Birders 2018 meets

6 members went to Cromford/Carsington on a sunny, cold day. There were 47 sightings (a record for a daily count) of which 5 were added to the annual list: dipper, hawfinch, coal tit, willow tit and nuthatch. The annual list has reached 110 (we have two months to go). Today's highlight was that 4 members got a lifer (hawfinch).

8 birders on a sunny but breezy day at Rutland Water saw a record number of species sited on an outing (53), and 5 birds were added to the annual total (120): collared dove, great spotted woodpecker, smew, redpoll and red kite. Highlight of the day: red kite flying close up.

12 birders set off in warm sunshine and finished up in a bitterly cold wind; the walk was enjoyable. Although we saw 28 species, we didn't see the ones we'd hoped for. We did add one more (fieldfare) to the final month's annual total (121). The annual target was 161. Next month we start our new challenge: a more realistic one of 130. The highlight of the day was two hares boxing.

So much rain and mist were around that we decided to cancel the visit.

Frampton Marsh RSPB
11 birders drove to Frampton on a cool, breezy and cloudy morning. 52 species were spotted, the highlights of which were a Garganey, a speckled wood butterfly and a green-veined white butterfly. This month we start our annual 12-monthly challenge, this time of 130 species, which is more realistic than last year's target.

Padley Gorge
7 birders had an exciting, warm, light cloudy day. We saw 18 quality birds, of which 8 were added to the target (now up to 60): curlew, coal tit, wood warbler, willow warbler, nuthatch, tree creeper, grey wagtail and meadow pipit. Welcome to Sarah Spurry - hope to see more of you. This was also likely to be Jenny Gordon's last time with us, as she expects to be living near Reading if the house is sold. We'll miss you.

Cotgrave Wood (butterfly special)
6 birders had a very satisfying walk on a warm sunny day. The first thing we saw though was a linnet. In all 12 species of butterflies were seen namely Large White, Small White, Gate Keeper, Ringlet, Green Vein, Silver-washed Fratillery, White-lettered Hairstreak, Peacock, Comma, Sooty Copper and Meadow Brown. Highlight of the day: a large gathering of 100+ Large Whites.

Skylarks / Blotts Pit (Holme Pierrepont)
10 birders including 2 visitors (from France and Wales) on a cloudy pleasant morning came across 30 different birds and song. 12 new birds were added: Egyptian goose, teal, red crested pochard, cormorant, grey heron, common sandpiper, greenshank, lesser black-backed gull, wood pigeon, green woodpecker, great spotted woodpecker and magpie. Highlight was a line of 22 Canada geese, one was a greylag, so what!

Because the weather forecast was so dire (high winds and torrential rain) the group decided to cancel this visit.

14 of us spent a warm sunny day at Blacktoft Sands. We saw 31 species of birds of which 9 were added to our annual target: Water Rail, Marsh Harrier, Black-tailed Godwit, Green Sandpiper, Pink-footed Goose, Tree and House Sparrow, Snipe and Redshank. Because of the warm weather, Common Darter and Migrant Hawker were also observed.

A windless, cold and misty morning greeted 13 intrepid birders. We saw 43 different birds, amongst which were 6 new species to add to the year's list (now 108), 2 short of target. New ones to list are long-tailed tit, goldeneye, kingfisher, goosander, song thrush and bullfinch. Highlight: the running water rail.

16 of us circled Kings Mill reservoir on a bright sunny morning along with a bitterly cold wind. We saw 33 species of birds plus 2 mammals - brown rat and grey squirrel. 2 new birds were added to the annual list: redwing and little grebe. This brought our total to 111, one over our target. Highlight was the sun shining on about 200 lapwings in flight giving a ghost-like appearance.