This year has been an excellent year for me as far as wildlife watching is concerned and an excellent year for learning.
A very quick scoot around the pools revealed the usual 2 Little Grebe, some good-looking Fieldfares and the almost obligatory pair of Green Woodpeckers. Cormorant over towards Shipley Lake and a Greylag Goose wheeled in to join the growing number of Canada Geese that are these days always in residence.
Yesterday, a Dunnock in almost full song – my first of the season. Robins singing regularly for a while now. Can’t wait for the full entourage to get going!
A quick trip out to feed the ducks revealed the following.
BH Gull, Common Gull, Cormorant, Mute Swan, Goosander, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Canada Goose, Blackbird, Blue Tit, House Sparrow, Wren, Grey Heron, GS Woodpecker, Coot, Mallard, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Stock Dove, Crow, Starling & a few Feral Pigeons
All that remains is to wish everyone a biodiverse New Year. Happy spotting in 2012.
- Cotham Flash - Pykett's Pond: Smew [drakes].
- Gedling Pit Top - 2 Short-eared Owl, 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Common Snipe.
- Netherfield Lagoons - Caspian Gull, Iceland Gull, Siberian Chiffchaff [along the brook on the access path from Teal Close], 10 Redwing, 5 Carrion Crow, 5 Black-headed Gull, 60+ Great-black Backed Gull, 60+ Northern Lapwing, Wren, 5 Blackbird, 3 Magpie, 5 Eurasian Wigeon, Robin, 30 Common Pochard, 18 Cormorant, 3 Tufted Duck, 2 Mute Swan, 5 Woodpigeon, 2 Rook, Bullfinch, 2 Long-tailed Tit.
- Trowell - 2 Common Buzzard [near Balloon Woods crossroads].
- Hoveringham - 20+ Redwing, 1 Mistle Thrush, 1 Goldfinch, 2 Eurasian Sparrowhawk, 1 Common Kestrel, 3 Common Buzzard.
-- Delivered by Feed43 service
- Gonalston- 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Redwing, 1 Eurasian Nuthatch, 1 Robin, 2 Reed Bunting.
- Netherfield Lagoons - Siberian Chiffchaff.
-- Delivered by Feed43 service
- Bilsthorpe - c.1000 Fieldfare, 2 Siskin, 1 Lesser Redpoll, 2 Yellowhammer.
- Cotham Flash - Pykett's Pond: Smew [drake].
- Lambley Dumbles - 1 Rough-legged Buzzard [between Spring Lane and Catfoot Lane].
- Netherfield Lagoons - 1 Little Egret, 1 Caspian Gull [1st winter], 1 Iceland Gull [juvenile/1st winter from 12:20 To 12:35 - flew north], 1 Treecreeper.
- Holme Pierrepont - Kittiwake [deceased juvenile].
-- Delivered by Feed43 service
Water Rail are a shy bird related to the Moorhen and Coot, they more often heard rather than seen and usually picked out by their “stuck pig” squeals in the reeds. They are usually found in reeds on marshy, boggy ground and by lakes and streams, and views are usually gained as they move rapidly between reed beds. Usually some persistence is required to see these elusive birds, as they move at the slightest sound or movement and all you will see is their bobbing white rear end disappearing into the reeds.
When good views are obtained Water Rails can be identified by their long red bill, and grey front, and are really unlike any other bird and so unlikely to be confused with anything else – except possibly the much rarer Spotted Crake.
Winter is by far the best time to see them across the Erewash Valley, and they can usually be found in suitable habitat around Attenbrough given patience. Erewash Meadows has been productive in the past, particularly around the Stoney Lane bird feeders where previous years had four or more birds, however more recently numbers have dwindled, though one or two remain over winter. Tathame Pond on the Erewash Canal has also had regular sightings in the past, as has an area locally known as Cotmanhay Meadows, which is under the railway underpass toward “Chat Corner” first stile on the left. I often hear them calling at night (courtesy of Dave J).
The two photos here were taken at Budby Pumping Station in North Notts but the video below was filmed in Jan 2010 during a particularly cold spell when two Water Rails were feeding under the feeders at Stoney Lane.
We’ve been around as a community for a while now and in that time we’ve grown from one or two locals to a thriving community of birders, wildlife watchers, coleopterists (well there’s one!) and photographers. As the site grows it becomes more important to define what we, as a website community, are, and probably more importantly, what we aren’t.
So let’s start what Erewash Valley Wildlife is:
- a website community that is intended to encourage the enjoyment and protection of wildlife and wildlife habitats in and around the Erewash Valley.
- free to participate – just register and set up a profile, and then you can post pictures, comments, etc.
- friendly - everyone is welcoming and we’re always looking out for new “members”.
- a source of information on wildlife sites and species in the valley, as well as local groups.
- a photography showcase we have some fantastic photographers who use the site, who are always willing to advise and offer tips to newbies. In fact Paul Shaw has put together a series Photography tutorials.
- we aren’t a constituted group – we have no chairman, no paid members. Instead we simply evolve with guidance from the website community, and with technical leadership from Chris who acts as webmaster. Naturally though there will be times when, decisions are needed and Chris will use his best judgement, and guidance from the community, to come to what he feels is the best decision.
- we aren’t a business – no profit is made from Erewash Valley Wildlife, quite the opposite. A lot of time and effort is put in by Chris and the community to ensure the website and content are as accurate and up to date as possible.
- we aren’t a charity – conversely to the above we aren’t a registered charity, we simply don’t have the fund raising capacity or the time to go down this route.
- we aren’t funded, we don’t have a bank account - any costs incurred in setting up the site or maintaining it are covered out of Chris’s own pocket. Thankfully this isn’t much. Some money is raised using advertising on the site but this hasn’t paid out yet, it raises at most one or two pounds a month and only pays out at £60. Chris has also been kindly given a small sum of money to put towards running the site, and this has been put aside to keep the site running if Chris runs into unforseen financial difficulties or if the current costs change, in order that the site can continue running into the future. At the point where any advertising pays out and a surplus is available this will be invested, on behalf of EVW, in projects in the Erewash Valley – e.g. funding bird boxes or birdseed etc, to be decided by active members in the group.
As the walk has been postponed I took the hounds a little earlier today
Greylag,Mute Swan,Cormorant(that will please the fishing club)
Black Headed Gull
Longtailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit,Wren
and a few Wood Pigeon