Birdlife of The Hook – Report by Keith Rainford of Lady Bay Birdwatchers
A total of 75 species of birds has been seen on or from the Hook Nature Reserve in 2020. The pandemic has interrupted the regular Hook Watch bird walks by Lady Bay Birdwatchers, but we managed to make 31 visits in all by small groups of between two and six people throughout the year. The visits were all made on a Saturday morning between 08.00 and 09.30. This was basically to achieve some consistency in the reporting of birds through the seasons. The walks generally comprised a single route from Holme Grove, through the centre of The Hook and a return along the northern edge with a stop along the River Trent.
No assessment has been made of how attractive each part of the area was to birds, but it was noticed on a number of occasions that activity varied significantly; sometimes the eastern half would be full of birds and the western half quiet and then the following week vice versa. On a number of occasions fluctuations in bird numbers were noticeable, particularly and not surprisingly at migration time. The autumn period was again very interesting as it became obvious that (we assume migrant) Robins and Blackbirds had swelled the numbers present in the area. On other occasions it was noted that some birds were strangely absent.
There were many highlights throughout the year, including the extended stays of the rarer warblers, the passing through of Red Kites and the presence of Water Rail and Snipe but without doubt top spot goes to two Spotted Flycatchers seen on 24 August; a superb sighting and totally unexpected.
I think it can safely be said that The Hook is a wonderful place of variety and interest.
The list of birds seen on or from The Hook in 2020 in addition to those seen in 2019 is as follows:
Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Pink-footed Goose, Goosander, Red Kite, Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Herring Gull, Skylark, Cetti’s Warbler, Spotted Flycatcher, Goldcrest
The 2019 list is:
Blackbird, Blue Tit, Black-headed Gull, Blackcap, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Cormorant, Canada Goose, Coal Tit, Common Gull, Common Tern, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Carrion Crow, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Egyptian Goose, Feral Pigeon, Fieldfare, Garden Warbler, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Green Woodpecker, Greylag, Grey Heron, Goldfinch, Great Black-backed Gull, House Martin, House Sparrow, Jackdaw, Jay, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Lesser Whitethroat, Linnet, Long-tailed Tit, Mallard, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Magpie, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Redwing, Reed Bunting, Robin, Rook, Sedge Warbler, Song Thrush, Sand Martin, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Swallow, Swift, Tufted Duck, Water Rail, Wren, Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon
A total of 75 species.
Other birds prior to 2019 are Grasshopper Warbler and Merlin which bring the overall total to 77 species.