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Old Tuesday 26th September 2017, 09:57   #1201
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Tuesday morning 09:00 - 10:30
1 Peregrine
1 Grey heron
12 Snipe
Usual array of waterfowl and corvids
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Old Tuesday 26th September 2017, 11:23   #1202
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Hi Dave,
I have had a saccharine-dipped reply from Jo Smith that provides a modicum of reassurance and confirms that the possibility of locking the hide at night is now being pursued. Most of the rest consists of waffling platitudes about wider accessibility of DWT sites and she avoids answering my question about the opening of the reserve itself to public use.
Could it be that the prospect of publicity brought about yesterday's sudden U-turn by the Head of Living Landscape (North)? I would love to think so.
I am now intending to reply to Ms Smith with a request for a specific answers rather than woolly assertions and will see what response I get before deciding whether to pursue the matter in the local media. I will keep you posted and will do nothing without seeking your advice. Cheers, NH
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Old Tuesday 26th September 2017, 13:07   #1203
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blitherinamateur View Post
Hi Dave,
I have had a saccharine-dipped reply from Jo Smith that provides a modicum of reassurance and confirms that the possibility of locking the hide at night is now being pursued. Most of the rest consists of waffling platitudes about wider accessibility of DWT sites and she avoids answering my question about the opening of the reserve itself to public use.
Could it be that the prospect of publicity brought about yesterday's sudden U-turn by the Head of Living Landscape (North)? I would love to think so.
I am now intending to reply to Ms Smith with a request for a specific answers rather than woolly assertions and will see what response I get before deciding whether to pursue the matter in the local media. I will keep you posted and will do nothing without seeking your advice. Cheers, NH
Thanks again Neil. I think you are right. I'm sure the publicity has resulted in this u turn. Maybe people power has for the moment given us a small victory.
And maybe the DWT and the Living Landscape Officer were quite unaware of the strength of feeling, not just from birders but from many others who I've spoken to.
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Old Tuesday 26th September 2017, 13:51   #1204
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Originally Posted by DaveN View Post
Thanks again Neil. I think you are right. I'm sure the publicity has resulted in this u turn. Maybe people power has for the moment given us a small victory.
And maybe the DWT and the Living Landscape Officer were quite unaware of the strength of feeling, not just from birders but from many others who I've spoken to.
Well that is good news as having returned today after missing for some time, due to ill health, it was most enjoyable and would be a great shame to ruin an excellent little reserve. I shall rejoin and then have my chance to chip in my views. Why does it need to be opened and viewing from the road, mound and hide is more than sufficient for anyone. Opening would cause disturbance, perhaps they should concentrate on land management a little more. Incidentally a dead sheep in the field behind the hide was attracting many magpies, more than I have ever seen in one place. Could smell it as well!

Phil
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Old Tuesday 26th September 2017, 23:56   #1205
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The obvious highlight this afternoon/evening was a female Stonechat around the main pool. First record of the year. Hadn't seen a Barn Owl since the back end of last week and had just about given up tonight when out of the gloom at 19.41 one flew right past me at the gate.

107 Mallard in to roost. Also 51 Teal, 5 Shoveler, 16 Snipe, 36 Lapwing and 34 BH Gulls. 145 Swallows moved through south with a trickle of House Martins.

3 Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, Little Owl, 16 Magpie, 13 Robins the best of the rest.
A bit of warm afternoon sun brought out 3 Red Admirals and 3 Comma Butterflies.
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Old Tuesday 26th September 2017, 23:59   #1206
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Originally Posted by hampers View Post
Well that is good news as having returned today after missing for some time, due to ill health, it was most enjoyable and would be a great shame to ruin an excellent little reserve. I shall rejoin and then have my chance to chip in my views. Why does it need to be opened and viewing from the road, mound and hide is more than sufficient for anyone. Opening would cause disturbance, perhaps they should concentrate on land management a little more. Incidentally a dead sheep in the field behind the hide was attracting many magpies, more than I have ever seen in one place. Could smell it as well!

Phil
Phil, that has been part of the argument. The fact that nearly the whole of the reserve can be seen from the lane itself. Regarding the sheep. That's the 3rd one now in as many weeks. We've been doing well for magpies. They get on the wires pre roost and we regularly get over 30.
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Old Thursday 28th September 2017, 23:22   #1207
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The female Stonechat was still at Wyver this evening to the left of the main pool. Another highlight while I was counting Snipe was a Water Rail lurking in the reeds. 4 Herons dropped in late on. 123 Mallard in the roost, 61 Teal, Shoveler up to 7, 2 Buzzards, 2 Kestrel, Barn Owl seen at 19.12 in the old tip field then near the hide at 19.34. Little and Tawny both heard. 18 Snipe, 10 Lapwing, 84 BH Gulls, 4 Chiffchaff,
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Old Saturday 7th October 2017, 12:02   #1208
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Right then, here we go......yet again. I received an email from Alex Morley a couple of weeks ago about another meeting which was to take place at Wyver on 04/10. Apart from Alex (Living Landscape Oficer) the meeting was also to be attended by Angela Mayson, who is Alex's manager.

They asked if some of the regular birders could also attend. I had no intention of going because I have frankly had enough of them. And as it happens It was probably a good idea that I didn't.

RTT (Richard Taylor) did attend and from what he told me I am surprised he managed to keep his cool. And when he was asked why nobody else was attending he told them straight. That they had angered many birders and driven them away. They kept waffling on about the same old crap they have done from day one. They are so out of touch it's unbeliavble and how these two even got a job in conservation in the first place I'll never know.

And the email I received from Alex regarding the hide being locked at night was clearly bullshit. They have no intention what so ever of locking the hide at all and I believe that to be the case from the very start. There was even mention of knocking the hide down and just leaving a screen. Why on earth they would even consider that is beyond me.

So in short, the DWT have become a laughing stock and the people there that are supposed to be looking after our reserves are a complete joke.
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Old Saturday 7th October 2017, 12:12   #1209
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Wyver update: 02/10: 105 Mallard, 4 Shoveler, 93 Teal, Goosander, Barn Owl and Little Owl.

03/10: 88 Teal, 88 Mallard, 321 BH Gulls, Barn Owl, Little Owl, 10 Snipe.

04/10: 108 Teal, 30 House Matrins, 6 Pied Wags, 16 Mipits over, 2 Swallows, 3 Chiffchaff singing, female Stonechat again, 28 Robins and 24 Wrens, 3 Goldcrest, and a Redpoll over.

05/10: 116 Mallard, Teal way down to 38, Water Rail heard, Barn Owl, Little Owl, 7 Stock Doves, 10+ Snipe.

06/10: An adult Whooper Swan on the main pool was a nice surprise and the first record since Nov 2015. This is the 19th record for Wyver. Also 3 Cormorants, 2 Tufties are the first record in months, 87 Mallard, 8 Stock Doves, 5 Pied wags, 2 Jays, Water Rail heard again and 10+ Snipe.
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 10:49   #1210
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Latest update: 07/10: 2 Little Owls calling from behind the hide.

10/10: A Red Kite flew SW at 15.41. The odd thing about this is the only other Red Kite at Wyver this year was a bird I had on 06/03 which was also at 15.41.
I picked up the female Stonechat south of the main pool then a short while later I found a female and a male from the mound. So definitely 2 Stonechat but poss 3. 77 Mallard in the roost, 45 Teal, a female Mandarin, redhead Goosander, Water Rail heard, 12 Snipe, single Chiffchaff, 5 Stock Doves, and 3 Ravens over (2 & 1).

12/10: Little Grebe, 49 Teal, 2 Gadwall, Wigeon, Shoveler, Water Rail heard then seen, 2 Buzzards, 2 Kestrel, 11 Snipe, 103 BH Gulls, Barn Owl around main pool at 19.00, pair of Stonechat again from the mound, 5 Stock Doves, 5 Pied wags, 35 Goldfinch, and 5 Goldcrests including 4 in the same bush.
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 16:32   #1211
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Hi Dave,
Sorry not to have responded sooner to latest developments re Wyver Lane hide: I have been away for a few days. The DWT really is making an ass of itself and, in the process, contradicting its own CEO. The following is a transcript of her reply to my first email. No mention of any possibility of removing the hide or of building a screen. She does, however, say that they are looking into ways of keeping the hide locked at night, which I assumed would involve you acting as their security man. Perhaps her and the Landscape types need to talk because at the moment it seems that they haven't a clue about what each other is doing or proposing. I am now going to email her again to demand to know what is going on and will decide on the basis of her reply whether to let rip in the local media.

Fwd: Wyverhide1
Tue, 26 Sep 2017 10:50

Jo Smith (JSmith@derbyshirewt.co.uk)
To:you

Dear Neil,

Thanks for your email, and for taking an interest in the work of the Trust.

The decision to remove the lock on the hide at Wyver Lane was taken as part of a wider programme of work to inspire more people to care about wildlife by making our reserves more welcoming to new audiences. *This programme, including this particular element of the programme, is whole heartedly supported by all the senior management team and our Board of Trustees.

Given the peril and pressure our wildlife currently faces we all feel it is essential that people become engaged in conservation and learn to care about, and protect, wildlife and wild places. *As David Attenborough said - no one will protect what they don't care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced. *

We want more people to experience the wonder of nature at Wyver Lane, from a hide where disturbance to wildlife is minimised, and therefore inspire more people to care about wildlife and help us protect it.

We know there are risks to opening the hide up, and we will monitor the situation carefully. We are also currently investigating whether it might be possible to lock the hide at night. We have many nature reserves with open access hides with very few problems. *Indeed the Wildlife Trust as a whole have a culture of open and free access, so that nature can be enjoyed by everyone.

Thanks again for your interest.

Kind regards,*

Jo

Dr. Jo Smith

CEO*

Derbyshire Wildlife Trust

Defending Wildlife, Restoring Landscapes and Inspiring People

www.derbyshirewt.co.uk

Follow me on twitter @JoSmithDWT

Begin forwarded message:

From: Enquiries <Enquiries@derbyshirewt.co.uk>
Date: 25 September 2017 at 11:49:46 BST
To: Jo Smith <JSmith@derbyshirewt.co.uk>
Cc:*
Subject: FW: Wyverhide1

*
From: Neil Hallam
Sent: 25 September 2017 11:40
To: Enquiries <Enquiries@derbyshirewt.co.uk>
Subject: Wyverhide1
*
To: Jo Smith, Chief Executive, Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.
From: Neil Hallam; Derbyshire WT membership No – 49969:
Date: Sept 25/’17.
Subject: Wyver Lane hide.
*
Dear Jo Smith,
Like all the other users of the Wyver Lane hide to whom I have spoken recently I am extremely concerned about the Trust’s decision to remove the lock and make the facility open to all on a 24-hour basis.
I am among those who used the original hide prior to it being burned down by vandals and recall with a shudder the shocking conditions created at that time by leaving this facility unlocked.
The walls were covered in crude and explicit graffiti, a deterrent to the hide’s use for its intended purpose, and it was not uncommon to find used condoms in and around it.
The hide was also used by drug-takers who routinely littered the place with needles and drug paraphernalia while residents of Wyver Lane had to contend with the rowdy behaviour of kids who used it for under-age drinking sessions with a ghetto blaster at maximum volume.
Inevitably, the facility was also used as a toilet. Human excrement was smeared up one wall and the place stank of urine.
On several occasions there was evidence of fires being started in the hide and eventually it was destroyed by an arson attack.
These are not alarmist rumours. These are things I witnessed personally and can be verified by other WT members who regard the removal of the locks as ill-conceived and misguided.
In the light of this situation, I would be grateful if you could answer the following questions:
*
1 On what basis was it decided to remove the lock?
2 Who took the decision?
3 Is it now DWT policy to remove the locks from all its hides on all its reserves?
4 Who was consulted about the unlocking?
5 Were those who made the decision aware of the abuse of this facility when it was previously unlocked?
6 Why did the Trust not take up an offer from the Wyver Lane reserve’s most regular observer to lock the hide up each evening, thereby obviating its misuse at night?
7 Is there any truth in a rumour that this reserve is to be opened to public access, with an inevitable and entirely adverse impact on wildlife?
*
Yours sincerely,
Neil Hallam
*
Ps: It is proper that I tell you that I am a retired national newspaper journalist and that, dependent on the answers to the above questions, I may opt to place a story about the situation in the local news media. NH
*


2017 Oath (UK) Limited. All Rights Reserved
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Old Friday 13th October 2017, 16:40   #1212
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Hi Dave. Thought you might be interested to see my reply to Jo Smith's letter. At no point since has she written back to take issue with any of the points I made in this email or my original one. N

Dear Doctor Smith,
*
Thank you for replying so promptly to my email regarding the recent removal of the lock from the hide overlooking the Trust’s Wyver Lane reserve, a perverse decision that has, I gather, since been countermanded.
*
I am glad that wiser counsel now appears to have directed your actions and that the hide will in future be locked at night, when it is most vulnerable to misuse by people whose interests run counter to the Trust’s policies regarding the necessary upkeep and intended use of the reserve.
*
Increasing public interest in observing and protecting wildlife is indeed much to be desired. This aim will, however, be achieved only if the traffic passing through the hide is limited to those who will not abuse the facility in those ways in which its predecessor was abused by drug-takers, underage drinkers and vandals.
*
Access without some degree of precaution and supervision rarely succeeds in protecting such facilities and I note with interest that the Notts Wildlife Trust, whose Attenborough Reserve I visit frequently, operates a roster of volunteers whose job it is to lock all their hides in late afternoon or early evening.
*
I asked one of those volunteers why this was felt to be necessary and was told: “It’s bad enough trying to prevent kids getting up to mischief and vandalism on the reserve at night without providing them with dens. It’s a sad state of affairs but you would just have the privilege abused if you kept the hides unlocked.”
*
As David Attenborough also said: “The greatest threat to wildlife, locally and globally, is the loss, disturbance or pollution of habitat by those who do not appreciate that most places are best served when spared from man’s intrusion.”
*
While the Wyver Lane hide has been locked, such intrusion has been as limited as it can be on a reserve offering open views from a road along which motor traffic passes freely. Anything that adds people to the landscape does so at a cost to wildlife, something that I hope the Trust will bear in mind should somebody be misguided enough to suggest that the Wyver Lane Reserve be opened up to public access.
*
I am glad to hear that you are committed to the careful monitoring of the situation at the reserve and hope that the Trust’s U-turn on uncontrolled access to the hide stays the hand of those of your members who had been considering resignation from its membership. Regular users of the hide will also, no doubt, be monitoring the impact of uncontrolled daytime access to hide and the Trust’s decisions on future use of the reserve.
*
Yours sincerely,
*
Neil Hallam
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Old Monday 16th October 2017, 10:40   #1213
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Neil, many thanks again for going to all this trouble. Like you say the DWT really is making as ass of itself. They really need to start singing from the same hym sheet because there are so many contradictions here it's quite worrying. I've give up with the lock ever being replaced but we shall see. Cheers.
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Old Monday 16th October 2017, 10:53   #1214
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Wyver update: 13/10: 46 Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, Water Rail heard, Barn Owl by the hide at 19.00, 3 Buzzards, 2 Kestrel, 36 Lapwings, 28 Snipe mostly flushed from in front of the hide by the cows, pair of Stonechat still from the mound, Kingfisher (only my second this year), 2 Grey wags, 4 Stock Doves and 25 Goldfinch.

The highlight last night was a large gathering of Pied Wags at the southen end of the main pool. I know there are roosts nearby in the town but I've never seen that many at Wyver. I counted 79 on the wires with more flitting about. It looks like some did roost at Wyver as I could hear a few calls coming from a few bushes. I think some were spooked though by the presence of a Kestrel and numerous Magpies. Larger numbers have roosted at the river gardens but this is the largest flock at Wyver. Also last night....88 Mallard, 50 Teal, Shoveler, Mandarin, Water Rail, 25 lapwings, 22 Snipe, Barn Owl by hide at 18.50, 12 Starlings and 25 Goldfinch.
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Old Monday 16th October 2017, 16:25   #1215
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A flying visit just revealed 4 Wigeon which are fresh in, 67 Teal, a single Tufted, 122 BH Gulls, 17 Lessers, and a Common Gul which is the first for some time.
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Old Thursday 2nd November 2017, 10:32   #1216
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Sorry about the lack of posts for a couple of weeks but I've not been down a great deal and also had a week in Norfolk.

18/10: 68 Teal, Shoveler, Water Rail, 17 Snipe, 46 Lessers over, pair of Stonechat still and 40+ Pied Wags roosting.

19/10: 138 Mallard, Shoveler, 70 Teal, redhead Goosander, 15 Snipe, 2 Kestrel, c200 Redwing over, 85+ Pied Wags roosting, c350 Starlings, pr Stonechat, 4 Mistle Thrush and c40 Goldfinch.

01/11: 2 Mute Swans, 78 Teal, 2 Wigeon, 2+ Water Rail calling, Barn Owl, female Stonechat near layby and the male from the mound, c250 Starlings roosting, 151 BH Gulls and 5 Goldcrest.

It looks like the Pied Wag roost has moved on. I had none last night and nobody has reported any to me. On the 29th Oct Richard Taylor had 75 Lessers on the main pool which is up there with one of the largest counts on the deck.
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Old Thursday 2nd November 2017, 18:03   #1217
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I've long suspected that there might be 3 Stonechats at Wyver, and today we proved it. The lone female is still present in front of the gate area with a pair still viewable from the mound. Barn Owl around the main pool at 17.02.

62 Greylags in to roost with 50+ Mallards, a female Tuftie and 2 redhead Goosander. 84 Teal on the main pool too. 20+ Snipe out at dusk and over 750 Jackdaw near dusk, with true figures probably surpassing 1000.
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Old Sunday 5th November 2017, 10:08   #1218
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Richard Taylor had 4 Wigeon and the 3 Stonechat yesterday.
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Old Tuesday 7th November 2017, 10:42   #1219
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Still 3 Stonechat yesterday morning all seen from the mound. Female in the hedge and the pair near the brick buildings. Only 27 Teal on the pool along with 4 Wigeon, female Tuftie amd female Goosander. Water Rail heard calling, 410 BH Gulls and 2 Lessers, 2 Kestrel, 2 Song Thrush (never really common here), 15 Goldfinch, 47 Rooks over, and 3 Reed Buntings.
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Old Friday 10th November 2017, 22:49   #1220
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I've been waiting 13 years for this but I've finally got Great White Egret on my Wyver list. A local alerted me to an Egret sp in the field down the lane at around 15.00 so I bombed down there thinking this could be interesting. To be honest I was thinking possible Cattle Egret with it being in the field. I had a good look around but saw nothing. I then saw somebody from the cottage at the bottom of the lane who also said he had seen an Egret sp around since yesterday. I still couldn't find anything and even went and had a look at the top marsh area but still nothing. I gave up and went to the hide for the roost thinking that what ever it was would possibly fly towards the main pool near dusk to roost somehwere. And so it did. Just after 16.30 as the light was fading it flew up from the north end and over the top pool, over the NE corner of the main pool and into a tree along side the river where it stayed. This is the 2nd record for Wyver following the record on 10/06/2004.

At least 3 Stonechats still present all around the main pool, possibly 4 birds. Other highlights 3 Grey Herons, 108 Teal, pair of Tufteds, 15+ Snipe, 2 Kestrel, 2 Buzzards, 178 BH Gulls, not far off 1000 Jackdaws, 2 Jays, Kingfisher, 3 Goldcrest, 3 Reed Bunts and 32 Rooks.
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Old Thursday 16th November 2017, 10:23   #1221
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After my sighting of the Great White Egret on the 10th it was subsequently seen on 11th and the 12th but no sign since. I also suggested in my last post that there might be 4 Stonechats. Well somebody reported 4 on the 14th although I could only find 3 on 15th.

After 108 Teal on friday there was only 69 present yesterday. Highlights yesterday include 3 Cormorants, 2 Herons, Mandarin, Goosander, 2 Water Rail, 15+ Snipe, 195 BHG, Tawny owl hooting at 14.13, 4 Goldcrest, 4 Fieldfare are the first of the autumn, and 10 Blackbirds suggests a little bit of an influx.
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Old Sunday 26th November 2017, 10:33   #1222
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Been having a few computer issues hence my lack of posts lately, so here's the latest update.

17/11: 6 Cormorants, 90 Greylags, 74 Teal, drake Goosander, 2 Water Rail, 33+ Snipe, c500 BHG, female Stonechat from the mound, 21 LT Tits and 6 Siskin.

19/11: 2 Stonechat.

20/11: 101 Greylags, 95 Canadas, 125 Teal, 6 Goosander, 31 Snipe, Barn Owl, Song Thrush singing and 800+ Jackdaw at dusk.

21/11: 116 Canadas, 112 Greylags, drake Wigeon, 114 Teal, 3 Goosander, 20+ Snipe and a female Stonechat.

24/11/: 91 Teal, 5 Goosander, 9 Mandarin, Water Rail, 39 Snipe, 220 BHG, female Stonechat, 3 Song Thrush and a Raven.
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Old Tuesday 28th November 2017, 10:54   #1223
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5 Gadwall and a drake Shoveler yesterday were fresh in and the first records for a while. 108 Teal and 100 Mallard on the main pool and 5 Goosander in to roost. At least 18 Snipe out at dusk. Water Rail calling. Pair of Stonechat from the viewing mound.
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Old Wednesday 29th November 2017, 19:26   #1224
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10 Goosander in the roost tonight. Also 120 Greylags and 80 Canadas. Teal numbers right down but no surprise given the work party on site. Still a drake Shoveler and a female Gadwall though. 5 Mandarin over at dusk, and 15+ Snipe. Male Stonechat opposite the hide. 2 Kestrels hunting the old tip field. Mistle Thrush singing and 4 Lesser Redpoll.
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Old Sunday 3rd December 2017, 21:20   #1225
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30/11 highlights were a drake Shoveler, female Gadwall, 4 Goosander, 2 Kestrel, 36 Snipe, 117 BHG, ad Common Gull and a male Stonechat.

A quick visit tonight revealed a Heron, 89 Canadas, singles of Wigeon, Gadwall and Shoveler, 97 Teal and 3 Tufteds. The highlight was a female Goldeneye which is rare here and the first for a couple of years.
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