Idle Washlands and Idle Valley – 7th May

Ten of us met up at the Ship Inn, Newington where we spent a few minutes watching the wetlands behind the car park, picking up some ducks, geese and Common Terns, while a couple of Cuckoos flew across. We then spent much of the morning at the Idle Washlands nearby where we enjoyed close views of Reed and Sedge Warblers, a more distant drake Garganey, Mediterranean Gull, Great Crested Grebes and the Cattle Egret, which was very interested in searching a bush for food. There was a decent selection of waders, but it was shocking to see large numbers of dead Black-headed Gulls, victims of bird flu.

Having chatted with helpful local birders, the group agreed that it would be interesting to change plans and, rather than head for Potteric Carr, we went further into Notts to the Idle Valley NR near Lound. Here we explored the northern part of the reserve, a new location for most people, hearing Cuckoo and a selection of warblers. Highlights were wonderful views of at least nine Hobbies, hearing the Marsh Frogs, the swimming snake and, late on, hearing the purring of Turtle Dove, which gave brief views to a few. The weather exceeded expectations given the fog and rain experienced during the drive south.

Rob & Jane