Monthly Archives: April 2023

Pond Visit 20th April

A quick visit to the local ponds, after a few days of sun, mainly for a recce and in the hope of finding a few Damselflies.

Sadly, none were found, but bird highlights inc. My first Reed Bunting on this site, Blackcaps and Willow Warbler, were now on site.

Gorse Shieldbugs were a nice find and also a first here, and another first for site was a Green Longhorn Moth.

Hoverflies about mainly Syrphus sp

Green Longhorn Moth

Night Heron

Ossett today along the river Calder, attraction was a pair of Night Herons. Last time I saw these in the Huddersfield area was back in 2008 at Scout Dike reservoir, which I know believe was of dubious origin, so it would be good to get this firmly on the Huddersfield area list.

It was raining, there were few birds about, Mallards and Goosanders on the river, mermors from passing birders was that the one of the Night Herons had flown up river and the other was hiding somewhere in the bushes.

I didn’t find it on my first pad of the area, I was now the only one there, but I could see other birders arriving, I told them the news, and I was now wet.

I decided on another look-up river and to my relief someone had located the bird, happy days, twenty minutes of viewing the bird, a bit of video, before this one decided on flying up river too.

Other bird of note, my first Reed Bunting of the year, along with Willow Warbler and Blackcap

Video of Night Heron can be seen HERE

Cromwell Bottom Members Day

8th of April and members day at Cromwell Bottom, this takes in a guided walk around the site with a couple of people from the committee, also takes in the North loop, which is mainly a closed off area.

The guided walk was due to start at 10am, so I decided on a earlier start, before it got busy. Leaving the car park, the Heronry seemed very active this morning with quite a few Grey Herons around bringing in nesting material. Green Woodpecker was noticeable by its “Yaffling” call, but not seen. The feeders by the visitor centre were active with Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robins, and Chaffinch.

Down at the weir there was a single Grey Wagtail this morning, and nothing else, so onto the reserve. The main feeding station was a quiet today, only Robins seen with a nearby calling Chiffchaff.

A walk on down to the viewing platform were there was a male Teal and a Grey Heron. I came back via the river footpath hoping for that Kingfisher sighting, not today.

A Blackcap made itself known by its loud call around by the feeding station, a bit of a dull start, hope the walk is better.

The members walk started at 10am setting off down along the canal towpath with the aim of coming onto the reserve further down. we were off to a good start picking up a couple of Willow Warblers and three female Goldeneye, Oystercatchers and Goosanders (ski lake). Our next stop was the viewing platform where we heard a Little Grebe and found a male Reed Bunting, also a couple of Lesser Redpolls .Walking back along the river footpath a Kingfisher was heard but alas not seen.

After lunch we were allowed up onto the North Loop site, where we could see the plans being made for this area, a horseshoe shaped lagoon was was being made and eventually would be a good area for passing waders, with hopefully some stopping to breed. Meadow Pipit was up on this location with of course the breeding Barn Owls.

44 species seen or heard today

Bird List : Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coal Tit, Coot, Dunnock, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Goosander, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Grey Wagtail, Greylag Goose, Jay, Kingfisher, Lesser Black backed Gull, Lesser redpoll. Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Meadow Pipit, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Nuthatch, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Reed Bunting, Robin, Song Thrush, Stock Dove, Teal, Tufted Duck, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren

Meadow Pipit
Meadow Pipit

A Day Out 7th April

Well today’s plan was for Wombwell Ings early doors then on to Thorne Moors for Adders, when hopefully the day had heated up a bit for the adders.

Wombwell was quiet, a few Meadow Pipits along with Skylarks, the Water Pipit was a quick glimpse as it flew off.

Thorne Moors produced the said Adders, we managed five today, a couple of large dark females, a great experience. Birds we managed to see on site were, Stonchat ♂, a single Swallow, Marsh Harrier, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps,

We then decided on a visit up to St Aidans RSPB, as this site doesn’t shut early, like Blacktoft |Sands. Lots more to see at St Aidans, good start was the Little Owl, in its usual spot near the drag line. A long walk then to fin the Black necked Grebes, we managed to see four birds. Gorse bushes on a sunny day had me looking and finding Gorse Shieldbugs. Bittern was heard booming but not seen, another heard was Water Rail and Cetti’s Warblers.

A great day out with 68 species seen or heard, the Adders however stole the show today

Bird List : Bittern, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Black necked Grebe, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Crow, Cetti’s Warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Collard Dove, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldcrest, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Jay, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Linnet, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Little Owl, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Meadow Pipit, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Pink footed Goose, Pochard, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Robin, Rook, Shoveler, Skylark, Song Thrush, Starling, Stock Dove, Stonechat, Swallow, Teal, Tufted Duck, Water Pipit, Water Rail, Wigeon, Willow Warbler, Woodpigeon, Wren