Category Archives: Report

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

Summary

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

Summary

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

Summary

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

Pheasant

Woodpigeon

Cormorant

Moorhen

Pied Wagtail

Little Egret

Coot

Dunnock

Great Egret

Ringed Plover

Robin

Grey Heron

Golden Plover

Blackbird

Spoonbill

Lapwing

Song Thrush

Greylag Goose

Little Stint

Long-tailed Tit

Canada Goose

Dunlin

Blue tit

Shelduck

Snipe

Great Tit

Wigeon

Jack Snipe

Magpie

Gadwall

Black-tailed Godwit

Carrion Crow

Teal

Green/Common Sandpiper

Chaffinch

Mallard

Black-headed Gull

Greenfinch

Shoveler

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Goldfinch

Pochard

Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Carr Vale, Bolsover – Thursday 15 September 2022, 09.30 to 13.00

Members participating: 14 + 1 guest

Summary

We had a good turnout of members for the first outing of the new season. It was a dry day with an occasional glimpse of the sun.

The reserve is managed by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust and a team of staff and volunteers were busy working on the site for much of our visit. Unfortunately for us that may have reduced the bird population, not least because of the noise generated by the petrol-powered strimmers. It was noticeable that a group of six Grey Herons were looking on from a green field overlooking the lagoon where the work was happening, apparently waiting for the labour-force to quit and allow the Herons back to their normal habitat. As soon as the strimmers started up again after the mandatory 11 am coffee break, there was a noticeable migration of ducks and geese away from the din. That movement did at least enable us to get closer views of the lone Barnacle Goose in amongst the Canadas.

The wooded approaches to the main lagoon and fishing pond were not completely devoid of birds but there was not much to hear even when the strimmers fell silent. Nevertheless, there was a good range of bird species to be seen and a Speckled Wood butterfly caught our eye too.

Bird list (25 species seen and/or heard)

Mute Swan

Pochard

Blackbird

Pink-footed Goose

Buzzard

Goldcrest

Greylag Goose

Moorhen

Blue Tit

Canada Goose

Coot

Great Tit

Barnacle Goose

Lapwing

Magpie

Wigeon

Black-headed Gull

Carrion Crow

Gadwall

Woodpigeon

Starling

Mallard

Robin

Bullfinch

Shoveler

Speckled Wood Butterfly

Speckled Wood Butterfly

Barnacle Goose among Canadas

Barnacle Goose among Canadas

 

members searching with binoculars members searching with binoculars and a tripod

Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Lathkill Dale – Thursday 9th June 2022, 9.30 to 13.15

Summary

Redstart

Redstart

One of the most beautiful of Derbyshire’s dales, Lathkill provides a variety of habitat for birds, other wildlife and wild flowers; the latter including Jacob’s Ladder. Surrounded by birdsong, what better place to spend a morning!

We entered from the top of the dale where there was a Buzzard circling overhead. Then as we dropped down into a wooded area we paused to watch a family of treecreepers. Further on still where there was an exposed cliff-face, we saw Redstarts coming in and out of a crevice, presumably feeding their young. A Peregrine passed overhead with two or three crows paying it some attention. The upper part of the dale was dry but once we reached flowing water, we had good views of a Grey Wagtail.

Grey Wagtail

Grey Wagtail

Members participating: 10 + 1 guest

Bird list (29 species seen and/or heard)

Grey Heron

Grey Wagtail

Blue Tit

Mallard

Wren

Great Tit

Buzzard

Robin

Treecreeper

Peregrine

Redstart

Magpie

Pheasant

Blackbird

Jackdaw

Moorhen

Whitethroat

Carrion Crow

Coot

Blackcap

Raven

Black-headed Gull

Chiffchaff

Chaffinch

Woodpigeon

Willow Warbler

Goldfinch

Swallow

Spotted Flycatcher

Jacob's Ladder

Jacob’s Ladder

Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Redmires Reservoir Thursday 19th May 2022, 9.30 to 13.30

Summary

The weather was perfect as we left the car and a song thrush and blackcap were in full song. We soon spotted a pair of common sandpipers along the water’s edge, Redmires is one of the few places they breed in the Peak District. A pair of grey wagtails was feeding young in a nest by the dam wall and we could admire the brilliant yellow of the male and the black throat. We turned the corner alongside the conduit and were immediately greeted by the calls of lapwings and curlews. The lapwings had chicks but they were difficult to spot in the long grass. An obliging red grouse gave us some good views on the heavily managed grouse moor. We had a fleeting glimpse of a snipe and a slightly longer look at a golden plover flying over but not the views we had hoped for, they are more conspicuous later when they have chicks on the ground. By this time the wind had got up and it was distinctly cool. Those who had seen the weather forecast were unprepared so we took the shortest way back to the car park. Four of us soldiered on along Long Causeway and were rewarded by some warm sunshine and marvellous views of a cuckoo atop a dead tree in the felled area used by nightjars later in the summer. Tree pipits like this type of terrain so we had fun trying to convince ourselves that we could distinguish between them and the meadow pipits we had seen earlier.

All in all a very enjoyable trip and I’d like to repeat it next year maybe a week or two later when the golden plover have chicks and the lapwing chicks are bigger. In the absence of Chris I thought I’d better go back and take some photos and picked up linnet, reed bunting and pied wagtail, so a good day.

Members participating: 7 + 1 guest

Bird list (32 species)

Common Sandpiper

Coal Tit

Snipe

Little Grebe

Song Thrush

Grey Wagtail

Red Grouse

Tree Pipit

Blackcap

Blackbird

Skylark

Stonechat

Grey Lag Goose

Wood Pigeon

Golden Plover

Mistle Thrush

Canada Goose

Blackbird

Swallow

Wren

Mallard

Carrion Crow

Chaffinch

Moorhen + chicks

Pheasant

Jay

Cuckoo

Meadow Pipit

Robin

Lapwing

Curlew

Willow Warbler

Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Barbrook Plantation, Big Moor – Thursday 5th May 2022, 9.30 to 12.15

Summary

If you didn’t know it, you would speed past this small gem of a site alongside the A621 to Sheffield without noticing it. We soon had the first of many sightings of Pied Flycatchers but most of us missed the Cuckoo that Brian saw and heard soon after his arrival. There were good views of Redstarts and brief sightings of a Redpoll. Mid-way through our wander through the scrub / woodland Brian had us all take turns to stick our heads into a hole in a tree and report what we could see – not a lot if we were honest but a photo revealed the secret – a female Mandarin on her nest.

We lingered by Bar Brook, well away from traffic noise and were entertained by a Tree Pipit repeatedly flying up from a tree and parachuting down to the ground before returning to a tree to perch.

Members participating: 4 + 1 guest

Bird list (27 species seen and/or heard)

Mandarin Duck

Tree Pipit

Pied Flycatcher

Buzzard

Wren

Long-tailed Tit

Kestrel

Robin

Blue Tit

Pheasant

Redstart

Great Tit

Lapwing

Blackbird

Carrion Crow

Curlew

Song Thrush

Chaffinch

Woodpigeon

Mistle Thrush

Goldfinch

Cuckoo

Chiffchaff

Siskin

Swallow

Willow Warbler

Redpoll

Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Wyver Lane, Belper – Thursday 21st April 2022, 9.30 to 13.15

Summary
As we arrived in the car park by the mill, we passed a bank of photographers with their long lenses trained on the upper stories of the mill. We soon spotted the Peregrine ourselves and Brian got it in his scope for close-up viewing. Once or twice it took off in an unsuccessful pursuit of a pigeon. We moved on to the weir, adding a few more species to our list before crossing the bridge and heading up Wyver Lane.
The sun was out almost continuously for our visit and the song birds kept us entertained, including Chaffinch, Blackcap, Chiffchaff and Wren. From the hide we saw swallows, several species of duck, a Lapwing and a Little Egret. A couple of Buzzards and a Sparrowhawk increased our raptor count as we continued along the lane.

Members participating: 4

Bird list (41 species seen and/or heard)

Little Grebe Peregrine Falcon Blackbird
Cormorant Pheasant Blackcap
Little Egret Moorhen Chiffchaff
Mute Swan Coot Long-tailed Tit
Greylag Goose Lapwing Coal Tit
Canada Goose Black-headed Gull Blue Tit
Shelduck Herring Gull Great Tit
Wigeon Feral Pigeon Magpie
Gadwall Woodpigeon Jackdaw
Mallard Green Woodpecker Carrion Crow
Shoveler Swallow House Sparrow
Tufted Duck Wren Chaffinch
Sparrowhawk Dunnock Goldfinch
Buzzard Robin

Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Burton Mere – Thursday 7th April 2022, 10.00 to 15.00

Summary
Our small group travelled by car to this excellent RSPB reserve on the Dee estuary, on the south side of the Wirral peninsula. There was a chilly breeze and though there were a few showers, the visitor centre and hides gave us shelter. We benefitted from Shirley’s knowledge of the reserve and its bird population and she accompanied us throughout the morning. We had close-up views of Black-tailed Godwit and Pintail and more distant sightings of a pair of Garganey and the Marsh Harrier. Redshank and Godwit were quite numerous; in among them were a few Spotted Redshank with their noticeably greyer plumage. Eventually we spotted the Little Gull bobbing along on the surface of the water in front of the Border Hide. Towards the end of our stay flocks of Pink-footed Geese arrived to graze.

Members participating: 4 + 1 guest and Shirley, our RSPB guide

Bird list (46 species seen and/or heard)

Little Grebe Tufted Duck Black-headed Gull
Little Egret Marsh Harrier Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great White Egret Buzzard Woodpigeon
Grey Heron Pheasant Great Spotted Woodpecker
Mute Swan Moorhen Dunnock
Pink footed Goose Coot Robin
Greylag Goose Oystercatcher Mistle Thrush
Canada Goose Avocet Cetti’s Warbler
Shelduck Lapwing Chiffchaff
Wigeon Knot Blue Tit
Gadwall Black-tailed Godwit Great Tit
Teal Bar-tailed Godwit Magpie
Mallard Spotted Redshank Jackdaw
Pintail Redshank Carrion Crow
Garganey Little Gull Goldfinch
Shoveler

Bakewell Bird Study Group visit to Old Moor – Saturday 22 May 2021

Saturday 22 May 2021, 09.30 to 14.00

Summary

The weather was cool and cloudy for our visit to this RSBP reserve to the south-east of Barnsley in the Dearne Valley – a dry day gave a welcome break from the rain of recent days.

Swifts were in abundance, often flying low over the water – almost swallow-like.  We didn’t get a Bittern on our list as the area around where the Bitterns were nesting was closed off.  However, we did manage to see a Little Ringed Plover, a Turnstone and a few Avocet, none of which often feature on our trips.

This was the last of our organised trips for the 20/21 season.  We plan to resume in September when we hope you may be able to join us.  If you live in North Derbyshire and are not already a member, do consider joining us.  Contact details for Committee members can be found elsewhere on our website.

Members participating:    11

Bird list (46 species seen and/or heard)

Great Crested Grebe Coot Dunnock
Cormorant Oyster Catcher Robin
Little Egret Avocet Blackbird
Grey Heron Little Ringed Plover Cetti’s Warbler
Mute Swan Lapwing Reed Warbler
Greylag Goose Redshank Blackcap
Canada Goose Turnstone Long-tailed Tit
Shelduck Black-headed Gull Blue Tit
Gadwall Lesser Black-backed Gull Great Tit
Mallard Herring Gull Magpie
Shoveler Great Black-backed Gull Jackdaw
Pochard Stock Dove Carrion Crow
Tufted Duck Wood Pigeon Starling
Marsh Harrier Swift Goldfinch
Pheasant House Martin Reed Bunting
Moorhen