Report on OBC trip to Rufford CP, Sherwood and Welbeck Raptor Watch Point – 15/2/19

Six members enjoyed a glorious day (albeit with a chilly start) and shortly after arriving, we were delighted to all be able to view through the scope our main target bird in the form of a female Hawfinch. During a trip round the park, we saw over forty different species but the highlights were the 21 Goosander on the lake, Siskins, and Marsh Tits.
Having completed a circuit we gave in to Bill’s moaning about his lack of breakfast by retreating to the cafe where plans were hatched for continuing the trip over at Sherwood in the hope of seeing Lesser Spotted Woodpeckers that had been reported the day before. For those that haven’t been to Sherwood recently, there’s now a big new car park on the east of the road with the fancy new visitor’s centre on the west.  (RSPB members park for free). While we all enjoyed a magnificent walk through the ancient woodland, it’s sad to report that we didn’t catch up with these rarely seen little birds, and even more galling was a chance meeting with another birder later in the day who had seen them 20 minutes after we’d left.
After that it was on to the raptor watch point at Welbeck where we had an excellent close view of a female Sparrowhawk, up to five Buzzards in the air at once, a Kestrel and three separate sightings of Peregrine Falcons but no Goshawk in spite of the conditions being perfect.
All told 51 species seen.
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Guided Bird Walk 2/2/19

This month’s Bird Walk was enjoyed by 18 hardy souls braving a very cold but bright morning. We walked along the West Bank hoping to catch sight of a busy heronry which unfortunately, was devoid of bird life. Hedgerows and bushes were full of the usual suspects as we walked into Brackenfield and down Carr Lane dusted with snow. It was here we started seeing a few winter thrushes but numbers were low for all species.
Then the group went off road, heading up towards Top Farm. Although almost at the end of the walk it was here we had most enjoyment, provided by up to 6 Yellowhammers skipping across the hedgerows as well as a couple of Mistle Thrushes. Raptor wise we also caught a distant glimpse of a single Buzzard way back towards Brackenfield Church.
A beautiful stroll on a lovely morning but nothing over-exciting birdwise. We’ll try again on March 2nd.
Thanks to Wendy Dyson for compiling the list of species seen.

Cormorant, Great Black-backed Gull, Linnet, Black-headed Gull, Coot, Kestrel, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Carrion Crow, Lapwing, Blue Tit, Teal, Pheasant, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Grey Heron, Mallard, Lesser Redpoll, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Buzzard, Robin, Blackbird, Treecreeper, Dunnock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Chaffinch, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Coal Tit, Starling, Wren, Reed Bunting, Long-tailed Tit, Rook, Song Thrush, House Sparrow, Pied Wagtail, Fieldfare, Yellow Hammer, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Greylag Goose, Reed Bunting, Common Snipe, Canada Goose, BullfinchTwo participants on the walk also observed a Peregrine hunting at great speed over the reservoir giving a total of 49.

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Bird Walk 5/1/19

Thanks to Wendy for the list from the walk.

Gt Crested Grebe, Cormorant. Tufted Duck, Greylag Goose, Teal, Coot, Bh Gull, Nuthatch, Treecreeper, Coal tit, Jay, Blue Tit, Gt Tit, Blackbird, Robin, Magpie, Wood Pig, Mallard, Crow, L Grebe, Pochard, L T Tit, Goldcrest, Dunnock, House Sparrow, FieldFare, Chaffinch, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Goldfinch, Canada Goose, Lapwing, Greenfinch, Willow Tit, L B-backed Gull, Wigeon, Goldeneye, Bullfinch, Gt B-backed Gull, Reed Bunting, Linnet, Twite, Moorhen, Yellow-legged Gull.

A very enjoyable walk in good weather for January over Ashover Hay.



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3/11/2018 bird walk

Greylag Goose, Cormarant, Buzzard, B H Gull, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Pied Wagtail, Jackdaw, Coot, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Mallard, Mute Swan, L T Tit, GT Tit, Great Crested Grebe, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Mistle Thrush, Canada Goose, Teal, Little Grebe, Wood Pig, Robin, Dunnock, Magpie, Chaffinch, Redwing, Heron, Wren, GT Spotted Woodpecker, Pheasant, Fieldfare, Nuthatch, Bullfinch, Tufted, Moorhen, Herring Gull, little Egret.



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Trip report – RSPB Frampton Marsh Tuesday 11/9/18

In spite of the rather dodgy weather forecast, this was a well attended trip with 12 members arriving at the allotted hour.  Half the party then retired to the visitors’ centre for hot drinks and a guided tour by the warden of the birds that could be seen through the windows. The more independent half of the group walked a few metres down the track and did the same thing but without the hot drink and free ID help. Both groups however, did spot a Little Stint, Ruff, 100s of Dunlin and Ringed Plovers and the 5000+ Black-tailed

One of the 5000

Godwits that had retreated from the Wash in the face of an extremely high tide.
Reunited, we all made our way down towards the sea wall anxious to get a view of the Long-billed Dowitcher (North American vagrant). On the way we got excellent views of 4 elegant Spotted Redshank. This delayed us somewhat so that when we arrived at the spot from where the Dowitcher could be seen, it unobligingly went and hid in the rushes.
In a state of considerable disappointment, the team then trekked along the sea wall where we were rewarded by a ‘hoard’ of Yellow Wagtails. On to the East Hide where lunch was taken and then to the Reed Bed Hide where a Water Rail was Spotted and then to the 360 Degree Hide. Two of the group, driven by the call of nature, had in the meantime, retreated to the visitors’ centre. On their return, they diverted to the Dowitcher view spot and were able to phone through to the rest of us that it was showing well. Immediately scopes were shouldered and it was amazing to see how fast folks could walk with the possibility of seeing a ‘Lifer’. All the effort was then rewarded with excellent fairly close views.

Long-billed Dowitcher with Common Snipe

As we were returning to the Visitors Centre, a female Marsh Harrier put in an appearance. It drifted lazily across the reserve causing consternation where ever it went. In all 53 species were identified, the stars of the show other than the Dowitcher being the Spotted Redshanks, Little Stints, Curlew Sandpipers, Green Sandpipers, a Hobby and a Black-necked Grebe. As we drove away, we were well entertained by a female Sparrowhawk which flew along in front of us  for several hundred yards rarely more than a metre above the ground.

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Guided Walk 1/9/18

Thanks to Wendy for keeping the list.

Great Crested Grebe, Robin, Cormorant, Heron, Goldfinch, Crow, Osprey, Moorhen, Lapwing, Wood pigeon, Pheasant, Swallow, Canada, Greylag, L B back, Buzzard, Mallard, Coot, Stock Dove, B H Gull, L Tale Got, Blue tit, Great tit, Dunnock, Chiffchaff, Cole tit, Nuthatch,  Blackbird, Greenfinch, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Great spotted wood pecker ,House Martin, Jay, Pied Wag, Gadwall.



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Guided Bird Walk 4/8/2018

Bird list thanks to Wendy

Greylag, Goldfinch, C Turn, Mallard, Tufted, Heron, L B B Gull, Cormorant, L Egret, Woodpig, Buzzard, Bluetit, Blackbird, Canada, Coot, Moorhen, M Swan, Gt Crested Greeb, Crow, Magpies, House Martin, Jackdaw, Rook, Swift, P Wag, Swallow, Tree creeper, BH Gull, LT Tit, Goldcrest, Pheasant, Lapwing, Robin, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Wren, Reed warbler, Willow tit, H Sparrow,Kestrel.

Making 40 in all.

Also a Wall Brown Butterfly on Badger Lane c300m N of reservoir.

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Report on trip to RSPB Blacktoft Sands – 10th July

Nine members were well rewarded on the annual trip to Blacktoft with good weather and excellent birding. Immediately sightings of Bearded Tits were had from the visitors centre before we’d even had a chance to get properly started.  Juveniles or females were then seen from a number of the hides throughout the day.  Excitement rose when two Barn Owl chicks were spotted in the owl box. A closer inspection however, revealed them to be juvenile Kestrels.  Of the 43 species of bird identified, the stars (other than the Bearded Tits) were undoubtedly the Green Sandpipers, Ruff in a variety of plumages, Spotted Redshank still with considerable remnants of their summer plumage, a juvenile Water Rail spotted skulking in the reeds by Mr Conroy, three Greenshank and finally a flock of 6 Spoonbills which definitely didn’t skulk. The Marsh Harriers put on a grand display with both male and female birds flying by at closish quarters. A thoroughly excellent trip – Blacktoft never seems to let us down at this time of year.

Spotted Redshank

Bearded Tit – terrible photo included to prove that we saw at least one


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Report on trip to Annesley Pit Top – 19th June 2018

A glorious morning enjoyed by 10 members at this little known and little visited nature reserve. In addition to the 36 species of birds identified, we also enjoyed a riot of flowers and plenty of Damsel and Dragonflies. The stars of the show were undoubtedly the Black-necked Grebes. All told there were at least 6 adults and 10 or more juveniles. In addition to the usual warblers and hirundines, a Hobby kept the group entertained for several minutes as it got closer and closer eventually flying overhead and thus giving good views through binoculars.

Adult Black-necked Grebe

Juv Black-necked Grebe


Swan with her tribe



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Reports on 2 evening trips to Clumber Park 24th May & 6th June

Reports on two very successful trips.

24th May

A mixture of 9 members of both OBC and DOS spent a very pleasant mild evening in the Park. With the recent events of vandalism to the ornamental bridge we noticed

Ornamental Bridge badly damaged

immediately that security was increased. We started off as usual at Hardwick Village at the ford and then the weir and then because of the restrictions in movement within the park because of the vandalism, we moved to the area around the church. Initially  we were reasonably confident that we could challenge the all time record of 44 species identified in a previous year, but as time ticked by optimism faded and as 9 p.m. approached we had to move to the Nightjar viewing site. Here we didn’t have to wait long before the first churring was heard. All in all, we thought there were 2-3 Nightjars with good sightings of one bird. In addition, we saw Woodcock overhead and heard a Tawny calling. Sadly our species tally fell well short of the record with 37 identified, the best of which were obviously the Nightjars then Woodcock and good views of a Cuckoo.


6th June

A mix of 10 Ogston and DOS members enjoyed a superb evening and with some very sharp ears and eyes, the record of 44 species was broken with 46 species identified the highlights of which were a Male Blackcap with 2 fledglings, a Hobby which flew over our heads, Reed Warblers, a Kingfisher, a Spotted Flycatcher near the church, Woodcock and Nightjars. The latter began churring at 21:36 and almost immediately gave us good views of their ‘butterfly’ like flight on a number of occasions until we left at about 22:30.

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