Sunday, 18 February 2018

East Midlands Birding

Black-throated Diver
Albert Lake
Plenty of birds on the tip
Black Swan
Salamon Course
Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Spotted Sandpiper
Mistle Thrush
Long-tailed Duck 

A very different local for birding

The reported Spotted Sandpiper in Nottinghamshire has been calling me since it first landed as my previous sightings of the species had been very average. After doing the patch on Thursday I thought I'd excuse myself a trip up the M42 to see this north american wader.

After reaching the turning for Twycross I made a last minute decision of heading for Albert Village lake as I thought it was fairly close to motorway. The gamble proved spot on as I found a car park close by and walked down to this well known gulling hotspot. I found a first winter Caspian Gull it was the juvenile Black-throated Diver that I wanted to see. Whilst the views were the better than the ones I'd experienced off the east coast of Norfolk the light was still poor only allowing for poor record shots. Also present were good numbers of Great Crested Grebes and two Oystercatcher.

Holme Pierpoint, the national waterspout centre, was another forty five minutes away however some good parking tips enabled me to park in the perfect spot. The first bird to greet me was a Black Swan a bird I rarely come across so after a quick photo it was off to the Salmon Course to find the Spotted Sandpiper. The course was very busy with river rafters but no bird and no birders, perhaps this wasn't the right place. When reaching the bottom of the course I saw a tog walking round so I knew I was close but still no bird. I then bumped into two brothers I'd met in Scilly who hand't seen the bird either and then suddenly I heard a call and the bird flew in from our right to land on the grass banking. About six of us enjoyed some fantastic views of this little wader. It was interesting to note the wing bar difference to our Common Sandpiper when in flight.

To round off a super morning I walked down the rowing pit to see the reported Long-tailed Duck which was very confiding. I sat down and watched the bird diving for food at close quarters. The bird did appear to have some very thin type of fishing line from the left side of it's mouth. Let's hope it doesn't impede this super looking first winter drake. 

The journey home went very smoothly listening to the Saints clinch a  FA Cup Quarter Final spot after beating the Albion for the third time this season.

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