CHESTERFIELD: RSPB branch visits nature reserves in search of elusive bittern



The mid-week trip this month for the RSPB Chesterfield Local Group was to the YWT Potteric Carr near Doncaster, where the reedbeds are a good place for a chance to see the elusive bittern. The group were unlucky this time but did see another 41 species including kingfisher, lapwings, siskin and a good selection of winter ducks.

The branch’s indoor meeting on Monday, February 19, was well attended with 80 people. Peter Holden gave an illustrated talk entitled ‘RSPB’s Natural Secrets’. Peter has a long history of working for the RSPB and has worked in TV presentation and is currently busy giving talks to local groups.

His presentation highlighted the huge diversity of species found on the RSPB’s reserves, emphasising the biodiversity that has been created on these sites. The presentation emphasised the change in focus of the RSPB to being an organisation supporting not just birds, but the rest of the flora and fauna too.

Saturday, February 24, saw the group’s visit to RSPB Old Moor in the Dearne valley, which is the branch’s nearest RSPB nature reserve. A whopping 52 species were seen and included brambling, tree sparrow, yellowhammer and bullfinch on the feeders. The mere and scrapes provided winter ducks, goosander, redshank and a group of displaying goldeneye, but yet again the bittern stayed hidden.