Wildlife - Birds of the Lower Derwent Valley


11/01/2016 Corn Bunting

(report submitted by Fiona Bruce)

Corn Bunting spotted singing on the fields next to Mill Lane (the road out towards Ellerton) on Saturday 11th Jan. There are quite a few corn buntings on those fields, usually perched on a bush or post singing in the spring and summer. Their song is like the rattling of a tiny bunch of keys. They don’t go away in winter but flock with other seed-eating birds. 




08/11/2015 Grey Wagtail

(report submitted by John Barlow)

I had a grey wagtail in my garden last week.  This is like the pied wagtails which we often see but rather bigger and mostly yellow with a dark grey head.  These are mostly found in stony becks in upland areas but sometimes come down to the lowlands in winter.

Thanks for this John

Image result for grey wagtail

Library photo of Grey Wagtail



21st October 2015      Watch out (and listen) for Whoopers

As we head further into October the Natural England team are keeping an eye (and ear) out for the first returning Whooper Swans arriving back in the valley. These visitors return to the UK to spend the winter here, leaving their breeding grounds in Iceland and staying with us throughout the winter months into mid-March. The first returning herds of these trumpeting swans should appear any day now. The first birds to be seen here often continue south to their wintering sites around the North Norfolk coast and the Ouse Washes, the later birds to arrive (numbers can average 150) will remain here for the winter, where they can be observed feeding on pasture at North Duffield Carrs – before the valley floods.
A good sample of the population has been colour-ringed by the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust (WWT) and the Icelandic ringing scheme, whilst we have also colour-ringed 60 in the LDV over the last 10 years as part of this wider project. It’s always exciting looking out for old friends and new arrivals, and Natural England will keep you posted on the LDV & Skipwith Common Facebook page as to who turns up and when.
Please let Natural England know, preferably via the Facebook page or alternatively via the links on the parent page as soon as you see or hear any of these magical birds - this flock was photographed last December at North Duffield Carrs.

 Lower Derwent Valley & Skipwith Common NNR's photo.


26th October 16:40 15 Whoopers spotted over East Cottingwith. Sighting logged on the LDV & Skipwith Common Facebook page by Steve Ashton.