A Velvet Scoter in Derbyshire – A fairly mediocre kind of day turned out rather good, with an unexpected County Tick. We had decided to visit Carsington Reservoir, as there was a Slavonian Grebe and Great Northern Diver and there is always a chance of finding a good bird at this site. We eventually saw the Slavonian Grebe from the Wildlife Hide, along with a couple of Willow Tit at the feeding station and a few Tree Sparrows – but the GND's (two of them) were from Millfields, so we decided to head-off there later. From Sheepwash Hide there were numerous common wildfowl, along with the ever-present adult Yellow-legged Gull. Then we had a phone call around mid-morning advising us of a 1st winter drake Velvet Scoter that had been found at Steetley Quarry, a rather sensitive site, in Derbyshire but right on the Derbys-Notts border near Worksop. So, decision made, we decided to head-off there.
Dunnock – Carsington Water, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©
Willow Tit – Carsington Water, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©
Willow Tit – Carsington Water, Derbyshire – This picture shows the pale wing panel particularly well – Tony Davison©
Great Tit – Carsington Water, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©
Tree Sparrow – male – Carsington Water, Derbyshire – Tony Davison©
About an hour later I was watching my first Velvet Scoter for Derbyshire, the last one was in 2002, so, thanks to Roy for finding it..
1st winter drake Velvet Scoter – heavily cropped record shots – Steetley Quarry, Derbyshire. – Tony Davison©
On the way home via Chilwell and at least 130 Waxwings were zapping around but very flighty in the late afternoon sunshine. I managed a few record shots, but nothing special. We had missed the best part of the day for these birds.
Waxwing – Chilwell, Nottinghamshire – Tony Davison©