Last week I had a trip to Carsington Water, a great site in Derbyshire I’ve never visited before. The main aim of the day was great northern diver, which we got reasonable quickly, although sadly only distantly through the scope. A very distinctive bird though, its shape unmistakable even as a distant silhouette.
After spending the afternoon yomping around the reservoir, with highlights including willow tit and buzzard, we went back to see if we could find the ring-billed gull in the rather impressive gull roost there. Sadly we didn’t, but I picked up a lifer in the form of one of the yellow-legged gulls that resides there, among hundreds of lesser black-backed, herring and a smattering of common gulls.
Also “ticked” that day were barnacle geese, in the form of the feral flock that winter there. A few were hanging around with the Canada geese round the visitors’ centre, which really didn’t add to their wild credentials, but category C birds are accepted by the BOU, and so who am I to argue?!
On Sunday I had a walk round Redmires, sadly missing the crossbills which have been seen there (by far my biggest 2009 “bogey” at the moment…), but it was nice to see large flock of lapwings and golden plover on the middle reservoir, and a couple of red grouse in the moorland.
Finally, today there’s been the first waxwings reported in Sheffield, with just two in their usual haunt of Manchester Road at Crosspool. If I get chance I may have a look up there in my lunch hour tomorrow, and will of course update this blog if I get any!