September 2014 Guided Bird Walk

A sharp shower sent some of the 16 of us scurrying back to raid  car boots for  rainwear. It continued dull and muggy but we had returned before more persistent drizzle set in .

At first it  appeared that few birds were abroad , only 18 species having been recorded by the time we paused at  St. Mark’s Church, Handley where John Parlby told the tale of the erection of the Osprey platform nearby . Things looked up as we passed through Woolley Moor via Beresford Lane and Temperance Hill . It was here  we heard  that a Black Tern was over the reservoir , speeding  our progress in the hope of seeing it !!  Along with this and the bushes adjacent to the car park being alive with warblers  that our total  for the day was boosted to a satisfactory 42 species .

Other excitement was caused by the sighting of a Purple Hairstreak butterfly at the top of an Ash , and the discovery of several football-sized Puff-balls , one of which found a good home in a plastic bag to be fried in butter  later !!

Thanks to Paul Beard for leading once again .

Great Crested Grebe , Little Grebe ,Cormorant, Grey Heron , Mallard , Tufted Duck , Canada Goose , Mute Swan , Buzzard, Nuthatch , Moorhen , Coot , Lesser Black -backed Gull , Black-headed Gull , Black Tern , Woodpigeon , Stock Dove , Collared Dove ,Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow , House Martin , Rook, Carrion Crow , Jackdaw , Magpie , Jay , Blue Tit , Long – tailed Tit , Wren , Blackbird , Robin , Blackcap , Whitethroat , Chiffchaff , Dunnock , Pied Wagtail ,Starling , Goldfinch , Greenfinch , Chaffinch , Reed Bunting ,House Sparrow .

Jennifer Johnson

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August Newsletter

The August Newsletter is now available to view.

August 2014 Newsletter

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Ogston Guided Bird Walk 2nd August 2014

With the threat of rain and rank, damp , burgeoning vegetation plastering us with moisture Paul Beard led us along the relatively dry lanes of the ” Brackenfield loop ”  instead of taking to the fields .

The 10 participants encountered 48 species of bird .Warblers skulked in the bushes, Great Spotted Woodpeckers seemed to be everywhere ,and in the vicinity of Brackenfield Green several  clouds of Linnets took to the air from behind Nether Farm .

Great Crested Grebe , Little Grebe, Cormorant , Grey Heron ,  Greylag Goose , Canada Goose , Mallard , Tufted Duck , Teal , Buzzard , Pheasant , Coot , Moorhen , Lapwing , Herring Gull, Lesser Black- backed Gull, Black-headed Gull , Common Tern , Wood Pigeon , Little Owl , Great Spotted Woodpecker , Swift,  Swallow , House Martin , Pied Wagtail ,  Magpie , Carrion Crow , Rook , Coal Tit , Blue Tit , Great Tit , Nuthatch ,Wren , Dunnock ,  Robin, Song Thrush , Blackbird , Blackcap , Chiffchaff, Whitethroat , Starling , Greenfinch , Chaffinch , Bullfinch, Goldfinch , Linnet , Reed Bunting , House Sparrow .

Butterflies were few  , just Green-veined White and Small White recorded

Jennifer Johnson

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Hen Harrier Day in Derbys

A Message from Mark Avery:

Thank you for registering for this Hen Harrier Day event in the Peak District on 10 August 2014. 

Here are some details and a link to where you can get even more details.

Chris Packham is attending the event and will be available to talk to, cuddle and be photographed for most of the day (as will I but I know which one you will go for…).

At 10am, we will assemble by the Derwent Dam, a couple of minutes stroll from the Fairholmes Visitor Centre for a group photograph. Those photographs will be sent to the media to publicise public outrage at the illegal killing of Hen harriers by the grouse shooting industry.  This, and events in Lancashire and Northumberland, will be the first public events to protest at the killing of Hen Harriers.

There will be a few brief words of welcome, encouragement and thanks, from Chris Packham, probably myself and maybe a few others but it won’t last very long.

After the group photograph you are free to mix and mingle with like-minded people, eat a bacon sandwich at the visitor centre, go for a stroll or head off for other parts of the Peak District. 

We are expecting quite an attendance, and the area is busy on any fine, sunny Sunday in August (which we hope it will be).  The link gives details of public transport options of attending the event.  The car parks will almost certainly get very full so please park sensibly and it will be a good idea to arrive in good time to get a parking place.

Thank you for being prepared to stand up and be counted for the Hen Harrier.

For more details of the other two Hen Harrier Day events, information about public transport6 and a few other bits of information then paste this link into your browser:

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Ogston Guided Bird Walk 5th July 2014

Dull and damp turned to blue and sunny  as John Parlby led 14 of us on a delightful circular route , passing Brackenfield Church and flower filled meadows to the Amber. Here a vote was taken to continue our progress  past stone properties near the dam wall and along South Hill Lane with views over the reservoir below  .


56 species were encountered including 2 of owl delighting us all, not least the incredible camouflage of a Little Owl hiding in the crevice of a tree .


Little Grebe , Great Crested Grebe , Cormorant, Grey Heron , Mute Swan , Greylag Goose , Canada Goose , Mallard , Pochard , Tufted Duck , Buzzard , Kestrel , Pheasant , Moorhen , Coot , Oystercatcher , Lapwing , Black – Headed Gull , Lesser Black-backed Gull , Common Tern , Wood Pigeon , Stock Dove , Barn Owl , Little Owl , Great Spotted Woodpecker ,Swift , Sand Martin , Swallow , Grey Wagtail , Pied Wagtail , Wren , Dunnock , Robin , Song Thrush , Mistle Thrush , Blackbird , Whitethroat , Blackcap , Chiffchaff , Willow Warbler , Goldcrest , Long-tailed Tit , Blue Tit , Coal Tit , Great Tit , Jay , Magpie , Jackdaw , Carrion Crow , House Sparrow , Chaffinch , Greenfinch , Goldfinch , Yellowhammer , Reed Bunting , Nuthatch

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Guided Bird Walk 2nd June 2014

The guided walk held on 2nd. June was led by Keith Turton and John Parlby.

With a very bad weather forecast it was of no surprise that only 7 people took part.

After a brief discussion we decided to go ahead with the walk. We walked down to Chapel Bay and on past Stretton Handley school to Woolley village. Here with the skies darkening we headed back to the reservoir. For the last 30 minutes we had the threatened rain, but not too bad fortunately. Species seen were;

Mandarin 1 female with 4 young, Buzzard, Song Thrush, Jay, Magpie, Blackcap, Crow, Collared Dove, Bullfinch,Dunnock, Starling, Canada Goose, Mallard, Great Tit, Swallow,

Greylag Goose, Cormorant, Tufted Duck, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Coot, Mute Swan,

Great crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Pheasant, Oystercatcher, Blackbird,

Chiff Chaff, Lapwing, Chaffinch, Woodpigeon, House Sparrow, Robin, House Martin, Wren, Jackdaw.

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Cancelled – Blacktoft trip on 6th/13th July

Apologies from the trip organiser – due to his incompetence/forgetfulness, he changed the trip date to the 13th (so he could watch the Tour de France) but forgot to amend the website.  To date no one had signed up so he’s not feeling too bad.

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Clumber Park – Nightjar Evening trips on 26th June and 3rd July

Meeting Point: Clumber Park (see details below).  Time: just before 19:00.  Transport: Members cars Cost: nothing Leader: John Parlby Numbers Limit: 5 – a shared event with Derbyshire Ornithological Society.

Details of meeting point for both trips Directions – If coming from the west e.g. Chesterfield, make your way to Cuckney which is about 6 miles north of Mansfield on the A60.  Turn right (east) on the A616 for 3 miles to a left turn on the B6034.  Drive along the B6034 for 1 mile then turn right signed Clumber Park.  After about 1 mile enter the park through a massive ornamental gateway (the start of Lime Tree Avenue).  After  1.5 miles there’s a large brown sign at SK619752 indicating a right turn to Clumber Park, Visitor’s facilities.  Take this right turn and drive a further 200 m to the meeting point just through the electronic gates.  These gates close at 19:00 so you need to be parked up inside them otherwise you’ll have to leave your car outside and transfer to someone else’s vehicle.

Any problems with these directions, give me a call on 07833 720542.  Note – my phone has no service at the meeting point.

Bring midge repellant/midge net and clothes to cover ‘everything’ just in case.

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Ban driven grouse shooting. Dr Mark Avery

Ban driven grouse shooting

Responsible department: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

 Intensive management of upland areas for the ‘sport’ of grouse shooting has led to the near-extinction of the protected Hen Harrier in England, as well as increased risk of flooding, discolouration of drinking water, degradation of peatbogs and impacts on other wildlife.

Grouse shooting interests have persecuted the Hen Harrier to such an extent that, despite full legal protection for the last 60 years, it is almost extinct as a breeding species in England (2 pairs nested in 2013) despite there being habitat available for 300+ pairs. The investigation of wildlife crimes against such protected species is time-consuming, difficult to prosecute, and ties up valuable police resources.

Grouse shooters have failed to put their own house in order, despite decades of discussion, and government has proved incapable of influencing this powerful lobby group.

The time has now come for the public to call ‘Enough!’ and require the next government to ban driven grouse shooting in England.

Use this link to sign petition

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