black-headed gulls were recorded by then.
Ten members set off from the Calton Lees car park in fine weather. We
heard woodpeckers drumming on the climb up and had good views of 3 Buzzards
and a couple of Kestrels. Some lucky folk also spotted a couple of Goshawks
flying through. On the moor there were Reed Buntings, Skylarks and a displaying
Lapwing. The ponds yielded Teal, Mandarin, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe and
a Goosander although a Wigeon and a Shoveler may have been present but remain
unconfirmed. We also saw a Curlew and 7 Lapwings flying through over the
woods. Two Buzzards were soaring over the house as we stopped for coffee
by the hunting tower. On the river we saw the usual Coots, Moorhens, Tufted
Ducks and Mallards together with a Grey Wagtail and a Dipper. The highlight
of the trip has to be the pair of Oystercatchers snoozing on the riverbank.
A total of 44 confirmed species were recorded before we all retired for
an excellent lunch at the Eyre Arms in Hassop.
Only 4 members met at Fairholmes for the "Goshawk" walk - delayed for
a day because of Saturday's poor weather and starting at 9:00 instead of
8:00 because of the change to summer time. The weather was perfect - frosty
and clear - but that was the highlight of the walk. The only raptors seen
were a pair of Buzzards and the total number of species recorded was only
Just 3 members ventured out for this early morning walk, for which the
weather was dry and sunny, if a little too breezy at times. By the end of
the day, 64 species had been observed. At least one, possibly two, Cuckoos
were present, calling quite frequently. Large numbers of Redpolls (up to
c. 100) were flying about and a pair of Crossbills was a treat. A Tree Pipit
provided some memorable displays, but a solitary Woodlark gave all too brief
bursts of song. Alas, apart from Swallows and House Martins, there were
no Sand Martins or Swifts, nor were there any Terns seen. As well as Sedge
Warbler, Linnet, Green Woodpecker, Yellow Wagtail and Redstart, the usual
entourage of wildfowl, heath and woodland birds maintained Clumber's reputation
for a good day's birding.
Only 3 of us managed this trip and were rewarded by perfect weather and
an excellent day. The 2 major targets for the day (Turtle dove and Nightingale)
were both seen - albeit very briefly. Six warblers were recorded but we
failed to find Lesser Whitethroat this year. Little Ringed Plovers and Common
Terns were both breeding. Sadly, the Sand Martin colony was entirely deserted
and looks to have been disturbed (destroyed?) by badger activity. Highlights
included a splendid adult Mediterranean Gull and good views of some common
blue butterflies. In total, 62 species were recorded.
We arrived before the reserve was officially open, so had Marshland hide
to ourselves for a while. We had good views of Bearded Tits there, together
with some summer plumaged Spotted Redshanks. Just as we were about to leave
the hide, a Whimbrel dropped in to ensure a memorable start. The water level
on all the pools was very low. Ousefleet was totally dry, as expected, but
so was the pool at the eastern end overlooked by Singleton hide which is
most unusual. Despite this, there were quite a few waders present with Lapwing,
Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Snipe, Ruff, Green Sandpiper, Avocet,
Greenshank, Oystercatcher and Common Sandpiper. This gave us a total of
13 waders, 53 species in total, with no fewer than 5 Marsh Harriers.
Six members attended and were rewarded with a rather damp morning with
several showers. It was good to see the Huxter Well Marsh area continue
to develop. Over 400 Lapwings were there but only 2 other waders were found
- Snipe and Common Sandpiper. Two Little Egrets were present and no fewer
than 50 Little Grebes. There wasn't a lot to get excited about and only
49 species were recorded. The usual wildfowl seem to have had a good breeding
season this year.
A good turnout; seven members braved a rather windy day. The wind limited
the number of birds recorded with only 36 species being found. There were
9 wader species including about 25 Curlews at Ousefleet, where there were
also a couple of Yellow Wagtails. Despite the wind, we managed to find a
few Bearded Tits at the foot of the reeds from Marshland hide.
Old Moor Wetlands
Five members made this trip and enjoyed a pretty good day - overcast
but warm and very still. We had a good count of 9 waders - Lapwing, Snipe,
Redshank, Golden Plover, Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff
and Curlew Sandpiper. The Golden Plover were easily disturbed but probably
numbered between 500 and 1,000. A few of the locals insisted that one of
the Dunlins was a Sanderling - but we remained unconvinced! We had quite
good views of a Peregrine in a dead tree. It later seemed to be feeding
perched on a distant electricity pylon - being carefully watched by a Mistle
Thrush! We recorded a respectable total of 56 species. Some of us called
in at Broomhill Flash while in the area for a quick visit. There was nothing
of note to report apart from another Green Sandpiper and a group of Red-legged