Bird Sightings 2006 



A Short-eared Owl  and 14 Corn Buntings were a good start to the year seen in the set-aside near Barton Flash on the 1st. Short-eared owl sightings peaked to a very impressive 5 birds on the 8th and 3 or 4 birds were present in the set-aside area all month. 6-7 Corn Bunting were also present all month either in the set-aside by Barton Flash or feeding in the field near the Yellow Gate. The Alder Plantation held a small group of 18 Siskin on the 4th rising to 30 birds on the 15th, also in this area was a single Lesser Redpoll and 2 Brambling on the 4th. A female Lesser-Spotted Woodpecker was watch for over an hour on the 22nd also in the Alder Plantation. Stonechat were present all month with 2 birds near Beeston Weir, 2 different birds behind Holme Pit on the 2nd, 6th 12th and 22nd and 2 birds around the set-aside near Barton Flash. A large flock of 100+ Linnet in the stubble field in front of Branshill Wood were seen on the 15th and 22nd. 70 Meadow Pipit present in the field behind Holme Pit on the 15th was a noteworthy sighting. Finally a single Little Egret seen flying up the River Trent at Barton-in-Fabis 29th was an excellent sighting of this rare species to the area.


3 Tree Sparrow seen entering nest box 7 on the 5th was an encouraging sight. Corn Bunting numbers went from 6 birds on the 5th to 48 on the 11th feeding in the field near the Yellow gate pond. The flock of 70+ Meadow Pipit were present all month in fields behind holme pit. The Linnet flock reduced in size to 60+ birds and were seen either near the Yellow gate pond or in the stubble field near branshill wood. Stonechat were again present for most of the month with birds seen on the 11th, 12th and 18th. Water Rail was seen in the wet marsh area of holme pit on most visits and 6 birds were calling on the 18th. A displaying pair of Common Buzzard was seen over Barton hills on the 5th and singles were seen in the area on most visits. In the alder plantation Siskin numbers stayed at 30+ birds for most of the month joined by up to 7 Lesser Redpoll on the 19th. Brambling was again present with a male seen on the 19th and a singing male on the 26th in the alder plantation. Grey Heron numbers began to increase with 53 birds on the 12th and 72 on the 26th in fields near 


The month began with a Short-eared Owl hunting fields behind Holme Pit on the 1st. The Alder Plantation continued to attract birds feeding on the Alder Trees all month with 50+ Siskin on the 18th, 7 Lesser Redpoll on the 5th and large numbers of Goldfinch. Siskin, Lesser Redpoll and Gold Finch had also took to feeding on the various bird feeders i had placed in the area, beneath the bird feeders 2 Brambling could be found feeding on the spilt seed and were seen on the 12th/18th/20th and 26th. Star bird of the month were 4 Hawfinch sighted in high in the tree tops of the Alder Plantation 0n the 12th at 3.30pm. A Woodcock flushed from the path in Clifton Wood on the 26th was another excellent find . Stonechat continued to show well with a pair present near beeston weir to the 6th and a pair at Barton-in-fabis on the 11th, the last sighting of this species was a single male at Barton-in fabis on the 12th. Tree Sparrow numbers were very scarce with 2 birds near the yellow gate on the 5th being the only sighting. Corn Bunting made an appearance late in the month with 8 birds in the hedgerow near the yellow gate on the 31st. 20+ pairs of Grey Heron returned to the heronry in branshill wood on the 11th but breeding wasn�t seen until the 28th. Common Buzzard showed well all month with 4 displaying birds over barton hills and Branshill wood on the 25th. Holme Pit attracted a Kingfisher on the 31st, 1 Water Rail on the 4th and a calling Lesser Spotted Woodpecker on the 18th. Fieldfare numbers reached 80+ on the 28th in the field near the yellow gate. A Barn Owl seen hunting over fields at the back of Holme Pit at 6.00pm on the 28th was a good sighting. The 31st saw the arrival of spring with 30+Sand Martin and 1 Swallow on the river near Beeston weir, up to 10 Chiffchaff were singing in the Grove and Clifton Wood .


April turned out to be an excellent month with large numbers of migrants passing through the area. 

The month started with up to 11 Chiffchaff, 1 Barn Swallow and several Sand Martin on the 1st. 150+Sand Martin were seen around Beeston Weir at dusk on the 3rd. 30 Meadow Pipit were were in fields behind Holme Pit 5th/8th and 300 Barn Swallow passed through Barton-in-Fabis also on the 8th. 4 Northern Wheatear were found in the newly ploughed field in front of Branshill Wood on the 8th, with numbers peaking to 18 birds on the 18th and 4 birds still present on the 29th. An interesting looking female Wheatear at Beeston Weir on the 26th showed signs of the race leucorhoa. The first White Wagtails were found again on the 8th on the newly ploughed field in front of Branshill Wood with numbers peaking to 11 birds on 19th, also on the 19th were 25 Yellow Wagtail in the same field. On the 23rd/24th a male Blue-headed Wagtail was found again in the ploughed field but could be very elusive disappearing into the furrows. Bird of the month was a Hoopoe found by staff at Ratcliff-on-Soar Power Station on the 13th. No access was allowed in the power station grounds and after 3 days of walking around the periminter trying to see the bird i gave up. Then on the 18th access was granted for a small group of 20 birders to view the area beneath the cooling towers for 1 hour only, and between 2.00pm-3.00pm the Hoopoe showed down to 20ft befor flying into trees behind the cooling towers. A big thankyou to all the staff that pushed for access. Other interesting sightings were 30+ pairs of Grey Heron in the Heronry at Branshill Wood, Barn Owl Barton-in-Fabis on the 10th/20th/23rd and 30th, Short-eared Owl hunting over fields near Barton Flash on the 30th, 32 Golden Plover over Holme Pit on the 15th and 80+ Linnet in the setaside fields Barton-in-Fabis on the 8th/11th. Finally first dates for other migrants were Willow Warbler 5th, House Martin 10th, Common Whitethroat 16th, Blackcap 9th, Sedge Warbler 15th, Reed Warbler 17th, Cuckoo 23rd and common Swift on the 29th


As I was in Lesvos for the first 2 weeks of May I didn't get out as much as i would have liked in the area. 3 Arctic Tern were seen flying down the river from Barton Flash on the 1st and 1 Northern Wheatear was at Beeston Weir also on the 1st. Just outside the area on the 2nd I saw the Woodchat Shrike at Trent Meadows Long Eaton just a stones throw away across the river from Thrumpton. Arriving back from Lesvos I made a check of all the nest boxes i put in the area last October, all were in use with 3 pairs of Tree Sparrow, 1 Pair of Treecreeper, 5 Pairs of Great Tit, 2 pairs of Blue Tit, 1 Pair of Robin and 1 Wren. A very nice start to the first year of the nest box survey. The first Hobby of the year was seen on the 27th near the ponds at Barton-in-Fabis


The month started very quite with a few sightings of Hobby in the area. On the 5th a strange looking Buteo with a bright orange tail was seen over Branshill Wood with 2 Common Buzzard over Branshill Wood. My first impression of the bird was Steppe Buzzard or an Hybrid, but as the bird began to show better later in the month i came to the conclusion that it must be a Red-tail Hawk. It was seen displaying to a Common Buzzard on a number of occasions and was still holding territory at the end of the month. A count of 68 Grey Heron still in the heronry at Branshill Wood on the 20th. Tree Sparrow numbers were doing well with 3 nest boxes having their second brood, 24 birds were seen in the hedge near the yellow gate mid month and 14 of the birds were juvs. 6 juv Yellow Wagtail in the Barton area were a nice sighting. A male Stagg Beetle found on the cycle track near Clifton Bridge was a nice find.


2 Turtle Doves near Branshill Wood on the 1st was a good sighting of this scarce migrant. Tree Sparrow were still feeding young in two of the nest boxes and seven birds took up residence in the wheat field at Barton-in-Fabis all month with 10 birds in the area on the 26th. Surprise of the month was seeing the Red-tailed Hawk mating with a Common Buzzard in Branshill Wood on the 12th, it was also see displaying to a Common Buzzard whilst carrying nesting material on the 11th and was observed on the 16th carrying large sticks into the wood so it looks as if this bird is nest building. 13 Egyptian Geese were seen near Barton Flash on the 27th and 35 Common Tern were also seen in the same area also on the 27th. An odd sighting of a small Canada Goose at Beeston Weir on the 30th/31st could have been of the race parvips but the timing of it's arrival must point to a feral or hybrid bird.


The first week of August produced the area with a new sighting, 13 Black-tailed Godwit on the 7th seen flying over Holme Pit and heading off towards Clifton Bridge. 4 Oystercatcher were found feeding in the Sheep Fields near Barton Flash from the 26th/30th. A large number of 450+ Northern Lapwing flying over Barton-in-Fabis was an high count for the area. A female Northern Wheatear was found in the sheep fields on the 26th. 1 Turtle Dove was seen on the 7th roosting in trees near the ponds at Barton-in-Fabis. Hobby were seen throughout with 2 birds together hawking Dragonflies over Branshill Wood on the 24th. Common Buzzard was also seen throughout as was the Red-tailed Hawk. Barn Owl were seen leaving their roost at dusk on many occasions. Away from the Barton area a Lesser-spotted Woodpecker was in trees near Holme Pit on the 16th and 1 Grey Wagtail was on Beeston Weir 0n the 18th.Corn Bunting numbers went from 6 birds on the 5th to 48 on the 11th feeding in the set-aside near Barton Flash.

September was an excellent month for sightings of scarce birds in the area. 2 female Marsh Harrier were seen on the afternoon of the 8th as they appeared from over the top of Branshill Wood flushing everything in sight. Both birds then began quartering the area by the ponds in front of the wood for 20 mins before drifting off in the direction of Holme Pit. Also on the 8th was a Spotted Flycatcher seen snatching knats from a perch high up on the edge of Branshill Wood. Another scarce sighting was a juv Black Tern seen heading down the river near Barton Flash at 6.45pm on the 14th. The 3 Little Egrets that had been over the river at Attenborough finaly put in an breif appearance on the 25th as they flew over Barton Flash at 11.00am. Whinchat were seen early in the month with 1 bird present on fence post's next to Barton Flash on the 3rd/4th. On the everning of the 5th 7 birds were present with 2 on fence post's near Barton Flash and 5 birds in the setaside field in front of Branshill Wood. The 4 Oystercatcher were still present near Barton Flash on the 3rd and 4th with the last sighting of 1 bird on the 6th. The Red-tailed Hawk was again present throughout as were Common Buzzard in the Branshill Wood area. 1 male Stonechat was seen in the hedge on the edge of the set aside field on the 23rd. The last sighting of Barn Swallow was on the 30th.


A large movment of Meadow Pipit and Skylark passed through the area in the first week of october with over 200 birds on the 2nd passing through Barton-in-Fabis. Along the hedgerow in the set aside field facing Branshill Wood is a large area of Millet that has just turned to seed, this area is attracting very large numbers of Reed Bunting, Tree Sparrow, Linnet and Greenfinch feeding on the seed all month. Stonechat was present all month with 6 birds seen on the 21st with 2 birds on fence post near Clifton Wood and 4 birds together in the set aside field near Branshill Wood. On the 28th a skein of 450 Pink-footed Geese were seen heading S/W over Beeston Weir at 12.30pm, also in the Beeston Weir area was a Ring-tailed Hen Harrier seen by a lucky observer on the 30th. A late juv Hobby was seen over Branshill Wood on the 3rd and a Peregrine Falcon was also seen in the same area also on the 3rd. The Red-tailed Hawk and up to 6 Common Buzzard continued to grace the skys over Branshill Wood all month. The last Barn Swallow sighting were 7 birds heading S/W over barton-in-Fabis on the 7th. A nice sighting of Little Owl was seen in the Branshill Wood area on the 6th/7th.12 to 14 Eurasion Teal were on the Branshill Wood ponds most of the month with 2 Northern Shoveler. Finally the first Redwing sighting was rather late with just 1 bird near Clifton Wood on the 22nd


November was a fairly quite month. Good numbers of Finch and Bunting continued feeding on the Millet seeds on the edge of the set aside field in front of Branshill Wood all month with the largest gathering on the 26th with 21 Tree Sparrow, 5 Corn Bunting, 40+Reed Bunting, 22 Greenfinch and 80+ Linnet, this area is also attracting up to 3 Sparrow Hawk preying on the feeding birds . Stonechat were again in the set aside field area of Barton-in-Fabis with a ringed male noted on the 4th. 60+Fieldfare were seen in the set aside field area on the 2nd. A Common Snipe was flushed from the marshy area ner the rough Wood on the 2nd. Eurasian Teal were again present on the Branshill Wood ponds all month. The Red-tailed Hawk was seen to take a Wood Pigeon in Branshill Wood on the 8th. Up to 6 Common Buzzard were again present all month over Branshill Wood. 


The Millet that was left to go to seed along the hedgerow boardering the set-aside field near Branshill Wood attracted many feeding Finch and Bunting speices throughout the month with 12 Tree Sparrow, 60+Reed Bunting, 40+ Chaffinch, 40+ Greenfinch, 14 Yellowhammer, 80+Linnet and up to 5 Corn Bunting recorded. The same field also held up to 50 Skylark and smaller numbers of Meadow Pipit wintering in the area. 4 Stonechat were seen throughout both in the Clifton Grove and Barton-in-Fabis area and 3 of the birds 1 female and 2 male birds all had a single metal ring on the left leg. Water Rail sightings increased as the month progressed with 1 bird seen feeding in the open on Holme Pit on the 10th and 17th and up to 3 birds were heard calling by the end of the month. Little Owl was seen on two occasions near Barton-in-Fabis village. Wildfowl sightings were dissapointing with only a small number of Gadwall and Eurasian Teal on Holme Pit and 2 Goldeneye seen on the river. Once again the Red-tailed Hawk was present throughout the month and could be seen on most visits soaring over Branshill Wood with up to 6 Common Buzzard. As the year drew to a close a single Siskin was seen feeding in the Alder Plantation on the 30th and male Lesser-spotted Woodpecker was seen feeding in a small group of trees near Clifton Bridge on the 29th

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