Erewash Meadows – and a break in the weather

May 7, 2012 in ChrisLuv's Birding Blog, Latest Patch Sightings by ChrisLuv

First post in quite a while, this hasn’t been me being lazy I literally haven’t found the time to get out and see any wildlife in about a month. However, this morning with the weather forecast looking okay I decided to get up early, and opted for some local birding (over some landscape photography further afield).

My alarm, or as we call him Freddie, woke me up at 6 and so I headed straight out and up to Erewash Meadows, walking in under the A610 bridge and up the railway footbridge to Railway Marsh, it was a bitter morning with a heavy frost (scraping the car in May!) and there was a mist hanging over the water and flooded fields as I made my way across. The footpath was awful too and I soon regretted not wearing wellies, my feet were soon squelching (must sort out waterproofing on those walking shoes) and my hands were chilled, though that didn’t bother the Mallard ducklings I disturbed walking under the railway bridge – they soon disappeared with their mum back the way they were coming as I hove into view though. While they weren’t bothered by the cold the dandelions looked like they weren’t expecting it.

On the reserve the Greylag Geese were honking and a couple of other Mallard were on the pond, two Sedge Warbler trilled and thrilled in the sedge, living up to their name. A Robin and Blackbird rattled away too, and Blue Tit and Great Tit were also moving along the hedgerows. Over the water a Black Headed Gull or two floated around calling and the obligatory Wood Pigeons flew overhead.

Over the bridge and I checked out a few wildflowers in the water, I’m afraid my id skills aren’t up to much but I have tried to id them, I have them as Cuckooflower and Common Water Crowfoot, let me know what you think.

                          

 

A couple of Sand Martins buzzed over the marsh, as did a Shoveler, and walking towards the kennels the Greylag flapped after me, skimming the hedgerows like an enemy fighter coming in low under radar, only giving away their position by noisy honking, before finally skidding a daring landing on the wet field to feed. A single Goldfinch greeted me up at the kennels but otherwise my walk was fairly birdless except a female Chaffinch by the river and tits chattering along unseen in the hedges. Just past the kennels a Whitethroat warbled away and chased along after a Blue Tit, though whether it was seeing them off or saying hello I couldn’t be sure. Also a Reed Bunting.

Up at Big Marsh I scanned the water, Mute Swan, Gadwall, Black Headed Gull, Mallard and Canada Geese were all on the water, as was a beautiful male Mandarin sweeping along with his “sail” up. A few Swift started to make their way over the water feeding and these increased in number as I started my return, through the muddy hills and hollows, and finally arriving out the wood I saw several Swifts and Swallows swooping and playing in the sunshine – this is what spring’s about!

A steady walk back, my cold and wet feet forgotten now spring was in action around me, a bee buzzed past but the morning was still too young for me to see a butterfly – had the sunshine lasted this would have been a certainty. A Lapwing, and then another, flew over towards Big Marsh and as I arrived back at the southern end of the reserve I found a pair – with one bird on the wing – and, angry at my presence, the other flew up and circled me calling constantly, territorial behaviour certainly. I took the hint and left, though not before a call “fsssss” just over my head had me scanning the air, before I located a Snipe twisting and turning among the Swallows before it settled down to rest in the reeds.

Over towards Aldercar Flash I searched out two Dunlin and a Little Ringed Plover among the mud, exactly as described to me by a someone I’d met earlier whos name escapes me (he has two black labs – I met him at the SEO a few years ago) , also there were nesting Black Headed Gull and a male Tufted Duck and a couple of Mallard. Three Common Terns nearly surprised me as they flew up the valley.

Making my way back along Stoney Lane to the car the Reed Warblers were making a racket, great to see them back, and  I had a surprise further up where a family of Brown Rats were feeding on some seed spilled on the road. There were up to ten and I got some photographs at close quarters, before walking over the broken road surface and having them spew out under my feet scattering from under the loose stones – if you don’t like rats beware of walking this way! We used to have two as pets so I wasn’t too bothered though there’s still something primeval about the shudder you feel with that number of rodents so close and fast.

 

 

 

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by SteveI

Jacksdale along canal to North Erewash Meadows

January 27, 2012 in Latest Patch Sightings by SteveI

North Meadow
40+ Mallard
2 Grey Heron
16 Moorhen
6 Coot
8 Greylag
3 Teal
4 Black Headed Gull
8 Rook
1 Gadwall
10+ LongTailed Tit

Down by the canal
8 Rook
4 Magpie
6 Blue Tit
12 Great Tit
2 Blackbird
1 Robin

Jacksdale
40+ Starling
2 Collared Dove
2 Robin

Big Marsh
3 Whooper Swan
2 Mute Swan
! Tufted Duck

and a few Wood pigeon

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by SteveI

Jacksdale along canal to North Erewash Meadows

January 26, 2012 in Latest Patch Sightings by SteveI

A bit more water (yes) 2 extremely muddy dogs and a muddy dog walker

From the Embankment
16 Mallard
1 Grey Heron
20 Moorhen
2 Coot
2 Shoveller
2 Greylag
4 Teal
1 Kestrel
7 Black Headed Gull

Down by the canal
20 Rook
8 Moorhen
1 Buzzard
8 Magpie
6 Blue Tit
2 Great Tit
2 Blackbird
2 Chaffinch
4 Robin
3 Jay
Jacksdale
20 Starling
4 Collared Dove
1 Robin
and numerous Wood pigeon

Big Marsh
3 Whooper Swan

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by PaulS

The Norfolk Journal 2012 (And A Little Quiz).

January 19, 2012 in Holiday and Trip Reports by PaulS

First time this year I’ve had chance to visit Salthouse, on the North Norfolk coast. It was a beautifully sunny afternoon, a little windy but not enough to spoil an hour with the birds. The Western Sandpiper is still around but I didn’t have time to go looking. I did manage to see the following. Lapwing (around 3-400 in an amazing swirling flock). Redshank. Shelduck. Teal. Turnstone. Snow Bunting. Herring Gull. Lesser Black Backed Gull. Black Headed Gull. Goldfinch. Pheasant. Red Partridge. Year list up to 69.

A few shots from the hour.

 

 

And finally the little quiz. How many Goldfinch can you see in this picture??

Cheers

Paul

As requested by Chris, here’s where the birds are.

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by PaulS

Kirk Hallam Lake (& Waxwings).

January 2, 2012 in Latest Patch Sightings by PaulS

Well, what a way to start the year. Not only did I get to see some spectacular wildlife this morning I got to photograph it too!! Highlights were Kingfisher and 15 Goosander on the lake and 7 Waxwing on Oliver road, just at the top of Lime Tree Rise. The full list of sightings is as follows…

House Sparrow, Wren, Magpie, Blackbird, Linnet, Waxwing, Common Gull, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail Kingfisher, Goosander, Moorhen, Coot, Mallard, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Wood Pigeon, Crow, Black Headed Gull.

And a few shots to finish.

Enjoy!

 

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by SteveI

Jacksdale along canal to Kennels

December 30, 2011 in Latest Patch Sightings by SteveI

As the walk has been postponed I took the hounds a little earlier today

Mallard,Moorhen,
Greylag,Mute Swan,Cormorant(that will please the fishing club)
Grey Heron
Lapwing
Black Headed Gull
Pheasant
Crow,Rook,Magpie,Jay
Blackbird,House Sparrow,Starling,Fieldfare,redwing,Chaffinch,Dunnock,Goldfinch
Longtailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit,Wren
Kestrel,Buzzard

Collared Dove
and a few Wood Pigeon

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by SteveI

Jacksdale along canal to North Erewash Meadows

December 28, 2011 in Latest Patch Sightings by SteveI

Mallard,Moorhen,Teal,Shoveler
Greylag,Mute Swan
Lapwing
Black Headed Gull
Pheasant
Crow,Rook,Magpie
Blackbird,House Sparrow,Starling,Redwing,Fieldfare
Longtailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit,Wren
Kestrel,Buzzard
Collared Dove

and a few Wood Pigeon

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by SteveI

Jacksdale along canal to North Erewash Meadows

December 23, 2011 in Latest Patch Sightings by SteveI

Mallard, Moorhen, Teal,Shoveler,Widgeon
Lapwing
Pheasant
Crow,Rook,Magpie
Blackbird, House Sparrow,Redwing
Longtailed Tit,
Black Headed Gull

and a few more Wood Pigeon

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by SteveI

Jacksdale along canal to North Erewash Meadows

December 22, 2011 in Latest Patch Sightings by SteveI

Mallard, Moorhen,Teal,Shoveler

Greylag,

Grey Heron

Snipe,Lapwing

Pheasant
Crow,Rook,Magpie
Blackbird, House Sparrow, Starling, Pied Wagtail

Longtailed Tit, Blue Tit,

Black Headed Gull

and a few Wood Pigeon

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by PaulS

Straws Bridge Stroll

October 16, 2011 in Latest Patch Sightings by PaulS

After a nice mornings bike ride along the Cloud trail I decided to have a little wander around Straws Bridge. There’s quite a bit around at present. Here goes.

Female Pochard (She’s back!!)

Male Teal (been around over a week now).

Juvenile Common Gull (fairly sure it’s not a Herring Gull).

Greylag. just the one.

Canada Geese

Mallard

Coot

Moorhen

One Great Crested Grebe

Black Headed Gull

Mute Swan

Large flocks of Long Tailed Tits and Chaffinch.

Crow

Wood Pigeon

Collared Dove

Grey Heron

Three Cormorants over

Two Hawkers (poss. Southern) on the smaller of the rear ponds.

Also of note but from yesterday at Mapperley Hide. A single Common Sandpiper. Possible first for this location.

Cheers

Paul