I had a walk onto Bolton Ings yesterday for the first time in 4 months, started out at 08.15 from Broomhill. Weather was bright and sunny, fairly warm but with a strong North Westerley breeze. Highlight of the day was a cream crowned Marsh Harrier that quartered the reedbed for about 15 minutes before dropping into the grassland between the 2 pools. An adult Common Tern was fishing and I counted a healthy 23 Pochard. A group of 4 Kingfishers on the River were encouraging. Full list :- Grey Heron 2, Great Crested Grebe 4, Little Grebe 10+1y, Mute Swan 2+6y, Canada Goose 25, Grey Lag Goose 1, Mallard 48, Gadwall 10, Shoveler 3, Tufted Duck 21+7y, Pochard 23, Coot 119+3y, Moorhen 6, Black Headed Gull 2, LBB Gull 1, Marsh Harrier 1, Green Woodpecker 2, Kingfisher 4, Grey Wagtail 1, Willow Warbler 2 singing, Blackcap 2 singing.
Following some lunch I had a walk onto Adwick for the first time since last Sunday, I hadn't received any reports from Adwick for a week so didn't know what to expect. The superb male Redstart was still present in the hedge North of the viewpoint, a group of 4 Dunlin were on the Eastern Pool and as I left there were 6 Little Egrets on Bolton Pool including 3 juveniles. Full list :- Grey Heron 8, Little Egret 6, Grey Lag Goose c250, Lapwing c200, Snipe 3, Dunlin 4, Ringed Plover 1 adult, Common Sandpiper 1, Oystercatcher 1, Redstart 1 male.
In the evening I went down to Old Moor for the Little Egret roost, I made my way straight to the Wath Ings Hide arriving at 18.45. Recently the Egrets have proved difficult to count as they have been arriving early and late so to obtain an accurate count a 4 hour visit is required. The maximum number last week has been 13 but with increasing numbers in the valley over the last couple of days especially at Wombwell Ings and Broomhill Flash I was optimistic. Final counts last night were Cormorant 12 and Little Egret 24 roosting. The Egrets came in as follows:- 1 @ 18.59, 1 @19.15, 2 @19.20, 2 @19.40, 1 @20.03, 1 @ 20.08, 3 @20.27, 1 @ 20.36, 2 @ 20.41, 4 @20.53, 1 @20.54, 1 @20.57, 2 @ 21.03, 1 @ 21.14 and finally 1 @ 21.23. All the Egrets apart from 4 came in from up the valley, at least 2 juveniles were noted. Therefore as I thought the Egrets have come into the valley over the last few days with numbers nearly doubling. Last year the maximum count of 32 was actually on 31st July but I think last year was a one off with numbers normally peaking around August Bank Holiday. On 31st July 2014 there were 13 Egrets in the roost.