1st May 2017, passage starts at Carsington.

Today saw the start of my witnessing this years spring passage. An afternoons jaunt up to the reservoir produced brilliant views of 4 beautiful Black Terns around the gull colony on Millfields island and after a couple of hours watching them a walk round Stones after the tourists had gone saw me see a couple of Sanderling and the now full summer plumaged Great Northern Diver. A single Yellow Wag was also new for the year.

Sanderling x2

Yellow Wagtail.

Willow Warbler on Stones.

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Ogston again….27th April 2017… Waxwing dip again…

Title says it all really, an evening run over after the Waxwings were reported again, and no sign again for me.

A few commoner birds made up though with great views of Nuthatch, Song Thrush etc. pity the light was so bad.



Song Thrush.



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Ogston 26th April 2017

Another trip to Ogston but this time a dip on the Waxwings which were still in the area (even if this Crow seemed to be saying “they went that-a-way”).

The day was chilly again but lovely and sunny and the highlight was a spanking summer plumaged Black-tailed Godwit on the west bank.

Black-tailed Godwit.

View from west bank.

I think this Black Swan was an Ogston tick too!


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Waxwings at Ogston, 25th April 2017.

A surprise this late in the season were a party of 7 or 8 Waxwings in Ivy clad trees opposite the church in Brackenfield at Ogston. It was my t’other halves birthday today and after a nice meal we called in to see if we could see these birds. Just as we arrived the heavens opened and rain bucketed down! However we were able to see the birds perching and feeding in a large tree clad in ivy where they were pulling off the ivy berries enthusiastically.

At first they were always a tad distant and high up in the tree in the dull rainy conditions, this led to the first shots being grainy. But it was a joy to see them and hear their glorious trilling bell calls. As the rain got heavier we retreated into the car and they scarpered behind the house.

However we could see the sky lightening and the promise of sun hove into view over the horizon so we sat tight and watched the brighter weather advance. Once the rain eased the birds returned and began to sit in the tree right over the road before flying down to the ivy berries. They even displayed courtship behaviour in feeding berries to each other, only the second time I have seen that in the UK.

The weather brightened and the sun finally came out just as a single bird decided to feed low down in the tree right next to me. The views were amazing and it bounced around in the ivy at eye level…. just as my camera battery ran out.

It was interesting to see how the differing light changed the colours of the birds, the leaves filtering the light greenish, full sun more orange and sunny shade turning the birds pinker. These birds are just exquisite and it was hard to tear ourselves away. My final moment was when one bird flew and passed me so close I flet its wings brush my hair, just magical!

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Carsington 18th April 2017

Spring in the air…

Blackthorn flowers.


The Wildlife Centre Creek Buzzard.


Chiffchaff in WLC Creek.

Crappy shot of mating Kestrels!

Lesser Celandine.

Could this be False Oxlip? Looked wrong for pure Cowslip in field.

Cowslips in WLC Creek.

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Wyver Lane 18th April 2017

It was to my shame that I needed Little Ringed Plover for my once long term patch in Belper, I have not been a regular there despite it being so close to home for a long time, mostly visiting Ogston and Carsington on my patch days. So when a pair turned up I was delighted to see that at least one had stayed long enough to see. It wasn’t an arrive and see it straight away afternoon though, we had to search the muddy fringes of the pool for some time and had given up in fact when it finally materialized on the mud fairly near the lay by. The day was glorious if a little nippy and the lane was very spring like.

Whilst we where scanning the pool we kept looking through the gathered group of Black headed Gulls, these were mostly 1st summer birds with just a few adults. Suddenly one bird lept out having white primaries, of coause your mind flips to Med, or Little Gull, but this bird was actually a leucistic Black headed, the hood too was paler brown than usual.

Also present on the muddy edges were a few Lapwings and Snipe.

The first flowers were attracting a few insects in the sunny patches with my first 7 Spot Ladybird and Hairy footed Flower Bees for the year.

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Beeley Moor and Carsington. 2nd April 2017.

A quick visit saw us catch up with the Great Northern Diver off Stones island at Carsington…



Then a run up Beeley Moor saw some weird and fantastic light and texture….


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