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Bird News

This is a news service only and the reports are unchecked. All records submitted via the "Submit record" page will be sent to the Bulletin Bird Notes Compiler and entered onto the DOS database even if they do not appear here. Please note that for obvious reasons we do not publish sightings of rare breeders such as Little Ringed Plover during the breeding season (unless obvious migrants)

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December 2021 highlights


Things quietened down as we moved from late autumn into winter and just three county rarities were recorded. The American Wigeon found on the last day of November entertained a continual stream of visitors to Carr Vale until it was last seen on the 28th, and the same site produced a Siberian Chiffchaff on the last day of the year. Making up the trio was an obliging (when not dodging joggers and mountain bikes) Snow Bunting on Totley Moor.


There was a reasonable movement of Whooper Swans and Pink-footed Geese throughout the county, but the only other notable wildfowl records concerned a Greater Scaup at Carr Vale, that did the decent thing by remaining into the New Year, and three records of Smew (mini-invasion or a wandering individual?).


A Bittern was seen at Willington, a Cattle Egret was at Trent Lock and up to four Great White Egrets were found at 14 sites, whilst a Diver that flew through Carsington was thought to be a Great Northern.


Up to three Red Kites were seen at 13 locations but Marsh Harriers at Carr Vale and Barrow GP were unusual for the time of year.


Ten species of wader were seen, a Ruff at Carsington being notable and the same site produced an adult Kittiwake, the observers first December record there. Carr Vale turned up the season's first Iceland Gull and an adult Herring x Glaucous Gull a.k.a. Viking Gull.


There was just one record of Short-eared Owl and only three Merlins were seen, but up to three Peregrines were logged at 18 locations.


Scarce passerines were just that with the pick of the bunch being the Bonsall Great Grey Shrike from last month, which was seen on one date. Eight Chiffchaffs at six sites were outnumbered by 14 Blackcaps (mainly in Gardens) at 13 sites, whilst Stonechats were around in force with up to four logged at 23 locations. A fairly quiet end to 2021.

Mark Beevers