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.
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
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
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