This morning there were, as usual, good numbers of Greylag and Canada Geese and Mallards on the Slurry Lagoon, which went off to feed fairly early on. The hedgerows were full of thrushes, mostly Redwings, Blackbirds and Fieldfares. A flock of about three hundred Lapwings flew over with a flock of about fifty Golden Plovers, probably the ones from Holme Pierrepont. There were two Snipe on the Slurry Lagoon, an Egyptian Goose flew over and six Goldeneye were on the Large Gravel Pit. PS.
Later on this afternoon there were 1,500 Starlings coming in to roost. There was one Ruff, 34 Lapwing and six Snipe on the Slurry Lagoon.28 Fieldfare flew over, plus eight Redpoll and the two Peregrine were seen. RW.
This afternoon the Slurry Lagoon held a Bittern, seven Bearded Tits, five Water Rail, one Jack Snipe, nine Common Snipe, fourteen Lapwings and around 250 Starlings. RW.
This morning a Cuckoo called from the Ash trees along the railway embankment. Two Shelduck were across the river on the flooded field and two Oystercatchers and four Lapwings were on the Wader Scrape. On the Deep Pit bank, opposite the junction box, up to five Green Hairstreaks were flying and by the Gravel Pits a teneral male Hairy Dragonfly was found. PS.
This morning there were large flocks of thrushes and finches along the railway embankment. There were hundreds of Redwings with smaller numbers of Fieldfares and amongst the thrush flock were twelve Waxwings. About thirty Linnets were in a flock with Goldfinches and a few Redpolls. Near the ford on the Lower Path a Treecreeper was investigating the bark on an ash tree. Across the river seven Herons stood amongst the still puddled fields with flocks of Black-headed Gulls and Grey-lag Geese. Amongst them were a few Lapwings and two Redshank. In some Alders between the Boundary Hedge and the Ouse Dyke, three Siskins were feeding with Goldfinches and on the Ouse Dyke bank five Redpoll were feeding on stinging nettle seeds. One male had a beautiful, soft, rose-pink breast. Along the Ouse Dyke three Little Egrets were feeding and ten Snipe circled around before settling near the National Grid development. A Peregrine was also seen over the Severn/Trent land. In the afternoon two Goosander were seen flying up river. PS.
This morning the frost had taken a hold of the site and thin ice was forming on most of the lagoons. There were large flocks of winter thrushes, Redwings, Fieldfares and Blackbirds. By the Gravel Pits there were two Cetti’s Warblers and the Slurry Lagoon held over 300 Teal with Black-headed Gulls and Lapwings. A Peregrine flew low across the bank in front of us, skimming the tops of the reeds, directly at the flocks of birds, which erupted into the air as one. In the confusion the Peregrine missed its mark and withdrew to the top of a pylon. PS.
This morning there was lots of evidence of migration at the lagoons with a constant trickle of Skylarks flying over. One or two large flocks of Fieldfares also went through and some Redwings are already in the hawthorn hedges. A flock of thirteen Lesser Redpolls dropped onto the bushes on the Deep Pit banks and one or two Siskins are still going through. On the Slurry Lagoon the two Pintail are still present, one beginning to attain the winter plumage of a male, and the Teal and Shoveler are well into developing their winter plumages too. The Lapwing flock is building up as several small flocks came in to join them. Unlike the Lapwings a flock of 18 Golden Plover flew in but decided not to land and disappeared again over the neighbouring farmland. PS.
At last the first spring migrant has arrived. A Chiffchaff was seen in the willows along the Ouse Dyke path this morning, along with two Goldcrests and three Siskins. On the Large Gravel Pit the Golden-eyes were displaying, as were some Lapwings on the Severn/Trent land. A female Goosander was on the river and a flock of Golden Plover were heard calling from towards Stoke Bardolph. PS.
The two Little Egrets were on the Ouse Dyke again this morning and what was probably one of them was later seen in the Deep Pit. The Slurry Lagoon and Gravel Pits are mostly frozen over now but most of the Deep Pit is still clear. Most of the Coots on the Large Gravel Pit are concentrated into one small area of clear water and the Red-crested Pochard have gone. The Teal have moved to the Deep Pit and a flock of Lapwings are sitting on the ice on the Slurry Lagoon, which is completely frozen over. Eleven Golden Plover looked like they were going to join the Lapwings but eventually flew away. PS.
A Woodcock was flushed from near the metal gates this morning and two Snipe flew over the Lower Path, calling. All three Cetti’s were heard singing but there was no sign of the Red-crested Pochard, or the Ross’s Goose, despite most of the Grey-lag and Canada Goose flock coming onto the Large Gravel Pit. A Peregrine flew through, causing mayhem. It put up the Lapwings and Black-headed Gulls on the Slurry Lagoon before dropping into the Deep Pit, screaming as it went, and then flying up to perch on a pylon.