Monthly Bird Walk – Saturday 7th May

A motley crew of 10 set out on a bright morning and enjoyed a leisurely stroll around the full circuit of the Reservoir. With migrants coming in all the time, some eyes were fixed skywards looking for Swifts and Tern, none of which were picked up.

The full list of sightings is as follows –

Blackcap, Buzzard, Pied Wagtail, Chiffchaff, Black-headed Gull, Jackdaw, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wheatear, Carrion Crow, Goldfinch, Robin, Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Blackbird, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Lapwing, Cormorant, Mallard, Curlew, Herring Gull, Willow Warbler, Wren, Reed Bunting, Song Thrush, Coot, Pheasant, Common Sandpiper, Mandarin Duck, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Wagtail, Treecreeper, Little Owl, Chaffinch, Kestrel, Common Whitethroat, Nuthatch, Canada Goose, Magpie, Moorhen, Swallow, Wood Pigeon

Lepidoptera: Brimstone, Orange Tip, Green-veined White, Peacock, Comma. Common Carpet moth.

Pete Faulkner  came armed with his little black book of previous year’s sightings  and it was interesting to go through the book and compare today’s sightings with those from the same time of year in 2017. Peter wrote up the 2017 walk and here it is for you to peruse.

Thanks to all for making an enjoyable Saturday morning!

Steve Slack

May 2016 Guided walk report


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Budby Common Trip Report – 9/3/22

Ten members arrived on time at 08:30 at Budby Pumping Station car park in spite of the heavy traffic. The weather was fine, although with strong winds forecast, the leader wasn’t optimistic that we’d see any Woodlarks. However, as we walked towards the Common, Skylarks were singing in the fields and we also got good views of Red-legged Partridge, a stunning male Yellow Hammer and a flock of Fieldfare. At the tree line, a Siskin delighted those that caught a glimpse of it. Upon entering the Common, we were greeted by a Mistle Thrush singing and then, just faintly, but unmistakably, the descending notes of a Woodlark. After a further few hundred metres, it was as if they had woken up because we were surrounded by the calls and song of Woodlarks although they remained stubbornly hidden until one broke cover and flew hesitantly over us, singing and giving perfect views. As it turned out, that was the only one we saw.

Woodlark – short tail, broad wings and prominent supercilium clearly visible

The group then decided that they fancied walking to the Major Oak on the off chance of seeing a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and possibly a Marsh Tit at one of the feeding stations. Sadly, it was not to be, just a few common woodland birds being seen.
Emerging back on the Common, we were met with only the sound of the wind – the larks must have retired for their lunch!We then headed off to the Welbeck Raptor Watch Point, where we met up with another Ogston member who had intended to come on the trip but had mistakenly thought it was on the following day. Realising his mistake, Rob came straight to Welbeck and had quite a list by the time we got there. For us, sadly no Goshawks, a single Sparrowhawk, a few Buzzards but as some compensation, there was a Whooper Swan feeding in the adjacent field along with a flock of Mute Swans.
Some of us then finished the day by following Rob to Pebley Reservoir (near Clowne), where earlier in the day he’d seen a White-fronted Goose. Luckily it was still there when we arrived, accompanied by a couple of Pink-footed Geese and a female Goosander. An excellent end to a very good trip with 51 species identified.

Pink-footed Goose on left and White-fronted Goose showing white patch at bill base and belly markings

Photo of Woodlark thanks to Mark Weston, the group by Bill Padley and the Geese by Martin Kaye

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Monthly guided bird walk March 5th

After some recent wet days, at last a dry day. However, a bitterly cold north wind greeted us instead. 15 keen souls set off for a road walk to Brackenfield and back. The walk started well with a high flying Red Kite above the sailing club, unfortunately not seen by all. It was noticeable that not a single winter thrush was recorded during the walk.

Nonetheless, everyone had a nice walk and between us we bagged 41 species.

Robin, Dunnock, Buzzard, Red Kite, Black Headed Gull, Mistle Thrush, Blue Tit, Magpie, Grey Heron, Wood Pigeon, Gadwall, Lapwing, Greylag Goose, Mallard, Teal, Canada Goose, Tufted Duck,  Little Grebe, Long Tailed Tit, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Carrion Crow, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Oystercatcher, Cormorant, Jackdaw, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Yellowhammer, Sing Thrush, Siskin, Starling, Coot, Goosander, Wren, Jay, Linnet, Common Gull

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Rufford Trip Report 10/2/22

12 folk turned out for this tip, 10 of whom made the 07:30 start braving the cold. However, this was richly rewarded when after only 10 minutes, 7 Hawfinches flew in and stayed for about 20 minutes giving good views. To increase the level of


Great Spotted Woodpecker

entertainment, they were joined by a Redwing and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Walking down to the lake, Rob Hewison spotted a Kingfisher (he must have some special relationship with these birds because it was he who picked up a duo of

Female Kingfisher

Kingfishers on the last trip to Rutland Water. On the water there were a few Goosander and a Pochard plus more common species. One of the other target species, the Marsh Tit, seemed to be particularly elusive but after a bit of a wait, some of the group had a two second glimpse of one.


Some of us then moved on to Budby Common, had a fair walk but other than a single male Stonechat, it was very quiet.
Finally, we moved on to the Welbeck Raptor Watch Point where we eventually got good but very distant views of Goshawks, a first for some. On one occasion, there were 2 pairs in the air.

Photos by J Sawford and M Kaye

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Monthly Guided Bird Walk Feb 5th

A remarkable turn out of 23 hardy souls joined leaders Andy Marshall and Steve Slack for a walk along Ogston New Road, then Butterfield Lane, Millers Lane before looping round back along Ogston New Road back to base.

For a cold, breezy, and at times, rainy day we managed a respectable total of 37 species.

Blue Tit, Great Tit, Mallard, Goldeneye, 13 Goosander, Tufted Duck, Teal, Cormorant, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Black Headed Gull, Great Black-Backed Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Coot, Buzzard, Tree Creeper, Nuthatch, Little Grebe, Siskin, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Kestrel, Carrion Crow, Jackdaw, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Blackbird, Lapwing, House Sparrow, Gadwall, several nesting Grey Herons.

….and we’ll do it all again on March 5th!

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Rutland Water trip report 29/1/22

12 members enjoyed both a discounted rate to enter the reserve and reasonable weather although a tad windy.  All in all, 56 species were seen, 4 down on that clocked the last time we ran a trip here but this time the reserve seemed to have fewer birds which might have been down to the wind causing them to hunker down. Birding began in the car park beginning with a Red Kite (more than ever before, this species seemed to be omnipresent) and a Goldcrest. After signing in, we spent a good half an hour on the the first floor of the visitors’ centre with its splendid view over Lagoon 1, sighting Dunlin, a Stonechat, Great White Egret, huge flocks of Lapwing and Golden Plover and lots of elegant Pintails. From there we moved straight to the Dunlin Hide which overlooks Lagoon 4 from where we had good but distant views of 3 drake and 2 female Smew.

Drake Smew and Wigeon (digiscoped at 500m explains the lack of clarity)

(the leaders second favourite bird). Sadly though, there was no sign of any Scaup and although we tried, all female Scaup turned out to be Pochards.

Most of the group outside Dunlin Hide

We then moved to the Shoveller Hide overlooking Lagoon 3 where the effect of the wind was very apparent with what birds there were, clustered to the westerly edge sheltered by the reeds. However, entertainment came in the form of 2 Kingfishers, a posse of 12 Snipe

One of the 4 Great White Egrets

and 4 Great White Egrets which dropped in. After a fruitless walk to the Lapwing hide, we returned to the car park for lunch. After that we tried the North Arm of the reservoir from the Fishermans’ Car Park but with no luck there so finally drove to the dam wall where allegedly there were 2 Great Northern Divers. With free parking for the first 15 minutes, the cheap skates literally got their skates on and rushed to the shore, spotted the Diver and

Great Northern Diver – probably a juvenile. With the bird only surfacing for 5 seconds, the limitations of digiscoping became very apparent)

rushed off again. The rest of us spent £1.70 on a more leisurely approach getting both Divers but little else (value for money?).

Group photo – Bill Padley, all others by M Kaye

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Guided Walk 4th December

Ogston Bird Club guided walk 4 December 2021


With our usual leader being AWOL and most of the regular attendees presumably on Christmas shopping duties, the three who turned up opted for a shorter walk to Brackenfield Green returning via Millers Lane and the church.

Initially, the smaller birds were noticeable by their absence although quite a variety were on display at Green Farm on Millers Lane and later the small group size gave us ample opportunity to identify the various species of duck on the reservoir next to Carr Pond.

A total of 38 species were recorded as below in the approximate order of sighting:-

Greylag Goose, Robin, Great Crested Grebe, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Cormorant, Blackbird, Teal, Coot, Gadwall, Mute Swan, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Herring Gull, Black-headed Gull, Woodpigeon, Tufted Duck, Grey Heron, Mallard, Grey Wagtail, Moorhen, Jay, Canada Goose, Pheasant, Dunnock, Nuthatch, Magpie, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Bullfinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Kestrel, Goosander (1 male and 3 female), Goldeneye (1 male and 2 female).

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Sunday 5th December

3 Goosander (1m 2f), 25 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Goldeneye (2m 2f), 11 Lesser Redpoll, 1 Dunlin, 1 Grey Wagtail, 12 Wigeon, Little Egret

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Saturday 4th December

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Dunlin, Sparrowhawk, 4 Goosander (1 m, 3 female), 3 Goldeneye (1 m, 2 female), 30 Gadwall, 4 Wigeon

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North Cave & Blacktoft Trip Report – 18/11/21

At the end of the day, 13 members said that they’d enjoyed the trip which surprised the leader a bit considering how quiet Blacktoft had been. We started at North Cave in glorious sunshine and between us, visited all the hides during the morning. The best viewing however, was from the covered picnic area opposite the butty van. Here, amongst the numerous lapwing we had excellent views of Common Snipe, Ruff, a Black-tailed


Godwit and Redshank. Subsequently on our walk round, in addition to more common birds, we got a great view of a female Yellow Hammer. At lunchtime, rather sadly because we probably hadn’t spent enough time at North Cave, we headed off for Blacktoft. The early arrivals there were treated to a close view of a single Fieldfare looking magnificent in the sunshine. However, we were all keen to see the anticipated star of the show, the White-tailed Lapwing so an enquiry to a ‘bazooka’ toting photographer elicited that it was showing from Xerox Hide. Indeed it was and a very elegant bird in its subdued colours

White-tailed Lapwing – very rare migrant – breeds Central Asia as far west as Iraq

(except for the yellow legs). One member remarked that it had a rather kind face. However, that was the only bird on this lagoon, definitely a case of ‘Billy no mates’. And that pretty much summed up Blacktoft – no birds. Slight exaggeration but the Ousefleet Hide was the only one where a substantial number of birds were found and then not much variety. Towards the end of the afternoon, we arrived at the Singleton Hide hoping for a Marsh Harrier bonanza but here, while getting quite close views, there were only three

Marsh Harrier

birds in the air at any one time – a far cry from the eleven seen some years ago.
43 species in total not including a male Brimstone Butterfly at North Cave.

Photos thanks to Joyce Sawford and Martin Kaye

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