Mar 182012

The weather this morning was a complete contrast to last weekend.

Upon arrival at Carsington Water this morning, we were met with a freezing cold mixture of snow & heavy rain. The front lasted for well over an hour, then grey but very calm conditions and Carsington turned into a “Mill Pond”. 
The day did however produce my first spring migrants for the year.
We were hoping for a Kittiwake dropping in but no such luck. In fact apart from the long staying Great Northern Diver, the numbers of wildfowl were very low. Five Goldeneye; 5 Oystercatcher; 4 Curlew and 3 Redshank were of note. Also 2 singing Chiffchaff and a Willow Tit. On our way back south we discovered a superb Red Kite soaring over the valley near Mercaston. It is not every day you see a Red Kite in Derbyshire, let alone find one.The third Red Kite I’ve found in my county, the first being one over the old Eggington Gravel Pit complex in South Derbyshire, back in 1968, when Red Kite was a major rarity!!  A fine sight nevertheless but just a little distant for the camera.
Upon arrival at Willington Gravel Pits the weather started to make significant improvements and we soon had some warm spring sunshine. A good selection of birds here – 18 Shoveler; 4 Shelduck; 15 Goosander; 1 drake Goldeneye; 11 Curlew; 2 Redshank; 5 Chiffchaff and 5 Sand Martin. 
A Grey Wagtail at Melbourne Pool later in the afternoon was another year tick. 
The year list moves on to 149..
IMAGES –  No:1 Red Kite ; No:2 Great Crested Grebe (Melbourne Pool); No:3 Canada Geese (Willington GP); Nos: 4, 5 & 6 – Moorhen (Mlebourne Pool) No:7 Mute Swan (Melbourne Pool) No:8 Male Tree Sparrow (Carsington Water Field Centre)
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