Trip reports

Midweek Walk - Redmires

Midweek Walk - Redmires
John being presented with his award

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

After a nineteen month break, our bird walks finally resumed when 22 re-united birdwatchers strode out, led by Neil Fawson, on a lovely sunny morning with a temperature more reminiscent of the Mediterranean than Redmires. But before we got going, our group leader Helen presented John Robinson (our walks coordinator) with a special RSPB Golden Eagle badge to mark his 40 years of volunteering with the organization.

One of the first birds that we spotted was a small raptor which turned out to be a merlin and our attention was then drawn to an obliging kestrel that put on quite a show for us above the purple heather moorland. Then suddenly, out of nowhere, a much larger raptor appeared; very light in colour and with a massive black eye stripe, there was no doubting that it was an osprey - a bird never before seen on any of our walks and which brought our group's walk's bird list to a new total of 168 species.

After focusing on the osprey, we discovered that the bushy scrub adjoining the reservoir, made up mainly of small rowan trees and bright yellow gorse bushes, was full of migrant birds. There were lots of warblers, including chiffchaffs, blackcaps and willow warblers, but we were also delighted to see spotted flycatchers and redstarts.

We also got little-ringed plovers on the shoreline, wheatears on nearby rocks, and both stonechats and whinchats on the dam wall. There were good numbers of gulls, mainly herring, lesser black-backed and black-headed, in addition to which we witnessed the visible migration of swallows, house martins and sand martins heading south to Africa. As someone remarked, 'Migration.... It's a kind of magic.'

As we returned to the car park we were escorted by five magnificent buzzards, floating on the late summer thermals.

22 people attended - 33 species seen

Star bird: Osprey

Full species list
Black-headed gull
Blackcap
Crow
Chiffchaff
Common buzzard
Coal tit
Goldfinch
Greenfinch
Grey heron
Herring gull
House martin
Kestrel
Lesser black-backed gull
Linnet
Little-ringed plover
Mallard
Merlin
Meadow pipit
Mistle thrush
Osprey
Robin
Redstart
Reed bunting
Sand martin
Spotted flycatcher
Stonechat
Swallow
Tufted duck
Wheatear
Whinchat
Willow warbler
Woodpigeon
Wren