Birdwatchers: Carsington Water 22nd February 2017

The fourth Wednesday of February proved to be a blustery day with showers on and off, but that did not deter 15 members gathering at Carsington Water for this month’s field trip. While preparing to set off in the car park, we saw Lapwing and Canada Geese, and Tufted Duck were glimpsed on the reservoir. We walked to the Wildlife Centre, where a grandstand-like effect allowed all of us good views.

A single pale Ruff was quickly spotted on the waterline, two pairs of Oystercatchers were on the shore on the inlet in front of the hide and 3 Pochard and 5 Little Grebe were fishing. The large flock of Lapwing present kept flushing for no apparent reason, and with them went at least two small waders, later identified as Dunlin. A total of 5 Snipe were seen huddled into mud mini-cliffs at the waters’ edge, and a Pied Wagtail hunted food. Among the feeders to the left of the hide, Tree Sparrows cavorted, a male Reed Bunting flew in, and  a Willow Tit came briefly to the feeder. Back across the water, among Teal resting at the base of some shrubby willows, Long-tailed Tits and Chaffinches dropped onto the “beach” to feed. And a small flock of Barnacle (of unknown but suspicious origin) grazed among more Canada.

We moved on to the Sheepwash Car Park, where feeders were attracting Bullfinches and Collared Doves, while Stock Doves were seen in flight. At the Sheepwash hide Common Gull was picked out among the resting gulls along with a number of Lesser Black-backs. Several Goldeneye were diving among displaying Great Crested Grebe and a single Goosander was spotted. A Grey Wagtail paddled in front of us and 6 Curlew flew along the waters’ edge.

The Paul Stanley hide produced little in the way of novelty, although we did nail down Herring Gull among better views of the resting Larids. We made the decision to head for the Millfield car park, as the wintering Great Northern Diver had been reported near the dam, and enroute picked up the only raptor of the trip, a Buzzard. The advance party were unable to pick up our target bird, as were the main party when they arrived, despite a half mile muddy trudge to a better viewing point. The only addition to the daylist was a single Pinkfooted Goose keeping company with a couple of Canada. This brought our day total to 49, and the U3A group annual total for 2017 to 63.

Richard Howells

Carsington Water Trip List 22nd February 2017

Pink-footed Goose Single off Millfields Island with 2 Canada
Barnacle Goose Small flock near Wildlife Centre.
Canada Goose Several small flocks and groups around.
Mallard Ubiquitous.
Teal Large numbers around the margins.
Pochard 3 in Wildlife Centre inlet.
Tufted Duck Small numbers in several places.
Goldeneye Diving off Sheepwash, Paul Stanley, etc
Goosander Single off Sheepwash.
Pheasant Male near Sheepwash.
Little Grebe Several on water, in groups up to 5
Great Crested Grebe Several spread across water
Cormorant Small group on Stones’ Island.
Heron Single from Sheepwash hide.
Buzzard Over Hognaston.
Moorhen Sheepwash hide.
Coot Ubiquitous.
Lapwing Large flock at Wildlife centre.
Oystercatcher 2 pairs from Wildlife centre.
Curlew 6 in flight from Sheepwash hide.
Dunlin Up to 4, Wildlife centre, Sheepwash
Ruff Single Wildlife centre.
Snipe 5 Wildlife centre.
Black-headed Gull Good numbers Wildlife centre, Sheepwash
Common Gull Several from Sheepwash hide.
Herring Gull Single Paul Stanley hide.
Lesser Black-backed Gull Several Sheepwash & Paul Stanley hides.
Stock Dove Sheepwash area.
Wood-Pigeon Seen from car park, Sheepwash.
Collared-Dove Sheepwash car park.
Magpie Seen from main car park.
Jackdaw Wildlife centre.
Carrion Crow Sheepwash car park.
Willow Tit Wildlife centre feeders.
Great Tit Wildlife centre feeders.
Blue Tit Wildlife centre feeders.
Long-tailed Tit Willows across inlet Wildlife centre
Robin Ubiquitous.
Blackbird Ubiquitous.
Starling Over Sheepwash car park.
Dunnock Sheepwash car park and other places.
Grey Wagtail In front of Sheepwash hide.
Pied Wagtail Wildlife centre, Sheepwash hide.
Reed Bunting Wildlife centre.
Chaffinch Willows across inlet Wildlife centre
Goldfinch Main car park.
Bullfinch Pair at Sheepwash car park feeders.
House Sparrow Main car park.
Tree Sparrow Wildlife centre feeders.