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.

Papercourt Water Meadows

An impressive attendance as thirty members were fortunate to have a mainly sunny if breezy afternoon for an afternoon walk.

A tit flock by the car park comprised blue, great & long tail tits. The field opposite held mainly rooks & jackdaws and the first of several pairs of Egyptian geese, not the hoped-for winter thrushes. A small flock of redwings was foraging in the next field & on closer inspection included some handsome fieldfares. A few more redwings were seen later on.

Sailing was in full swing on the lake, so bird numbers were limited. There were coots in abundance with a single moorhen, black-headed gulls, and a few great crested grebes, with ducks represented by mallard and one male gadwall. Raptors for the afternoon were two circling common buzzards, a red kite and a perched kestrel. For the finale, viewing from vantage points along the canal path (avoiding the waterlogged meadows) most people had good sightings of two barn owls quartering in the water meadows.

38 species were identified.