Papercourt 6 January 2022

A gloomy but mercifully dry afternoon greeted the fourteen members who assembled at the Newark Priory car park. The meadow opposite held a mixed flock of redwings, fieldfares and starlings that boded well for the walk. Across the road scanning disclosed a few stock doves among the woodpigeons while three flightly mistle thrushes skittered around. The lake initially offered views of coots, swans, gadwall and a close-in great crested grebe. Further around a few common gulls swam among the numerous black-headed gulls while a couple of wigeon and a few pochard could be picked out among the many tufted ducks and gadwall. During the walk to Papercourt Lock a red kite and a buzzard were seen at a distance and the first bird seen on the Water Meadow was a kestrel perched on a pylon. The tow path offered only a nuthatch and a robin while a few mallards swam in the Navigation. Patience near the Tannery Bridge was rewarded with a small flock of linnets and a few meadow pipits perching on a nearby shrub. Sadly a barn owl did not appear but some consolation came as a mini-murmuration of several hundred starling swirled over Papercourt Marshes for some minutes before settling to roost. Late sightings on the return walk along the river were a little egret and Egyptian goose. It was a productive afternoon with 36 species identified.

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