September 2023 – RSPB Adwick Washlands.
These unusual visitors, black-winged stilts, are being driven from their usual haunts in Europe by increasing temperatures, resulting in a lack of suitable feeding sites. It seems that we can expect more of these rare visitors in future, like the night heron and spoonbills that also frequent this site at the moment.
A sunny morning, clear blue skies and my first whitethroat at it’s singing perch. A dunnock also liked this perch. 26 species recorded.
Misty gray morning to start but slowly improved. A distant Hobby was spotted at rest in an old oak tree along with two pigeons; a good start. Swallows, house martins and sand martins all flying together in front of Roger Mitchel hide. Chicks of graylag, lapwing and mallards were a pleasure to see.
20 April 2023 – Adwick Washlands
Two bar-tailed godwits with about 18 black-tailed godwits were the first birds encountered quickly followed by a close encounter with a little egret. Two barnacle geese, a pink foot goose, linnets, avocets and little ring plover rounded off a good morning.
18 April 2023 – Lound Gravel Pits (part of Notts Wildlife Trust Idle Valley nature reserve).
The warmest day so far this spring with bright sunshine almost all day. 6 hours and five miles walked for 52 species. A good start with cetti’s warbler skulking in the undergrowth for quite a while allowing me to get a glimpse now and again, followed by a tree creeper displaying well in Linghurst wood. On the lakes a pair of red crested pochard, great and little egrets, redshank, egyptian geese, amongst the usual fowl. Marsh harriers, kestrel and buzzards in the skies but no hirundine to be seen today.
A 7 mile walk from Lindrick golf course through Lindrick Dale across Fan Field to the canal. Travel east towards Worksop, through Turner Wood then veer off to Brancliffe Grange, through Mosses Seat wood, Lindrick Dale quarry and back over the golf course to the start. Swallows seen at both Turner wood and Brancliffe. Swans nesting at side of the canal at Turner Wood, an annual sight; g s woodpecker, nuthatch and tree creepers seen along the second part of the walk. 34 species recorded.
16 April 2023 – Lound Gravel Pits (part of Notts Wildlife Trust Idle Valley nature reserve).
The weather getting warmer now with spring migrants becoming more numerous. Black caps, willow warblers, chiffchaffs join the cetti’s warbler but I’m still waiting to spot my first white throat. 40 species recorded.
15 April 2023 – South Anston
Many rooks flying to and from their rookery in Anston Stones wood. Yellow hammer, linnets, willow warblers and chiffchaffs, several buzzards, a kestrel and jackdaws. 25 species recorded.
A bright but cold start to the morning but it soon began to deteriorate as clouds drifted in, then turn to showers. First cuckoo of spring heard twice, briefly in the distance. Blackcaps remain out of range of the camera but chiffchaffs are now very common place. A short burst from a garden warbler (?) but I could not locate it in the thick bush. Egyptian geese return again (from where?). 44 species recorded for the morning walk round woodland and lakes.
A fine sunny morning, blue skies and little wind; unfortunately the weather deteriorated after lunch time. Still seeking the willow warbler, plenty of chiffchaffs, a couple of linnets and a buzzard overhead came within range of the camera. May have heard a common redstart several times in an hour but could not locate it, so can’t accept it as a record.
Three hours spent this morning, under grey skies seeking willow warblers. Several about but had a long wait until one came within range of the camera. 17 species recorded.
A heavy fog was soon burnt off and a warm sunny day was enjoyed for 6 hours wandering about. My attempt at photographing a willow warbler failed, but I did get a chiffchaff. Several hares seen along with small tortoiseshell, comma and brimstone. Kestrel, buzzards, heron and raven all flew over, too far for a decent image. 22 species recorded.
A walk through scrub, along hedgerows and through woods, produced species, including chiffchaffs, willow warblers, g. s. woodpecker, and several blackcaps. 42 species recorded.
A short stroll through what was formerly a pit tip, now restored for the benefit of the community. 16 species recorded.
3 April – RSPB Adwick Washlands.
At last, a sunny day bringing some warmth. A gargeney appears after it’s morning slumbers and begins feeding on Bolton flash. Lots of avocets present, there being a record number of 70+ recently. I see 18 black-tailed godwits, which is only a portion of these present today. Also, a dunlin and grey plover are part of the 37 species recorded..
Another cold day but slowly improving as the day progressed. New birds arriving now; two kittewakes, a scoter with the ring-neck duck still showing, 44 species recorded.
Cold northerly winds and grey skies are keeping the birds seeking shelter in many areas, 45 species recorded.
30 March 2023 – Swinston Hill Wood, Dinnington.
Forestry works are still on-going, now with the removal of smaller growths between the main trees. Just 23 species recorded probably reflecting on the disturbance.
29 March 2023 – Hodsock Lane.
A generally dull morning, but the sun did make a feeble attempt to shine, followed be some drizzle.39 species recorded, including willow warbler, blackcap, chiffchaff, nuthatch, GS woodpecker, redwing, linnet, buzzards and yellow hammer, with oyster catchers, mallard and lapwings in a flooded field area. Also a hare and roe deer. About a four miles walk.
28 March 2023 – RSPB Old Moor.
A cold, dull and rainy day spent five and a half hours in Reed bed hide hoping to see ring-necked duck. Finally, after five hours, have a brief sighting as it flies off with three pochards in attendance. A curlew flying over was the only other notable sighting out of the 28 species recorded.
A morning walking a local patch. 23 species included a willow warbler, meadow pipets and skylarks.
26 March 2023 – RSPB Adwick Washlands.
The day began with a black swan, a long wat from home. 34 species recorded including garganey, 40 whooper swans flying over, over 70 avocets (a record for the site), a ringed redshank, several chiffchaffs, and a possible sedge warbler (not confirmed) and three bar-tailed godwits.
A dull start to the morning with several showers. 37 species recorded, including brief visits by bittern and marsh harrier; lots of sand martins flying on high.
A sunny morning with a chilly wind making the 10 deg. feel much cooler. 41 species recorded during a 4 mile walk. Lots of chiff chaffs now singing throughout the site, sand martins passing through, buzzards, sparrow hawk and kestrel noted, cetti’s singing in several spots, great and little egrets about, but no sign of any waders yet.
23 March 2023 – Anston Stones Wood.
A short walk through the wood this morning. 22 species recorded. Rookery is very noisy with birds busy building nests; with g s woodpecker, nuthatch, gold crest, and a redwing in the wood, whilst skylarks singing in adjacent fields.
22 March 2023 – RSPB Adwick Washlands.
Nice in the sun, but a cool wind blowing. 36 species recorded including garganey, stonechat, black-tailed godwit, wheatear and sand martins. Also a group of frogs in a ditch and another brimstone.
After a lot of rain water levels were very high covering most of the islands. A warm 16 degs. with occasional sunny spells but kept dry. 42 species recorded in the 5 hours bird watching. 3 miles walked visiting all the hides. The boom of the bitten was heard but not seen; neither did the ring-necked duck that had been on the reserve for a few days make an appearance. Did see my first butterfly for this year, a brimstone. Met Tony and two of his Doncaster Birder friends.
Very muddy after overnight rain. Blue skies to start the day but clouds soon built up. Very quiet on the waters with all fowls being very distant, poor for photography.
A warm morning, sunny intervals and no showers. 33 species recorded including black-tailed godwit, dunlin, avocet, snipe, cetti’s warbler, tree sparrow and marsh harriers throughout the day.
A fine spring morning, sunny 10 – 14 degs.32 species recorded including woodlarks, green woodpeckers, nuthatch, tree creepers, mistle thrush, fieldfare, linnets, siskin and yellow hammer. A red kite seen on way home at welbeck raptor watchpoint.
15 March 2023 – Swinston Hill Wood.
The winter has seen the majority of this wood being thinned out, this is my first spring visit. Just 12 species recorded including g.s. woodpecker and nuthatch.
14 March 2023 – Lound Gravel Pits (part of Notts Wildlife Trust Idle Valley nature reserve).
Cold again, 4deg at start but sunny during morning. 26 species recorded, female golden eye are so different from the male.
Winds now from the south, temp now 14 degs. 37 species recorded including 4 pintail. Marsh harrier making several distant appearances, otherwise very quiet.
A cold start at only 2 deg but at least it was sunny giving good light. 45 species recorded which included marsh harrier, a bittern booming distantly, but undoubtedly, the highlight of the day was watching a kingfisher catching a fish. Met up with fellow Nats member, Antony French.
5 deg rising to 9 deg, showery and wind rising made it feel colder. 35 species recorded including smew, red-crested pochard, great egret and golden eye.
Again, 4 deg rising to 6 during the morning. Just 22 species recorded amongst which were 5 avocets, a pinkfoot amongst the greylags and two redshanks.
A grey day, 7 deg. 31 species recorded. A notable day for the two herons who were present for most of the 6 hours. An impressive great black-backed gull made a brief appearance and five snipe presented a challenge as they were well camouflaged amongst the reed stubble.
Another cold morning. 33 species encountered the highlights being a flock of 52 whooper swans flying north, a marsh harrier in flight and a pair (m & f) of red-crested pochard.
Once again, a cold start at 4 deg, rising to 8 deg throughout the day, being dull and overcast with showers. 32 species recorded, the highlight being hearing a bitten calling several times throughout the day.
A cold start at 4 deg, rising to 8 deg throughout the day, being dull and overcast with showers throughout the morning. The days objective was achieved; the scaup was showing well on arrival, being with tufted ducks as expected. After a two hour wait, I got not one, but three water rails appearing together, but rather distant amongst the scrub on the edge of the reservoir. 4.5 miles walked as I traversed the park twice. 31 species recorded.
Another cold start, generally cloudy with intermittent sunny periods. 41 species recorded, most notable were a mixed flock of mute and whooper swans in the fields along with a flock of egyptian geese. The female smew continues to inhabit the fen on Neatholme lane. 5 miles walked.
A cold start at 4 deg, rising to 8 deg throughout the day, being dull and overcast with an occasional shower. 41 species recorded but failed to see a caspian gull (apparently they generally return to this site in late afternoon after spending the day feeding elsewhere). Five miles walked up and down the site covering some hides several times.
A cold bright morning for my first visit to this reservoir. The object of the visit was to see the scaup that has been there for some time, plus the possibility of seeing water rail. Neither of these objectives were achieved but as compensation, I did observe several pairs of great crested grebes doing their mating dance. Not the full blown dance where they rise up out of the water, perhaps it is a little early for that.
Whilst a warm day for February rather overcast making for poor lighting. 30 Species recorded in 6 hours and five miles of walking the reserve. Most notable was the pintails and a roe door with a fine set of antlers.
25 species recorded including chiffchaff (a first for this year), goldcrest, redwing, bullfinch, nuthatch, buzzard and kestrel. A walk of 7.7 miles in three and a half hours.
19 Feb 2023 – Slaynes Lane, Idle Valley Washlands
An outing with SK58 Birders to Slaynes Lane, 37 species recorded thanks mainly to those members who had scopes, including ruff, dunlin, green sandpiper, great black-backed gull and pintail.
18 Feb 2023 – Lound Gravel Pits (part of Notts Wildlife Trust Idle Valley nature reserve).
29 species recorded in 3 hours.
A bright sunny day and much warmer than of late. 30 species recorded included a blackcap singing.
13 Feb 2023 – Walk from Kiveton to Harthill reservoir and back.
A cool 7 degrees to begin the day with a cold wind. 24 species recorded including yellow hammer, goosanders, flocks of redwings and teal.
A dull but mild day. 29 species recorded including great and little egrets, smew, egyptian goose, large flocks of lapwings and greylags.
6.30 am and hedgehog is out looking for food whilst being serenaded by two tawny owls.
11 Feb 2023 – Blacktoft Sands RSPB.
A pleasant 8 degrees but overcast most of the morning. 31 species recorded which included stonechats, tree sparrows, golden plovers, Ruff and a roosting barn owl. Many marsh harriers patrolling the reed beds throughout the morning.
7 Feb 2023 – Old Moor RSPB.
After a cold start, a lovely sunny day developed.
Plenty of bird life at the Wath Ings hide during the morning then spent the afternoon in the reed bed hide. Marsh harrier made an distant appearance twice.
30 species recorded in the 5 hours spent there.
Frosty bright morning. Langold lake produced 19 species, Dyscarr Wood 15 species.
5 Feb 2023 – Lound Gravel Pits (part of Notts Wildlife Trust Idle Valley nature reserve).
A cold but sunny start to the morning, eventually settling at 8 degrees with occasional hazy sunshine.
A quiet start at first, then had a tip of a female smew, which I managed to locate.
Also had notice of two cattle egrets near Sutton Grange, which again I managed to locate. They where amongst a flock of sheep along with two great white egrets, all very distant. 5.5 miles walked.
Over cast and 10 degrees hence poor lighting. Rather quiet only 15 species recorded. A barn owl proved elusive and a flock of redpol and gold finch were interesting, feeding on the ground but soon disturbed by a family passing by. About 30 distant cormorants were reluctant to come any closer.
Flock of c50 goldfinch on golf course, nuthatch calling in Mosses Seat wood and mistle thrush singing in Lindrick Dale quarry.
15 species recorded on a 5 mile walk.
1 Feb 2023 – Lound Gravel Pits (part of Notts Wildlife Trust Idle Valley nature reserve).
Very windy causing water foul to seek out calmer waters away from the open areas. Several goldeneye and a great white egret being the most notable of the 21 species recorded.
Although 10 degrees, the strong wind was making it feel much colder.
At Piper marsh hide, a group of conservation volunteers disturbed a roe deer which swam / splashed across the open water to escape .
The strong wind seem to keep most birds in hiding throughout the day.
I did manage to read two ring numbers on swans Y539 and Y830
Not much to see (just 18 species recorded) but pleasant company and conversations with other birders during the 6 hours.
The two lakes have only just become free of ice. Unfortunately, bird flue is present and I saw a Canada goose suffering from it.
It was nice to here the skylark singing, and we had visits from Marsh Harrier and sparrow hawk causing consternation for the B H gulls. Many teal were present on both lakes along with shoveler, wigeon, moorhen, canada and greylag geese. 21 species were recorded
There was a cold wild but the lighting was perfect allowing me to get some nice images.
Just 2 degrees on arrival and some water bodies still frozen.
On willow bank walk, 4 roe deer across field in woodland and two on path ahead of me. I tried getting close but was spotted and they fled.
Came across a pheasant sitting on a fence on the way to piper marsh hide. It was unconcerned about my presence and carried on feeding.
Two swans were the sole occupants of piper marsh until a visiting marsh harrier roosted in a tree were it stayed for a while surveying the deserted marsh. It eventually flew off in the hope of better prospects elsewhere.
Roger Michel hide had a several species roosting but a marsh harrier caused all the lapwing and gulls to take flight several times.
Four Konik ponies were busy in front of Hawthorn Bank hide. Here there were several species of ducks including pochard, teal, gadwall, and mallard.
Old man’s beard looked splendid around the mother drain.
Whilst still remaining below freezing all morning, after lunch a slight thaw set in causing water to drip from branches.
My day started of well when a pair of roe deer were spotted on the path to willow bank hide. I concealed myself but the deer had spotted me but continued approaching allowing me to obtain several photos before they left the path.
As all the lakes were frozen there was no sign of birdlife. I settled in piper marsh hide to wait events. A marsh harrier made three passes over the water in front of the hide over the next hour and a pair of roe deer were spotted on the far bank behind the reeds.
Four Konic ponies were grazing in front of west scrape hide, but were in no hurry to move on.
At Roger Michael hide several gulls were gathered on the ice until a sparrow hawk passed overhead when they scattered but some did return. Later, a large black backed gull settled amongst the black-headed and herring gulls. Its large size was evident when a crow sauntered in front of it.
Bearded Tits were busy in the reeds between Roger Mitchel and Tofield Hides.
On the walk back I passed an fully laden apple tree where tits and blackbirds were enjoying the fruit.
See meeting reports
3 Jan 2023 – Sherwood Forest.
A 6.5 mile walk through Budby common and Sherwood forest. Admired the work being undertaken this winter clearing patches of overgrown heather and maintaining footpaths on Budby common. A mild 12C deg. and sunny. (photo to follow)
2 Jan 2023 – Lound, Notts.
Spent the morning birdwatching. Most notable sighting was of 4 Great egrets moving between the various waters bodies. Missed seeing the Smew that has been resident for about 3 weeks. Also spotted a crow collecting twigs, so nest building is started early.
1 Jan 2023 – My garden, Dinnington.
A large hedgehog was waiting at the hog feeding station at 7am this morning. Looks like I shall have to resume feeding until the next cold spell.