North Cave Wetlands

Another visit out to North Cave, Black tailed Skimmer once again top of the list to find (I didnt again), 4 Spotted Chaser being the only dragonfly seen. Plenty of Damselflies about Blue tailed were numerous so were Azure, Common Blue Damselfly took a bit of finding.

Butterflies were few with Brimstone, Common Blue, and Orange tip dispite the sunny weather.

Birds seen around the sight were………Avocet, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Crow, Cettis Warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Common Tern, Coot, Dunnock, Gadwall, Greylag Goose, House Martin, Lapwing, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pochard, Reed Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Shelduck, Shoveler, Starling, Swallow, Teal, Tufted Duck, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren

But the best find of the day for me was a few Rhyssa persuasoris (Sabre Wasp), great to watch with the very long Ovipositor which is longer than the body, also called the Giant Ichneumon, the biggest in Europe. (Photo below)

Rhyssa persuasoria


Photography Day

Todays plan was down to Old Moor to see the Glossy Ibis and photo hopefully some Dragonflies and then up to North cave Wetlands for Hoverflies and Dragonflies.

The day started well with on arrival good views of the Glossy Ibis but always at a safe distance for my camera, Dingy Skipper was a nice new find for the year along Green Lane, the other target species happened with a bit of searching but I did finally manage to see a single Four Spotted Chaser, of which I did manage to get a photo of

Four Spotted Chaser at Old Moor

Four Spotted Chaser

On then up to North Cave Wetlands were I managed to find a new Hoverfly for me a Cheilosia variabillis, dragonflies were a little bit more difficult with only a handful of Four Spotted Chasers about despite searching, should have been here yesterday one guy said….how many times have I heard that. I was hoping for a Broad Bodied Chaser, which didn’t happen, so I spent some time taking photos of the Four Spotted Chasers.

Azure Damselflies and Brimstone Butterflies were a nice distraction whilst watching the Four Spotted Chasers

Four Spotted Chaser and Brimstone Butterfly, North Cave Wetlands

Four Spotted Chaser


Day List at Old Moor :- Avocet, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Canada Goose, Crow, Coot, Gadwall, Glossy Ibis, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Jackdaw, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Lesser Whitethroat, Magpie, Mallard, Mediterranean Gull, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pochard, Redshank, Reed Warbler, Robin, Sand Martin, Tufted Duck, Woodpigeon

Brimstone, Dingy Skipper, Green veined White, Orange tip, Small White, Speckled Wood

Azure Damselfly, Blue tailed damselfly, Four Spotted Chaser

Day List at North Cave Wetlands : Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Cettis Warbler, Chaffinch,

Brimstone, Green veined White, Orange tip, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood

Azure Damselfly, Four Spotted Chaser

Old Moor and beyond

After early morning jobs I decided since the weather was great I would try my changes at Old Moor again for a few more migrants and insects.

Well I arrived at 11am and set off towards the Family Hide to nail the Mediterranean Gulls this time, it took a while looking thru all the Black headed Gulls, and a few Lesser Black backed Gulls but I found them this time amongst the Black headed Gulls on the first island, two birds seen at long last. Other birds seen from here were the Sand Martins now making home in the man-made bunker, Tufted Ducks, Mallards, Cormorants, Moorhen, Coots, Canada and Greylag Geese.

Down on to Green lane where there was a Reed Warbler singing away close to the path, I decided on trying to see it and with patience it finally paid off with some great views of a secretive bird, then I caught sight of a Green Woodpecker as it flew down the lane, Brimstones and Orange tips were flying by as I made my way finally to the Wader Scrape hide were I saw a single Avocet, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, and plenty more Black headed Gulls

Decided then on a walk down to Bolton Ings down along Warbler Way were there were plenty of Willow Warblers and a few Chiffchaff, but around the hide was a Common Whitethroat giving good views, Dunnock again, Pheasant a few Goldfinch. On the way back a few Speckled Woods were seen.

A quick walk around the Dragonfly ponds in the vain hope of some damselflies, but alas none were found.

Birds at Old Moor :

Avocet, Black headed Gull, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Greylag Goose, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Linnet, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Mediterranean Gull, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pochard, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Robin, Sand Martin, Sedge Warbler, Shelduck, Starling, Tufted Duck, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren.


I travelled back then and took in the Ingbirchworth area were I finally connected with a single Wheatear, relief didn’t think i was going to connect with one this year, lots of Woodpigeon and Stock Doves about.

On to the Langsett area in hope of Pied Flycatchers, but on arrival to the site I found extensive workings going on so I wasn’t hoping on picking any up and I didn’t but a solitary Common Sandpiper on the dam wall was a nice bonus.

The final place for the day was Broadstones Res. for the reported Grasshopper Warblers seen that morning, they were not found but a lovely male Whinchat was the bird find of the day. Along with the Whinchat was Common Whitethroat,Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, Willow Warblers

Birds Ingbirchworth Area :

Blackbird, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Common Sanpiper, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Linnet, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Reed Bunting,Robin, Starling, Stock Dove, Wheatear, Whinchat, Whitethroat, Woodpigeon, Yellowhammer.

Common Whitethroat

Common Whitethroat

Old Moor RSPB

Decided on a photography day today since the sun was out, and its been a while, so Old Moor was the destination, Butterflies and Insects were the target, and of course a few birds

Day List : Arctic Tern, Barn Owl, Bittern (Booming), Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Great White Egret, Green Woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Lesser Whitethroat, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Little Ringed Plover, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, reed Bunting, Robin, Sand Martin, Sedge Warbler, Shelduck, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stock Dove, Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren, Yellowhammer,…..

Brimstone, Comma, Orange tip, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Speckled Wood

Goldfinch Tree Sparrow

Reed Bunting . Dunnock

Bullfinch Brimstone

Comma Orange tip

Peacock Speckled Wood

Woodlarks and Woodpeckers

On what started to be a dull wet day we headed off towards Nottingham and the South Budby Common near Sherwood Forest for a few heathland birds, on arrival the weather was beginning to get brighter so we were hopeful for the birds we had come down to see.

We headed off towards the heath along the well defined footpaths and we were soon picking up calls from birds the first being a Tree Pipit, we enjoyed good views of the pipit and its parachute flights before moving on, Green Woodpecker teased us all morning with its calling and not giving itself up for viewing, Lesser Redpoll were calling and flying over us as we moved thru the heath, but no woodlarks.

We decided on a move down in to the forest and towards the great oak, it turned out to be a good move we picked up a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, giving itself by alarm calling, then flying up into the tree,Nuthatch were calling and then seen down by the feeders along with Robin, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit but no Marsh Tit this time.

Back then up on to the heath looking for the hopeful, the day was getting brighter, our luck might be turning, we soon picked up a call of a woodlark but couldn’t find them, we decided on retreating for dinner and coming back now we knew where they were.

We were soon back after nourishment soon picking up Woodlark calls, they took some finding dispite the calling but we located them giving themselves up to great views.

After the woodlarks we moved back North and landed at St Aidans near Fairburn Ings where eventually we caught up with the Black necked Grebes 5 birds seen by us but talking to a guy who had seen 7 in all plus a Bittern, on the way down to the grebe area we picked up , Meadow Pipits, Reed Bunting, Black headed Gulls (loads), Red Kite (briefly), Little Egret, Oystercatchers, Sparrowhawk flew by and thru the reeds.

After St Aidans we called around to Swillington Ings where a Kingfisher was seen brielfy flying up river

Day List at :-

Budby Common : Blackbird, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Crow, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Greylag Goose, Jay, Kestrel, Lesser Redpoll, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Linnet, Long tailed Tit, Nuthatch, Pheasant, Robin, Song Thrush, Tree Pipit, Willow Warbler, Woodlark, Woodpigeon, Wren

St Aidans and Swillington : Bittern, Black headed Gull, Black necked Grebe, Canada Goose, Crow, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Great Crested Grebe, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Kingfisher, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Little Egret, Magpie, Meadow Pipit, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oysetrcatcher, Pheasant, Pochard, Red Kite, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Shelduck, Shoveler, Sparrowhawk, Stock Dove, Swallow, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon

Black necked Grebe

Black necked Grebe

Langsett Area

Decided on a run out today to Langsett Reservoir in the vain hope of picking some migrants up on the way over and to see three target species Siskin, Red Grouse and Crossbill.

My travel would take me over via the Ingbirchworth Area were I searched various fields hopefully for a early Wheatear, all I caught up with were plenty of Curlew and Common Gulls with a scattering of Black headed Gulls and a single Meadow Pipit. 

Up on to Brown’s Edge Road were there was a large flock of Starlings, 300+, and mixed in a good grouping of Fieldfares and a pair of Oystercatcher, further on were displaying Lapwings.

Finally then Langsett Barns car park, toilet stop first, then out on to the footpaths, the top footpath was the choice and wasn’t soon before I found a friendly Robin and his friends Chaffinch, Lapwings, Mistle Thrush and Kestrel

Out in the woods I picked up a pair of Siskin, high in the tree top and with the occasional display flight, catching the sunlight in its wings, a joy to watch. On then and down on to the moor where target bird number two was found, eventually, Red Grouse took some finding this time but it did eventually give itself up, however the Crossbill didn’t Id have to leave that for another day

Bird List :

Black headed Gull, Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Common Gull, Curlew, Fieldfare, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Kestrel, Lapwing, Meadow Pipit, Mistle Thrush, Oystercatcher, Red Grouse, Robin, Siskin, Song Thrush, Starling, Woodpigeon

Song Thrush

Song Thrush



Titchwell RSPB

A long break in Norfolk and I had to have a visit out to Titchwell Nature Reserve on the North Norfolk Coast, we were only stopping in a cottage 20mins away for the week it had to be done. Titchwell Map

Arriving at 7:30am to an empty car park and a Red Legged Partridge on the approach road I got my gear together and set sail for the walk down to the beach which would be my first port of call, stopping off at the visitor centre feeders were there was Robins, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Blackbirds, Reed Buntings and a Mallard (waiting in anticipation of dropped seed).

Stopping again at the first reeds (just before the  Island Hide)  in the hope of Bearded Tit but not this time but a young male Marsh Harrier drifted by, looking at the freshwater Marsh on the way down I could see plenty of gulls (I’ll go thru these on my way back), Greylag Geese and Brent Geese out on the marsh, near the beach now so  a quick look on the tidal marsh I picked up on a nice male Pintail.

Out on to the beach I could now feel the cold as the wind went thru me so I decided on camping near the ruins and looked thru the waders collected on the beach, Oystercatchers were plenty as were Bar tailed Godwits, in and amongst were, Redshank, Sanderlings, a single Grey Plover, handful of Ringed Plovers, and a scattering of Dunlin.

Out on the sea I managed to pick up a pair of Red Breasted Merganser , and a few thousand Common Scoter (spectacular site). I was getting cold now with the wind, so I decided on walking back to the parrinder hide for a warm and get out of the wind, on setting off I got the flight call of a Snow Bunting going over head and then a glimpse as it sailed over my head…nice bonus

Now in the relative warmth of the Parrinder hide I started looking around at Avocets, Black tailed Godwits, Redshanks, Black headed Gulls and looking through the Black headeds there was a lot of Mediterranean Gulls (not seen as many before)

Onward and back towards the centre stopping off at the reeds again, this time the stop was worth it, only one mind a quick glimpse as a Bearded Tit gave very brief views flying from one small patch to another and disappearing very quickly.

Back at the centre feeders I managed to pick up a lovely male Brambling before moving onto the Fen Trail where I found my first spring migrant in the form of a Chiffchaff, moving around rather quickly. Around by the hide the Male Marsh Harrier moved thru and it was time for me to move thru but not before catching sight of a Woodcock in the car park bushes

Day List :-  Avocet, Bar tailed Godwit, Bearded Tit, Blackbird, Black tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Brambling, Brent Goose, Buzzard, Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Collard Dove, Common Gull, Common Scoter, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great Black backed Gull, Great Tit, Grey Plover, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jay, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Meadow Pipit, Mediterranean Gull, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pintail, Pochard, Red breasted Merganser, Red legged Partridge, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Ringed Plover, Robin, Sanderling, Shelduck, Shoveler, Skylark, Snow Bunting, Starling, Stock Dove, Teal, Turnstone, Wigeon, Woodcock, Woodpigeon, Wren

Oystercatchers on the Beach