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RSPB Middleton Lakes (1 Viewer)

5/11/12 Date should be correct today I can here fireworks going off.
DBP at dusk 13 Little Egret heading SW and 1000 Starling circling. Dosthill NR Red-headed Goosander north.

Regards, John
 
In response to a request I made to Nick Martin, the Senior Site Manager of Middleton Lakes, for more information on the new works and expected developments, he replied with quite a comprehensive and encouraging answer. He's given me permission to reproduce his reply here and I think it makes very interesting reading. He starts off by responding to a question I asked about dealing with the water levels on the North Pit:

'Regarding the north pit, it was proposed to have sluices protecting this area in spring flooding. I had many conversations with the Environment Agency about it and although there is a fundamental rule of no restrictions to flow in the floodplain they agreed to consider it in principle. We therefore took our plans to them earlier this year once we had the funding in place but were disappointed when they requested a full flood model with the application. We had already given them the volume details for the site but they requested a flood model for the entire catchment (Tamworth). This was well beyond our capacity and though we can commission the works from a hydrology company it will be very expensive and most importantly take too long to be within the timeline for the funding stream. Because of this we have parked the northern sluice scheme for now though hope to revisit it soon.

In the mean time we have designed the new wetlands so that flooding is buffered and will hopefully not be so devastating as it is on the northern pool. The sluices will maintain optimum water levels on the two scrapes which will themselves be disconnected from the river so less at risk of flooding. I hope that although in the short term waders will still be vulnerable on the northern pool there will be many other places for them to nest and so more pairs will be successful. It is also worth noting that even in years with a spring flood many waders will re-nest successfully so all is not lost. This year was rare in that the two floods meant that the re nesters were scuppered again.

Regarding the river bridge, it is still in the hands of Hanson the gravel company to deliver as part of their planning condition and although I am constantly harassing them to do it I cannot give any firm guarantees of when it will happen. At the moment we are working on February/March but let’s wait and see! The hide should be happening this winter also and will be ready for use once the landscaping is complete or even a bit before depending on the access in the north
'.

Thanks to Nick for the above information.

All the best
Steve
 
13/11/12 DBP Green Sand calling newreedbed area, 80 Fieldfare NW,19 Little Egret over SW at dusk JH.
Geoff Williams at the back of the north pit 3 Redshank and assumed Dunlin but distant.

Regards, John
 
14/11/12 DBP North pit early morning 1st win White-rumped Sandpiper with Dunlin, a pair of Stonechat (Paul Hyde).
Later White-rumped Sandpiper loosely associating with 3 Redshank, also a Green Sand (AGW 2 Green Sand on workings), Hare and Vapourer moth.
Nick Barlow reports probable Water Pipit in flight north pit.

Regards, John
 
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16/11/12 DBP Pit south of North pit 1st win White-rumped Sandpiper and 3 Dunlin they later moved to the North pit, also 3 Redshank, Green Sandpiper. 3 Golden Plover over south with 18 Lapwing. 9 Goosander north at dusk. Also a Chiffchaff in Ivy by Fisher's mill bridge.

Regards, John
 
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16/11/12 DBP Pit south of North pit 1st win White-rumped Sandpiper and 3 Dunlin they later moved to the North pit, also 3 Redshank, Green Sandpiper. 3 Golden Plover over south with 18 Lapwing. 9 Goosander north at dusk.

Regards, John

Had 2 Green Sand on new workings also single Little Egret and 70+ Lapwing on North Pit as well as some of the other stuff - looking good now they have pumped some water out.
 
In addition to the WRS the North Pit held 3 Little Egret, 3 Dunlin and 1+ Green Sand. I also heard a report of a Golden Plover over. Was impressed by the numbers of Gadwall and Wigeon on the reserve overall.
 
On the way to the WRS I had a Brambling today (heard only) it was in the area just past the orange barrier fencing where there are a few tall Ash trees with an old nest in. Also several redpoll around.

Do you get Lesser Spotter Woodpeckers here?

Gareth
 
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

On the way to the WRS I had a Brambling today (heard only) it was in the area just past the orange barrier fencing where there are a few tall Ash trees with an old nest in. Also several redpoll around.

Do you get Lesser Spotter Woodpeckers here?

Gareth

Hi Gareth,
lesser Spotted Woodpecker have been seen along the canal but on the Warks side. Most sightings are at Middleton Hall (Warks) Mill plantation, Heronry view feeders and around this area and Heronry wood.

Regards, John
 
Could somebody kindly give directions to the White-rumped Sandpiper please.

Thanks

Park at RSPB car park at Middleton Hall. Then walk through the woods to what they call the wetland trail. Turn left and head north up the side of the pits. Just keep on going until you see the new workings. WR Sandpiper will be on the new workings or the North Pit just north of them. 30 mins from car park, you'll need wellies!
Have a good day
Steve
 
18/11/12 DBP South, first pool 2 Cetti's in reeds. Newreedbed pool most people racing to see the White-rumped Sand missed the fem/imm Long-tailed Duck (John Fincham), it did spend good amouts of time underwater whilst feeding.
Newscrapes White rumped sand and Green sand.
North pit 2 Shelduck, Snipe, 250 Lapwing, 3 Little Egret seen in the day and 8 over SW at dusk.
16:20 15 Waxwing from Dosthill heading to Middleton Hall to roost.
Dunlin Counts 1 Tuesday, 2 Wednesday, 3 Thursday, 3 Friday which went to 11 by evening Geoff Wardle, 3 Saturday and none today showing a movement of Dunlin, however the White-rump remains.
Geoff Wardle reports seeing a Common Darter today DBP South along the track.

Regards, John
 
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A great afternoon with nice views of the White-rumped Sandpiper and the female/imm Long-tailed Duck. 2 Little Egrets also present.

A nice friendly bunch of birders present too!

Cheers
 
Original finder of the White-rumped Sandpiper

Just had a reply e-mail from Nick Martin saying the finder of the bird was Graham White a senior RSPB Ecologist who was on site last Tuesday surveying the works done. Graham noticed this small wader with 3 Redshank and it did not look like a Dunlin, Graham being an experienced birder, so he crawled through the mud on his belly to get a closer view of the bird through his binoculars, to confirm White-rumped Sandpiper.
Nick Martin head warden was disappointed that no one had put any money into the cairn money collection box in the RSPB carpark although many had travelled to see the bird. So next time your down at RSPB Middleton lakes stick a pound in the cairn money collection box.

Regards, John
 
Flooding report

Steve Gibson (SG) was present yesterday DBP North pit and new workings not flooded but track along by canal was nearly coming over welllingtons in some sections. Steve saw White-rumped Sandpiper, Dunlin, 2 Green Sand and 3 Redshanks, Geoff Willliams present this morning and saying the water levels were still rising, more rain forecast tonight.

Regards, John
 
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