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 Please note that for obvious reasons we do not publish sightings of rare breeders such as Little Ringed Plover during the breeding season (unless obvious migrants)

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May 2022 highlights


This May was probably the poorest for some years with a barely average wader and tern passage and a number of expected species such Greenshank, Black Tern and Little Gull failed to put in an appearance. The only new rarity reported was a Black Kite over Beeley Moor on the 9th with a 'probable' reported from Clowne on the 22nd. Long-staying rarities included the two Red-necked Grebes (two to 4th, one to 12th) and Great Northern Diver (to 6th) at Carsington Water and a Cattle Egret at Long Eaton GP on the 14th. After that the pickings were somewhat meagre. Single Common Scoters graced two reservoirs, but the only other notable wildfowl records concerned some potentially summering Wigeon and three late Goldeneyes, split between Carsington Water and Ogston Reservoir.


Just four Great White Egrets were seen during the month including Sinfin Moor Wetlands' third record. Red Kites were almost common with records of up to three from 45 sites backed up by Hen Harriers from five sites. Four Marsh Harriers and 13 Ospreys were seen, although the latter probably involved some duplication.


Waders were thin on the ground with two Avocets at Combs Reservoir the pick of the bunch. A Grey Plover at Ogston was the only notable wader for that site during the month. Carsington pitched in both Godwits and Turnstone, a species that also appeared at Carr Vale NR and Willington GP. A party of seven Ruff was the first record for Sinfin Moor Wetlands and they were also seen at Egginton, whilst a Wood Sandpiper was found at Barrow GP. Other than these species there was a thin scattering of Ringed Plover (10 sites), Whimbrel (8 sites), Dunlin (11 sites) and Sanderling (six locations).


Terns and gulls fared little better with very light passage of Arctic Terns through five sites (Carsington Water hosting most birds with a low maximum of 20) and two Mediterranean Gulls at Carsington (long-staying adult and a first summer).


The most notable passerines were two singing male Black Redstarts in Derby City centre at the end of the month. However, itís not all about rarities, so it was pleasing to receive many excellent counts of singing birds, the details of which can only be shown in the digital version of the bird notes.


Which leads me nicely on to the breeding season, where the standout records involved no less than three widely spread booming Bitterns and five juvenile Little Egrets from a southern wetland. Two Quail were reported during the second half of the month and two Water Rail broods were seen with Water Rails present at two other sites also.


Short-eared and Long-eared Owls were each found at two sites, Nightjars were in 13 locations (plus two migrants were seen away from the traditional haunts), a Lesser-spotted Woodpecker gave hope that this species is still hanging on in the county, Merlins were found at 5 sites and Cettiís Warblers were reported from 19 sites at least. All in all, a very quiet May

Mark Beevers