Sunday 11th March was an exceptionally warm still day, perfect for coaxing raptors into the air. Several Buzzards were seen in the same thermal and an amazing sight was a ‘kettle’ of eight Common Buzzards that were joined by two Rough-legged Buzzards. Several Sparrowhawks and Kestrels and a Peregrine were also seen. The bird counts are a monthly event and are a good way of collecting data on the welfare and abundance of birds on the reserve. They are held on the second Sunday of every month. People meet at the end of Teal Close in time to set off at 07.45 and normally finish at about 11.00. If you would like to attend just turn up and join in.
This morning, during the bird count, two Rough-legged Buzzards were seen flying over the site. A total of thirteen Common Buzzards were also seen, four Sparrowhawks and three Kestrels, with a Peregrine on Gedling church spire. On the river were a pair of Goosanders and a Lesser Redpoll was feeding in a riverside Ash tree. There were lots of insects about, including Buff-tailed and Red-tailed Bumblebees and Honey Bees, Brimstone, Comma, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock butterflies. PS et al.
The gull roost held fewer birds than normal this afternoon and most had gone before dusk. Large numbers of Rooks and Jackdaws crossed the Slurry Lagoon on their way to roost, but otherwise things were quiet today and attention veered towards Gedling Pit Top, where the Rough-legged Buzzard could be seen hovering with a Common Buzzard flying above it. RW.
This afternoon two Dunlin, two Little Ringed Plover, one Ringed Plover and a Common Snipe were all feeding along the Slurry Lagoon waterline while a Common Buzzard circled lazily on the thermals. JMD.
Later they were joined by a Little Egret and two more Dunlin. PS.
The juvenile Mediterranean Gull was on the Slurry Lagoon again this afternoon, along with a Snipe and juvenile Wigeon. Two Hobbies and a Buzzard were also seen. JMD. PS.
The Deep Pit bank, facing the railwayline had good numbers of Common Blues showing today and amongst them were one or two Brown Argus. All four orchid species are visible but the cold weather last month has delayed their flowering a little. A small blue flower with iris shaped leaves that could be Blue Eyed Grass Sisyrinchium bermudiana, was also found. PS.
A female Goosander was fishing on the Trent, and a Buzzard circled over the site this afternoon. Towards dusk 120 Greenfinches and 32 Linnets came in to roost. 34 Mute Swans came to roost on the Slurry and Deep Pits and up to 8 water Rail were calling from the reed beds. A Cetti’s Warbler sang briefly from the Slurry Lagoon reed bed. PS.
During this morning’s Bird Count a male Goosander flew over the Large Gravel Pit and approximately fifty Pink-footed Geese flew west. There were good numbers of Redwings and Blackbirds and a Buzzard circled quite low over the Slurry Lagoon. The Cetti’s Warblers were heard in the Slurry Lagoon reed bed and the Deep pit and around eight Water Rail were also heard. The large Gravel Pit also had four Golden-eye on it and thirty-six Wigeon. PS
Went down the Lagoons today and had a single Black tailed Godwit, 3 Common Snipe, 2 Water Rail (including one nearly fully grown juv) 3 Common Buzzard, 1 Yellow legged Gull, 3 House Martin, 2 Sparrowhawk, 3 Reed Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler and a single Jay.DM.
In the late afternoon a Peregrine flew low over the Slurry Lagoon, panicking all the birds below. The ducks flew out to the centre of the lagoon and floated in a raft. Amongst them was swimming a Black-tailed Godwit. The Peregrine had a tail feather projecting about one third of its length beyond the rest of the tail and hanging slightly below the others. It gave a sudden buck as it flew overhead and flicked the loose feather out, then dived down to swoop beneath it. Later a Buzzard drifted over but caused no reaction at all.