Monthly Archives: April 2010

Patch Outing

Started the day at 7am at Ingbirchworth Reservoir to the voice af a calling Whitethroat and watching a good size flock of Swift dashing to and fro over the dam wall with Swallows in and amongst careful scrutiny revealed a couple of Sand Martin and my first House Martin (148) of the year then the familiar “rattle” call of a Lesser Whitethroat in the dam wall hedge and then three Common Sandpiper feeding and calling on the dam wall itself, great start on then to Langsett.

Pulling up at the Langsett car park in pouring rain meant I had a 30 minute wait before it stopped but then it did stay clear for the rest of the day so I couldn’t complain. Birds were good at Langsett at the start of the walk a flock of Lesser Redpoll went overhead giving off their familiar flight call, amongst the trees Siskin, further in a Blackcap gave a quick burst giving itself away. Along the track Robins, Chaffinch and Blue Tits then I heard Redstart (149) calling it took some finding but ten minutes of being patient paid off a nice male with that tail flicking as well, beautiful one of my favourite birds well he moved on and so did I to find Meadow Pipt, Cuckoo (150), Red Grouse, Buzzard, Willow Warblers and Grey Wagtail. I had gone as far as I could so I made my way back finding a single Male Crossbill (151) , Dipper and a Garden Warbler (152) another couple of first’s for the year but I failed on Tree Pipt I’ll save that for next time because coffee and a bacon buttie beckoned. On the way home I called in again at Cheesegate Nab but only found Wheatear three in all so I now think the Ring Ouzel have moved on, thats it for this week next report might having something a little different  Todays Full Bird List

Birds and a Sunny Day

The day started early setting off at 6:30am with the 1st stop (stop 1 bird list) being the local cricket field for a hoped for Little Owl which didn’t show but Magpie, Woodpigeon, Crow, Blackbird did. Stop 2 (stop 2 bird list)  a local stream for a hoped for Dipper which didn’t show but Grey Wagtail did, not off to a good start two dips already travel to stop 3 (stop 3 bird list) ,Cheesegate Nab gave Skylark, Curlew, Rook, Pheasant and Wheatear ♂ on route. At Cheesegate Nab there were now plenty of Willow Warblers  proclaiming terrority and it was also good to see Ring Ouzel again, 2 birds today male (♂) and female (♀), along with these Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Fieldfare (1), Green Woodpecker “yaffling”, Jay (6), Wheatears (3), Pied Wagtail on checking these Pieds’ I found myself a White Wagtail (79) (Moticilla alba alba) subspecies of Pied first for me for the “Patch” and lastly a fly thru Sparrowhawk.

Ring Ouzel ♀

Stop 4 (stop 4 bird list) was Whitley Common adding Little Owl (2) to the day list, which goes to show birds don’t turn up in the places you planned they would, more Wheaters (6), Skylark and then on to Royd Moor stop 5 (stop 5 bird list). I was hoping for some warbler species here but when I arrived there were men at work signs everywhere so that put an end to the warblers apart from the Willow Warblers there was a good count here at about 12 singing birds , other birds included Song Thrush, Little Grebe, Yellowhammer, Red Bunting and my first Common Sandpiper (80) of the year on the dam wall.

Off again this time down to Ingbirchworth and stop 6 (stop 6 bird list) passing another Little Owl on the way out. I parked up on the dam wall near the pub and started to listen out for more warblers whilst waiting over the water were hawking Swallows and Sand Martins there were a good number of martins passing thru with around about 20 birds present then I caught sighht of a bird in the hedgerow giving off an alarm call my first Whitethroat (81) of the year. I watched this bird for a good 15 minutes singing, feeding and bringing nesting material into a nest site in amongst some brambles, one of the Whitethroats favoured places to nest, then I had a ‘rattle’ sound another call this time from a Lesser Whitethroat (82) once again in the hedgerow.

On then to stop 7 Old Moor RSPB (stop 7 bird list) reserve near Broomhill I arrived at about 11am ish hoping to walk on to the new ‘Bolton Ings’ hide along ‘Wablers Way’ for warblers but I was told NO because a Male Marsh Harrier had decided to nest build so the path had to be closed so it was Plan ‘B’  on to the reserve, feeders first I thought, hide was full so I decided on a walk down to ‘Wath Ings’ hide passing Mute Swan on the way

Mute Swan

The day was getting warmer Blackcap and Willow Warblers were singing beautiful days at the Wath Ings hide another warbler burst in to song Sedge Warbler another first for the year giving good views as well, from the hide Redshank, Common Tern, Little Grebe, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Black Headed Gull and Little Ringed Plover (2). Moved on then to the Wader Hide with not many waders but I did see Oystercatcher, more Redshank and another Common Sandpiper wildfowl Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler and Teal. Back at the feeders Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Tree Sparrow, Reed Bunting

Male (♂) Reed Bunting and Tree Sparrow

I moved on then to stop 8 Broomhill Flash (stop 8 bird list) just around the corner from Old Moor seeing another Common Sandpiper,  more Oystercatcher and Redshank, two Swallows dipped in and then off again, a few Stock Doves in the fields with a few wildfowl on the water Gadwall, Teal and Tufted Duck. Another move and a final stop of the day this time at Wombwell Ings (stop 9 bird list), this reserve is in between Broomhill and Old Moor but it was much of the same that I had seen all day with more Redshank, Common Sandpiper, Swallow, Skylark, Gadwall, Blackcap, Teal etc The day was over the final tally was 73 species with 4 “Patch” birds 1 being a first for the Patch and 6 year birds in total and a sunny day to boot 🙂 The Days Bird List

Garden Stuff

The first half of this week saw me laid up at home poorly with torn shoulder/arm muscles so I passed some of the time away with what was coming into the back garden and took a few photos, a rare treat, here’s a selection

Male ♂ Blackbird

Male ♂ House Sparrow




Ingbirchworth Tour

An Ingbirchworth tour today with the first port of call being the reservoir with the dam wall being the first stop for passage waders but alas there was none, so I went round to the inlet side to bag my first patch Willow Warbler of the year along with Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Little Grebe, Coot and a few Mallards. On then to Whitley Common for a hoped for Wheatear but alas no Wheatears either but a few common stuff like Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Skylark, Linnet and Chaffinch

Male Chaffinch Whitley Common

 I moved on then back to Cheesegate Nab for Ring Ouzel I had seen from the HBW website that there was 1 bird still around so since I was passing I dropped in to find not 1 but 2 birds along with Jackdaws and a few more Willow Warblers [ 1 still present Sat 17th along with a Wheatear]

I was hoping then for a Redstrart from my last site but extensive searching didnt reveal 1 there was however plenty more Willow Warblers and a Goshawk [140], but due to the sensitivity of this bird I cant reveal where I was because there are still idiots among us.

Old Moor RSPB

“Then God said “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abound, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Dunnock taken Old Moor

Old Moor was the destination and the group was from the church I attend in Huddersfield. Just over twenty people with different skill levels in bird ID from the novice to those with numerous years under the belt, but all one in Christ. So 10am was the start time in the Old Moor car park with Black Headed Gull getting the list off to a start then Robin, Greenfinch, Wren, Blue Tit then my first Willow Warbler of the year followed shortly by Blackcap.

Out onto the reserve after the group intro from the RSPB staff, generally telling us about Old Moor and what was about this went down brilliantly well with the group, first port of call then being the feeders Great Tit, Greenfinch, Bullfinch, Coal Tit, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Tree Sparrow, Reed Bunting, Pheasant and Mallard. Venturing futher in and towards the Family Hide Long Tailed Tit, and another Willow Warbler but this one was singing its heart out in full view giving great us a great opportunity to scope it for the group with also a Dunnock near by [view video]. Arriving at the family hide to view some wildfowl Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck with a few Oystercatchers thrown in. On then to the next hide to have a Green Woodpecker and a Ringed Plover shown to  us by one of the RSPB staff/Volunteer and with a few Redshank, Goosander ♀, Shoveler and a Wigeon ♀♂, thrown in the group was soon on the move again finally arriving at the Wath Ings hide to find 2-off Little Gulls, one being in its full summer dress, stunning and then to everyones delight a fly past Kingfisher taking in the full length of the hide and to within a couple of feet, thier are still talking about it today, it was bacon buttie and cappucino time.

After dinner we parted company some staying, some went shopping, my wife and I went to Wombwell Ings to have an hours reflect and to have a little bit of time out for ourselves adding Little Ringed Plover (2), Green Sandpiper and Whooper Swan(2)  to my day tally. Click for the Day List

Ring Ouzels

I had a couple of hours to spare so I checked out Cheesegate Nab hoping for a pass thru migrant Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Crow and Linnets to wet the appetite first and then blackbird no there it was and then two and finally four in all, Ring Ouzels [75], a splendid migrant very much like a Blackbird with what they call a gorget on the breast this being white in colour and the beautiful silver shading in the wings always great to catch these birds on the way thru thay will probably hang about for a couple of days feeding up and then moving on to breeding grounds.

Broadstones Reservoir seven Oystercatchers, Tufted Duck ♂♀ and the Mallards. Whiteley Common Chaffinch, Reed Bunting, Lapwing, Curlew and Skylark

Patch Outing

What species are these??

Planned a visit roiund a few of the Patch Reservoirs today namely Ingbirchworth, Royd Moor, Winscar and Langsett to get all these in it would be a whistle stop tour. Started at Ingbirchworth at about 9:30am to pick up my first Sand Martins (4) of the year along with a Swallow and the usual Coot, Mallard etc. Out and along Annat Road to find Little Owl and alone female Wheatear ♀, my first of the year, futher up the road was a huge flock of Fieldfare c250 with a handful of Starling mixed in but no Ring Ouzels, I believe Fieldfares are good carriers of Ring Ouzel so I had a good look before moving on down Whiteley Common to find a few smaller birds Pied Wagtails were evident but I couldn’t turn any in to White Wagtails along with the wagtails were Reed Buntings ♂♀, Chaffinch ♂♀, Linnet and Stock Dove.

Flight hill area was the next port of call to find Red Grouse, Curlew and Meadow Pipit whilst I was having dinner in these parts I had another lifer but this didn’t have any feathers, it was grey and white, arge back legs , it was in moult to its summer coat from its white winter one and it was a Mountain Hare

Answer to above photo

Norfolk Days

Four days in sunny drizzly cold windy Norfolk stopping in self catering accomadation near Cromer at Overstrand , Green Lawn House well run place well presented, clean, nice bed, small overall little bit of a problem with cases’ going in but rated a 3* which I would say was fair.

Anyway enough of that the birds, Monday 29th March travelling day with the accomadation near Cromer saw us firstly adding Alpine Swift [313] to my British List which was happily flying around Happy Valley near Cromer. We arrived at about 4pm’ish to get great views has the bird flew overhead  to within a couple of feet , identified by its larger size than the Common Swift with white belly/throat patch and slower wing beats, should have been summering in the Med somewhere but along with approx 4-6 other birds in the country was enjoying the British Springtime, there was also Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Dunnock and Robin.

Tuesday 30th was tourist day with a little bit of birding thrown in, Cley Spy in Glanford was first port of call for a rain guard, we needed it, I also had chance to view and play with a few pairs of binoculars namely Zeiss, Swarovski, Hawke, Minox before I was torn away to Blickling Hall. House was shut so we strolled around the grounds whilst I was adding Egyptian Goose, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Treecreeper, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Gossander [lake] to my list.

Stubbs Mill later on in the day to see Marsh Harriers a plenty, Hen Harrier, Buzzard, Kingfisher, Jay and Common Cranes.

Wednesday 31st we spent all day at Cley Nature Reserve on the coast, I love that visitor centre being able to view the whole reserve in warm, dry comfort makes it along with a cappuccino and a bacon butty for soft birding, well you have to spoil yourself now and again and it was raining excuses excuses. Birds well plenty of Marsh Harrier on view with 5 birds in the air at once, plenty of Avocet, Redshank, Brent Geese, Greylag Geese, Little Egret. When we did tear ourselves away from the cappuccino and bacon butties  sorry visitor centre we were rewarded with a hunting Barn Owl catching and enjoying a meal in the reserve fields. A few wildfowl were added to the list from the hides namely Shoveler, Mallard, Gadwall, Teal  and Shelduck. On then to the shingle bank for a bit of seawatching Red Throated Diver (3), Long Tailed Duck (2), Ringed Plover (2), Cormorant, Sandwich Tern, and Swallow (2) finally making it down to the Swarovski hide here we saw Ruff, Dunlin, Meadow Pipit, Black Tailed Godwit and Oystercatcher. 56 species for Cley, SEE LIST, the permit cost was £4 per person.

Thursday 1st April Huddersfield bound but not before stopping at Weeting Heath in the Brecks not much happening here 5 Stone Curlew reported for yesterday but down to 2 today and they were playing hide and seek mainly hide whilst we were there but we did add Woodlark, Pied Wagtail, Coal Tit, Buzzard (3), Lapwing ,Robin and a Muntjac Deer before leaving.

Whilst travelling back Red Kite (4) and Sparrowhawk (1)

Overview :- 18 year birds added [see Norfolk list] 1 even making it to the British List > Alpine Swift taking the year tally to date 132, 1 bird not seen which we were surprised at was Grey Heron

Weather played a big part in not taking photos or seeing smaller bird species we had Sun, Rain, Wind and even Hail whilst at Cley for a brief time here a couple of pics and some more at this link Norfolk Pics March 2010


Barn Owl at Cley Nature Reserve March 2010

Blickling Hall Norfolk