Location: Willington Wetlands, Derbyshire.
Attendees – Sally, Rupert, Shaz, Annie & Lynne
Date of tour: 4th December 2022
Number of species seen & heard – 51 birds & 1 mammal (Grey Squirel)
This was the second walk at Willington Wetlands this Autumn, and just like the first it produced some real gems.
We started at 8:30 am when Lynne, Rupert, Sally, Shaz, Annie & me met up by the entrance just off Repton Road and walked down the footpath and through the main gate. We spotted a few small birds in the hedgerows such as Dunnock, Robin and Blackbird.
From the first viewpoint we had Grey Heron, mallard, Magpie, Buzzard, a Hunting Kestrel and two Little Egret flying across.
The second viewpoint gave me a very a very quick flash of a Kingfisher, unfortunately, no one else saw this speeding blue bullet as it flew into the reed beds. We did however all get good views of Great Crested Grebe, Blue Tit, Black-headed Gull, Cormorant, Coot and around 60 Lapwing that took to the air. We also heard Cetti’s Warbler and Water Rail calling from somewhere close by. I explained that these two birds can be very difficult to see but both are very vocal, which can be frustrating.
We made our way to the hide as a light rain began to fall, we were luck and had it to ourselves, so quickly began to make a list of what was on the water.
Pochard, Tufted Duck, Teal, Gadwall and a single Greylag Goose were showing well, followed by the Great White Egret giving us a second showing. Even better was it landed next to a Little Egret, so we had a great comparison of the size difference between the two species. The difference is huge.
Lynne shouted out that there was a small bird just outside the window. To my surprise and excitement, it was a Cetti’s Warbler out in the open and looking wonderful. So, the Cetti’s had done just what I had previously said they don’t do and posed for all to see, wonderful.
After we had all warmed up with a coffee, a snack and a chat we headed back to the cars. One of the great things that come from small groups like this is the chance for questions and sharing of knowledge.
On the slow walk back to the car park, we picked up a few more birds, with Bullfinch, Greenfinch and a small flock of Fieldfare, Redwing and a pair of Stonechat.
A total of 51 species, see list below. Thanks to all that came, it turned out to be a really good morning.
Great White Egret
Great Crested Grebe
Water Rail (heard only)
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Great Spotted Woodpecker