Attenborough And Me!

July 23, 2015 in Photo Posts, Read Posts, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley




Attenborough and I do not suit each other but yesterday turned out be a decent days birding at this site, with a few waders to see including Turnstone, Dunlin, LRP and Greendshank.; a half dozen Little Egrets were scattered around the reserve as were those immigrant Egyptian Geese. Lapwing, Greenshank, Dunlin and Turnstone were present late morning from the Tower Hide, to be joined by Little-ringed Plover, Redshank and three Oystercatcher in the afternoon,

Among the Black-headed Gulls and Common Gulls was a single Yellow-legged Gull, which I think has been coming to Attenborough for some years but today he was doing what Yellow-legged Gulls do, stealing water bird chicks from under the bills of their parents!

Two Hobby’s put in an appearance, great to see these little falcons whizzing around  the sky. a Sparrowhawk was trying his luck among the hirundines without success, it seems their numbers are decreasing, I think they do sometimes make an early start for the African sun and it looks like Kestrels have bred again in the owl box.

A bit disappointing on the warbler front with just a few each of Whitethroat, Sedge and Reed Warbler and just a single Cetti’s at the Long Eaton end of the reserve.

There were more little Egrets up at the Long Eaton Gravel Pits but not much else, I was hoping  a Wood Sandpiper  reported yesterday might still be around but with not knowing the full details of it’s location it was always going to be hard to spot in this large complex of  gravel pits and spot it I did not!



Little Grebe-just!


Common Tern


Little Egret with “leg candy”


In the distance-Turnstone!


Kestrels in da box!


Collared Dove-a dove but not the “right dove”


Grey Heron-he knew I was there, but couldn’t see me, what cunning!


Green Woodpecker, Long Eaton GP’s


Yellow-legged Gull with prey.


Egyptian Goose


Loafing Lapwings




The Day-list.

Selected SpeciesRecsSitesRep%1st Date1st LocationEarliestLatestBlack-headed Gull225023/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentBlackcap112523/07/2015Long Eaton GPs.ResidentResidentCanada Goose225023/07/2015Long Eaton GPs.ResidentResidentCarrion Crow112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentCetti’s Warbler112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentChaffinch112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentCollared Dove112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentCommon Tern225023/07/2015Attenborough23 Jul23 JulCoot112523/07/2015Long Eaton GPs.ResidentResidentCormorant112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentDunlin112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentEgyptian Goose112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentGadwall225023/07/2015Long Eaton GPs.ResidentResidentGarden Warbler112523/07/2015Attenborough23 Jul23 JulGoldfinch225023/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentGreat Crested Grebe225023/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentGreat Tit112523/07/2015Long Eaton GPs.ResidentResidentGreen Woodpecker112523/07/2015Long Eaton GPs.ResidentResidentGreenshank112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentGrey Heron225023/07/2015Long Eaton GPs.ResidentResidentGreylag Goose225023/07/2015Long Eaton GPs.ResidentResidentHobby112523/07/2015Attenborough23 Jul23 JulHouse Martin225023/07/2015Attenborough23 Jul23 JulHouse Sparrow112523/07/2015Bennerley LodgeResidentResidentJackdaw112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentJay112523/07/2015Trent  MeadowsResidentResidentKestrel112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentLapwing225023/07/2015Long Eaton GPs.ResidentResidentLesser Whitethroat112523/07/2015Attenborough23 Jul23 JulLittle Egret225023/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentLittle Grebe112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentLittle Ringed Plover112523/07/2015Attenborough23 Jul23 JulMagpie112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentMallard112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentMoorhen112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentMute Swan112523/07/2015Long Eaton GPs.ResidentResidentOystercatcher112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentRedshank112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentReed Warbler225023/07/2015Long Eaton GPs.23 Jul23 JulRobin112523/07/2015Bennerley LodgeResidentResidentSand Martin112523/07/2015Attenborough23 Jul23 JulSedge Warbler112523/07/2015Attenborough23 Jul23 JulShoveler112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentSong Thrush337523/07/2015Long Eaton GPs.ResidentResidentSparrowhawk112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentStarling112523/07/2015Bennerley LodgeResidentResidentStock Dove112523/07/2015Long Eaton GPs.ResidentResidentSwallow112523/07/2015Attenborough23 Jul23 JulSwift112523/07/2015Bennerley Lodge23 Jul23 JulTeal112523/07/2015AttenboroughResidentResidentTufted Duck225023/07/2015Long Eaton GPs.ResidentResidentTurnstone112523/07/2015Attenborough23 Jul23 JulWhitethroat225023/07/2015Attenborough23 Jul23 JulWoodpigeon225023/07/2015Bennerley LodgeResidentResidentWren225023/07/2015Long Eaton GPs.ResidentResidentYellow-legged Gull112523/07/2015Attenborough23 Jul23 Jul

Straw’s Bridge 18.07.2015

July 19, 2015 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

Straw’s Bridge was looking good in the evening sunlight. A Migrant Hawker was ‘parked up’ allowing close inspection and an Emperor Dragonfly still patrolled one of the smaller ponds. Somewhat surprisingly a Great Crested Grebe is making a late breeding attempt on Swan Lake and is utilising one of the small rafts the Friends of Straw’s Bridge installed! Success (hopefully). Tufted Duck and a couple of young Common Gulls completed the scene.

Stanton 16.07.2015

July 18, 2015 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

A quick trip to Stanton to look for Summer butterflies. Meadow Browns, Ringlets, Small Skipper and a single Essex Skipper. Large Whites – settled, this is a stunning butterfly viewed close up. Brown Hawker and Common Darter dragonflies. I heard a Whitethroat and a Bullfinch, but the birds are now much quieter. Some good plants to look for – if you want any information just get in touch. Wild Parsnip (toxic sap) is a large, yellow-flowered umbellifer and is growing in profusion at the lagoons. Also on the lagoons a patch of Betony which whilst not rare is not found much around here. On the ‘strip’ there is lots of Evening Primrose, and a few locally rare plants – a patch of Greater Knapweed, Yellow-wort (great Latin name: Blackstonia perfoliata) and a single plant of the impressive Pyramidal Orchid with a triple bloom. Jim


Greater Knapweed


Pyramidal Orchid

Urban Birding In Derby

July 17, 2015 in Photo Posts, Read Posts, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley


Feral Rock Dove

Watch out Mr Lindo! I’m doing the urban birding thing. I had to be in Derby today with Dougie at the vets, I thought on the way back to the bus station I’d check out the Sanctuary behind the football stadium via Alvaston Park and the River Derwent. This little reserve was pretty quiet today a Reed Warbler, a few Swallows and Sand Martins but no sign of any Little Ring Plover. Alvaston Park held two Sedge Warbler and some not very wildfowl! The River Derwent stretch next to the bus station threw up twelve Goosander, through the drizzling rain they all appeared to be juveniles or females, plus a single Common Gull, lots of Black-heads and a group of hybrid geese that seemed to be showing not only features of Canada and Greylag but also features of the more exotic geese like Bar-head or Emperor, a proper genetic cocktail! Highlight of the day was a
single Great White Egret crossing the the river the stadium and heading roughly for the Sanctuary, sweet!

Dougie had two more visits to the vet and I had a couple of more days urban birding, the list  increased on the second day, Dougie was in theatre  so rather than go home I hung around the area to wait what seemed a very long wait and I probably wasn’t paying as much attention to the birding as I should but species were added to the list including Buzzard, Peregrine, Lesser Black-backed and Common Gulls and Mandarin Duck plus more of the same as the first day. I was on the phone to the vet on a regular basis and with a long operating list I knew it would be a long day but at least I was much closer to Dougie [minutes] than I would have been had I travelled back home.

The final day was pretty straight forward, with Dougie much recovered from his ordeal we attended the vets for a routine check up, the process was fairly swift with Dougie declared fit enough to resume light duties for awhile and we set off at “walking wounded pace” for the bus station picking up a few birds, butterflies, hover-flies and a few “odes” mostly Banded Demoiselles along the way, with the bus station reached it was time for a final sit down on a rock by the river and a final scan of the river and weir mainly for gulls, a quick photo shoot involving a manic Grey Heron and we were homeward bound. We will certainly do this again, visiting the river, Pride Park, Alvaston Park, the Sanctuary and the cathedral but hopefully not with the vets on the itinerary!  And finally a big thank you to the PDSA in Derby.


Postscript. Dougie is now resting and recovering nicely and will do so for the next few days when hopefully he will be fit for normal birding duties.






Lesser Black-backed Gull


Mandarin Duck [f]


Black-headed Gull




Banded Demoiselle




Brimstone Moth


Black-headed Gull

Greylag Goose


Great Crested Grebe


Canada Goose


Straw’s Bridge – Butterfly and Dragonfly Walk

July 14, 2015 in Misc by Jim Steele

Hello, some of you may know that I have recently taken on the role of Butterfly Conservation Officer for Lowland Derbyshire. I’m leading a walk to look for butterflies and dragonflies on August 2nd – see poster. All welcome, but children accompanied, please. Should the weather not be sunny enough, I’ll attempt to default to birds and maybe plants! Jim

My Valley News

July 7, 2015 in Photo Posts, Read Posts, The Bennerley Birders Pages by Bennerley


Water Lily

It,s been a bit busy in my part of the valley in past couple of weeks, there was the North Marsh Corn Crake and I’m sorry no one got to see it, if it’s any consolation I only heared it, I didn’t see it.

On the marsh there have been a pair of Lesser Ringed Plover that are for some reason hanging in there, I don’t know if they have bred, it would be really nice if they have, one observer saw four birds at one stage but they seemed to be adult birds rather than “juvs” but one never knows. I saw a pair of Common Terns showing signs of breeding, one on the ground the other gathering food and returning to the sitter, again I just don’t know.

Yesterday, three Egyptian Geese appeared on the marsh, if it were Attenboriugh they wouldn’t have been noticed but this is Bennerley and they haven’t been seen here for many years, so their arrival was most welcome.

The final sighting sighting during this “roll” was a single Oystercatcher, not s scarce bird in the valley but agin this is Bennerley, I usually manage one a year but on this occasion it was found by Mike Leatherland, so we’ll found Mike! Add to these sightings those found earlier in the year, the Scaup found by Susan purdey, plus the Siberian Chiffchaff, the Rough Legged Buzzard and the two Common Cranes it’s been a good year for Bennerley Marsh and I have even mentioned the butterflies and the ” Odes”






St. Johnswort


Field Scabious



Young Moorhens


Banded Demoiselles


Four-spotted Chaser


Broad-bodied Chaser



Red Admiral


Bind Weed


Rose-bay Willowherb

Shipley CP 30.06.2015

July 1, 2015 in Latest Patch Sightings by Jim Steele

Very hot, and away in search of white-letter hairstreak butterfly. No joy, unfortunately. Not easy to find! If anyone sees one please let me know, and in fact if anyone knows of any elm trees in the Country Park, please also let me know (WLH exclusive foodplant). I did, however, count the following butterflies: 112 meadow brown, 78 ringlet, 33 large skipper, 3 small/essex skipper, 3 common blue, 15 speckled wood, 1 brimstone, 1 small tortoiseshell and a red admiral. Phew! Jim