Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Wintersett Round Up. 31st December 2013 - So near and yet so far!

2013 Weather:
It was  cold and wet until the end of May.  June was dry and warm.  July and August were glorious. The Autumn, particularly October, has been the best for years as far as quality birds are concerned.  So far, it has been a very mild winter.

The Wintersett  Area record was equalled on the 11th November, with 179 species recorded.  Despite extensive searches, nothing new turned up in the last six weeks of the year!  Glaring omissions for the year were Red-legged Partridge, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Sanderling and Garganey.

The Top Ten birds seen here this year were: -

 1. Great Skua    (1st and 2nd record)

 2. Yellow-browed  Warbler   (2nd record)

 3. Red-necked Phalarope   (3rd record)

 4. Lesser Scaup   (2nd record)

 5. Great White Egret    (3rd record)

 6. Kumlien’s Gull    (2nd record)

 7. Arctic Skua

 8. Gannet   (5th and 6th record)

 9. Ring Ouzel

10. Honey Buzzard.

Other major highlights were:-

The brief visit of Sir  David  Attenborough,
and the first  OTTER  to be recorded here  for 61 years!   It was seen by a few local fishermen and one very, very lucky local birder.

And finally -  We wish everyone excellent  birding in 2014. 


Wintersett 31.12.13

6°C,  dark grey and drizzly start.  Dry by mid-morning with a southerly wind.
Wintersett Res: The Cetti's Warbler was calling in the west bank marsh.  Water Rail 1 + 1 Pol  and Shoveler 15.
Haw Park Wood: A Crossbill flew over calling.
Walton Hall:  The usual adult Yellow-legged Gull has commandeered the island on the lake.
Anglers CP: Teal 42,  Pochard 117 and Little Grebe 3.

Edging towards the New Year

Wombwell Ings mid AM- Present were 4 Grey Heron, 2 Cormorant, 62 Canada Geese, 1 Shelduck, 155 Wigeon, 71 Teal, 13 Mallard, 1 Pochard, 77 BH Gull, 1 Common Gull, 1 Kestrel, 4 Red Legged Partridge, 2 Mistle Thrush and c40 Redwing.

Broomhill Flash late AM- Present were 1 Cormorant, 8a+3j Mute Swan, 28 Canada Geese, 56 Gadwall, 7 Tufted Duck, 6+ Teal, 4 Mallard, , 2 Wigeon, 2 Shoveler, 161 BH Gull, 2 LBB Gull, 39 Coot, 1 Kestrel, 12 Grey Partridge and 1 Grey Wagtail. In a 15  metre stretch of hedgerow were 23 Magpies.

Bolton Ings early PM- With Seev and his dog Maddy needing the exercise we decided to risk a soaking. Fortunately it remained dry. Present were 3 Cormorant, 4a+1 j Mute Swan, 59 Greylag, 23 Pochard, 11 Teal, 6 Mallard, 4 Tufted Duck, 3m+1f Goldeneye, 3 Gadwall, 147 BH Gull, 16 Common Gull, 1 LBB Gull, 73 Lapwing, 1 Jay and 1 Bullfinch.

Its the end!

Broomhead Res: Adult Kumlien's Gull in roost by 16.00 (per Roy Twigg). Also up to 10 Two-barred Crossbills recent including 7 today.

Female Blackcap in Edderthorpe Lane garden this morning (Chris Needham).

Wilthorpe Marsh 31-12-13.

Willow Tit 1, possibly a pair but very mobile, Chiffchaff 1 and last but not least was an owl accidentally flushed which was quickly followed by at least 3 more, so it looks like a new Long-Eared Owl roost for the new year.

Newmillardam 30-12-13.

Black Headed Gull 170 to 200, Lesser Black Backed Gull 2, Common Gull 1, Tufted Duck 50, Canada Goose 35, Coot 35, Goosander 12, Moorhen 10, Mute Swan 4, Cormarant 2.

Monday, 30 December 2013

Ringing Recoveries - Wintersett 30.12.13

A 1st year male Willow Warbler ringed at Wintersett Reservoir on 10/08/13 was retrapped at Queen Mary Reservoir, (Surrey) on 20/08/13 at a distance of 253 kilometres SSE.

A juvenile female Reed Bunting ringed at Leighton Moss near Silverdale, (Lancashire) on 06/07/13 was retrapped at Wintersett Reservoir on 05/10/13 at a distance of 109 kilometres SE.

Wintersett 30.12.13

6°C,  grey and rainy this morning, dry early afternoon with a gusty south westerly.
Anglers CP:  Teal 15.  An adult Yellow-legged Gull was in the roost this afternoon.
Wintersett Res:  The Cetti's Warbler was calling in the west bank marsh.
Haw Park Wood:  Crossbill 7.

The Middle and two bits on The Edge

Broomhill Flash late AM- Present were 1 Cormorant, 8a+3j Mute Swan, 74 Canada Geese, 47 Gadwall, 11 Mallard, 10 Tufted Duck, 87 BH Gull, 37 Coot, 7 Moorhen, 1 Kestrel and 6 Red Legged Partridge.

Old Moor lateAM/early PM- Seev( minus dogs) and I decided on the comforts of Old Moor rather than getting soaked going onto Bolton Ings. Present were 1 Little Grebe, 22 Cormorant, 8a+7j Mute Swan, 35 Canada Geese, 2 Greylag, 345+ Wigeon, 219+ Teal, 81+ Mallard, 66 Shoveler, 36 Gadwall, 22 Tufted Duck, 6m+1f Goosander, 2m+2f Goldeneye, 2f+1m Pochard, 32 Lapwing and 1 Greater Spotted Woodpecker.

Wombwell Ings mid PM- Present were 7 Grey Heron, 1 Canada Goose, 1 Shelduck, c250 Wigeon, c60 Teal, 14 Mallard, 2m+1f Goosander( a pair mating ), 2m Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 1 Tufted Duck, 79 BH Gull, 1j Herring Gull and c100 Lapwing.

Wilthorpe Marsh- un on Sunday 29-12-13.

Did west to east down the river to fleets dam, then back west along old canal. Highlights- Chiffchaff 2, Woodcock 2, Jack Snipe 3, Common Snipe 1, Water Rail 1. No sign of any Willow Tits. The only entry in my note book for this species at this site this year is of 4 birds on 4th May.

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Two-barred upd-eight!

Eight TBC's (6 males) at Broomhead this morning.


The next Meeting is this coming Thursday 2nd January 2014 at the Old Moor visitor centre starting at 7.15 pm. There was a bit of confusion over the date with it being so close to New Years Day but it is the 2nd.
The speaker will be Ron Marshall on St. Kilda, the famous Scottish Isle. Expect to be treated to some top quality photography!
All welcome.

Edderthorpe, Sunday morning

A count by John Clarkson this morning;- Shelduck 9, Pink-footed Goose 1 with Greylags, Teal 300, Shoveler 33, Gadwall 26, Lapwing 250, Dunlin 3, Fieldfare 300, Goldcrest 3.

Carlton Marsh

A lovely day again, but oh so quiet. Apart from the usual wildfowl there were just 3 Goldcrests & 2 Willow Tits with the Tit flock & c100 Redwings.

Red Kites and Willow Tits

At 11.45am today a pair of Red Kites were circling above Rockley Furnace. Chance of breeding?
Also 1 Willow Tit at Wilthorpe Marsh.

Historically a pair of Willow Tits bred at Guider Bottom, Cooper Lane, Hoylandswaine up to 2011. Also 2 Willow Tits seen at Gunthwaite Dam up to 2011.

Two-bars & bits

Broomhead Reservoir - 8 Goosanders, ! Cormorant and 6+ Two-barred Crossbills
More Hall Reservoir - a pair of Mandarin Ducks.
per SBSG website.

Out and About....

A excellent flock of at least 95 Yellowhammers and 100 Chaffinches around a shooting sacrificial crop. Couldn't find any Brambling though which seem thin on the ground this winter
Dippers were showing well from the road at both Lowood club (Deepcar) and Wortley Top Forge (Thurgoland).

Yesterdays Bewick's Swans

A proper shot of the two Bewick's Swans at Ingbirchworth Reservoir yesterday. Photo by David Pennington.

More excellent photos by David are on the Gallery page of Huddersfield Birdwatchers Club website.

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Carlton Marsh update

7 Snipe left at dusk & Tawny Owl calling (Dave Standish)

Willow Tit
Tony Guest has 2 regularly visiting his Nyger seed feeder in his Shafton garden, and he reports that 2 came regularly during the breeding season.

Edderthorpe Flash 
Peacock butterfly today (Tony Guest)

Knot the six o'clock news

Old Moor (per Dave Waddington): Cormorant 36, Shoveler 90, Goldeneye 3, Golden Plover 12, Knot, Tree Sparrow c20.

Wintersett afternoon update;-

The evening gull roost was split between both waters;- GBBGull 510 (270 TR + 240 CP) Herring Gull 1250 (750 TR + 500 CP), Goosander 89 (23TR + 66CP). The drake Smew was still on the Top Res but very flighty. In Haw Park the Common Crossbills were seen again along with a flock of 50 Siskins.

Edderthorpe Flash

Still fairly static. Greylag Goose 147, Shelduck 9, Wigeon 84, Shoveler 16, Goosander 1, Pochard 6, Common Buzzard 2, Lapwing 224, Dunlin 3, Skylark 2, Meadow Pipit 8.

Ewden Valley reservoirs

Broomhead Reservoir - 4+ Two-barred Crossbills.
More Hall Reservoir - a pair of Mandarin Ducks.
per SBSG website.

Carlton Marsh

I only managed a quick walk round today at mid-day. In the stubble fields were c50 Skylarks, c70 Yellow Buntings & 1 Reed Bunting.
It was nice to see members of the Penistone Railway Line Footpath Group enjoying a visit to the reserve.

Willow Tit status as requested.
Our all time maximum count is 12 on 12/6/1995 & again on 6/7/1996. The highest ever count of 5 singing males was in the spring of 1993. Normally there are just 2 pairs annually.

2012 Two singing males.
T607798 ringed as a juvenile on 26th August 2008 was retrapped on January 19th 2012 - 3 years & 146 days.
In January 1 came regularly to feed on Nyger seed. There were singles on 3 dates in February, with 2 together on 18th & 30th of March and 3 on April 20th. In May there were 2 singing males on 5th & 31st with 1 singing on July 11th. 2 were recorded in every month to the year end. A juvenile was caught for ringing on July 9th.

Ingbirchworth reservoirs

Ingbirchworth Reservoir -2 (1 adult & 1 juvenile) Bewick's Swans, 113 Greylag Geese, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 1 Canada Goose, 48 Mallards, 15 Tufted Ducks, 2 Little Grebes, 3 Moorhens, 1 Coot, 200+ Black-headed Gulls and 5+ Herring Gulls,
Mammals - 1 Stoat in ermine - completely white with a black tail (Margaret Wells).


Royd Moor Reservoir - 21 Wigeon, 3+ Teal, 32 Mallards, 5 Cormorants, 1 Moorhen and c100 Black-headed Gulls.
Scout Dike Reservoir - 8 Canada Geese and 18 Mallards.
Langsett Reservoir (from the dam wall) - 13 Canada Geese.
Midhope Reservoir - 6 Teal, 41 Mallards and 1 Little Grebe.

Wintersett 28.12.13

4°C,  cool but sunny with a moderate south westerly.
Wintersett Res:  The drake Smew was off the west bank.
Haw Park Wood: A party of 9 Crossbills flew over the plantation area.

Willow Tit at Adwick

Graham, - Willow Tits are  seen throughout the year on Adwick washland and also on the adjacent Adwick reclaimed tip, its difficult to be exact on numbers but I think 2 or maybe 3  breeding pairs on the combined sites, up to 2 birds seen fairly often, with 3 birds (family group?) seen together on the washlands on 25th September, also single birds seen regular on the reclaimed tips behind the Next buildings on Manvers Way.

Wilthorpe Marsh west 27-12-13.

Jack Snipe 2 in usual place. 4 european Chiffchaffs on river still in scrub + 1 Goldcrest.

Friday, 27 December 2013

Fridays mix

Old Moor: Cormorant 32, Goosander 6, Goldeneye 3, Jack Snipe 1 Reedbeds (Ivan Martin).

Also one 'assorted Wigeon' as below - photos Keith Pickering

Willow Tit - another appeal

From the figures that the RSPB have released recently it seems that Willow Tit is in dire trouble in the UK, much more so than we around Barnsley realise as we still seem to have a healthy(ish) population. In an attempt to help keep this population stable around Barnsley the RSPB are sending a 'Willow Tit task force' up to Old Moor in mid January to discuss the situation and to see where we can all help.
In order to help produce complete and up to date information we need to know where as many Willow Tits are as possible. Please use this blog to tell us where ANY Willow Tits were in the breeding season during 2013. Locality, number of pairs, singing, nesting or young seen is the information urgently required. We're aware where they are at Old Moor and Wintersett but any other sites please look through your diaries and post your sightings. Thank You for your help.


A strong south-westerly gale with intermittent showers and sun.
The strong wind stirred things up a bit today, particularly the gulls. The drake Smew is back on the Top Res and a single Common Crossbill was seen in Haw Park. For the evening gull roost the gulls were back on the Top Res which gives some protection from the wind. Tonights counts were (yesterdays for comparison in brackets) Great Black-backed Gull 518 (62), Lesser Black-backed Gull 3 (2), Herring Gull 1470 (182). What a difference a strong wind makes!


Broomhead Reservoir - a minimum 3 male & 2 female Two-barred Crossbills today.
per Mick Cunningham.

The Edge 27th Dec

Broomhill Flash mid AM- Disturbance from shooting on Little Broomhill (still popping away at 10.40 when I left) meant waterfowl numbers were low. Present were 7a+3j Mute Swan, 6 Canada Geese, 39 Gadwall, 9 Mallard, 12 Tufted Duck, 6 Teal, 1m Shoveler and 100+ BH Gull.

Bolton Ings late AM/early PM- Present were 4 Cormorant,  4a+2j Mute Swan, 16 Canada Geese, 1 Greylag, 13 Pochard, 8 Tufted Duck, 5 Teal, 5 Mallard, 4 Gadwall, 3m+1f Shoveler, 1f+1m Goldeneye, 89 BH Gull, 6 Common Gull, and 48 Lapwing.

Late Xmas Mail.

25-12-13- Wilthorpe marsh west 3 jack snipe and what was thought to be a distant chiffchaff on the river turned into a feeding party of four birds + 1 green sandpiper which flew into sewage farm. Bretton had 11 goosanders, 64 tufted duck, 10 g.c. grebes, 10 teal, 7shoveler, 3 little grebe, 3 mute swan, 18 gadwall,80 rooks and 4 goldcrests. The nearby Woolley filters had peregrine over at the starling roost + the usual 2+ sparrowhawks, one of which was seen to make a kill. A brief distant falcon was thought to be a merlin. 26-12-13- did the dukes road,ewden triangle walk. Great walk but poor for birds with a party of 4 ravens e over dukes road and a single calling raven at the shooting cabin. The only other bird of note in the ewden valley was a g.s. woodpecker.

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Willow Tit

1 Willow Tit at Green Moor today - per SBSG website.

More Broomhead and Gull Roost

Broomhead Reservoir - 6 Teal, 17 Tufted Ducks and 3 Goosanders.
Gull Roost - c2000 Black-headed Gulls, 56 Common Gulls, c300 Herring Gulls, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 226 Great Black-backed Gulls
per SBSG website.

Carlton Marsh

Christmas day
Shoveler 3, Teal 20, Kingfisher, Water Rail 2, Grey Wagtail, Common Gull 15, Redpoll 2, Siskin, Red-legged Partridge 2 & Willow Tit. 

Wintersett evening update

The evening gull roost on the Top Res was fairly disappointing, presumably with a lack of wind the gulls were back on the Country Park lake tonight;- GBBGull 62, LBBGull 2, Herring Gull 182. 53 Goosanders were on the res at dusk, a Woodcock was flushed from the clump and the Cettis Warbler was performing reasonably well in the west bank marsh in the afternoon.

Wintersett 26.12.13

A frosty start, rising to 2°C, calm, clear and sunny.  Very quiet here.
Anglers CP: Shoveler 6 + 3 WRes and Little Grebe 3.
Wintersett Res: Goosander 27.  WILLOW TIT  2 NE bank + 2 W bank.

Broadstone & Ingbirchworth

Whitley Edge - 43 Lapwings and Starlings down to 200+.
Broadstone Reservoir -11 Mallards, 1 Cormorant, 700+ Black-headed Gulls, 21 Common Gulls and 38 Herring Gulls.
Ingbirchworth Reservoir - 118 Greylag Geese, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 83 Canada Geese, 23 Mallards, 11 Tufted Ducks, 2 Little Grebes, c200 Black-headed Gulls and 3 Common Gulls.

Psychedelic Firs?

Well larches actually, but still pretty in pink!
Seven Two-barred Crossbills (5 males) still at Broomhead this morning, also 90 Pink-feet northwest over Midhope + Raven. Pinks are on the move today including 120+ over Wombwell at 11.20.

Getting 'larched-up' on Boxing Day?

Wednesday, 25 December 2013


Broomhead (Johnny Mac'): 7 Two-barred Crossbills still usual place, + around feeders area; 60+ Commons, 30+ Siskins.

Wintersett 25.12.13

Christmas greetings to all .  It's been  a cool blue sky day.
Wintersett Res:  The Cetti's Warbler was calling form the west bank marsh.  Shoveler 2, Water Rail 1 and a Willow Tit was on the south bank.
Anglers CP: 8 Crossbills were seen in the car park.  20 Cormorants were present on the lake.  Linnet 1.

On a plate?

With the good tenants of Berneslai Homes behaving impeccably this morning I was able to grab a call-out free couple of hours at Old Moor (closed to public today and tomorrow). Plenty of birds in fantastic light but no real change, the highlights being two Goldeneye, seven Goosanders and a Peregrine. That reminds me, almost dinner time!

The Peregrine looking hungry as always - Keith Pickering 

Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Broomhead Gull Roost

Full count of gulls roosting at Broomhead Reservoir tonight was:- c1800 Black-headed Gulls, 52 Common Gulls, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 443 Herring Gulls, 1 adult Caspian Gull, 1 adult Yellow-legged Gull and 135 Great Black-backed Gulls.
per SBSG website

The Edge 24th Dec

Broomhill Flash mid AM-Present were 1 Grey Heron, 4 Cormorant, 12 Mute Swan, 60+ Canada Geese, 76 Gadwall, 13 Teal,  12 Mallard, 10 Tufted Duck, 69 BH Gull, 1 Common Gull and a flock of c100 Fieldfare and Redwing.

Bolton Ings late AM/early PM- Present were 3 Cormorant, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2a+2j Mute Swan, 57 Canada Geese, 2 Greylag, 26 Pochard, 15 Mallard, 9m+1f Goosander, 7 Tufted Duck, 4m+1f Shoveler, 4 Teal, 2 Wigeon, 1m+1f Goldeneye, 61 Lapwing, 54 BH Gull, 15 Common Gull, 1 Herring Gull, c 40 Redwing, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, and 3 Bullfinch.

Wintersett, Xmas eve....

A strong south-westerly wind meant the best place for the gull roost was the Top Res. Plenty to look through and some good, close viewing but nothing notable could be found. Great Black-backed Gull 500, Lesser Black-backed Gull 4 and Herring Gull 950. The drake Smew has relocated to Horbury but hopefully that will only be temporary.

Xmas Eve summary

Old Moor: Goldeneye 3, Peregrine, Marsh Harrier.

The Peregrine choosing tomorrows Christmas dinner! - Keith Pickering
Bolton Ings: Goldeneye 3.

Drake Goldeneye - Keith Pickering

Edderthorpe: Shelduck 9, Dunlin 3.

Broomhead: 7 Two-barred Crossbills (5 males, 2 females) showing well mid-am in larches100yds east of Lower Bradfield road junction (Jonathan Wasse).

Broomhead Res.: Caspian Gull adult, Yellow-legged Gull adult, both in roost by 3.30pm (Roy Twigg).

Monday, 23 December 2013


Old Moor: Goldeneye 3, Marsh Harrier, Peregrine (3 together yesterday).

Edderthorpe: Dunlin 3

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Request for Information

I noticed on the Bird News Extra page of the Birdguides website that somebody has posted (at 16:05) that Parrot Crossbill was seen at Broomhead Reservoir today at 12:30hrs.
If anybody has any details concerning this (number of birds, observer(s) etc) would they please leave a comment or drop me an email.

Broomhill Flash

Todays sightings for Broomhill Flash included :-

Teal 16,
Mute Swan 9,
Common Gull 3,
Black-headed Gull 250,
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1,
Tufted Duck 5,
Gadwall 75,
Cormorant 2,
Coot 25,
Shoveler 2♂.

Fieldfare c140,
Redwing 10+.

Kestrel 1,
Sparrowhawk 1.

Tyers Hall Farm - Darfield

Buzzard & 20 Tree Sparrows

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Carlton Marsh

A lovely mild, sunny day with a maximum of 12c. With the pair of Mute Swans were 10 Gadwall, 20 Mallard, 16 Teal, 4 Shoveler & 1 Little Grebe. Passerines included Treecreeper, 10 Goldfinch, 1 Redpoll, 10 Fieldfare & c50 Redwing.

Wintersett 21.12.13

Winter Solstice is a mild 8°C, sunny spells with a moderate south westerly.
Wintersett Res: The drake Smew is settled in off the west bank.  Kingfisher 2.
Anglers CP: 9 Crossbills were seen flying over the fields near the car park.

Big Garden Gathering

I don't usually post sightings from my Stocksbridge garden, but there were exceptional numbers on the feeders early  this morning for around 20 minutes with:1 male Sparrowhawk (not surprisingly the final visitor), 2 Wood Pigeon, 1 Stock Dove, 3 Collared Doves, 2 Magpies, 3+ Coal Tits, 1 Willow Tit, 30+ Blue Tits, c10 Great Tits, 3 Robins, 5 Dunnocks, 5+ House Sparrows, 2 Chaffinches, 11 Greenfinches, 3 Goldfinches, 1 Siskin and 6 Bullfinches - and all this in a garden approx. 3m x 4m.

Friday, 20 December 2013

Wintersett 20.12.13

4°C , cloudy with a very cold south westerly.   Just two goodies today.
Wintersett Res: The drake SMEW was off the west bank this morning.  The  Cetti's Warbler was calling in the west bank marsh. 

The Edge 20th Dec

Broomhill Flash mid AM- Present were 4 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 10a+3j Mute Swan, 47 Canada Geese, 68 Gadwall, 13 Teal, 5 Tufted Duck, 4 Mallard, 3 Wigeon, 7 Lapwing, 19 BH Gull, 2 Common Gull, c100 Fieldfare and 6 Red Legged Partridge.

Bolton Ings late AM/early PM-  A cream crown Marsh Harrier made a brief attempt at quartering before moving to the west end and out of sight. Also present were 3 Cormorant, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Little Grebe, 2a+2j Mute Swan, 46 Canada Geese, c30 Teal, 4 Greylag, 22 Pochard, 9 Mallard(+20 over), 8 Tufted Duck, 5 Gadwall, 2m+1f Goldeneye, 2m Goosander, 1 Shoveler, 77 Lapwing, 1 Redshank,  28 BH Gull, 6 Common Gull, 1 Herring Gull, 1 Kestrel and 1 Jay

Wombwell Ings mid PM- A Treecreeper was in the hawthorns on Old Pontefract Road. Also present were 6 Grey Heron, 47 Canada Geese, 161 Wigeon, 59 Teal, 13 Mallard, 5m+3f Goosander, 1 Tufted Duck, 19 BH Gull, 1 Kestrel, 12 Grey Partridge, 11 Red Legged Partridge and 200+ Fieldfare.

Adwick washlands (am)

Very quiet,  but a good count of Grey Partridge 52, Green Sandpiper 1, Fieldfare c300, Redwing c150, Willow Tit 1.

Thursday, 19 December 2013


Broomhead Reservoir - 40+ Siskins, 8 Two-barred Crossbills and c30 Common Crossbills

Carlton Marsh

In the nearby stubble field were c50 Skylarks, c60 Yellow Buntings, 3 Reed Buntings and 1 Meadow Pipit.
On the reserve were 4 Redpolls, 2 Siskins, 1 Willow Tit, 1 Shoveler, 8 Teal and 17 Gadwall.

Bleachcroft Farm
1 'redhead' Goosander.

The Edge 19th Dec

Wombwell Ings mid AM- Present were 1 Cormorant, 3 Grey Heron, 9a+1j Mute Swan, 145+ Canada Geese, 3 Shelduck, c110 Wigeon, 12 Teal, 76 BH Gull, 2 Common Gull, c200 Lapwing over, 1 Kestrel, 10 Grey Partridge, 30+ Fieldfare and 1 Reed Bunting.

Broomhill Flash late AM- Present were 1 Cormorant, 3a+1j Mute Swan, 63 Gadwall, 12 Teal, 4 Tufted Duck, 1m Pochard, 99 BH Gull, 1 LBB Gull over, 1 Sparrowhawk and 8 Grey Partridge..

Wintersett 18th and 19th December 2013

Thursday19th:  Frosty, clear start after the gale force winds and torrential rain through the night. 4°C  by midday and cloudy with a light south westerly.
Wintersett Res: A drake Smew was on the NE corner this afternoon.  Goosander 25.
Anglers CP:  A Woodcock and a Water Rail were on the Pol.

Wednesday 18th:
Anglers CP: 18 Crossbills were in the car park.  80 Pink-footed Geese flew west at 10.12hrs. Water Rail 1.  Pochard 116 + 3 WRes. + 20 CHRes.
Wintersett Res: Shoveler 1 male. 

Ringing Recovery

Reed Warbler
X952629  nesting 9th July 2012 Sookholme, Shirebrook (Nottinghamshire)
            controlled 9th July 2013 Carlton Marsh NR. 48 km NNW.

Swan Lake?

3 Bewick's Swans at Midhope Res. 12.45 per Ivan Martin.

Marsh Harrier still at Old Moor.

Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Old Moor highlights

Highlights from Old Moor this morning (Keith Pickering): Goosander 9, Goldeneye 3, Sparrowhawk, Peregrine, Marsh Harrier, Dunlin, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Gull 10.

A nice shot of the 'Black-wit' which visited Old Moor this morning - Keith Pickering

The Marsh Harrier at Old Moor this morning - Keith Pickering. This looks rather like the bird that has been around a while.


Broomhead Reservoir - still no signs of Parrot Crossbill(s) today but c50 Common Crossbills, 8 (5 males & 3 females) Two-barred Crossbills, c100 Siskins and 8+ Lesser Redpolls.

The Edge 18th Dec

Broomhill Flash midAM- Present were 2 Cormorant, 8a+1j Mute Swan, 64 Canada Geese(+30 over), 1 Greylag, 77 Gadwall, 14 Teal, 8 Tufted Duck, 2 Wigeon, 54 BH Gull, 1 Common Gull, 1 Black Tailed Godwit and c60 Fieldfare.

Trans-Pennine Trail- Seen were c40 Redwing, c60 Greylag (over 1.30), 1 Kestrel, 1 Jay and 1 Bullfinch.

Bolton Ings late AM/Early PM- Best bird was a low flying Buzzard hunting over the eastern pool. Also present were 2 Cormorant, 4a+1j Mute Swan, 23 Canada Geese, 1 Greylag, 22 Pochard, 9 Tufted Duck, 6 Teal, 3 Mallard, 3 Wigeon, 2 Gadwall, 1m+1f Goldeneye, 54 BH Gull, 8 Common Gull, 1 LBB Gull, 1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, and 123 Lapwing.

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Sunday 15-12-13.

Wilthorpe marsh west- 5 jack snipe together, flushed from usual place + water rail showed well. 200 to 300 redwings, 50 woodpigeon. Woolley pit filters- the starling roost continues to entertain with the usual sparrowhawks present. Not sure how many but 2 seen to make kills. Regards willow tit definetly present at wilthorpe marsh, thought to be a couple of pairs but i will do a more accurate survey.

Wintersett 17.12.13

Frosty and cool start rising to 3°C, with clear blue sky and a light southerly.
Anglers CP:  A cream crown Marsh Harrier flew over south at 11.20 hrs. It wasn't picked up by Cliff at Cudworth but it could be the bird that turned up at Old Moor this afternoon.
19 Common Crossbills flew over the car park early this afternoon.   Water Rail 1 and Fieldfare 80.

Tues news from the workers only

Not much news in today but with some of the regulars deserting us for the Ivory Gull (a week and a day early too!) thought I should post the bits I have:

Broomhill Flash: Gadwall 91, Black-wit 1.

Old Moor: A 'cream crown' Marsh Harrier seen this afternoon (and also visited Bolton Ings) was thought possibly a new bird rather than the one that was around recent. Also Peregrine through + female Brambling around feeders.

Monday, 16 December 2013

Wintersett p.m. 16.12.13

7°C,  cloudy with a moderate south westerly.
Wintersett Res: A  Cetti's warbler was on the west bank marsh. The usual adult Yellow-legged Gull was in the roost.  Goosander 20.
Anglers CP: A Pink-footed Goose was in the back field with the Greylag flock.

Broomhill Flash & Bolton Ings

Todays sightings on Broomhill Flash were a bit sparse due to some muppet shooting in the backfield which flushed the Black-tailed Godwit for a while, here are the rest of the sightings for today for Broomhill Flash & Bolton Ings.

Broomhill Flash

Black-tailed Godwit 1,
Green Sandpiper 1.(D.B)

Shelduck 3,
Cormorant 2,
Tufted Duck 12,
Mute Swan 11 including 1 juvenile,
Teal 15,
Gadwall 29,
Mallard 3,
Shoveler 1♀,
Canada Goose 31,
Coot 41,
Moorhen 5,
Black-headed Gull 27,
Common Gull 1.

Stock Dove 3,
Redwing 12,
Fieldfare c30.

Sparrowhawk 1,
Kestrel 1.
Little Owl 1 (late afternoon D.B)

TPT/Bolton Ings.

Long Tailed Tit c12,
Grey Wagtail 1 (5 arches).

Redshank 1,
Grey Heron 1.

Common Gull 22,
Mute Swan 4 (Pair + 2 Juvenile),
Goldeneye ♂♀,
Cormorant 14,
Mallard 4,
Gadwall 6,
Wigeon 4,
Shoveler 4,
Pochard 19,
Tufted Duck 8,
Teal 11,
Goosander 2♀,2♂.

Bullfinch 5♂.
Kestrel 1.

Carlton Marsh

Very heavy overnight rain caused another breach of the dike banks allowing diesel oil from the neighbouring scrapyards to pollute the scrape!
Not much change from yesterday, Treecreeper, 1 Shoveler & 1 Little Grebe with the Gadwall & Teal. There were c50 Skylarks and c50 Yellow Buntings in the nearby stubble field this afternoon.

Bleachcroft Farm Pond 
7 Goosander (4 males) this morning. (Keith Bannister)

Broadstone & Ingbirchworth

Whitley Edge - 30+ Jackdaws, c100 Carrion Crows and 3000+ Starlings.
Ingbirchworth Reservoir - 13 Mallards and 4 Little Grebes,
Scout Dike Reservoir - 131 Canada Geese and 1 Cormorant.

Sunday, 15 December 2013

Old Moor - 15th December

Old Moor area Webs count minimums

Shelduck 4,
Wigeon 690,
Gadwall 390,
Teal 380,
Shoveler 98,
Goldeneye 6,
Goosander 42,

Moorhen 207,

Black Tailed Godwit 1,
Woodcock 1,

Grey Partridge 22,

Brambling 1 female,
Tree Sparrow 18

Bolton Ings - 15th December

A bit cooler this week but not unpleasant, 6c at 08.30 when I started out, little wind and patchy cloud cover. Highlight today on Webs count day was an immature male Peregrine which put on a fine display for about 20 minutes. Coot increased further to 367, Goldeneye up to 4 including 1 drake and plenty of thrushes in the bushes. Full list :- Grey Heron 3, Mute Swan 10, Canada Goose 58, Grey Lag Goose 1,  Cormorant 1, Little Grebe 1, Mallard 8, Teal 22, Gadwall 68, Shoveler 6, Wigeon 4, Tufted Duck 15, Pochard 23, Goldeneye 4, Goosander 6, Coot 367, Moorhen 14, Lapwing 130, Redshank 1, Black Headed Gull 90, Common Gull 35, Peregrine 1, Buzzard 1, Kestrel 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Grey Wagtail 1, Fieldfare c150, Redwing c150.

Carlton Marsh Webs Count

Mute Swan 2 Goosander 7, Mallard 22, Gadwall 16, Shoveler 5, Teal 9, Little Grebe 1, Moorhen 8, Coot 4, Water Rail 1, Common Gull 4, Kingfisher 2, Snipe 7.
Also present 100+ Redwing, 60 Fieldfare, Green Woodpecker and Sparrowhawk. In a stubble field were 20 Grey Partridge, 50 Skylark and 25 Yellow Bunting. Don't forget to remove the green bag Rod

Rod Heeley

Edderthorpe and Ferrymoor WeBS counts

Wildfowl counting day again and the following are the highlights;-
Greylag Goose 110, Canada Goose 145, Shelduck 7, Mallard 186, Shoveler 30, Teal 125, Wigeon 55, Gadwall 44, Pochard 20, Goosander 11, Lapwing 235, Dunlin 3. A mixed thrush flock has 400 Fieldfare and 150 Redwing. And a couple of Willow Tits have been on feeders by Edderthorpe Lane for the last couple of weeks.
Mallard 137, Goosander 1, Teal 14, Tufted 16, Moorhen 26. A covey of 14 Grey Partridge on CC.

Wintersett Wildfowl Count Sun 15th Dec 2013

Area Wildfowl totals were :-
Mute Swan – 8
Pochard – 124
Tufted Duck – 135
Cormorant – 16
Coot – 490
Moorhen – 17
Wigeon – 210
Gadwall – 11
Mallard – 121
Teal - 7
Goldeneye – 39
Goosander – 48
Gt Crested Grebe – 63
Dabchick – 3
Canada Geese – 66
Greylags – 4

Also noted on the Country Park were 2 Snipe, 68 Lapwings, whilst 12 Crossbills visited the car park and Pol field to drink.

The Cettis Warbler was heard calling at dusk on the west bank of the Top Res.

Gulls were split again between the Country Park and Top Res, with the following totals noted:-

Great Black-backed Gull – 342
Herring Gull – 918
Lesser Black-backed Gull – 8
Common Gull – c1500
Black-headed Gull – c8000
Yellow-legged Gull – the resident adult bird was on the Top Res.

Finally, 4 Grey Wagtails were roosting in the southwest corner of the Top Res with a further 2 on the Country Park at dusk.

Broomhill Flash

Here are todays sightings for Broomhill Flash from the logbook.

Black-tailed Godwit 1.

Mute Swan 9,
Common Gull 2,
Gadwall 82,
Teal 14,
Tufted Duck 5,
Cormorant 3,
Mallard 2.

I heard on the radio between Geoff and David Waddington that there are was quite a big Wigeon count in the area thought I heard c670, although I could have mis-heard.


Broomhead Reservoir - c15 Mallards, 2 drake Goosanders, 1 Cormorant, 30+ Coal Tits, 60+ Siskins, 8 Lesser Redpolls, 8 (5 males & 3 females) Two-barred Crossbills (not showing as well as yesterday) and 30+ crossbills (again very flighty, but all those seen well were Common Crossbills. High numbers of common birds at the feeders off Allas Lane..

Willow Tit - an appeal.....

I'm sure that everyone is aware that Willow Tit is getting harder to find in the Barnsley area (although ask anyone who has done a Birdrace and they'll tell you it was never easy) and they are suffering a massive decline nationwide.The RSPB have recently flagged this species as being in big trouble in the UK and are about to undertake research in our part of the country to try to establish what can be done to help. To aid this, can contributors to this blog please include sightings of Willow Tit in their postings to help understand where the species is still occurring, in particular where birds are still in territories. We need to do all we can to stop  Willow Tit following Turtle Dove, Twite and Corn Bunting  which no longer breed in the Barnsley area.  

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Wintersett 14.12.13

8°C and cloudy with a cool south westerly wind.  
Wintersett Res: The Cetti's Warbler was calling in the west bank marsh. Water Rail 1 + 1 Pol.
Anglers CP:  A Linnet flew over south.  A Jack Snipe was flushed when we went to work on the Pol and a Water Shrew was seen.  

Carlton Marsh

This morning - 19 Gadwall, Shoveler, Water Rail and 10 Common Gull.

Bleachcroft Farm 
The small square pond built for the bleachworks during the 1850's has always been a draw to wildfowl. A Cormorant, 4 Goosander and a Kingfisher were present today.

Broomhill Flash

Todays sightings included all the usual suspects for Broomhill Flash.

Black-tailed Godwit 1.

Mute Swan 14,
Gadwall c70,
Teal 21,
Shoveler 3,
Tufted Duck 3,
Wigeon 4,
Common Gull 1,
Greylag Goose 1,
Canada Goose c200.

Grey Partridge 12.


Broomhead Reservoir - c30 Mallards, 11 Goosanders, 1 Cormorant, 2 Moorhen, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Woodcock, 1+ Tawny Owl, 1 Raven south, 8 (5 males & 3 females) Two-barred Crossbills, 50+ Common Crossbills, c5 Lesser Redpolls and a flock of 220+ birds containing 100+ Siskins and in order of abundance Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tits, Goldfinches, Blue Tits, Goldcrests, Chaffinches, Lesser Redpoll and Treecreeper.
The small flocks of Common Crossbills were very flighty and gave us little time to 'scope them and all, as far as we could ascertain, were Common Crossbills.
Interestingly Graham counted 134 Great Black-backed Gulls leaving the gull roost at first light, exactly the same numbers that I counted in the roost last night.
above also includes sightings by Graham Speight.
Bolsterstone - c100 Rooks

Friday, 13 December 2013

Wintersett 13.12.13

A very mild 10°,  cloudy, with a moderate south westerly.
Anglers CP:  Redwing 150 + 150 Rough Bottom Plantation.  Water Rail 1.
Wintersett Res:  Wigeon 69.

Nearly as sick as a ...

Broomhead Reservoir
Spend a whole day trying to get to grips with Parrot Crossbill. After a couple of hours with the Two-barred Crossbills, I spent the rest of the full daylight hours chasing flocks of Common Crossbill (much to the amazement of some gathered to to see Two-bars). There were several (or the same!) flocks of up to 20 over a large area from the car park to the edge of Wigtwizzle Plantation. After drawing a blank, and feeling as sick as one, I decided to round the day off with a gull roost count. In a final bid to find one I cut back towards the feeding station, but was not expecting anything as contractors were working on the new footpath. As I rounded the path towards the feeding station I noticed 3  crossbills in the tops of a pine. I got my binoculars on them but two immediately flew off. Luckily the third one didn't and I had a good 4 minutes grilling it through the 'scope. A definite male Parrot Crossbill - the other two? probably Parrots. Managed to get a quick (very poor) sketch off then decided to put my camera on the tripod ...and yes you've guessed it off it went in the same direction as the other 2.
Highlights (as well as the above):-
31 Mallards, 1 Cormorant, 1 Moorhen, 10+ Goldcrests, 6 Nuthatches, 40+ Siskins, 14 Lesser Redpolls, 8 (5 males & 3 females) Two-barred Crossbills, 1 (3) male Parrot Crossbill(s) and 60+ Common Crossbills.
Gull roost - 2500+ Black-headed Gulls, 67 Common Gulls, 389 Herring Gulls and 134 Great Black-backed Gulls.

The Edge 13th Dec

Seems everybody is more computer savvy than me. Yesterday's blank space hacked by a photo of a young Bill Oddy or El Cid. Whodunnit?

Broomhill Flash mid/late AM- Present were 3 Cormorant, 13 Mute Swan, 206 Canada Geese, 1 Greylag, 103 Gadwall, 18 Teal, 11 Mallard, 7 Shoveler, 6 Tufted Duck, 1 Pochard, 53 BH Gull, 1 Black Tailed Godwit and c50 Redwing.

Bolton Ings early PM- More birds present today with 20 Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron, 6 Mute Swan, 25 Canada Geese, 1 Greylag,  5 Gadwall(c125 over at 12.15pm), 26 Mallard, 22 Pochard, 6m+4f Goosander, 10 Tufted Duck, 5 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 2f Goldeneye, 200+ Lapwing, 6 Golden Plover(over 12.40pm), 53 Common Gull, 22 BH Gull,1 Kestrel and c20 Long Tailed Tit. Along the TPT c40,Redwing, 2 Lesser Redpoll were noted. On the R. Dearne  were 2 Little Grebe.

Adwick washlands (late morning)

Little Egret 1, Grey Heron 2, Greylag 94, Wigeon 36, Shoveler 10, Mallard c200, Teal 40, Gadwall 14, Redshank 1, Green Sand 2, Grey Partridge 24, lots of thrushes going south, Fieldfare c1000, Redwing c300, Bullfinch 6,  Yellowhammer 20.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Wintersett 12.12.13

10°C,  mild and cloudy,  with a light south westerly.
Anglers CP:  6 Crossbills were in the car park trees.  Siskin 15.
Wintersett Res:  Fieldfare 200 and Wigeon 61.

Pics from the Edge

Sorry for the gap in early post. Here's what should have been there.
Fieldfare 12th Dec Bolton Ings- J Seeviour

Kestrel 11th Dec Bolton Ings- J Seeviour

The Edge 12th Dec

Broomhill Flash late AM- Present were 1 Cormorant, 13 Mute Swan, 200+ Canada Geese, 1 Shelduck, 104 Gadwall, 15 Teal, 8 Tufted Duck, 6 Mallard, 1m+1f Goosander(over), 1 Wigeon, 1 Black Tailed Godwit, 1 Green Sandpiper and 92 BH Gull.

Bolton Ings early PM- Along the TPT were 1 Grey Heron, 60+ Redwing, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Jay and 1 Bullfinch. On the Ings were 1 Grey Heron, 8 Cormorant, 4 Mute Swan, 50+ Canada Geese, 33 Greylag, 14 Mallard, 11 Teal, 8m+1f Shoveler, 8 Tufted Duck, 8 Pochard, 4 Gadwall, 3m+1f Goosander, 3f Goldeneye, c225 Lapwing, 18 BH Gull, 8 Common Gull, 1 Kestrel and a flock of 50+ Fieldfare and Redwing.

Today's Round-up

Gunthwaite Dam - 20 Teal, 60 Mallards, 3 Tufted Ducks, 2 Water Rails, 4 Moorhens, 5 Coots and 1 Kingfisher,
per HBC website.
Broomhead Reservoir - 6 Two-barred Crossbills and 15+ Common Crossbills.
Elsecar Reservoir - c75 Mallards, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 18 Moorhens, 13 Coots and c40 Black-headed Gulls. Mammals - 1 Grey Squirrel.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Wintersett p.m. update 11.12.13

Haw Park:  A 25 strong Crossbill flock gave excellent views, in the trees, and drinking in furrow puddles in the field,  at the end of Haw Park Lane.  All proved to be Commons, but included a female with a slight wingbar.
Wintersett Res:  The Cetti's Warbler was calling from the west bank marsh.   Shoveler 3.  Water Rail 1. 

More on the Broomhead Parrot Crossbill

Dave Hursthouse has sent the following contribution.

After studying thirteen Parrot Crossbills in North Notts this morning, I'm drawn back to the image of the crossbill discussed yesterday on the Barnsley Birders forum. Three of the Parrots seen earlier today show typical bulky bills without extensive tips, which is what most birders expect to seen when looking for Parrots, thought many of the others in the flock, show tips with various amounts of extension, they all, however, retained the single most important factor, the bill shape of Parrot Crossbill! Some of the Notts birds had an upper mandible tip as extensive, or more so, than that of the upper mandible tip of the Barnsley bird. At least two of the Notts birds show very noticeable crossed mandible tips, which is not that often associated with Parrots. Age is the most probable explanation. Looking back at the 1982 Parrots in the Sheffield / Barnsley area, many of these didn't show extensive mandible tips, actually the lower mandibles on many looked stubby in appearance, and to some degree the bills of many of the 82 birds differ slightly from the appearance of today's birds, this is most probably age related fact. As with the local Two-barred Crossbills, they were this years birds, which have moulted out to various depths of plumage stages of adult plumage, whereas, many of the 82 Parrots were older adults. If it was possible to look at the Barnsley bird next December (2014), and so on year after year, the mandible tips would progressively become less extensive and blunter tipped year on year, brought about through the constant feeding on hard to open cones. Therefore, taking into consideration the Notts Parrots, in my opinion, the Barnsley birds is without doubt a first-winter male adult red plumage Parrot Crossbill! Parrots often prefer to be among their own sort, so get out there and look, because if there's one, there's almost certain to be others!!

the great escape

I have received a request from management at Wentworth Castle to keep a look out for an escaped Goshawk belonging to a local falconer.

Carlton Marsh

It was really quiet today with nothing different to report. However, this morning by arrangement with Russ Boland, Countryside and Parks Officer for BMBC, a group of people from Voluntary Action Barnsley came to coppice Hazel and Hawthorn in the car park area to create a gladed area for butterflies etc. Also hard at work were BMBC official David Gill and Councillor Charles Wraith with Russ.
Meanwhile Keith Bannister, Rod Heeley and myself were busy coppicing Alder and Birch on the north bank of the scrape, which now gives better open views from the hide. After I managed to fall in the scrape up to my knees, VAB members continued the good work after dinner. 
I would like to thank all of you for a good job well done!

Today's additional

Still at least 7 Two-barred Crossbills at Broomhead in larches by road to Lower Bradfield this afternoon as well as at least 20 Common Crossbills. Photos below of Commons and Two-barred taken there today by Keith Pickering

The Edge 11th Dec

Broomhill Flash mid AM- Present were 1 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 14 Mute Swan, 74 Canada Geese, 3 Shelduck, 36 Gadwall, 15 Teal, 12 Tufted Duck, 4 Shoveler, 2 Mallard, 1 Pochard, 2 Snipe, 1 Black Tailed Godwit and c40 Fieldfare in Clegg's Meadow.

Bolton Ings late AM/early PM- A Goldcrest was near the entrance to Broomhill park. 12 Mallard, 1 Grey Wagtail and 1f Goosander were on the R. Dearne. About100 Fieldfare and 20 Redwing were in the hawthorns along Warbler Way. Duck numbers appeared low with 33 Gadwall(only 2 on the east pool), 8 Teal, 4 Tufted Duck, 4 Pochard, 2m+1f Goosander, 2f Goldeneye and 2 Wigeon. Also present were 7 Cormorant, 3 Grey Heron, 10 Mute Swan, 58 Canada Geese, 1 Greylag, 66 Lapwing, 23 BH Gull, 11 Common Gull, 1 Kestrel,2 Reed Bunting and 1 Grey Wagtail.

Wombwell Ings mid PM- Present were 1 Grey Heron, 1 Mute Swan, 135+ Canada Geese,  3 Shelduck, 200+ Wigeon, 37 Teal, 9 Mallard, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, 65 BH Gull, 1 Lapwing and 1 Kestrel.

Wintersett 11.12.13

6°C,  sunny with a moderate southerly breeze.
Anglers CP:  12 Crossbills flew around the car park area at 10.00 hrs.   Water Rail 1.
re possible parrot
Agree with other Geoff and Dave this looks good for  a parrot, though would not be sure from just a single image. It looks a bulky necked bird with the heavy sharp angled bill and from what I can see the tip of the lower mandible doesn't protrude above the upper, a feature noted in Van Duivendijk. There a published images of recent birds in Kent which look less convincing than this bird.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Rallus aquaticus

Gunthwaite Dam - 1+ (probably 2) Water Rail  this a.m.
per David Pennington.

Broomhill Flash

Today's count for Broomhill:-

Black-tailed Godwit 1.

Mute Swan 13,
Teal 23,
Canada Goose 30,
Greylag Goose 1,
Cormorant 1,
Gadwall 85,
Tufted Duck 10,
Wigeon 10,
Shoveler 6,
Common Gull 3+.

Little Owl 1.

Carlton Marsh

Another lovely sunny day with 100 + Redwings, 65 Fieldfares, 2 Bramblings (Rod Heeley) and c80 Yellow Buntings on a set aside stubble field. Once again this underlines how important this type of habitat is for wintering birds. On the marsh with the Mute Swans were 3 Shoveler and Kingfisher. A stoat was hunting the embankment.

Tuesday's bitz

Two Woodcock (alive and well!) were on Bolton Ings this morning. There was a report of the Marsh Harrier at Old Moor again today. The Black-wit was still at Broomhill Flash.

Wilthorpe Marsh West

Thanks to Mr Tyke's excellent directions I am sure I found the right spot but failed to find any Snipe, Jack or Common.  Consolation prize was a nice show from 3 Buzzards.

Wintersett 10.12.12

8°C,  sunny with a light south westerly this morning.
Wintersett Res: The Cetti's Warbler was calling from the west bank marsh. 
Haw Park Wood: Siskin 20
Anglers CP:  A Brambling flew over.     A Woodcock was found dead.
Parrot Crossbill quiz.......
From yesterdays blog, I agree with Martin, the image looks good for a Parrot Crossbill.
Looking at the plumage on the image this appears to be a 1st year male as there are a few juvenile feathers still evident. A first year bird will not have the depth of bill of an adult and this is pointed out in the Svensson ringing book. Also, the mandibles do not appear to cross, as in Common Crossbill, so this is in favour of Parrot. So, back up to Broomhead for a good side image!

Two-bar Update

Broomhead Reservoir - 5+ (3+ males) Two-barred Crossbills in larches to the south of the reservoir (usual place) this a.m.

Monday, 9 December 2013

Carlton Marsh

New in today. A Peregrine was harassing Wood Pigeons this morning. (Rod Heeley)
Present were 4 Shoveler, 10 Teal, 11 Gadwall, Water Rail, Kingfisher, Great Spot Woodpecker and Little Grebe.
Also present a Fox at rest in the southern meadow. Like everywhere else there has been a significant influx of Redwings over the past week.


Gunthwaite Dam - 11 Teal, 3 Tufted Ducks, 1+ Water Rail, 6 Coots and 1 Kingfisher.
per David Pennington.

Today's pre-xmas quiz

Broomhill: Black-wit still on Flash + Treecreeper in (old) park.

9 Two-barred Crossbills (4+ males) at Broomhead today (per RBA).

Male Two-barred Crossbill phone-scoped at Broomhead yesterday - Roy Twigg

The possible (male)  Parrot Crossbill at Broomhead recently - feel free to give us your thoughts on this crossbill conundrum. 

Dave Hursthouse has kindly offered the following opinion on the above (Parrot) Crossbill photo;-
Ignore head shape and bulk as the image does not offer any obvious clues, other than little forehead, good for Parrot. Bill base bulky, lower mandible swollen, tip blunt and not extensive, all good for Parrot. Upper mandible with extensive tip with little sign of wear, not good! - possible explanation, this years bird moulted out to adult male, therefore little wear through feeding, though would a calender-year adult have such an extensive tip? The plumage does not offer and certain clues to its age, though it looks in good condition. Certainly wouldn't accept it as a Parrot on the this image alone, but personally think its a fair candidate and worthy of further investigation, especially looking at the recent distribution picture of Parrots in the UK. Initially found in eastern counties, up to about 20 miles inland, in recent weeks they have however, become more widespread extending into inland counties, seen in North Notts since Sunday. Personally feel some must be present in the Broomhead area!! Single Parrots or small numbers are not easy to find, whereas the larger flocks often seem to like their own company and favour certain feeding trees, until exhausted. Single or small numbers of Parrots may be found associating with Common flocks. thus making them more difficult to get to grips with. Wherever the image of the possible Parrot was taken that's where to begin looking. Dave Hursthouse.

The Edge 9th Dec

Wombwell Ings early AM- Very quiet with 2 Grey Heron, 182 Canada Geese, 2 Shelduck, 175 Wigeon, 31 Teal, 16 Mallard, 1 Gadwall, 1f Goosander, 38 BH Gull, 7 Common Gull(6 over), 12 Grey Partridge, 1 Grey Wagtail and 1 Kestrel.

Broomhill Flash mid AM- Present were 1 Cormorant, 13 Mute Swan, 10 Canada Geese, c100 Gadwall, 37 Teal, 9 Tufted, 1m+1f Shoveler, c60 Lapwing, 6 Snipe, 2 Dunlin(over), 1 Black Tailed Godwit, 3 Common Gull, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel and 1 Peregrine(over at 11am).

Bolton Ings late AM/early PM- Pleasantly warm in the Cormorant Hide, an impression confirmed by the sight of a passing Peacock butterfly. Present were 8 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 4 Mute Swan, 30 Canada Geese, 1 Greylag, 33 Gadwall, 9 Pochard, 8 Teal, 8 Tufted Duck,  7 Wigeon, 7 Shoveler, 6 Mallard, 3f Goldeneye, 1m+1f Goosander, c200 Lapwing, 1 Dunlin, 34 Common Gull, 33 BH Gull and 1 Kestrel.

Wintersett 09.12.13

A mild and sunny 10°C, with a light south westerly. 
Wintersett Res:  A Cetti's Warbler was seen and heard near the concrete chamber on the west bank early this morning.   Kingfisher 2. 
Haw Park Wood:  Siskin 30.
Anglers CP: There was a steady movement of 4oo Fieldfare and 100 Redwing,  going west around 11.00hrs.

Sunday, 8 December 2013


Broomhead Reservoir - gull roost - c2500 Black-headed Gulls, 47+ Common Gulls, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 239 Herring Gulls and 47 Great Black-backed Gulls. Again many gulls continuing/leaving to Langsett Reservoir.
More Hall Reservoir - 1 first-winter Kittiwake W..
per SBSG website

Bolton Ings - Sunday 8th December

A mild day today, 9c this morning at 07.30 when I started out, clear at first but soon clouded over and wind picked up. Very quiet birdwise, 3 female Goldeneye probably best thing plus Coot at 343 could be a record count, I will have to check my notes. No Little Grebes on the main pools but 3 on the river Dearne adjacent to Bolton Common along with 1 Redshank, 1 Grey Wag and 1 Kingfisher. Full list:- Grey Heron 3, Mute Swan 12, Canada Goose 44, Grey Lag Goose 1, Cormorant 4, Little Grebe 3, Mallard 12, Teal 23, Gadwall 93, Shoveler 8, Wigeon 13, Tufted Duck 16, Pochard 12, Goldeneye 3, Coot 343, Moorhen 16, Lapwing 94, Snipe 1, Redshank 1, Black Headed Gull 141, Common Gull 46,   GBBGull 8, Herring Gull 2, Sparrowhawk 1, Jay 3, Fieldfare 3, Redwing c60, Grey Wagtail 1, Kingfisher 1.

Decided to compare todays birds to those on same day last year, species and counts very similar, the only significant change was Coot at 206 - 67% increase from last year to this. Also had a cream crown Marsh Harrier this day last year.

Sunday's best?

There were 8 Two-barred Crossbills (5 males, 3 females) at Broomhead this afternoon (Roy Twigg).

Old Moor highlights include 3 Goldeneye, Peregrine, Buzzard, Green Sandpiper  and a Grey Plover through this am.

8 Jack Snipe were at Wilthorpe Marsh (Stu Green).

Johnny Mac' lost a SD card Thursday evening possibly at or after the BBSG meeting so if anyone found it please get in touch with me or Dave Waddington  so we can return it to him.

Wintersett, Sunday

A windy, cloudy but mild day. Great Crested Grebe 55, Goldeneye 48, Goosander 58. The Cettis Warbler is still in residence on the Top Res calling regular.
The evening gull roost split between the two lakes (they don't like the windy conditions on the Country Park lake) so we did likewise and counted both lakes;- excellent high totals again - GBBGull 751, LBBGull 4, Herring Gull 1490. Still no Arctic 'white-wingers' though.

Edderthorpe, Sunday

As at most sites, little seems to be changing here day-to-day or even week-to-week. Shelduck 7, Mallard 180, Shoveler 38, Pochard 19, Tufted 15, Common Buzzard 3, and a adult Peregrine. See, pretty much the same as a month ago!

Wooley Reclamation

Spent a couple of hours with Mr Tyke watching the starling roost which totalled around 12000, minus one which was taken by a sparrowhawk. There were two sparrowhawks present for the duration. Other birds included at least 4 common buzzards, 2 kestrels and plenty of redwings with the odd fieldfare passing over.

Broomhill Flash

Todays sightings for Broomhill Flash included:-

Green Sandpiper 1,
Black-tailed Godwit 1.

Mute Swan 14,
Goldeneye 1,
Tufted Duck 8,
Teal 30,
Mallard 4,
Pochard 3,
Gadwall 70,
Common Gull 3,
Cormorant 1.

Fieldfare 20.

Sparrowhawk 1.

Just in case anyone is going to Donna Nook for the Grey Seals, the site has been closed to the public.

Two-barred Crossbills

Broomhead Reservoir - 7 Two-barred Crossbills again this am.

Saturday, 7 December 2013

Broomhill Flash

Hi everyone,
todays sightings consisted of :-

Black-tailed Godwit 1,
Dunlin 2,
Green Sandpiper 2,
Snipe 5.

Mute Swan 16,
Gadwall 80+,
Wigeon 4,
Teal 50+,
Shoveler 3,
Tufted Duck 9,
Goosander 1♂,
Cormorant 2,
Common Gull 5.

Fieldfare c30.

Kestrel 3,
Peregrine Falcon 1♂,
Sparrowhawk 1.

Wintersett 07.12.13

A very calm and mild 8°C, cloudy with light showers this morning.
Wintersett Res: Wigeon 34,  Goosander 16,  Redwing 150 and Fieldfare 100.  Buzzard ,  Kingfisher 2 and Water Rail 2 + 1ACP.


Gunthwaite Dam - 1 Water Rail per HBC website.
Broomhead Reservoir - 7 (4 males & 3 females) Two-barred Crossbills and 30+ Common Crossbills

Friday, 6 December 2013

Moor bills

The seven Two-barred Crossbills were still on south side of Broomhead Res. today 100yds east of road to Lower Bradfield. Also a possible male Parrot Crossbill was seen by the feeders recently.

A reminder to those booked on the Barnsley Birders Xmas Bash that it is this coming Monday (9th) at 7.30pm. See you there!

The Edge 6th Dec

Broomhill Flash mid AM- Very little change with 2 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 13 Mute Swan, 54 Canada Geese, 1 Greylag, 1 Shelduck over, 75 Gadwall, 31 Teal, 8 Mallard, 8 Tufted Duck, 4 Wigeon, 2 Shoveler, 2 Pochard, c75 Lapwing and c140 Golden Plover both in the back field, 3 Snipe, 1 Black Tailed Godwit, c100 BH Gull, 2 Common Gull, c 30 Fieldfare and c20 Goldfinch in car park, 1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk and 8 Red Legged Partridge.

Wombwell Ings late AM- A quiet morning with 1 Cormorant over, 5 Grey Heron, 1 Mute Swan, 200+ Canada Geese, c200 Wigeon, 39 Teal, 5m+1f Goosander, 5 Mallard, 26 Lapwing, 38 BH Gull, 2 Common Gull, c50 Fieldfare over, 3 Pied Wagtail and 1 Grey Wagtail.