Sunday, 2 December 2012

More at North Duffield

Took a walk round a frozen local patch this morning which resulted in a very interesting discovery - and not an interesting discovery for a good reason, one for a very, very bad reason, but one I'll detail tomorrow/later in the week when I have some more stuff together...

I spent a couple of hours down at North Duffield in the Geoff Smith Hide this afternoon in the hope that there may have been some decent birds down there. It didn't start well as on arrival at the site a guy had decided to show his 3 screaming kids the flood, not from the hide, no they'd jumped the fence and walked right out to the edge of it. Therefore for the first 30 minutes after they'd cleared off there wasn't much to look at!

After a while birds started to move back in but numbers were down on yesterdays totals, presumably they were widespread feeding with less wildfowling going on in the general area, and species diversity was down too, no Shoveler, no Pintail, no Goldeneye. There was an increase in Coot though with 3 now present! The good stuff to really make you glad you bothered visiting!!

Three vocal Whooper Swans flew in, two adults and a juvenile.

Coot Andy Walker


  1. sounds ominous Andy, hope its nothing bad for the village?

  2. called in tonight 330 - 430 huge gull roost on the water over 1500 99% black headed but a few great black & lesser black backs. There were also some brown jobbies but im no good at ID on gulls except the common ones and it was getting pretty dark too. 4 moorhen passed infront of the hide. Was a bit dissapointed but leaving I flushed a barn owl sat on the gate at the waters edge by the path, grabbed my bins & got a breif view as it flew off. Then noticed a white blob on one of the fence posts by the car park, another barnie, sat staring at me then flew straight for me and perched up where the other had been just yards away, stunning! Shame I cant seem to work my camera when it gets dim!!

    1. Wow Andy, that sounds good, def worth keeping an eye open for Yellow-leg and Caspian Gulls, also there must be White-wingers appearing soon??? Keep an eye out for Med Gull too as they sometimes turn up...

      Barn Owls can give amazing views down there, though I've never managed a decent photo myself yet!! Your garden list sounds like its going well!

  3. Such a shame access to the rest of the Derwent Valley and in particular, Wheldrake, is so limited at the moment .... my bet is that there are a lot of wildfowl, gulls and other stuff sat there going unrecorded!

    If you're interested I did manage a fairly decent capture of one of the Barn Owls from the Geoff Smith hide a few weeks ago ... post is here
    Nice barn owl makes up for bittern no show

  4. Thanks Tim, yeah shame there's no way to view Wheldrake! Hopefully the river will drop soon!!!

    Great picture of the Barn Owl too!

  5. Lovely pics tim lucky you!
    Is there any blogs which list local sightings would be nice to have a place to share info there must be plenty of us around!

  6. Hey Andy, there is the York Ornithological Club and that has a yahoo group which is useful for sightings as you can just email them straight out (most York birders use that) a good way of for giving/getting quick sightings info within the recording area.

    There is meant to be an LDV sightings blog/website starting up soon too I understand.

    1. A Derwent Valley website would be awesome, its my local patch for years and if they need any assistance required with setting up I'm more than willing.

      Re YOC ... an email to Ian Traynor on should get you up and running with text updates.

      Bit of local news, I can confirm that Stonechats are back on Strensall Common .. had a pair there a few days ago.

      Timbobaggins Abroad