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by lammie

It’s Squacco

October 31, 2011 in Holiday and Trip Reports by lammie

Went down to Attenborough this morning and managed to get a few pictures of the Squacco Heron. These are large crops du to distance so image quality isn’t too great.

Don

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canal Dippers 30/10/2011

October 30, 2011 in Holiday and Trip Reports by Jim Steele

I spent a couple of hours yesterday and today on the Cromford Canal between Cromford itself and High Peak Junction (‘Discovery World Heritage’ events..).

Autumn leaves on the mature trees of the extensive woodland cover across the Derwent valley made for a really beautiful vista.

Several soaring Buzzard were superb in the Autumn sunlight; 3 Sparrowhawk yesterday and 1 today. Grey wagtails.

Stars of the show were without doubt the Little Grebes or Dabchicks on the canal. They are incredibly tame – I haven’t seen birds so approachable as this anywhere. What is quite something is that you can see them swimming under water with ease, and they just don’t look like birds, more like amphibians or something!

Many years ago I became embroilled in an argument with a farmer who was claiming ‘Dippers’ on the Erewash Canal. No way I said, they like running water. Considerable heated debate ensued. Turns out that the name ‘Dipper’ was used around here for Little Grebe on the canals….oh dear…

Jim

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by PaulS

Middleton Lakes.

October 30, 2011 in Holiday and Trip Reports by PaulS

Figuring the whole world would be down at Attenborough looking for that bird we decided to scout out pastures new just down the A42. Middleton Lakes RSPB reserve.

One of the RSPBs newest reserves. By 2015 it’s hoped this will be one the the premier sites for wading birds in the midlands. A former gravel pits, the land is slowly being transformed with shallow pools, reedbeds, woodland, a canal and river running through and a nice rough pasture meadow meaning there is an abundance of habitats for a variety of birds. There are several waymarked trails and a walk along all of them is around 3.5miles of flat, if a bit muddy in places, walking. There are few facilities on site but on the same site is Middleton Hall craft centre which has toilets (better than the portable ones in the RSPB car park) and a very nice tea rooms.

Your journey starts with a walk past the Heronry.

25 pairs of Heron nest here through the spring and summer. It’s also a nice reed bed with Water Rail calling whilst we were here. There’s also a good feed station here with lots of passerines. You then head off into the rookery. This a patch of traditional woodland with a lovely little stream running through it.

On the opposite side of the rookery is the first of the many pools and reed beds you will come across. Nice viewing platform over it.

Out of the rookery and across the canal and you are now into the main body of the reserves, the wader pools.

There’s a real selection of birdlife on the lakes and it’s well worth lingering a while and getting the scope out and checking out what is around. There are lots of chairs scattered around and there will be a hide in place by Christmas with a 270 degree view over the scrapes. The river Tame runs through the site and this creates another habitat that’s worth checking out. It has tall sand banks and is good for Sand Martins in the summer. It is however prone to flooding and the nests are very easily submerged at such times.

The main pools are kept at different levels to create as diverse a habitat as possible. This pool is very shallow and looked excellent for snipe and suchlike.

The only “hide” as such on site at present is this small screen. Not sure it actually does anything but it’s a point of interest for the “tourists”!!

Unfortunately for these folks right behind them was a hunting Short Eared Owl. There have been up to ten recorded on the site in the past. It’s good to look for them around the land on the opposite side of the river just behind the screen. Just here in fact.

We also saw a pair of Kestrels hunting here too.

After the water trails you go onto the meadow trail. This is a big rough pasture which is very good habitat for hunting owls and other raptors.

After walking around the meadow you pick up the canal for a short while. This is a really pleasant part of the walk.

On reaching this bridge you then retrace your steps and head back to base via the rookery.

So, 45 minutes from Ilkeston and a really enjoyable day out. It’s definitely a place we could arrange a trip out to. The winter months see the numbers of birds swell on the lakes and there’s always the chance of a rarity turning up.

Here’s a list of what we saw.

Birds…coal, blue, great, long tail tits. Buzzard, magpie, gs woodpecker, nuthatch, blackbird, grey heron, dunnock, wren, bullfinch, linnet, wigeon, coot, tufted duck, canada goose, mute swan, little egret, teal, gadwall, moorhen, lapwing, greylag goose, mallard, gc grebe, cormorant, bh gull, goldfinch, kestrel, crow, short eared owl, jay. We also heard water rail calling but didn’t see one.

We also saw a hawker dragonfly, a red admiral butterfly, a grey squirrel and a toad.

All in all not a bad day.

You can find out more here…

http://www.rspb.org.uk/reserves/guide/m/middletonlakes/

Cheers

Paul

Notts sightings for Tue 25th Oct (courtesy of Notts Birdwatchers)

October 29, 2011 in Other Notts Sightings by rssfeeds

  • Welbeck - Robin Hood Way: Eurasian Sparrowhawk [male], 8 Common Pheasant, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Fieldfare.
  • Pinxton - 1 Common Kestrel [female], Redwing [huge flock].

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Notts sightings for Wed 26th Oct (courtesy of Notts Birdwatchers)

October 29, 2011 in Other Notts Sightings by rssfeeds

  • King's Mill Reservoir - Black-necked Grebe, 5 Common Snipe, Kittiwake, 12 Eurasian Teal, 70 Northern Lapwing.
  • Osberton - Chesterfield Canal: 2 Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel.
  • Idle Valley Nature Reserve - 2 Grey Heron, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Robin, Fieldfare.
  • Colwick Woods - 100+ Fieldfare.
  • Wollaton Park - Lake: 70 Eurasian Wigeon, 35 Gadwall, 10 Northern Shoveler, 1 Common Goldeneye, 30 Siskin.
  • Budby Pumping Station - 1 Red Kite [heading east - mobbed Carrion Crows at 10:25], c.4 Woodlark [singing and showing well], 250 Eurasian Starling, 50 Fieldfare, 1 Eurasian Nuthatch, 1 Yellowhammer, 3 Tree Sparrow .
  • Besthorpe NWT - South: 3 Common Snipe, 2 Green Sandpiper, 150 Fieldfare.
  • Collingham Gravel Pits - 1 Common Goldeneye, 1 Common Redshank, 1 Green Sandpiper.

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Notts sightings for Thu 27th Oct (courtesy of Notts Birdwatchers)

October 29, 2011 in Other Notts Sightings by rssfeeds

  • Clifton Pastures - 1 Merlin [male].

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Notts sightings for Fri 28th Oct (courtesy of Notts Birdwatchers)

October 29, 2011 in Other Notts Sightings by rssfeeds

  • Kilvington Lakes - 1 Dunlin, 1 Common Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Yellow-legged Gull [adults].
  • Wollaton - Ring-necked Parakeet [Ranelagh Grove at 15:15].
  • Attenborough Nature Reserve - Squacco Heron [showing well at times - near sailing club, under railway bridge on river Erewash].

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Notts sightings for Sat 29th Oct (courtesy of Notts Birdwatchers)

October 29, 2011 in Other Notts Sightings by rssfeeds

  • Attenborough Nature Reserve - Squacco Heron [showing well at times - near sailing club, under railway bridge on river Erewash].

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Attenborough Images

October 29, 2011 in Photo Posts by davejsblog

Canada Goose

Teal
Egyptian Goose

Dabbling teal


Sqaucco Heron, highly mobile, highly elusive ~ its on my list !

October 29, 2011 in Latest News by davejsblog