June trip to SE73

On Sunday 10th June, we had the monthly club trip which was to the south east extremities of the recording area. Twelve of us, including two young visiting birders from France, met up at the North Duffield Carrs car park. Though just outside the SE73 10-km square, we spent some time in the two hides where highlights were one of the summering Whooper Swans, a Redshank or two, at least two Little Egrets and great views of Sedge Warbler and Reed Buntings. A couple of us thought they might have had a snatch of Corncrake too.

Stopping at Bubwith Bridge to listen for further signs, without success, we did have some more Curlews. We parked at Highfield and walked along the Rail Trail to Dingle Dell. We heard and saw a selection of warblers: Blackcap, Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler that was mixed-singing. Also calling was a Cuckoo and we saw Buzzard and, pleasingly given recent correspondence, decent numbers of feeding hirundines and Swifts. Indeed Sand Martins were apparently nesting in the old railway bridge over the River Derwent and nesting Treecreepers were notable in the wood.

After lunch, we walked a loop around the Foggathorpe area where we had Swallows and House Martins plus a couple of Egyptian Geese. The day had started hazy and overcast but by now the sun had burned through and the afternoon was sunny and warm though bird activity dropped off. Most of us finished off by visiting Eastrington Ponds NR where the avian highlights were Great Crested Grebe and a showy Reed Warbler, other items of interest were Four-spotted Chasers, Black-tailed Skimmers and a superb display of orchids.

We recorded around 60 species of birds during the day and one or two in the group were lucky to see Weasel and Stoat, most saw Roe Deer as well.

Rob Chapman

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