Our first trip of the New Year took us across Staffordshire to the Derbyshire reservoir of Carsington Water. Fifteen hardy souls gathered in Sandbach before we set off, and much to everyone’s surprise 15 turned up in Carsington’s vast car park. We parked fairly close to the entrance to the main visitor centre, and sought out the pay parking machines while dodging kamikaze House Sparrows heading for nearby feeders. Willow Tit was quickly spotted on the same feeders along with cousins Great and Blue Tits.
We set off on the short walk to the Wildlife Centre, noting Tufted Duck and Teal on the way. We quickly took over the double-banked benches in the Centre, giving all of us good views across the Water. The feeders close to the Centre were also very active with star attractions Tree Sparrows and Reed Buntings. Both Great Crested and Little Grebe were telescoped across the Water, as were Gadwall and Wigeon. A Redshank and a Pied Wagtail were found on two of the small islands that dotted this side of the reservoir. On the return to the car park a male Bullfinch and a Wren were observed in the bushes.
We moved on to the Sheepwash end of the reservoir, visiting a couple of hides overlooking the nature reserve end. Common Gull was identified among others and a small Cormorant roost discovered. Studying the duck sheltering under the far bank revealed several recently arrived Goldeneye. More feeders were attracting Coal Tits, and as we left the last hide to return to the cars, a fortunate few had fairly close views of a Marsh Tit, very smart in a glossy cap (no bull-necked appearance), small tidy bib and white feathering underneath. Its identity was confirmed by our birdsong expert bringing the day’s total to 41 species.
Carsington Water Species List 15 Jan 2014
|Mute Swan||Carsington Water|
|Tufted Duck||Carsington Water|
|Little Grebe ruficollis||Carsington Water|
|Great Crested Grebe||Carsington Water|
|Common Coot||Carsington Water|
|Black-headed Gull||Carsington Water|
|Lesser Black-backed Gull||Sheepwash|
|Eurasian Collared Dove||Carsington Water|
|White Wagtail yarrellii||Carsington Water|
|Blue Tit||Carsington Water|
|Great Tit||Carsington Water|
|Willow Tit||Carsington Water|
|Black-billed Magpie||Carsington Water|
|Carrion Crow||Carsington Water|
|House Sparrow||Carsington Water|
|Eurasian Tree Sparrow||Carsington Water|
|Reed Bunting||Wildlife Centre|