Plovers and a stoat at Carsington Water
Last weekend me and mummy went to Carsington Water. We went to the Sheep Wash hide first. There was a little ringed plover scuttling along the shoreline, and a female, or possibly young, golden plover nearer to us dabbling about in a puddle. There was also a little grebe diving, and a couple of lapwings, or ‘peewits’ as they are sometimes called dew to there call. There used to be swathes of lapwings when I was about seven, but the numbers have diminished massively in recent years. A male kestrel flew onto a dead tree and perched there for a while. There were quite a few great crested grebes, and also some lesser black-backed gulls which we don’t see very often in Buxton. We walked down to the Paul Stanley hide, where we once saw a kingfisher (my first ever). Here we saw 18 great crested grebes and quite a few gadwall, dabbling ducks. The females look very similar to a female mallard, but the males are smarter with a brown-grey back and jet-black rump. We also saw the kestrel, and it was plucking prey on the far bank.
We had time to go to the main hide before heading back for my swimming lesson. We saw some little egrets, a pair. They were the first we’d seen on the site, and a the first we’d seen in Derbyshire as well. We were extremely lucky to see a stoat weaving its way through the weeds, my first for the year. We saw it again, but it was too quick for a film. There was some more gadwall, and also a female shoveler, a duck with an unusual beak for catching crustaceans. It was also the first time we’d seen it at the reserve and also in Derbyshire. the usual tree sparrows were on the bird feeders. These are quite a threatened species in the UK, and we’ve only ever seen them at Carsington and Rutland Water. It was a satisfying trip, and with the two species of plover my year’s total has risen to 138 bird species, two higher than last year.