Witches Oak Water sightings by Vic Bevan

Fresh morning guided walk for Derbyshire Ornitholigical Society around Witches Oak.

Annual guided walk for Derbyshire Ornitholigical Society saw 5 members turn out at 09.00 on a cold, frosty morning for a tour of Phase 2 of the reserve, Many of the lakes had significant ice cover, and as a consequence waterbird numbers were low. Amongst the flock of black-headed gulls careful searching and a good eye picked out 3 Common, 1 Herring, 1 Lesser-Black Back, an adult Yellow-Legged and an immature Caspian Gull. All common waterbird species were identified, and further searching uncovered a lovely male Smew with a redhead, and another redhead on the River Trent with Goosander and Wigeon. A total of 20 Snipe were put up in small groups from the Lake 11 reedbed, and Cetti Warblers and Water Rail were heard. With time to spare the group went to view the Witches Oak on Phase 1, and were treated to the sight of a Barn Owl which had been roosting in the old oak; only the second ever sighting for the reserve. In total 38 species was a reasonable count, with the Smew and Barn Owl being the pick of the bunch.