Today I had a bit of a run around some sites in Nottinghamshire, trying to find a few species and, it has to be said, dipping spectacularly.
The first stop of the day was Lound Gravel Pits. Recently it’s seen such good birds as smew, red-crested pochard, whooper swan and little egret, none of which seemed to be around today. It’s a great site and worth a visit, with loads of waterfowl on show including goldeneye, goosander, shelduck, teal and wigeon, plus great crested and little grebes and cormorants.
Next stop Clumber Park, where the main target of the day were hawfinches. From the title of this blog post I think you can guess how successful we were. I did manage to see a marsh tit feeding on some peanuts, though – believe it or not a lifer for me. Clumber’s tricky as willow tits are also present in some areas, but this one was showing well, clearly displaying a thinner neck and clear demarkation between white and buff on the cheek (these are in no way definitive identifiers, though, but I have it on good authority that the birds by the Chapel are nearly always marshes).
Other birds around included plenty of nuthatches and some ridiculously tame chaffinches. The mandarin ducks that have been present recently weren’t around either.
And finally a trip down the road to Rufford Country Park, where hawfinches have been seen in the car park over recent weeks. Predictably we dipped these too! Maybe one day…
Despite the lack of targets connected with it was still a good day out, and I’ve discovered some great new sites that will be well worth a repeat visit.