I managed on a cold Sunday morning to climb out of my valley and into the Trent Valley, Holme Pierrepont to be precise.
I arrived at at the gate of the A 52 Pit and the second or third species of the day was Smew, two redhead females and target species number one ! over on the far bank three Redshank were darting about and a Little Egret glided gracefully by – two and three in the bag! bonus year tick was a single Ruddy Duck and that concluded the days birding [not really]
There were a good number of Pochard on the water and I don’t think I’ve ever seen as many Wigeon in years of visiting this site! I didn’t do a count but there were many hundreds, but strangely just one Shoveler!
Over at Blotts Pitt I thought they were extracting gravel again but it was in fact the creation of islands and the regulatory “wader scrape” with, according to the notice, viewing points to be added in the near future, so access to the usual tried and tested areas of interest was somewhat restricted, but things are looking good at the moment, I only hope this reserve doesn’t become like the theme park that is Attenborough.
Most of the remaining daylight was used hoping for a Bittern [number four!] drifting in but it wasn’t going to happen so I headed off back to the 52 Pit gate and took up my secret observation post for the “gull roost” safely ensconced I began to scan the not too large roost, mainly Black-headed but a few larger gulls were coming in, Greater and Lesser Black-backs, Herring and Common, but no “white wingers or “bisquit” colored birds, just one fairly possible Caspian Gull, but the light was ebbing away by this time, never the less I was surprised just how good my small Opticron MM 3 ‘scope was for gull watching and I had been entertained by a “murmeration” of thousands of Starlings in between scans, not millions but still a great spectacle.