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December produced plenty of interest. Great Northern Divers appeared at two sites with one being successfully freed from discarded fishing line. The two wintering Cattle Egrets remained, whilst there was again a good showing of Great White Egrets.
Amongst the geese, the appearance of White-fronted Geese was part of a national influx and a Brent Goose at Carr Vale was a nice find.
The star turn amongst the ducks was a first-winter male Ring-necked Duck at Staunton Harold Res although commoner species were well represented including more than 100 records of Goosander.
There was a single Iceland Gull amongst the gull records, but a growing number of Caspian Gulls and Yellow-legged Gulls are being successfully identified. The Great Grey Shrike found last month was seen on at least two further occasions.
There were healthy counts of Lapwing, Barn Owl and Skylark plus a nice showing of Common Crossbills and some reliable Hawfinch.
The Darley Dale Pied Wagtail roost has already exceeded 500 and there were some excellent finch counts which included 220 Linnets that had discovered an unploughed Linseed crop. For those walking the high peaks, however, then the discovery of Snow Buntings arguably produced the birds of the month.
Bryan Barnacle and Kate Barnacle