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Sunny Days

A warm sunny day couldn’t be missed so I headed down to Adwick Washlands again to try to catch up with a couple of birds I missed out on last week.

Egyptian Goose, one I’d missed before, was soon found on arrival mixed in with Canadas and Greylags, the Pink footed Goose took a bit longer but was located further down the reserve,Ringed Plovers however were missed again. Other birds about were still plenty of Redshank and Avocets along with a couple of Oystercatchers, a soaring Common Buzzard, a few Black tailed Godwits, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Shoveler, and Pochard

A couple of butterflies species were on the wing, Brimstone and Peacock but no photos

Birds at Adwick :-  Avocet, Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Black tailed Godwit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Egyptian, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pink footed Goose, Pochard, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Robin, Shoveler, Teal, Wigeon, Woodpigeon, Wren

On then to Old Moor and hopefully a few butterflies on the wing, the day was beginning to warm up. The obvious birds on arrival were Black headed Gulls, they were now everywhere and very noisy but my objective was Green Lane for butterflies and here I saw Brimstone, Comma, my first Orange-tips of the year, Peacocks and the years first Small White, a good start and since the sun was shining I was joined by plenty of Gorse Shieldbugs along with a single Hairy Shieldbug.

Bird highlights were a single Green Sandpiper from wader scrape hide, Redshank and Pied Wagtail

Birds at Old Moor:- Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Coot, Cormorant, Gadwall, Great Tit, Green Sandpiper, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Little Grebe, magpie, Mallard, Mute swan, Oystercatcher, Pied wagtail, Redshank, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Starling, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Woodpigeon

Avocet at Adwick Washlands

Avocet

Gorse Shieldbug at Old Moor

Gorse Shieldbug

The Dearne Valley Tour

Todays tour was to take in four of the Dearne Valley Nature Reserves, Old Moor, Adwick Washlands, Edderthorpe NR, and Wombwell Ings. Due to business over the boarder I didn’t arrive at Old Moor till 11:30am.

Tree Sparrow Farm was the first area of viewing were a Male Brambling could be seen along with a female Yellowhammer, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Reed Buntings, Tree Sparrow, Goldfinch, Chaffinch and Bullfinch. Next it was on to the family hide where I finally found the Mediterranean Gull again along with lots of Black headed gulls, Wigeon, Gadwall, Tufted Duck. On then to the wader Scrap hide where I picked up on a Green Sandpiper

Birds seen at Old Moor :- Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Brambling, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Green Sandpiper, Greenfinch, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Lapwing, Lesser black Backed Gull, Little Grebe, Magpie, mallard, Mediterranean Gull, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pochard, Robin, Shelduck,Shoveler, Starling, Stock Dove, Teal, Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Woodpigeon, Yellowhammer (41 species)

On then to a new site Adwick Washlands another site owned by the RSPB along the Dearne Valley, an open site no cafe or toilet here but plenty of birds and nice to see so many Avocets (13) and lots of  Redshanks about, Buzzards overheard, and the Chiffchaff could still be heard calling from the wooded area. A few Reed Buntings could be see along the footpath margins with a few Pied Wagtails nearby, plenty of Greylag Geese were scattered about the site along with a few Canada Geese. Wildfowl about were Tufted Duck, Shelduck, Shoveler, Mallard, Wigeon, Pochard, and Gadwall, 

Birds seen at Adwick Washlands :- Avocet, Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Canada Goose, Crow, Chiffchaff, Coot, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Greylag Goose, Lapwing, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Starling, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Wren (31 Species)

On then to Edderthorpe hopefully for a Pintail, on arrival a Buzzard watched me park up, bit of a walk down to the seat where I set up camp and scanned the waters. Little Egret and Grey Heron were in the margins whilst Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Mallard, Pochard, Shoveler, Wigeon and more Redshank, and finally the site gave up the splendid male Pintail…lovely

Birds seen at Edderthorpe :- Black headed Gull, Buzzard, Cormorant, Gadwall, Grey Heron, Lapwing, Lapwing, Little Egret, Mallard, Pintail, Pochard, Redshank, Shelduck, Shoveler, Starling, Tufted Duck, Wigeon (16 Species)

Last port of call for the day was Wombell Ings were the walk down to the hide produced lots of Goldfinch, a couple of Mistle Thrush, and a couple of Red legged Partridge were nice to catch up with as they flew across the field. Viewed from the hide male and female Goosander, more Redshank and Pied Wagtail.

Birds at Wombwell Ings :- Black headed Gull, Canada Goose, Collard Dove, Coot, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Goosander, Lapwing, Little Egret, Magpie, Mistle Thrush, Oystercatcher, Pied Wagtail, Pochard, Red legged Partridge, Redshank, Robin, Shoveler, Wigeon, Woodpigeon (20 Species)

Jackdaw

Jackdaw

Targets

Heading out today with three target birds on mind Med Gull, Pintail and Green winged Teal, Old Moor and Blacktoft Sands are the places to try to find them.

I started at Old Moor arriving at 9:30pm and after clocking in went around to the Tree Sparrow farm, Tree Sparrows were there along with Reed Bunting, Blue Tit, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Dunnock, but no Greenfinch and Brambling at the moment. On to my next stop the Family Hide hoping for target 1, but after scanning most of the Black headed Gulls I couldn’t find the Med Gull (gone fly around), Common Gulls, Herring Gulls and Lesser Black Backed Gulls, also here, Tufted Ducks, Mallard, Little Grebe, Shoveler, Cormorants and no Pintail.

Field Pool hide was my next hope but no Pintail again did find Redshank which was new for the day, Pochards, Shovelers, Mallards, a couple of Mute Swans and the Black tailed Godwit was still here

Went on down to Wath Ings then where I picked up a group of Goldeneye, mixed ♂ and ♀, Grey Heron up at the back.

Down then to Wader Scrape hide where there was a Oystercatcher close to the hide, Lapwings and Starlings on the Islands, a couple of fly thru Shelducks, plenty of birds I’d seen earlier but not the two target birds for here.

So back to the Family Hide and scan the gulls again and this time I located the Mediterranean Gull  back on its favourite Island, 1 down 2 to go

Dunnock

Dunnock

Moved away from Old Moor and on to Blacktoft Sands minus the Pintail but arriving at Blacktoft and the recent sightings board held promise for Pintail but not the hoped for Green Winged Teal :(.

First sightings at Blacktoft of course were the Tree Sparrows around the feeder along with Chaffinch and Dunnock. After the feeders and the Robin at the entrance to the reserve onward up to Ousefleet Hide where there was plenty of Teal but no Green Winged, a few Curlew went thru, Greylag Geese, Pied Wagtail, Coots, Tufted Ducks and Black headed Gulls.

Moving the various other hides on the reserve I saw Green Sandpiper along with a Redshank, 5 Marsh Harriers (mainly at Townend Hide), Oystercatcher, Shelduck and a Common Buzzard. Stopping on for the roost didn’t provide anymore raptors for the day.

Robin

Robin

Birds at Old Moor :- Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Black tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Brambling, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Crow, Chaffinch, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mediterranean Gull, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied wagtail, Pochard, redshank, Reed Bunting, Robin, Shoveler, Stock Dove, Teal, Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Woodpigeon,

Birds at Blacktoft Sands:-  Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Crow, Chaffinch, Coot, Curlew, Dunnock, Gadwall, Great Tit, Green Sandpiper, Greylag Goose, Lapwing, Little Grebe, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pied Wagtail, Pochard, Redshank, Robin, Rook, Shelduck, ,Shoveler, Stock Dove, Teal, Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Woodpigeon, Wren

Old Moor RSPB

After a few weeks at home it was time to get out and about again and as always Old Moor is a first choice. Arrived at 9:15 to Dunnock, Blue Tit, Black headed Gull, Woodpigeon, Goldfinch from the car park

After checking into the centre I headed round to the Tree Sparrow Farm to see what was around the feeders, a good selection Reed Bunting, Dunnock, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Bullfinch, Brambling ♀, Robin, and Tree Sparrow. On then to the Reedbed screen in the hope of seeing a few special birds, so I waited watching Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Mute Swan and Coots, 20 mins in and a bird flew across the channel it eventually settled but out of sight then re-appeared, Cettis Warbler nice, it then disappeared out of sight again, it was whilst waiting for the Warbler to appear again that I saw something moving across the top of the Channel near the Mute Swan area, Bittern, lovely never seen one swim before, a great one to see.

A great start to the day on to the Family hide to see Redshank and Green Sandpiper, also from here Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Common Gull, Lesser Black backed Gull, no Mediterranean Gull as yet

On at the wader scrap hide a male Sparrowhawk put everything up as he flew thru and a Common Buzzard put in an appearance along with a couple of Oystercatcher on one of the Islands

On the way back at the field pool hide I caught up with a Black tailed Godwit, and then finally around the pools 2 Small Tortoiseshell Butterflies….. in February, certainly a contrast from last year

Birds List :- Bittern, Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Brambling, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Cettis warbler, Chaffinch, Collard Dove, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Gadwall,Goldfinch, Goosander, Great Tit, Green Sandpiper, Greenfinch, Greylag Goose, Jackdaw, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Mistle Thrush, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pied Wagtail, Pink footed Goose, Pochard, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stock Dove, Teal, Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Woodpigeon, Wren (52)

Blackbird

Blackbird

Waxwings and Bearded Tit

Waxwings were back in the area just over the hill from me in Brighouse so would have been a shame not to say hello.

Arrived at 9am to give the traffic chance to clear from a the busy route and found a suitable parking space on one of the side streets. The Waxwings were soon picked up high in one of the trees giving off their familiar silhouette along with a few Redwings.

As waxwings do they gave flight and then came down to one of the berry loaded tress across the road and feed in a frenzy, along with Redwings, Blackbirds and a couple of Mistle Thrush.

Waxwing

Waxwing

The light was horrible today, grey skies, and drizzle but it was good to see a large number of Waxwing again and I managed a couple of record shots, now it was off to St Aidans for Bearded Tit which were giving good views around Bowers Lake.

Bowers Lake of course was the first port of call but alas the “Beardy” hadn’t been seen for a while, so a little walk around gave, Coot, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Curlew, Lapwings, Golden Plover, then one of the wardens got my attention by waving and pointing the Bearded Tit was now showing and it was a male bird working its way thru the reeds right next to the footpath. Five minutes later and it had drawn a little crowd, I’ve never seen a “Beardy” this close before, what a sight to behold.

Had my fill so decided to off looking for the Bean Goose that had been reported but all that was found were Greylags, Canadas and a consoling Barnacle Goose in with the Canada flock.

Last one to look for was Water Pipit which I hadn’t seen for a number of years, it was a long walk to the filter beds. My feet were aching when I arrived they were soon located, with help from a few people already there, did manage to find three Water Pipits in all along with Pied Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, and Chaffinch.

Another long walk back to St Aidans but it was rewarded when a Female Merlin flew thru when I was sat down resting

A fine day with excellent birds and great views of the Male Bearded Tit (best ever)

Bearded Tit

Bearded Tit

Birds Lists

Brighouse :- Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Cormorant, Jackdaw, Magpie, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Waxwing

St Aidans RSPB :- Barnacle Goose, Bearded Tit, Black headed Gull, Canada Goose, Crow, Chaffinch, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Gadwall, Golden Plover, Goldfinch, Goosander, Great Crested Grebe, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull. Kestrel, lapwing, Magpie, Mallard, Meadow Pipit, Merlin, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pied Wagtail, Reed Bunting, Shelduck, Shoveler, Starling, Stock Dove, Teal, Tufted Duck, Water Pipit, Wigeon

Bretton Country Park

I think it was back in 1986 that I had a trip out to see a Great White Egret at the local Country Park, Bretton, (now known as Yorkshire Sculpture Park) which is inside the Huddersfield Birdwatchers Recording Area. Back in 1986 however I missed seeing the bird by about 5 mins and wasn’t seen again at the park, so over 30 years later I finally put this one behind me.

The Great White Egret was easily viewed from Cascade Bridge, giving good views periodically as it strolled within the reeds then a Kingfisher flew thru my field of view taking my attention away from the Egret for a moment. Other birds in view at this time were Great Crested Grebe, Grey Herons, Tufted Ducks, Black headed Gulls, Coots, and Gadwalls were close by. A sound of a Wagtail got my attention behind me, a Grey Wagtail was lifting off from the dam wall, flew over me and out of sight, which drew my attention to a Cormorant flying over.

A walk then around the lower lake brought back memories of times gone by, the old woodpecker tree where I saw all three species of Woodpeckers on one visit but only Long tailed Tit today, Robin, Wren, Treecreeper, and a Nuthatch were the only birds found around lower lake today, on the water more Tufted Duck, Goosander ♀, Teal, Mallard and Pochard.

My time was up, the parking time was nearly done, I had time for another look at the Great White on the way passed, a long wait over 🙂

Birds Seen today : Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Crow, Coot, Cormorant, Gadwall, Goosander, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Great White Egret, Grey Wagtail, Greylag Goose, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Kingfisher, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Nuthatch, Pochard, Robin, Shoveler, Teal, Treecreeper, Tufted Duck, Woodpigeon, Wren

Lowther Lake

Part of the St Aidans complex and a new area for me, turned out to be a two-hour walk around with a group Start Birding, we started at 10am and finished at about 12 noon

House Sparrows, Robin, Blackbird were seen near the car park, we headed off then to the nearby fields, here we found Black Headed, Common and Herring Gulls over headed in the hedgerows Reed Bunting, Yellowhammer, Woodpigeon.

On to the nearby lake Goldeneye ♀, were seen along with Mallard, Cormorant, Teal, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Pochard and a few Coot

We walked around the perimeter of the lake taking in the river where we added Shoveler and Goosander ♀ to the list, Buzzard in a nearby tree along with Woodpigeons, Great Spotted Woodpecker, more Yellowhammmers and Reed Buntings, Chaffinch, were seen and a Kingfisher

Bird List for the Walk :-  Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Canada Geese, Crow, Chaffinch, Collard Dove, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Goosander, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Greylag Geese, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Jay, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute swan, Pheasant, Pochard, Reed Bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Starling, Stock Dove, Teal, Tufted Duck, Woodpigeon, Yellowhammer

Kestrel

Kestrel