Our bird-oriented winter outings are developing a theme of wandering local sites, interspersed with occasional trips to more distant, out-of-county locations. This one was slightly out of the ordinary, in that we trespassed in to Derbyshire for much of the day, having begun at Nottinghamshire’s best known nature reserve. This meant missing out on the Cattle Egrets but a wisp of about 15 Snipe was a notable group and 48 species on the day was not a bad total. It included 78 Pink-footed Geese heading north-westwards and a couple of Ravens, the latter leading to a brief encounter with a lady, familiar with Edgar Allan Poe’s ebony bird and who could recite the first part of Chaucer’s prologue to the Canterbury Tales.
Several mixed-heritage bulls together in a field seems unusual. Three of them were having a sparring match with a bit of hanky-panky thrown in but there was no messing with this guy.
Plant of the day (though certainly not photo of the day) was a very nice Derbyshire specimen of False London-rocket Sisymbrium loeselii.
Not much in the way of wildlife; just a few ducks and gulls along Lings Lane enjoying the watery conditions.
But Fairham Brook which behaves entirely naturally as it passes Keyworth Meadow coped perfectly with the exceptional rainfall despite its meanders and trees growing and falling into the channel and in a small way attenuated the flows and prevented worse flooding downstream.
Once again, Frampton was thronged with birds. I’ve said before that it is the m0st ‘birdiferous’ place I’ve ever encountered though this was mainly down to three species, Brent Geese, Wigeon and Golden Plovers with flyover Pink-footed Geese contributing.
Star birds were two Whooper Swans, a late Greenshank, two Marsh Harriers, a glimpsed Cetti’s Warbler and four Avocets.
Having Nova with us made the day for me and if there had been no birds at all I would have enjoyed the day as the weather was sunny though chilly and a lovely interval in the drenching rains of autumn 2019, which have returned as I write the next day.