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Ogston Reservoir - BirdForum Opus

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England, Derbyshire


Completed in the late 1950s this 83ha reservoir is well-known as a gull roost and haunt of wintering waterfowl and passage waders and is generally considered one of the best birding sites in Derbyshire.

The shores are largely natural and gently sloping with exposed muddy margins when water levels are lowered although parts of the eastern side have steeper slopes into deeper water. The surrounding land is mainly farmland with hedgerows and a few small woodland patches.

This is an excellent site and the Derbyshire Wildlife Trust have a reserve at Carr Wood on the south-western side of the reservoir. Regular watching over a number of years has resulted in a long birdlist for Ogston Reservoir including a great many vagrants.


Notable Species

More than 10,000 gulls can be present in winter and the large numbers of the commoner species attract a few rarities each year making the reservoir of great interest to gull-watchers. In addition to the five regular gulls Mediterranean Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Iceland Gull and Glaucous Gull are all annual in winter with the occasional Mediterranean Gull also recorded at other times and Kittiwake after severe gales. Rarer still are Bonaparte's Gull, Laughing Gull and Ring-billed Gull all recorded at Ogston over the years as well as possibly Kumlien's Gull and Thayer's Gull.

Clearly any large gull-roost anywhere in the country will produce rarities with regular and careful watching. The roost at Ogston begins to build up in October, peaks in January and birds begin to leave in late March.

Mallard, Common Teal and Eurasian Wigeon are present in winter as well as Tufted Duck, Common Pochard, Common Goldeneye and also Goosander. Other waterfowl usually include Gadwall, Northern Pintail and Northern Shoveler, Red-breasted Merganser and sometimes Smew. Bewick's Swan and Whooper Swan, Long-tailed Duck, Greater Scaup and Common Scoter and Velvet Scoter have also been recorded as well as Bean Goose and Brent Goose, Ferruginous Duck, Red-crested Pochard and Green-winged Teal. Garganey is usually recorded each year on passage. All three regular British divers have occurred with Red-throated Diver the least regular and the three scarcer grebes are all recorded on occasion.

Passage waders include Ringed Plover and Little Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Ruff, Greenshank, and Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper and Wood Sandpiper with Oystercatcher, Red Knot, Sanderling, Whimbrel and Spotted Redshank usually seen.

Rarer waders recorded at Ogston have included Kentish Plover, Temminck's Stint, Purple Sandpiper and phalaropes. In April-May 2003 a Spotted Sandpiper was recorded. Terns also occur on passage with Arctic Tern and Common Tern regular and Caspian Tern, Roseate Tern, Black Tern and White-winged Black Tern also recorded.

All four skuas have also been seen here and Osprey is now regular in both spring and autumn. Scarce passerines such as Water Pipit and Rock Pipit occur with some regularity at Ogston, usually in October.

Little Grebe and Great Crested Grebe are resident and breed in small numbers and also present all year are Great Cormorant and Grey Heron, Canada Goose, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Eurasian Coot and Moorhen.

Common Tern breeds on artificial rafts on the reservoir and Little Ringed Plover and Northern Lapwing may nest around it if conditions are suitable. Grey Wagtail and Common Kingfisher are present and may breed on nearby streams and Carr Wood has a small heronry.

Other woodland birds include Sparrowhawk and all three British woodpeckers, Tawny Owl and Stock Dove and passerines such as Sedge Warbler, Grasshopper Warbler and both whitethroats nest in waterside scrub.


Birds you can see here include:

Red-throated Diver, Black-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Slavonian Grebe, Black-necked Grebe, Great Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Bewick's Swan, Whooper Swan, Canada Goose, Eurasian Wigeon, Gadwall, Common Teal, Mallard, Northern Pintail, Garganey, Northern Shoveler, Common Pochard, Tufted Duck, Common Goldeneye, Smew, Goosander, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Osprey, Common Kestrel, Merlin, Northern Hobby, Grey Partridge, Common Pheasant, Common Moorhen, Eurasian Coot, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Eurasian Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Northern Lapwing, Red Knot, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Common Snipe, Eurasian Woodcock, Black-tailed Godwit, Bar-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Eurasian Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Common Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Wood Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Ruddy Turnstone, Little Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Yellow-legged Gull, Herring Gull, Iceland Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Black-legged Kittiwake, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Black Tern, Stock Dove, Common Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Common Cuckoo, Little Owl, Tawny Owl, Common Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Eurasian Skylark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Northern House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Water Pipit, Rock Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Common Wren, Dunnock, Eurasian Robin, Eurasian Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Common Grasshopper Warbler, Sedge Warbler, Common Reed Warbler, Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Long-tailed Tit, Marsh Tit, Willow Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Common Treecreeper, Eurasian Nuthatch, Common Jay, Common Magpie, Eurasian Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, European Greenfinch, European Goldfinch, Eurasian Linnet, Common Bullfinch, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting

Other Wildlife

To do

Site Information

History and Use

The reservoir is heavily used for recreation with sailing and fly-fishing the cause of much disturbance to the birds.

Areas of Interest

To do

Access and Facilities

Ogston Reservoir is situated 2.5km south-west of Clay Cross to the north of Brackenfield and can be reached from the B6014 Stretton to Matlock road. This road skirts the northern end of the reservoir and a minor road from here to Brackenfield gives views over the more southerly part of the water.

The Ogston Bird Club has three hides around the reservoir which are open to members only and there is a public hide on the West Bank where the latest bird sightings are posted.

Grid Ref: SK3760

Contact Details

For Ogston Bird Club membership details contact the Membership Secretary, 2 Sycamore Avenue, Glapwell, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, S44 5LH.

External Links

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Content and images originally posted by Steve