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)



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.



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



Fairburn and Blacktoft

An old club run back in the 1980’s so a little bit of a nostalgic day, plan was Fairburn Ings first, and Lin Dike was where the day started at 8:30am.

A few small birds were evident in the hedgerows, many Blackbirds, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long tailed Tit, Curlews were heard and then later seen from the hide further down the path, along with Black headed and Common Gulls. Also from the hide were Moorhen, Coots and further out Mute Swan, Tufted Ducks, Shelduck.

Leaving the hide I walked down towards the viaduct where I found more Blackbirds, and a small flock of Finch containing a lot of Bullfinch, Goldfinch and a single Lesser Redpoll. The highlight on the way back to the car was a Peregrine Falcon, flying close by it alighted on a nearby pylon were I was able to get good views but distant.

On then to the visitor centre where around the feeders could be found Tree Sparrows, Chaffinch, Collard Doves, Reed Buntings, Long tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Willow Tit, and Dunnocks

Fairburn Birds List:

Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue tit, Canada Goose, Crow, Chaffinch, Collard Dove, Common Gull, Cormorant, Curlew, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Great Crested Grebe, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Kestrel, Lapwing, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Peregrine, Pheasant, Pochard, Reed Bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Song Thrush, Teal, Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Wigeon, Willow Tit, Wren


Moved on then after Fairburn to Blacktoft Sands hopefully for a good raptor roost I was greeted by Fieldfare and Starlings in the nearby fields and Greenfinch, Tree Sparrows, and a couple of Rats were around the feeder table.

Marshland hide was first where Shelduck, Teal, Gadwall and Snipe were seen, I then worked my way down various hides seeing Little Egret, Shoveler, Redshank, Goldeneye, Greylag Geese, and Wigeon before settling into the First Hide for the roost, I was hopeful due to the what was on the sightings board (Marsh and Hen Harriers, Barn and Short Eared Owl, Merlin and Peregrine) a Common Buzzard was first in followed by a couple of Marsh Harriers but that was to be it and the ending of the day

Blacktoft Sands Bird List:

Blackbird, Blue Tit, Buzzard, Crow, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Greylag Goose, Little Egret, Magpie, Marsh Harrier, Moorhen, Pheasant, Redshank, Shelduck, Shoveler, Snipe, Starling, Teal, Tree Sparrow, Wigeon, Woodpigeon

Willow Tit

Willow Tit

Old Moor

Thought I’d brush off the Christmas cake and start the New Years birding again and of course a new start at a favourite place.

My first area to look in was the Trans Pennine Trail and to pin down some Redolls that had been seen over the last few days, hopefully with the Meally (Common) Redpoll that had been seen. Goldfinch were the only flock I could find and it was when I  nearly gave up that I found a single Lesser Redpoll, the joy was short-lived when it soon decided to fly off in the direction of Old Moor, so the decision was to walk down to Bolton Ings.

Bolton Ings gave up two cream crowned Marsh Harriers along with two Goosander, Little Egret, Coot, a Green Woodpecker was heard only, Mute Swan, a Jay. Long tailed Tit, Blue Tit and Great Tit were seen back on the TPT as I walked back to Old Moor.

On the reserve around the Tree Sparrow farm, Bullfinch, Reed Bunting, Robin, Woodpigeon, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Dunnocks and Blackbirds

Bearded Tits had been reported down near the Reedbed hide so once again I decided on giving it ago to try to add this species to my Old Moor list, an hour in waiting and it’s still not on the list, but a Common Buzzard was a nice addition to the day

A walk then back down to the Family Hide gave up a flock of Lesser Redpolls near the big tree, but were hard to see amongst the bushes and the Meally wasn’t picked out before they gave flight.

Family Hide gave Coots, Cormorant, Black headed and Common Gulls, Pochard, Tufted Ducks, Mallard

On then and to the far end of Old Moor at Wath Ings hide were I managed to find a Drake Goldeneye, first of the year, also here were Lapwings, Starlings,

Bird List for the Day:- Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Canada Goose, Crow, Chaffinch, Common Gull, Cormorant, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Goosander, Great Tit, Green Woodpecker, Greenfinch, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Jay,, Lapwing, Lesser Redpoll, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Marsh Harrier, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Pochard, Reed Bunting, Robin, Shelduck, Shoveler, Starling, Stock Dove, TYeal, Tree Sparrow, Tufted Duck,Wigeon, Woodpigeon (45)

Male Reed Bunting (Winter Plumage)

Reed Bunting

Gambia 21st – 28th November

Full report and List can be seen HERE

Bird List of the Trip can be found HERE

Pied Kingfisher

Pied Kingfisher

Banded Groundling

Banded Groundling Dragonfly