The Lower Derwent Valley NNR supports a rich diversity of plant species and outstanding populations of breeding and wintering birds. In light of this, the reserve has been declared a Special Protection Area (SPA) and a Ramsar site, in other words it is afforded the strongest level of legal protection available in Europe under the EC Birds Directive.
The reserve and surrounding area support a wide range of important breeding and wintering species, as such I will have to restrict some of what I put on here so please don't ask if I refer to a 'secret species A, B, C etc.' Assuming I discover any that is!
The map below shows the southern section of the Lower Derwent Valley, with my approximate house location and shows Skipwith Common, North Duffield Carrs, Bubwith and the public footpaths to the south of North Duffield that I regularly walk with the dogs. As we get more daylight at dawn and dusk I'll probably start exploring further afield.
So far my garden list is 48 species. I've had some good ones, the highlights being Merlin, Waxwing, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting and Snipe amongst others, though I'm confident that will shoot up with time (I've only been here for 7 weeks so far) and I know I've missed several species such as Grey Heron, Whooper Swan and Barn Owl.
The footpaths to the south of the village have yielded Green Sandpiper, Jack Snipe, Common Snipe, Redshank, Barn Owl, Whooper Swan, Mute Swan and Goosander and are likely to produce much more too.
I've not really started to compile my full LDV bird list to date, though will work on it over the coming days. It won't be particularly long, but it will be a start and I'm planning on having plenty of time to increase it! I'm really excited about the potential of getting some good birds so close to home.
I'll also be spending quite a bit of time over at Flamborough Head during the spring after having a very enjoyable autumn over there finding a range of decent and half-decent birds including Rustic Bunting (twice), Barred Warbler, Yellow-browed Warbler and Great Grey Shrike amongst others.
See October 2010 for Rustic Bunting details