• Looking up for Peregrines

    Yesterday I was sat "working" in the garden at Verdant Towers. My eyes drifted upwards and I spent a few moments admiring the swifts, swallows and house martins as they darted and dived across the sky. Suddenly all hell broke loose and birds scattered everywhere, alarm calling frantically. What was the cause of this commotion? A peregrine falcon drifting into view and lazily circling overhead, punctuated with the occasional flurry of rapid wing beats. It's great to see peregrines more frequently these days. As with most raptors they suffered huge declines due to DDT and persecution, but as we... read more

  • Many swans a swimming...

    A cold, clear start this morning, frost on the ground, some mist hanging in the air. Perfect for birdwatching. Three more Verdanters cashing in the Verdant Gift Vouchers they got for Christmas all eagerly piled into the car, chatting away excitedly as we headed for our first destination of the day, Clumber Park. We got off to a good start with several duck species including the mandarin ducks who can often be seen at this time of year near the bridge upstream of the lake. Woodland species were added to the list with a walk through Clumber's beautiful woods, then back... read more

  • Fallow Deer and Owls

    Sunday saw the first North Nottinghamshire Wildlife Safari of 2013 with Kim and Rachel. We met at Ye Olde Bell Hotel, Barnby Moor and before we'd even said our hellos a mistle thrush flew over calling noisily. We headed straight off to the nearby Daneshill Lakes where the sunlight glinted off the water as we scanned our binoculars across the lake - mallard, shoveler, coot, goosander, Canada goose and mute swan were soon spotted, along with a few odd looking cross-breed ducks. We also listened to a few bird songs and calls as the birds were clearly enjoying the sunshine... read more

  • Waxwings in Nottinghamshire

    Every now and then something happens in the natural world that causes much excitement and interest. A "waxwing winter" is such an event and has been setting the social media channels alight with speculation, conversation and anticipation over the last few weeks. Sometimes we can go an entire winter in Nottinghamshire with barely a sighting of these charismatic visitors from Scandinavia, other years we are positively invaded by them. Fortunately, the winter of 2012 most definitely falls into the latter category.   Bohemian Waxwing   There were a few false starts with near-misses in Keyworth, Clifton and Lound - their full... read more

  • Beginners Birdwatching Courses - Inland Water Bodies

    This last week we have been running our Beginners Birdwatching Courses for Inland Water Bodies. All the participants had previously been out on our Woodland and Farmland course so we started with a quick refresher to see how much they remembered, which was quite a lot. Both days started with a walk round Bevercotes Pit Wood where we did our refresher session as we walked towards the pond. A few wigeon, coots and a couple of mute swans got us off to a gentle start, and the black-headed gulls in their winter plumage eased us into the tricky but rewarding... read more

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