‘Twas a finger-numbing , windscreen – scraping start to the day for those of us with so much clutter in our garages they hadn’t seen a car in decades . However compensation was a clear blue sky , perfect reflections on the reservoir surface and frozen ground keeping mud -slicks to a minimum.
Paul Beard led 14 of us on a favourite route to Ashover Hay via Smithy Cottage , wood and fields to Brown Lane, and eventually back through Clattercotes Farm .As with last month’s walk views were extensive .To Hardwick Hall and Bolsover Castle across the valley, and in the opposite direction the sun picked out detail of ledges in Milltown Quarry , and Ashover Chuch beyond, nestling below Ashover Rock .
Several parties of Redwings were seen in the thickets . A couple of folk managed to spot an elusive Raven which had been heard , and several of us witnessed a Buzzard plunge from a tree , pick up prey and then cheekily begin to devour it atop an aerial on a nearby cottage !!
43 species were recorded with a few ” was its ?” and ” possibly a …. ” which eluded positive identification and are therefore not included in the tally.
Great Crested Grebe , Cormorant, Grey Heron , Canada Goose, Wigeon , Mallard , Teal , Pochard , Tufted Duck , Buzzard , Coot , Lapwing , Black-headed Gull ,Lesser Black-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull ,Woodpigeon , Pied Wagtail ,Wren , Dunnock , Robin , Redwing , Fieldfare , Song Thrush , Mistle Thrush , Blackbird , Goldcrest , Long-tailed Tit , Blue Tit , Great Tit , Coal Tit , Nuthatch , Treecreeper , Jay , Magpie , Jackdaw , Raven , Carrion Crow , House Sparrow , Starling , Bullfinch ,Chaffinch , Greenfinch , Goldfinch .