It may be cold outside at the moment, still the ABB days go well at Carsington. Tuesday was all about the schools really, with three classes through and genuine wide-eyed excitement from plenty of them. Who knew primary school aged girls could get so excited about Lapwings? It's great!
If you're a birder, go on, give volunteering a go!
43 species from the Wildlife Centre on Tuesday, then a slightly above average 50 on Sunday, means we always have something to show people. Highlights have perhaps been the Siskin with at least ten birds around. Two Dunlin, Snipe and Redshank keep things interesting wader-wise, and for the raptors Peregrine, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel do well for the side. A few other species moving around too, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Treecreeper notable visitors at our end of the big water.
Duck (mainly Tufted and Wigeon) and Lapwing numbers are down though, more than halved in the last few weeks. Perhaps they are dispersing to smaller local sites.
The only personal disappointment is not being able to reach the other end of the reservoir before dark once the hubbub has died down. A Ring-billed Gull is regularly coming in to roost on one specific island, reported at 15:30 practically everyday, a sure thing all the way from North America.
Ah well, stumbling down the paths in the twilight I did pick up a Tawny Owl swooping down onto the prey in a field nearby a known roosting tree. Rare sight of a common, if secretive, bird, so I'm happy.