Tag Archives: march

Netherfield Lagoons – Manager’s Report – March

 As the brush cutting of the banks is now complete I have been digging out another dragonfly and amphibian pool, beside the Haven. Unfortunately some youths took exception to this and on 15th they had a go at a volunteer, who was working on his own by the Small Gravel Pit. They said the path cut their access to their favourite fishing and camping spot. The next week they set fire to the Haven, destroying a reed bed and a swan’s nest. Mark Glover has contacted a security firm to get an idea of how much it would cost for them to patrol the site. Some frogs have already spawned in the ponds that have been created.

The ‘Wader Scrape’ still has very little water in it and, on three consecutive mornings, there have been people excercising their dogs on it. They want to cross the Ouse Dyke bridge at this point rather than about a quarter of a mile further up as it is a more direct route around the reserve to the river bank.

I have been on a chainsaw course and now am qualified to prepare and maintain a chainsaw (CS30) and to fell and process small trees (CS31). The main purpose of obtaining these qualifications is to be able to remove the larger trees that are beginning to encircle the Deep Pit plus any other trees that become a problem on site. There are no large trees that we are likely to want to remove so I will not need to further pursue my chainsaw tutelage. Some trees could be dropped straight into the Deep Pit and allowed to rot there. This could create wet wood habitat which is uncommon nowadays as people tidy up dead trees that may pose the risk of blocking water courses. This habitat is valuable to several uncommon invertebrates.

I have done a survey to see how much balsam is coming up this year. So far the signs are good and very few seedlings have been found. When the plants have grown a little bit more and are easier to see I shall continue the eradication programme. The Ouse Dyke remains the source for recolonisation of the site and will also be tackled.

March has been a good month for raptors on the site, with two Rough-legged Buzzards seen on 11th, three Peregrines on15th and two Red Kites on 25th. Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps Sand Martins and Wheatears are summer migrants that have already been seen on site, the Chiffchaffs having already set up in territories.

Wirral trip report – 28th March 2010

Six men in two cars left Newstead at 7.15 am for the Wirral. On the way over we stopped briefly at Goyt Moss to look for Red Grouse. We had hardly stopped when Tony found at least one. Meadow Pipits were also seen. Continuing on our way we arrived at our first stop at 9.30 as arranged with Stuart Taylor, one of our earliest members who now works for the RSPB at Lake Vyrnwy, mid-Wales. The trip list was now on 10 as Raven, Jay and Sparrowhawk were seen en route.

After a short break to stretch our legs we set off to our first watching point – Heswall Banks. Stuart T, not confusing him with Stuart Pryor, suggested a short walk here but on seeing the high tide (9.1 metres) told up that was impossible as the pathway was under water. We settled down to watch the marsh as the tide was still coming in and moving the birds in front of it. Over 1000 Redshank, along with hundreds of Shelduck and other waders were being forced up the marsh by the advancing tide. A female Hen Harrier was seen as was a Grey Plover and many Little Egret. Around the area we also saw and heard Chiffchaff. With the list now on 29 we headed back up the Wirral to Parkgate, a well known watch point on the marsh when there are exceptionally high tides of over 10 metres. These happen about twice a year but not today. (I’ll have to sort a trip out for that).

Similar birds were seen here as at Heswall Banks but Stuart T, had inside information that there was a Spoonbill further up the marsh so we walked up and had superb views of an adult. Buzzard was also seen. A Marsh Harrier was seen by some of the group.

With the list now standing at 38 we moved on again, this time to the RSPB Inner Marsh Farm. This is a fairly large reserve but at present with only one hide and a very small car park.

Treecreeper was heard in the car park by Steve and Pete heard our first Willow Warbler of the year, good views of which were had later on. We had good views of Raven, Buzzard and Peregrine Falcon. We also saw Black-tailed Godwit, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover and Ruff.

There was a distant group of Sand Martin and I managed to see one House Martin among them. Three Spotted Redshank and a single Greenshank were also seen. As we made our way back to the car park some of the group thought they had heard a Lesser Whitethroat but it couldn’t be located. There was a large herd of swans in the distance and it was reported that there were Whooper and Bewick’s among them but we couldn’t make them out. Rabbit and Grey Squirrel were seen on the way to the car park taking the years Mammal list to 5.

We had had a wonderful day in good company and were looking forward to the next trip.

The day list stood at 66 with 28 of these being added to our annual trip list. That list now stands at 111 compared with 85 this time last year.

Carsington Water – Sun, 7th March 2010

The weather forecast for the previous weekend was horrendous with high winds and blizzards. We decided to postpone to the following weekend. As it happened the bad weather missed us.

We met up at Newstead, two car loads and made our way to Cromford were we eventually had good views of 4 Hawfinch in the car park area.

With some of the gentlemen going to the loo we arranged to meet on the bridge over the river Derwent to look for Dipper. We had marvellous views and decided to then go on to Carsington when we realised that Jackie was missing. Minutes later my phone rang. It was Jackie asking where WE where. I asked where SHE was – out side the gents’ loo waiting for us, (so she said). Jackie eventually joined us and soon had Dipper on her list. Trip list now stood at 13 for the day.

We arrived at Sheepwash Car Park (the free one) at Carsington Water and made our way to the hides. We soon added Oystercatcher and Great Spotted Woodpecker to the list along with our target bird of Great Northern Diver. We were fortunate to be in the right place at the right time as a herd of Whooper Swan had arrived that morning. Also seen of note were Curlew and Redshank while Raven was heard.

We made our way to the Wildlife Centre calling at the feeding station on the way. Here we added stunning views of Bullfinch, Tree Sparrow, Reed Bunting and Willow Tit. The list now stood at 38 plus Grey Squirrel.

At the Wildlife Centre we added Barnacle Goose – about 50 – plus Ruddy Duck and Goosander. Tony found a Water Rail on the far bank that proved difficult for some of the group to see. A Little Owl was also seen in the hedgerow at the rear of the centre. We were told by a Ranger that that was the first one for quite a while. With the list now standing at 46 we made our way back to the cars and lunch during which we added Common and Herring Gull.

On the same trip last year we called at Swallow Moss and saw a male Hen Harrier so it was decided to go there again. What a disappointment. The only birds seen apart from a few distant hens were two flocks of Starling and one Fieldfare.

Having consulted the maps it was decided to call in at Tittesworth Reservoir – just over the hill. I decided that it would be quicker to go over the hill instead of round it. We got to the top, above the snow line, and a road disappeared. We ended up almost were we had started so we did go round the hill in the end.

On arriving, eventually, at Tittesworth we were greeted by up to 7 Redpoll. We walked to the two hides. Between the hides we were treated to the evocative calls of a flock of over 80 Curlew coming in to feed on the far fields. Lapwings were also seen along with one Common Snipe that was behaving like a Jack Snipe.

As the setting sun shone on the Roaches the Curlew, split now into smaller groups and giving their haunting calls, flew off towards the setting sun.

The days total was 61 plus 2 mammals. The yearly total is now 82 compared with 71 in 2009. The mammal total is 5 compared with 3 last year.