Monthly Archives: December 2010

Summary of 2010

As the year started so it ended with heavy snow and record tempertures as low as minus 18 in Yorkshire the worst Jan/Feb/Nov and Dec I can remember.  The summer made up for it with a great year for insects and I found myself indulging in a new passion of  Butterflies and Dragonflies as well as the birds and can’t wait for the 2011 season to start.

I had a great year bird wise with 5 lifers in total Pied Billed Grebe, Pygmy Cormorant [Italy], Ring Billed Gull, Black Throated Thrush, Italian Sparrow [Italy].

In addtiion 2 British firsts Alpine Swift and Iberian Chiffchaff

Along with these 9 patch firsts Ring Billed Gull, Mandarin Duck, Red Kite, Ringed Plover, Greenshank, Redshank, Black Redstart, Sedge Warbler, White Wagtail

So the year ended with a total of 190 species with a British Total of 183 [same as last year] and a patch total of 117 [better than last year by 5]

So what will 2011 bring as I  previously said 2010 brought a new passion of Butterflies and Dragonflies and I am looking forward to my first full season in this area, but,  ya a big but, santa brought me a new gadget this year a Bat Detector  so I will be venturing on a new wildlife trial BATS……….no Huddsbirder will not becoming Batman, Batbirder or owt like that.

2011 is also a celebration year for me a big birthday one with a zero on the end but also 25 years of Birdwatching so has a bit of fun I have set myself a few easy goals with maybe a couple of harder ones stuff  to keep my vision for the year ahead see the 2011 tab

Fairburn Ings

My annual Christmas holiday outing out with a birding mate took us first to Swillington Ings to find a frozen over lake with only gulls standing on it these were mainly Black Headed Gull, Great Black Backed Gull with a few Herring Gulls thrown in. So the ducks were to be found on the river these included Goldeneye, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Gadwall, Red Breasted Merganser, Goosander, Teal, Gadwall,Little Grebe, Moorhen, Coot the only raptor seen here was a distant Buzzard. As we made our way out Redwing, Blackbird and Fieldfare were encounted around the car park, a little further on near one of the footpaths Reed Bunting, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, and a single Brambling.

On then to Fairburn Ings taking in first Allerton Bywater to see more Gadwall, and to add Shoveler, Kingfisher, Curlew, Blue Tit, Robin, to the day list. One of the main reasons to head to Fairburn was for the Owls that had been seen the previous weeks you’ve quessed it not today anyway we made our way along the river towards the centre and in doing so added a Smew [Redhead] to the day list. At the centre hanging around the feeders Dunnock, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Tree Sparrow, Bullfinch, Willow Tit, Coal Tit, Collard Dove, Water Rail, Moorhen. Then it was a long walk back to the car at Lin Dike car park but it had its rewards with a party of Red Legged Partridge near the road side

Day List :-

Litte Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goldedeye, Smew, Red Breasted Merganser, Goosander, Buzzard, Red Legged Partridge, Pheasant, Water Rail, Moorhen, Coot, Lapwing, Curlew, Black Headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black Backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Collard Dove, Kingfisher, Wren, Dunnock Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Redwing, Long Tailed Tit, Willow Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Crow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting

Sands Lane

Once again back at Sands Lane to see two totally frozen up pools so round it was to the weir were I found the birds had gathered , Adult Ring billed Gull is still present along with the usual hosts of Black Headed Gull and Common Gull. Along the river could be found Mute Swan, Gossander male and female, Mallards, Coot, Tufted Duck male and female, Cormorant, Gadwall male and female a patch year tick, Kingfisher which of course didn’t stop has it made its way down river. So my hour was up it was now off to get a different bird yep Turkey

Common Gull


Black Headed Gull

Sands Lane

Once again you could find me down at Sands Lane in freezing temperatures this week at minus 5 I only stopped for an hour this week things to do  Christmas etc but I did see once again  the adult Ring Billed Gull along with Common Gull, Black Headed Gulls and Tufted Duck (8), Mallard, Mute Swan, Canada Geese and a nice flock of mixed Thrush Redwing, and Blackbirds

The weekend didn’t go by with out seeing more Waxwings this time about 30 birds at Moldgreen

Wagtails and Gulls

The week once again was one of the hardest on record with new December lows reaching minus 18 degs but the birds were good especially at work I found a new species in the form of a Male Brambling along with this chappie could be found Black Headed Gulls, Redwings, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robin, Jackdaws, Crows, Siskins, Kestrel and Nuthatch. One of the guys from work kindly brought his photos in to work to show off what he had been getting in his garden at present he’d been getting some good birds but there was one photo I had to pinch and heres the fellow below love this [straight out the camera no editing], great picture thanks JB

Pied Wagtail


Friday the 10th came and saw me once again down at Sands Lane looking for the Ring Billed Gull [Video Link], this bird was seen last winter mainly thru February as a 2nd/3rd winter bird and is now a full Adult and has been giving me a bit of a run around but not today as soon as I arrived I was on to the bird thanks to a local birder I watched it then for the next two hours minus 30 mins as it flew off but did return thankfully to now a couple of more birders who wanted to see it, heres the handsome chappie below

Ring Billed Gull

Other birds in the same area were fly thru Sparrowhawk and Redwings, Mute Swan, Mallard, Common Gulls, Black Headed Gulls and a Lesser Black Backed Gull

Red Kite and Waxwing

Not been out this week due to the white stuff and family but during my Friday morning breakfast, 3rd, whilst I was looking out the back window watching the feeders with the local House Sparrows tucking into there breakfast a Crow flying over caught my eye because it was or seemed to be flying funny when underneath it a bigger bird long wings long tailed made its way across my vision slowly then it dawned on me Red Kite then it made its way off in a North/North easterly direction, I stood there motionless coming to terms with what I had just seen playing it over and over in my head Red Kite in my home village has just flown passed my window I couldn’t believe it , House Tick and Patch Tick brilliant I was was begining to melt the snow with my smile :-).

Saturday,4th, was grandson day 11:30am was pick up time 11:28am we were driving passed the local school when a flock of birds caught my eye the usual dash in and out of the feeding behaviour of  Waxwing. I stopped the car at the waiting point left my wife in care of the car and pick up whilst I made my way back with bins in hand and sure enough my suspicions were correct Waxwing about 12 birds in all high in the trees surronding the local church one did venture down to the berry tree near to me to give me a closer view but not for long it was soon off again and I was off again too the car had found me and with grandson shouting come on granddad I had to leave my find behind me but tomorrow is drop off day so who knows,  this time i will be taking the camera with me. As someone  says on the Huddersfield Birdwatchers site “theres always summat about” keep your eyes open