Category Archives: Report

Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Attenborough

Saturday 26 January 2019,  09.15 to 13.45


Attenborough Nature Reserve is situated on the northern bank of the River Trent and is managed by Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust.  There are four hides, including an elevated one that gives good views over the ponds.  The weather was cloudy, cold and mostly dry, with just a little rain as we approached the first hide.

Some of the group had caught the train from Matlock.  Those of us arriving by car couldn’t help but notice a group of birders with long lenses and bins peering into the hedge by the level crossing.  The focus was on a Firecrest although there were other birds flitting around, including a Goldcrest.

There had been reports of a Caspian Gull on the reserve.  We may have seen it but we had to acknowledge that it could have been a Herring Gull!  We had rather better views of a Green Woodpecker, a pair of Bullfinches, a Linnet and a Stock Dove.

Although we had to compete with cyclists, runners and dog walkers, it was a very enjoyable, friendly and worthwhile visit.  A site we shall return to without a doubt.

Members participating:    11 + 1 guest

Bird list (48 species seen and/or heard)

Great Crested Grebe Goosander Redwing
Cormorant Moorhen Goldcrest
Little Egret Coot Firecrest
Grey Heron Lapwing Long-Tailed Tit
Mute Swan Black-Headed Gull Blue Tit
Greylag Goose Lesser Black-Backed Gull Great Tit
Canada Goose Caspian Gull/Herring Gull Jay
Egyptian Goose Stock Dove Magpie
Wigeon Woodpigeon Carrion Crow
Gadwall Pied Wagtail Starling
Teal Green Woodpecker Tree Sparrow
Mallard Wren Chaffinch
Shoveler Dunnock Greenfinch
Pochard Robin Goldfinch
Tufted Duck Blackbird Linnet
Goldeneye Fieldfare Bullfinch


Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Rother Valley

Saturday 24 November 2018,  09.15 to 13.15


The Rother Valley Country Park, provides various outdoor activities for the public and includes a nature reserve.  There are no hides but it was a dry day (if rather dull) and not too cold.  We spent most of our time in the reserve but there were several birds to see on the main lake as well.

Early on a skein of some 25 Pink-Footed Geese flew over and we spotted a female Red-Crested Pochard that was hugging the shallows in front of the island on the main lake.  There were good numbers of Cormorant, Lapwing,Tufted Duck and Goldeneye to be seen.

Seeing the range of habitat on offer, there was general consensus to visit this site in early spring next time.

Members participating:       6

Bird list (43 species seen and/or heard)

Little Grebe Pochard Song Thrush
Great Crested Grebe Tufted Duck Redwing
Cormorant Goldeneye Mistle Thrush
Little Egret Moorhen Long-Tailed Tit
Grey Heron Coot Blue Tit
Mute Swan Lapwing Great Tit
Pink-Footed Goose Black-Headed Gull Jay
Greylag Goose Lesser Black-Backed Gull Magpie
Canada Goose Woodpigeon Jackdaw
Wigeon Pied Wagtail Carrion Crow
Gadwall Wren Raven
Teal Robin Starling
Mallard Blackbird Greenfinch
Shoveler Fieldfare Goldfinch
Red-Crested Pochard


Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Frampton Marsh – Saturday 27 October 2018,  10.15 to 14.30


Frampton Marsh RSPB Reserve borders The Wash in Lincolnshire.  There are reed beds, grassland and salt marsh, giving varied habitat.  In addition to the Visitor Centre, there are three hides.

A chilly, breezy day that stayed dry until lunchtime.  By the time we set out from the warmth of the Visitor Centre we had around 10 species listed and the list grew steadily through the remainder of our visit, culminating in the sighting of a Long-Billed Dowitcher in the afternoon that was busy feeding in the shallows, accompanied by a couple of Redshank.

There were good numbers of Wigeon, Shelduck and Brent Geese. Hightide was over two hours before we arrived and may explain, at least in part, why we saw fewer waders than we might have hoped.  Nevertheless, it was a very worthwhile trip.


Members participating:       18

Bird list (47 species seen and/or heard)

Little Grebe Goldeneye Herring Gull
Little Egret Kestrel Woodpigeon
Grey Heron Peregrine Falcon Skylark
Whooper Swan Moorhen Meadow Pipit
Greylag Goose Coot Robin
Canada Goose Avocet Blackbird
Brent Goose Golden plover Cetti’s Warbler
Egyptian Goose Lapwing Great Tit
Shelduck Snipe Magpie
Wigeon Long-Billed Dowitcher Carrion Crow
Gadwall Black-Tailed Godwit Starling
Teal Curlew House Sparrow
Mallard Redshank Tree Sparrow
Pintail Black-Headed Gull Chaffinch
Shoveler Common Gull Goldfinch
Tufted Duck Lesser Black-Backed Gull



Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Middleton Moor – Saturday 22 September 2018,  09.30 to 13.00


After a very wet Friday we were blessed with a dry spell for our visit to Middleton Moor.  The sun peeped through occasionally and the light improved towards the end of our circuit of the lagoons.

Middleton Moor is a site with a mixture of habitat, including open water, shallow scrapes, scrub, woodland and moorland edge.  There is a small hide overlooking the main lagoon.

For much of the walk there were Meadow Pipits to be seen in flocks of varying sizes, mostly flying south but some feeding in a field.  A few late swallows passed over too.  We had good views of a Wheatear and a Kestrel, both with the help of Ken’s scope.

Members participating:       7

Bird list (27 species seen and/or heard)

Grey Heron Redshank Chiffchaff
Teal Black-headed Gull Magpie
Mallard Lesser black-backed Gull Jackdaw
Tufted Duck Woodpigeon Rook
Sparrow Hawk Skylark Carrion Crow
Buzzard Swallow Starling
Kestrel Meadow Pipit Chaffinch
Pheasant Robin
Coot Wheatear
Golden Plover Song Thrush


Carr Vale trip 23rd September 2017


The Bakewell bird study group magic held as usual with the weather with no rain during the trip. The lighting was not best for identification but persistence paid off and we identified a total of 44 species.

This outing was a car share trip and although attendance wasn’t high it turned out to be a very pleasurable morning with plenty of activity in the trees and bushes on route. It was heard said “If only they would stand still for a minute I might be able identify them!”

The varied habitats in the Carr vale reserve make for a wide variety of birds as it is a mixture of open water, marsh, wet and dry grassland, scrub and trees. It was generally felt however that there should have been more waders down on the lake at this time of the year so a little mystery there.

All in all a great trip. Many thanks to Dorothy for organising the trip and to Stuart for passing on his special skills at identification.

The bird list is as follows:-

Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Greylag, Canada Goose, Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Tufted Duck, Buzzard, Pheasant, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, B.H. Gull, L.B.B.Gull, Herring Gull, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Jay, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion crow, Starling, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Bullfinch. Total 44 Species

Bempton Trip 10th June 2017

image1We all met up at Slack’s coach garage at the appointed time and it was nice to see a very near full coachload! The weather wasn’t the best with rain and wind forecast but clearing later in the day.

The journey was smooth and steady with a brief stop at a service station and took approximately 2 ½ hrs. The first bird we saw even before we got off the bus was a surprise, A cockatiel! Obviously someone’s pet that had escaped and found its way there.
The weather as it now seems usual for our trips defied all the odds and remained mainly dry and the wind was actually warm and not at all unpleasant. We left the visitors centre and made our way en mass around the cliff tops. We had a very good 5 hrs to study the cliffs including a stop for lunch and saw 30 different species in total. We don’t expect many at such a site so that was actually quite an impressive number. Stuart was on fine form as ever pointing out different birds and providing specialist knowledge for example correcting myself when I spotted a couple of pigeons tucked in a crack and told me they were actually rock doves and explained that they mated with ordinary pigeons and there were now very few true rock doves left.

The journey home was a mirror image of the journey out and ended at Slack’s garage in unfortunately a downpour!

All in all another great trip out so I am sure all those who attended will join me in thanking Dorothy for her time and effort in making the day a memorable one.

Bird list: Fulmar, Gannet, Cormorant, Grey Partridge, Pheasant, Herring Gull, G B B Gull, Kittiwake, Guillemot, Razorbill, Puffin, Rock Dove, Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Skylark, Sand Martin, Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Dunnock, Blackbird, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Tree Sparrow, Goldfinch, Linnet, Reed Bunting, Corn Bunting, Common Crane, Cockateil.

Frampton Marsh 22nd October 2016

The day started a bit cold and misty and due to good planning everyone was picked up and whisked uneventfully to Frampton in around 2 ½ hrs.

While everyone was sorting out their coats and footwear the keen ones were already setting up their scopes and spotting in the field next to the car park, calling out to Dorothy to note down what they were seeing.

The RSPB site at Frampton is a large coastal wetland reserve with a large reed bed and fresh water scrapes. There is a visitor centre where you can buy snacks and hot and cold drinks and chat to the RSPB guides and find out “what’s about”.

We spent the first 1/2hr in the visitor centre before moving out to scan the reed beds. There are 3 good hides which we availed ourselves of and some of the high lights were sighting a Jack Snipe and a Long Billed Dowicher also a great aerial display by a flock of Finches late in the afternoon.

A few laughs were had over the light hearted argument as to whether a particular group of Godwits we were looking at were black tailed or bar tailed or indeed a mixture of the two!

The weather held out and a very pleasant sunny day was enjoyed with 52 different species being recorded by Dorothy.

A well deserved thank you goes to Dorothy for her organisational skills and to Stuart Slack who as ever called out the different species and pointed us all at their locations.


Species Seen:

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Our first outdoor visit of the season was to Willington Gravel Pits, a former sand and gravel quarry situated in the Trent Valley. A Derbyshire Wildlife Trust site that has a variety of habitats and so a haven for wildlife.

The day was fine though a little muddy underfoot in places due to rain the day before but still an easily accessible site with several good viewing platforms and a relatively new hide at the end of the lane.

Perhaps not as many waders around that we had hoped to see but still an interesting day with a couple of warblers still around and nice to see the usually elusive Water Rail.

The full list of birds seen…….

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The Evans magic worked again. The weather forecast said heavy cloud and cold winds off the North Sea and hinted at something even worse. The reality was broken cloud, bursts of sunshine and a gentle breeze. So eighteen members were able to explore Alkborough Flats without streaming eyes and without clinging on to wind-rocked telescopes.

The Flats are well named. The Lincolnshire Wolds end abruptly with a few houses and a church and then, where the Trent meets the Humber, the land tumbles down to an expanse of reed and marsh and lagoons. The paths through the reeds are raised and well maintained; the hides solid and cleverly sited.

Most of the birds listed were seen, but some, like the Cettis Warbler, only heard. Just a few years ago the news of a Cettis this far north would have had the twitchers flocking. Now we put it on the list along with the Little Egret and move on.

Also more vocal than visible was the Water Rail, doing its imitation of an outraged pig.

Three Marsh Harriers seemed to be sharing a narrow strip of territory, rising and falling and getting in each other’s way. Once it appeared that two of them had had a mid-air collision but perhaps it was just something that Marsh Harriers do. But at least they were easy to watch.

Not like Bearded Tits. A bright flash as they flit from one reed to an identical one and they have gone before you can raise your binoculars.

But, for me at least, the highlight of the day was the view from one hide of ducks and waders spread over the water and mud banks of a lagoon like an illustration of a ‘Teach Yourself Bird Recognition’.

How many? Difficult to say. A single Heron, a few Curlew and Ruff, dozens of other species of duck and wader as well as a hundred-plus Lapwing and even more Golden Plover. But other people may have counted more. And the surprising thing, to me at least, was how colourful they were. No winter drab yet. The Golden Plover still had golden flecks and the Lapwing still had bright heads and a greenish sheen.

Every now and again, for no apparent reason, the Golden Plover would take off, fly around in a tight flock then land again while everything else ignores them and gets on with dabbling and probing.

Just before leaving the marshes, as seventeen members were peering down a drain in search of an elusive Water Rail, the lucky eighteenth was the sole witness of the classic panic of the ducks and the waders as a Peregrine passed overhead.

And finally, by some thoughtful management, the mini-bus was waiting at the foot of the hill and sixteen*grateful members were saved a long wearisome climb. (*Two of our number came by car).

Thanks for a smooth ride to the driver who happened to be a birdwatcher and brought his own telescope (perhaps we should have charged him) and to Stuart Slack for instant recognitions, both seen and heard, (sometimes of things that only he has seen or heard) and most of all to Dorothy for seamless arrangements.

Species seen

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Ten survey sheets were received, mainly covering the period February 2012 to January 2013. Seven sheets had complete coverage, two were missing January 2013, and one was missing February, March and April 2012.

Nine sheets covered birds within and flying over gardens, whereas one sheet covered birds within and flying over a village.

The average number of species recorded in a garden was 28; the maximum was 38 species and the minimum was 20 species. The village survey recorded 38 species, as would be expected from a larger area.

Overall 57 different bird species were recorded.

The following analysis is based on a presence or absence basis. Recorders were asked to note the maximum number of each species seen in or over their survey area (or site) in each month.

Thus for instance in the above survey if a particular species was seen in every site and in every month then this could be given a maximum score.

This is a one way of judging how common, or otherwise, a resident species is over the total survey area. For summer  and winter visitors no such analysis has been attempted, and only the presence ‘score’ is given. Also the sample size of ten sites is relatively small and the results should therefore be treated with caution.

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