It isn’t Spring, but …

… the sun shone for a few days recently, the winter birds are showing signs of breeding plumage and we have a new mobility scooter … so off we went to Frampton Marsh, Rutland Water and Rufford Abbey (ot all in one day!).
At Frampton, we saw literally tens of thousands of ducks and geese flying in off the Wash, redshanks, curlews, lapwings, dunlin and skylarks. (Below: a brent goose and a redshank).

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Rutland Water was quieter, but we did see shovellers, more curlew, pintails and a brief glimpse of a male smew as he flashed over the lagoon. (Below: male and female shoveler).

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And, finally, on a bitterly cold morning at Rufford Abbey, we saw lots of tthe thrush family – blackbirds, redwings and thrushes, – as well as pochard, goosander and thousands of gulls, not to mention the tons of robins, bluetits, nuthatches, longtailed tits etc etc. (Below: robin, blackbird and pochard).

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A really lovely week’s birding, after such a long, dreary few weeks.

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Hawfinch in Derbyshire

A lot of time has been spent this winter (when the weather permitted) searching high and low for the elusive hawfinch. Apparently, food sources were scarce this year on the continent, so there have been more than usual over here. We had a good morning at Rufford Abbey Country Park, in Nottinghamshire, where we saw a small flock ground-feeding with greenfinch and redwing. Later in the same week, we were treated to the sight of a pair of males feeding in a yew tree in the grounds of St. Helen’s Churchyard, Darley Dale in Derbyshire. We tried to make it third time lucky at Allestree, Derbyshire, but the weather was aganst us and the birds were non-co-operative. Still hoping to see some more this winter.

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Gibraltar Point

On a gloriously sunny day – and with Nottingham clogged with marathon runners – what better than a trip to Gibraltar Point. Here we have a little grebe, a lapwing and a little egret. We saw a few spoonbills but they were camera-shy. Next time …Gib Point-0728Gib Point-0750Gib Point-0802

Spring is Sprung

From the top: A little grebe from Cromford Canal; a male orange tip from Attenborough; little ringed plover, male ruff, male shelduck, curlew and avocet from Frampton Marsh; and chiffchaff and nightingale from Whisby.
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Two Little Winter Birds

A male Bearded Tit and a male Stonechat, both from Langford Lowfields, Nottinghamshire, January 2017.male-bearded-titmale-stonechat

Frampton Marsh in Winter

At the end of a particularly mild November here in the East Midlands, a trip to Frampton Marsh in Lincolnshire provided us with sightings of quite a wide range of birds. As well as large numbers of ducks, geese and plovers there were a few waders and, of course, the glossy ibis was still there. We had hoped to see the lapland buntings, but it wasn’t to be.
From the top: common redshankglossy ibis flying overhead and black-tailed godwit.

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