Shipley Wood and Colliers Wood 27/03/2015

March 27, 2015 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

Still chilly but a pleasant, fairly sunny morning. My first blackcap of the Spring singing. A pair of mistle thrushes. Single dunnock. Great spotted woodpecker making some very loud tapping. Nuthatch calling. Wrens, blackbirds, robins, blue and great tits all singing, as was a stock dove. I watched a chiffchaff working the tree branches for food, whilst another was singing further away. No lesser spotted woodpecker, alas.

Later in the day at Colliers Wood LNR at Moorgreen, great views of a pair of mandarin duck. Male reed bunting at the feeders. Buzzards overhead soaring ahead of settling down to breed.


Mapperley 24/03/2015

March 25, 2015 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

Spring definitely on its way! Five chiffchaff singing, and two pairs of long-tailed tits nest building – one bird ripping apart a half-decayed ‘wet wipe’ carelessly discarded in the bottom of a bush in the car park! Tufties and great crested grebes courting on the pond. Coal tits and nuthatches. Mistle thrush singing. Little owl huddled up out of the chilly breeze against the trunk of an old, oak tree. Goldfinches. Buzzard or two up. Green woodpecker yaffling. Sadly, no lesser spotteds…

Bennerley/Shipley, Sunday, 22nd. March, 2015.

March 22, 2015 in Photo Posts, Read Posts, Sightings, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley

Temp. 8°C (46°F)2°C (36°F), Wind Direction: South South Easterly, Wind Speed: 3 mph, Visibility: Sun, Cloud, Very Good, Sunset: 18:22 GMT.

A pleasant yomp today, I had a good look and a hard listen for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in Shipley Wood and for my trouble found two of the Great Spotted variety and a Marsh Tit.

A Water Rail and a Chiffchaff were in Pewit Carr and next door in the coal screen,  were a Tawny Owl and a Green Woodpecker, a trio of Buzzard and 5 Common Gull were at Straws Bridge, plus a Snipe and a couple or Meadow Pipit were at Woodside.

Bennerley: Scaup [drake still on the Erewash canal] 3 Shoveler, 32 Teal, 70 Wigeon, 26 Lapwing.  Chat Corner: 5 Meadow Pipit, 3 Redwing, 8 Long-tailed Tit. Shipley Wood: 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, Marsh Tit, Song Thrush. Shipley View Lagoons: 5 Gadwall, Teal, Little Grebe, Green Woodpecker. Pewit Carr: Water Rail, Chiffchaff, 8 Long-tailed Tit, Green Woodpecker. Straws Bridge: 3 Buzzard, 5 Common Gull, 28 Tufted Duck, 4 Greylag Goose. Hallam Coal Screens: Tawny Owl, Green Woodpecker. Woodside: Snipe, Buzzard, 2 Meadow Pipit, Song Thrush.


Scaup on the Erewash Canal


The Bennerley Viaduct-a work in progress!


Drake Gadwall, Shipley View Lagoons.


Little Grebe, Shipley View Lagoons.


Canada Goose, Straws Bridge.


Greylag Goose, Straws Bridge.


A Taste Of Spring


Song Thrush, Woodside


Buzzard, Woodside


Tufted Duck, Straws Bridge.

Straw’s Bridge and Manor Flood 19/03/2015

March 19, 2015 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

Chilly day again.

I attended the ‘Friends of Straw’s Bridge’ photo-shoot today for the announcement of two, new Local Nature Reserves – Straw’s Bridge and Manor Floods.

My first sand martins of the year were flitting around Swan Lake, the usual tufties and lots of coots about, great crested grebe on Swan Lake too, and a first for me in this area – a (drake) wigeon on Manor Flood…. looking most lost…..


Straw’s Bridge 17/03/2015

March 17, 2015 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

Still chilly, with the sun trying to make itself felt. A few tufties on Swan Lake, with a determined coot trying to build a nest on one of the small rafts, whilst one coot already incubating on a well hidden nest on one of the smaller ponds under the bridge. On Manner Flood the pair of great crested grebe were very vocal, coots nest building here as well and at least 15 tufties was a good count. Pewit Carr had a great spotted woodpecker whilst in the adjacent copse a chiffchaff ‘singing’ was my first of the year. Marsh tit calling from the wooded edge of West Hallam screens and a lone, male bullfinch piping plaintively high in a hawthorn.

Shipley Hill 16/03/2015

March 17, 2015 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

Dry, overcast and a chilly breeze, but Spring is in the air. Grey squirrels looking for food on the woodland floor. Chaffinches, robins, wrens, dunnocks, great tits, blue tits, coal tits all singing. I thought I heard a curlew calling as it flew over, but it was a very accomplished blackbird involved in trickery mimicry. Beware the birder! Three great spotted woodpeckers, with two drumming and one uttering that weird call that is very like a mistle thrush. Nuthatch taking food at the base of a birch tree gave good views, as did a song thrush feeding on one of the lawns. Finally, a carrion crow carrying nest lining material to its nest high in the crown of a pine tree – be on eggs by the weekend, I hope it hasn’t jumped the gun…

Bennerley/Cossall, Sunday, 15th. March, 2015

March 16, 2015 in Photo Posts, Read Posts, Sightings, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley

Temp. 6°C (43°F)-4°C (39°F), Wind Direction: North Easterly, Wind Speed: 12 mph, Visibility: Cloud, Good, Sunset: 18:09 GMT.

Took my circular walk as far as Old Moor Wood and back through Cossall.

Dougie picked up the scent of Fallow Deer near Spring Wood and we stalked them like a pair of pro’s! making our way closer to shoot them – with a camera of course! although the weather wasn’t good for photography it was still a good experience.

Six singing Wrens were all in a small area at Cossall, a Wheatear was in fields around Spring Wood and a Tree Creeper led me a merry dance at Old Moor Wood, no photos but it cleared up a stubborn tick for the year, all in all a pleasant day.


Bennerley: Drake Scaup [Still on the Erewash Canal, Between Stenson and Barkers  Locks, Cotmanhay]  67 Wigeon, 14 Teal, 20 Lapwing, 90 Black-headed Gull, 3 Grey Heron, Kestrel, 1 Redwing. Cossall: 28 Long-tailed Tit, 6 Wren, 3 Pheasant, 2 Buzzard, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Snipe. Spring Wood: Buzzard, Kestrel, 2 Grey Heron, 95 Fieldfare, 36 Redwing, 2 Mistle Thrush, Wheatear, 350 Starling, Plus: c 35 Fallow Deer. Old Moor Wood: Great Spotted Woodpecker, Tree Creeper, Grey Heron.


Fallow  Deer




And More!




Canada Geese


Grey Heron






Canada Geese


Cromford Canal, Saturday, 14th. March, 2015

March 16, 2015 in Photo Posts, Read Posts, Sightings, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley

Temp. 6°C (43°F)-4°C (39°F), Wind Direction: North Easterly, Wind Speed: 12 mph, Visibility: Cloud, Good, Sunset: 18:09 GMT.

Cromford for Hawfinch today, easy peasy! three seen twice along with a Peregrine, Mandarins Dipper and five Grey Wagtail among other things.

Cromford Canal: 3 Hawfinch, 5 Grey Wagtail, Dipper, Nuthatch, Goldcrest, Green Woodpecker, Peregrine, 12 Little Grebe, 5 Goosander [R.Derwent] 7 Mandarin [R.Derwent]


Little Grebe




And Yet Again


One Grey Wagtail


Another Grey Wagtail On A Pumping Station


Drake Goosander


Drake Mandarin

Moorgreen and Bennerley Marsh 11/03/2015

March 11, 2015 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

A fine, sunny morning necessitated a quick trip to Moorgreen for raptor watching. Several buzzard obliged, as did two pairs of sparrowhawk that treated me to an impressive twenty minutes of display acrobatics, including dog-fights, ‘rowing’ flights and that hawk special – the switchback, where the bird plummets downwards with wings held in, then suddenly opens its wings and veers vertically upwards until it stalls and then repeats the operation. Pure aeronautical joy! Skylarks singing away are always a bonus and although they weren’t persuaded to be ‘mad’, two brown hares were scampering at speed over the stubble fields.

I ventured onto ‘DJ territory’ at Bennerley and had a scan over the marsh. At least twelve lapwing – hopefully some will stay again – 50+ wigeon, twelve teal, four gadwall, lots of black-headed gulls, a few common gull and a lonesome lesser black-backed gull. Plenty of magpies, wood pigeon and a pair of stock doves, whilst as I left a grey heron glided in on air-spilling wings to a perfect landing at the water’s edge.


Gonalston And Hoveringham GP’s. Sunday, 8th. March, 2015.

March 9, 2015 in Photo Posts, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley

Temp.10°C (50°F),-1°C (34°F), Wind Direction: West South Westerly, Wind Speed: 12 mph, Visibility: Cloud, Good, Sunset: 17:56 GMT.

Bus services being what they are on a Sunday I managed to miss my connection leaving me an hour to find and photo Peregrine’s no problem, the pair were there on the Newton Building although not appearing to be having anything to do with each other! so’ I focused on the female right on the corner of the building, a very long shot for my Canon SX50HS camera but I managed a few passable shots.

Headed of to Gonalston for a Glossy Ibis but mainly for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, strange but true! Gonalston is a beautiful little village but I remember way back from bike rides as a kid that cows were likely to be strolling through the village and farmers wore big leather gaiters over their boots and there was a smithy, the smithy is still there and its still a nice village.

The Ibis was nowhere to be seen when I arrived hot foot from the bus stop, but not to worry, we got possibly the best view of the bird since its arrival as it flew in showing it’s dark green iridescent plumage in all its glory! I would have gladly traded all the photos I did take for the one I didn’t! The Lesser Spotted ‘Pecker however was nowhere to be seen, I did at one time fancy I heard it, but not enough to be sure.

With the Ibis in the bag and a pair of Grey Wagtails to boot, I set off down the lane to the nearby Hoveringham gravel pits for a quick look, a foursome of Oystercatchers,  a single Little Egret and a small flock of Goldeneye’s – probably getting ready for the off.

Back in the village there was no sign of the Ibis and after a thoroughly good look for the ‘pecker with no result and it being a Sunday bus service it was back to the bus stop for me.


The Newton Building, Nottingham: 2 Peregrine [m. f.] Gonalston Village: Glossy Ibis, 2 Grey Wagtail, 18 Fieldfare, 7 Redwing. Hoveringham GP’s Railway Pit: 38 Goldeneye, 20 Goosander, 110 Wigeon, Little Egret Grey Heron, 5 Herring Gull, 4 Common Cull.


Peregrine, Newton Building


Glossy Ibis, Gonalston Village




Glossy Ibis


Glossy Ibis and Moorhen


Glossy Ibis