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Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Wyver Lane, Belper – Thursday 18th April 2024, 9.30 to 13.15


Our regular April visit to Strutt’s North Mill and Wyver Lane did not disappoint.  The day was dry and sunny, especially early on.  A Peregrine was conveniently perched in the sunshine below one of the curved balconies at the right end of the mill.  There was little to see around the weirs and even around the cottages at the top of the lane.  It was only at the end of our trip that a couple of Grey Wagtails were seen on the tarmac in front of the mill.

Further down Wyver Lane there was plenty to see and hear.  A few species were heard but not seen, including Raven, Green Woodpecker and Pheasant.  The Merlin app was useful in confirming some of the birdsong.  From the hide we could make out a Grey Heron, half-hidden in the reeds.  A pair of Mandarin Duck were grazing in one of the grass fields to the left as we walked down the lane.  The field boundary was wooded and a Song Thrush was spotted there, apparently attempting to sing, but no sound came out whenever it opened its beak.

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Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Middleton Lakes RSPB Reserve – Thursday 4 April 2024, 10.00 to 15.30


The Middleton Lakes RSPB reserve comprises a mosaic of wetlands, meadows and woodland in the Tame valley, near Tamworth.  The morning was cloudy with a few spots of rain but the cloud broke up and there were some brief sunny intervals in the afternoon.  Most of the group travelled there with Stewart Abbott of Derbyshire Bird Tours; others by car.  Parts of the reserve were quite muddy following the rain of recent months.

There was plenty of activity around the feeders near the entrance, including Greenfinch, Goldfinch and House Sparrow.  The heronry was busy too, with both Grey Heron and Little Egret present.  More noisy was the rookery a little further on.

A pair of Treecreepers were busy nest-building in a crevice behind bark that had partially peeled away from the trunk of a tree.   Their hard work was being partially negated by a Great Tit that was throwing out nest material stored in the same crevice.  A lone Red-breasted Goose (normally a winter visitor) was seen feeding among a flock of Canada Geese in a field and a Bittern was heard booming occasionally, hidden somewhere in the reeds.

Overall there was a good selection of species, though we were somewhat short on waders – perhaps because water levels in the lagoons were higher than usual.
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Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Attenborough – Thursday 12 October 2023, 09.30 to 14.00


Attenborough Nature Reserve is extensive, situated on the northern bank of the River Trent and is managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.  The day was cloudy with occasional hints of the sun but not a breath of wind.

The highlight of the trip came towards the end of our visit when a Water Rail was first heard and then spotted quite close to the path.  For at least 3 of the group this was a first ever sighting. If the Reserve list of species seen was accurate, ours was the first sighting this month.

Previously we had good views of three birds from the heron family; both the Little and Great Egrets were perched with the yellow feet (often under water) of the Little Egret contrasting with its black legs.

The Swans were abundant, as were the Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe and Black-headed Gulls.  Noticeable by their absence were any raptors.

Members participating:    7 (for main session) + 2 (afternoon)

Bird list (38 species seen and/or heard)

Little Grebe Mallard Mistle Thrush
Great Crested Grebe Tufted Duck Cetti’s Warbler
Cormorant Water Rail Blackcap
Little Egret Moorhen Long-tailed Tit
Great Egret Coot Blue Tit
Grey Heron Lapwing Great Tit
Mute Swan Snipe Jay
Greylag Goose Black-headed Gull Magpie
Canada Goose Lesser Black-backed Gull Carrion Crow
Egyptian Goose Woodpigeon Chaffinch
Wigeon Kingfisher Goldfinch
Gadwall Wren Reed Bunting
Teal Robin  
A body of green water, with a  swan in it and a church in the background

Church view, Attenborough

a robin sat on a branch in a tree or bush

Robin by Martyn Grandy

A swan on a body of water

Mute Swan by Martin Grandy

Picture of Water Rail amongst branches

Water Rail by Chris Byrne

Picture of Water Rail amongst branches

Water Rail by Martin Grandy


Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to RSPB Old Moor – Saturday 16 September 2023, 09.30 to 13.30

After a rather wet visit to this RSPB reserve in October last year, it was good to have a dry day, if somewhat cloudy. The site is mainly grassland and shallow lagoons but there are also some young wooded areas. Again we saw three Spoonbill and it was good to have Little and Great Egret close together for comparison.
We had a Marsh Harrier jumping around in the grassland beyond the main lagoon before taking off into the longer grass and reeds. Both Common and Green Sandpiper were present, with the Green unmistakable as it flew off to our left. All-in-all, we had a good day’s birding, making good use of the available hides, as well as the café at the end of our stay. For most of the birds our binoculars gave us good enough views but we were also grateful for members’ scopes for those further away.

Members participating: 7

Bird list (44 species seen and/or heard)

Little Grebe Shoveler Feral Pigeon
Cormorant Marsh Harrier Woodpigeon
Little Egret Kestrel House Martin
Great Egret Pheasant Pied Wagtail
Grey Heron Moorhen Robin
Spoonbill Coot Chiffchaff
Mute Swan Ringed Plover Goldcrest
Greylag Goose Lapwing Long-tailed Tit
Canada Goose Dunlin Blue tit
Egyptian Goose Ruff Great Tit
Shelduck Green Sandpiper Magpie
Wigeon Common Sandpiper Jackdaw
Gadwall Black-headed Gull Carrion Crow
Teal Lesser Black-backed Gull Starling
Mallard Stock Dove  


Egyptian Goose by Theo Lindebaum

Grey Heron by Martyn Grandy

Green Sandpiper by Theo Lindenbaum

Great White and Little Egrets by Theo Lindenbaum

Canada Geese and various waders by Martyn Grandy


Dorothy Evans

It is with great sadness that we report the sudden death of our former indoor meetings organiser Dorothy Evans. Over the years Dorothy has taken on many roles within our committee, her tremendous support will be greatly missed. We send our sincerest condolences to her family, not least to her grandson David who continues to give us his help hosting and updating this website. Alongside her unstinting involvement with Bakewell Bird Study Group she had also been treasurer of the Mid Derbyshire Badger Group, and was a founder member and some years earlier a committee member of Carsington Bird Club.

Her funeral will be held at 11.10am on Wednesday 27th September at Chesterfield Crematorium.

Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Lathkill Dale – Thursday 1st June 2023, 9.30 to 13.15

People walking through a valleySummary

It was a rather chilly June morning as we entered the Dale from the top end.  There was plenty of birdsong to greet us but not as many birds to see as we had hoped.  A few members were trying out a phone app to identify which birds were singing.  Accuracy of the app was difficult to prove as not many of the birds we saw were singing or calling!

Hare on the rocks

While still in the upper part of the Dale we saw a Red Kite overhead and later a Buzzard and a hovering Kestrel.  In addition to the birds, we had good views of a Brown Hare and enjoyed the colourful patches of Jacob’s Ladder and a few remaining Purple Orchid.

Members participating:    16

Bird list (20 species seen and/or heard)

Mallard Great Spotted Woodpecker Chiffchaff
Red Kite Grey Wagtail Treecreeper
Buzzard Wren Magpie
Kestrel Robin Jackdaw
Coot Redstart Carrion Crow
Black-headed Gull Blackbird Chaffinch
Woodpigeon Whitethroat



Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Carsington – May 4th 2023

On arrival we were treated to a marvellous display of hirundines – swallows, house martins and even a few sand martins – over the field in front of the car park.  Many of us were then treated to a garden warbler singing in the wood even before leaving the car park. The reservoir was full to the brim so little to be seen from the hides apart from great crested grebes and the ever reliable great northern diver.  A noisy pair of oystercatchers added to the list and a male reed bunting just as we were leaving. Songbirds were in good form so a good chance to brush up on song thrush, blackbird and the warblers.  A sedge warbler was heard (with help from ‘Merlin’) and seen near the wildlife centre, a first for some, and a bullfinch was a nice spot in the top of the waving branches.  11 members enjoyed a fine warm day.

45 species  seen/heard


Canada Goose Buzzard Coal Tit Bullfinch
Greylag goose Coot Long Tailed Tit Siskin
Mute swan Moorhen Magpie Blackbird
Mute swan Oystercatcher Jay Song Thrush
Mallard Lapwing Carrion Crow Mistle Thrush
Tufted duck Swallow Jackdaw Robin
Gadwall House Martin Wood Pigeon Dunnock
Cormorant Sand Martin Black Headed Gull Wren
Great Crested Grebe Blue Tit Chaffinch Chiff Chaff
Great Northern Diver Great Tit Goldfinch Willow Warbler
Black Headed Gull Blackcap Garden Warbler Sedge Warbler


Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Wyver Lane, Belper – Thursday 20th April 2023, 9.30 to 13.00


It was a bright sunny morning as we arrived and parked by the mill although there was a chilly breeze.  There was not much happening at the mill – a brief sighting of a Peregrine but otherwise mostly Woodpigeons and Feral Pigeons.  There was nothing much around the weir either but House Sparrows greeted us as we set off up Wyver Lane.  Others of our regular species were added to our list as we continued up the lane and tried to identify the songs we were hearing. A stop at the hide added to our waterfowl count, including Gadwall.  Towards the top of the lane where there were breaks in the trees we saw Buzzards circling, together with two Peregrines and a Kestrel. Some mobbing of the Buzzards was followed by mobbing of a Raven by a pair of crows.  By the time we returned to the weir, both a Pied and a Grey Wagtail were flitting along the top of the weir wall but the mill’s Peregrines were nowhere to be seen; we trust the Peregrines were out on the wing, enjoying the warmth of the sun as we had.

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Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Burton Mere – Thursday 6th April 2023, 10.15 to 15.00


Black-tailed Godwit © Martyn Grandy

It was exactly one year ago that we visited this RSPB reserve on the Dee estuary. Just four members making the trip on that occasion. This time the weather was better; sunny and reasonably warm for the time of year.  Although the number of species counted was much the same, around one-third were different to those seen in 2022.

A pair of Treecreepers caught our attention early on.  Little Egrets appeared to be nest building in the tree tops at a distance but we also had close views of one from one of the hides.  Black-tailed Godwit were plentiful and in a range of plumages, varying from winter to full breeding. 

Little Egret © Martyn Grandy

Mediterranean Gulls were clearly identifiable among the rather larger numbers of Black-headed. There were several songsters to be heard as we walked through the reserve, including Cetti’s and Reed Warbler, Robin and Wren. Towards the end of our stay House Martins and Sand Martins were spotted in the distance.

It was good to have a number of our newer members on the trip and all seemed to appreciate and enjoy the day.

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Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to RSPB Old Moor – Thursday 20 October 2022, 09.30 to 13.30


Wet, wet, wet but great for the birds! Almost uninterrupted rain throughout our stay at this reserve in the Dearne Valley near Barnsley, which sometimes made it difficult to identify birds. Fortunately, there are several hides, including at least two that are particularly large. It was from one of these that we saw the three Spoonbills; initially just one of them was feeding in characteristic fashion with its long bill dipped in the water, swinging from side to side but then the other two joined in.

We failed to reach consensus over the Sandpiper – was it a Green or a Common? Hopefully we are all still on speaking terms and will meet again next month!

It was good to see such a variety of species, including some that don’t appear regularly on our lists and the café proved a welcome refuge at the end of our visit.

Members participating: 10 + 1 guest

Bird list (46 species seen and/or heard)

Little Grebe

Tufted Duck

Herring Gull

Great Crested Grebe





Pied Wagtail

Little Egret



Great Egret

Ringed Plover


Grey Heron

Golden Plover




Song Thrush

Greylag Goose

Little Stint

Long-tailed Tit

Canada Goose


Blue tit



Great Tit


Jack Snipe



Black-tailed Godwit

Carrion Crow


Green/Common Sandpiper



Black-headed Gull



Lesser Black-backed Gull