Grand Tour Day 2

Todays plan was to motor up to RSPB Titchwell (MAP) and then call in at RSPB Lakenheath on my way back to the B&B

Arrived at Titchwell at about 10am to the sound of my first Blackcaps (later to see) of the year and Chiffchaffs, from the car park I headed on to the reserve and my attention was drawn to a Muntjac Deer in the ditch that runs along the side of the path, undisturbed by us looking on it went about its business feeding away, I stayed watching on until it quietly disappeared in to the undergrowth.

My first port of call  was the beach and from the dunes I could see nothing on the sea but many waders at a distance  along the shoreline. I made my way over and kept myself at a safe distance watching, Oystercatchers, Bar tailed Godwits, Sanderling, Grey Plover, Knot and Redshanks.

Back on to the I passed a couple of Red Crested Pochard on the Tidal Marsh and the calls of newly arrived Sandwich Terns overhead, Curlew, Redshank and Avocet were on the Volunteer Marsh as I made the Parrinder Hide my next stop. From the hide my highlights were Mediterranean Gulls, Sandwich Terns, Little Ringer Plovers, Pied Wagtail, Avocets, Redshanks, Ruff, SnipeBlack tailed Godwits and a distant Marsh Harrier.

Birds at Titchwell :- Avocet, Bar tailed Godwit, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Black tailed Godwit, Blue Tit, Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Curlew, Dunnock, Egyptian Goose, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Grey Plover, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Knot, Linnet, Little Ringed Plover, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Mediterranean Gull, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Red crested Pochard, Redshank, Robin, Ruff, Sanderling, Sandwich Tern, Shelduck, Shoveler, Snipe, Teal, Woodpigeon, Wren (43 Species)

My allocated time at Titchwell was over, too short a visit maybe next time a bit longer, on then and down to Lakenheath were I was greeted by a calling Green Woodpecker as I entered the car park. A calling Cettis Warbler bowled me over as I left the car park alas I couldn’t find it. A quick look from the Washland viewpoint and I saw Redshank, Little Ringed Plovers, and  Lapwing

I walked all the way down to Joist Fen Viewpoint were there was many a Marsh Harrier and little else on view in the late afternoon sun. A stop off at the Mere gave me the Male Garganey, Mute Swan, Coot, Moorhen, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler and Tufted Duck.

The last visit was around the Visitor Center and on my way there I picked up a Sparrowhawk over the woods, around the center I watched Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long tailed Tit, Robin and Reed Bunting

Birds at Lakenheath :- Blue Tit, Canada Goose, Carrion Crow, Cettis Warbler, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Gadwall, Garganey, Goldfinch, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Green Woddpecker, Greenfinch, Greylag Goose, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Lapwing, Littel Grebe, Little Ringed Plover, Long tailed Tit, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Mute Swan, Pheasant, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Robin, Rook, Shoveler, Sparrowhawk, Stock Dove, Tufted Duck, Wren (36 Species)

Butterflies:- Peacock

Muntjac

Muntjac Deer-00863

Grand Tour Day 1

Three days away taking in RSPB Frampton Marsh (That Long billed Dowitcher), RSPB Titchwell (because i like Titchwell),  RSPB Lakenheath (Common Crane) and Rutland Water (Ospreys).

I was staying at a new Bed and Breakfast, Westgate House and Barn at Spalding, a good choice, set in a nice quiet location, great food and the room was a good size and clean.

First site was Frampton and it was blowing a gale, hat and gloves were in order, the field near the car park held a few Oystercatchers and Ruff, Brent Geese seemed to be everywhere in the fields in the air and constantly calling, quite a sceptical to see so many.

On then to the last location of the Dowitcher, a bit of a walk as it was at the furthest field of the reserve (why does it always seem to be!!), not here but it was nice to pick up my first Little Ringed Plovers of the year. The walk back passed the saltmarsh showed no raptors but only Meadow Pipits and Skylarks. Back at the Dowitchers favourite field,supposedly, there was a couple of Spotted RedshanksRinged Plovers and a single Dunlin to brighten up the day thou, across the pathway/road there were a few Golden Plovers, Pied Wagtails and Great Crested Grebes.

My next stop was around at the East Hide from here the Black tailed Godwits could be seen and I don’t think I’ve seen so many in one place, amongst them were more Redshanks, Curlews, Lapwing, Ruff and a couple of pair of Pintails were a nice surprise.

Back out into the wind and a walk back around to the Dowitchers favourite field, still not seen, but more Little Ringed Plovers and Spotted Redshanks. The visitor centre was my next stop back to the car and here I managed to see the immature Little Gull and a few Swallows and Sand Martins and a pair of Goldeneye, around at the feeders House Sparrows, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Great TitBlue Tit and Reed Buntings.

Always a great visit at Frampton….dispite missing the Dowitcher always plenty to see

Birds seen at Frampton :- Avocet, Black headed Gull, Black tailed Godwit, Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Coot, Curlew, Dunlin, Gadwall, Golden Plover, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Greylag Goose, House Sparrow. Jack Snipe, Lapwing, Little Ringed Plover, Mallard, Meadow Pipit, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Pintail, Pochard, Red legged Partridge, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Ringed Plover, Ruff, Sand Martin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Skylark, Swallow, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon (43 species)

Spotted Redshank

Spotted Redshank-00848

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