Monday, 1 April 2013

Easter Birding

Birding on a glorious Easter Monday, what could be better? Well the wind chill for one, and the clouds that spoilt the start to the day & set in for the rest of the morning! It was a balmy 1c when I set off but the wind chill made it feel much worse. I've not been birding in the LDV for about a month now, way too long and I was surprised at just how much the area has changed again with water levels dropping drastically.

Duffield Carrs

Plenty of birds about at Duffield Carrs today including healthy numbers of Wigeon, Teal, Tufted Duck & Lapwing. Counts of species in less number were as follows: 3 Little Grebe, 10 Mute Swan, 1 Curlew, 2 Canada Geese, 1 Pied Wagtail, 1 male Reed Bunting, 15 Coot, 10 Shoveler (good numbers for a species which has been scarce on the Carrs recently, two were displaying right in front of the hide - fantastic!), 2 Pochard, 4 Moorhen, 1Cormorant, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Pintail & a single Stock Dove. I also noted 5 Goldeneye, 3 males & two females, the males were displaying drawing their heads back almost touching the water then throwing them forward rapidly, it was great to watch!  Circa 300 Dunlin flew through disturbed by something - no doubt dog walkers on the bank as there was a constant stream of these today and none of the dogs were on a lead!

 Coot (Fulica)
 Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
 Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Shoveler displaying

Moving on to the Garganey hide which is now open (thanks to Natural England for getting this sorted so quickly) I heard 2 Skylark singing over the fields & flushed 2 Red Legged Partridge along the way. From here I soon picked up the drake Scaup and the Aythya Hybrid which has been frequenting the area. Also here were 3 Gadwall & 2 Greylags and other species noted above.

Red-Legged Partridge (Alectoris rufa) Phone-Scoped

On the new feeders at North Duffield Carrs were 4 Tree Sparrow, 2 Great Tit, 1 Blue Tit, 1 Robin & 3 Chaffinch.

I finished up at Bubwith Bridge which was stacked out with ducks mostly wigeon & teal but also big numbers of Pintail with 53 counted which is my personal highest count in the area. 2 Grey Herons were seen here and another over on Duffield Ings which looked brown/grey, wondered if this was a 1st winter bird?

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

I was also afforded excellent views of the two Egyptian Geese which have been around for some time but usually distant and scanning the same field picked up two Oystercaters. A Kestrel flying over Duffield Ings were about as exciting as it got for this side of the bridge.

 Egyptian Geese (Alopochen aegyptiacus) Phone-Scoped

Great to get out again in this ever changing fantastic area. See you next time!