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 Please note that for obvious reasons we do not publish sightings of rare breeders such as Little Ringed Plover during the breeding season (unless obvious migrants)

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26 May 2024
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April 2024 highlights

County rarities included a male RED-BREASTED MERGANSER at Carsington Water on the 17th and an adult GANNET at Ogston Reservoir on 16th-17th. A WHITE STORK was seen from a moving car at Barrow-on-Trent and later at Willington GP, both on the 23rd and two summer plumaged SLAVONIAN GREBES pitched up at Carsington Water on the 8th and 18th. There was a late report of two COMMON CRANES over Peak Forest on the 31st March and a FIRECREST was singing at a confidential site for three days mid-month. Observers of these species are reminded that as they are county rarities for acceptance into the annual report, the records must be assessed by the rarity committee so please get the rarity forms in as soon as you can.

The three Ingleby WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were last seen on the 5th and other scarce waterfowl included a late pair of PINTAIL at High Bridge GP on the 19th and a drake GARGANEY at Erewash Meadows for a week. Up to four COMMON SCOTERS were recorded at six sites and the Carsington Water GREAT NORTHERN DIVER was last seen on the 22nd. As is the norm now, herons featured heavily during the month with a BITTERN noted at two Confidential sites and up to 11 CATTLE EGRETS were in the south of the county. Up to 26 LITTLE EGRETS were recorded from 37 places and up to three GREAT WHITE EGRETS were seen at ten localities. Nine RED KITES were at Whitwell on the 20th with up to three at 77 more localities, HEN HARRIERS were seen at three confidential upland sites but a Ringtail, which flew north over Carr Vale, was the tenth record for the reserve, but the first since 2017. MARSH HARRIERS were recorded at two confidential sites, with migrants logged at Carr Vale, Carsington Water, Farley and Middleton Moor, and OSPREYS were seen at 14 places.

Wader passage started to pick up with an AVOCET at Weston-on-Trent on the 27th, up to three WHIMBREL were at four sites, BLACK-TAILED GODWITS were at three sites with a maximum of nine of at Carsington Water on the 19th, where up to two BAR-TAILED GODWITS were present for a week at the end of the month with another at Weston-On-Trent on the 23rd. The only SANDERLING of the month was at High Bridge GP on the 30th, three sites delivered up to four GREEN SANDPIPERS and five GREENSHANK were split between Barrow GP (two), Carr Vale (two) and Ogston Reservoir. Four JACK SNIPE were at Carr Vale on the 2nd with one or two at four other sites until the last two at Sinfin Moor Wetlands on the 21st.

Two BLACK TERNS were at Carsington Water on the 30th with one or two SANDWICH TERNS there on four dates whilst small numbers of ARCTIC TERNS were seen at eight places with a maximum of 31 at Carsington Water on the 22nd. Two KITTIWAKES were seen at Ogston Reservoir on the 29th, three LITTLE GULLS flew north through Carr Vale on the 1st with four birds at Carsington Water over three dates, where a first summer MEDITERRANEAN GULL was present for a week early in the month. One or two MEDITERRANEAN GULLS were in a gull colony in the county, three YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS were seen at Carr Vale, Carsington Water and Derby River Gardens whilst Ogston Reservoir produced the only CASPIAN GULL record for the month.

SHORT-EARED OWLS were reported from six upland and two lowland sites, encouragingly LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKERS were reported from four places, MERLINS were only seen at upland localities (seven sites) and up to three HOBBIES were seen at six sites from the 27th. WAXWINGS continued to hang on with a maximum of 12 at Horse Dale on the 8th, eight at Great Longstone on the 28th and one at Cromford Moor on the 21st. It was a good month for WHITE WAGTAILS with records from 11 places with a maximum of 13 at Weston-on-Trent on the 12th and a few BRAMBLINGS lingered with 11 at Great Hucklow and up to five at four other places. The Brackenfield HAWFINCH was last seen on the 4th and a MEALY REDPOLL was reported from Longshaw Estate on the 29th.

Mark Beevers