Trip reports

New Year's Day Walk at Papercourt

New Year's Day Walk at Papercourt
Graham Carey

Friday, 1 January 2016

Starting the new year in traditional fashion, 14 people joined me for a gentle stroll around Papercourt. Some of our members have long memories it seems as they were asking me about lesser spotted woodpeckers in the car park near the bridge, last seen about 10 years ago!

Lacking the illusive woodpeckers, we headed up the road towards Pyrford for a short distance, seeing a small number of redwing, a couple of goldcrest and looking out over the marshy pasture towards Newark Priory, a party of 15 or so wigeon; proper winter duck and very welcome. There was also a big flock of 200 or so woodpigeon in the trees behind the Priory to add to the small number of stock dove we had already seen.

Heading out across the meadow towards Papercourt Lock, Diane picked out a kestrel being pursued by a magpie and closer to hand, two meadow pipit in the top of a small bush. Our gull total picked up here, adding herring and common gull to the earlier black headed gulls. The wet meadow to the north of the lock holds both barn and short eared owl but in truth, we were a little late in the day for those (earlier birders had seen both that morning) and the adjacent strip of woodland, running from the lock to Tannery Lane, was a little quiet to start with. However, as often happens, quiet woodland often becomes a bit noisier with the arrival of a tit flock and we had blue, great and long tailed in a small party along with goldcrest and overhead, nuthatch. A couple of siskin just to the far side of the river were also a very welcome addition.

Walking down Tannery Lane towards Prews Cottages, with a large stubble field to our right, the group inadvertently split, with some members walking on whilst those of us at the back managed to see perhaps three brambling on the edge of the stubble. Brambling are pretty scarce these days and are therefore always a welcome sight with the lovely orange patches and obvious white rump showing up at some distance.

An unproductive side trip into Papercourt Marshes SWT reserve (water too low surprisingly) was followed by a quick look at the pond near the sailing club which produced gadwall, tufted duck and two little grebe. Surprisingly, the large pit only produced perhaps three great crested grebe in addition to good numbers of coot.

A pleasant start to the birding year with a total of some 46 species.
Neil Bew
The photo was taken by Graham Carey in May 2010