Wednesday 30 November 2011

A Snow Bunting was by the road at Whitley Edge today (Mick Cunningham) although it was rather flighty in the strong wind. It is assumed to be the same bird seen nearby recently.
Old Moor - two Bitterns Reedbeds + Cetti's Warbler still.

Tuesday 29 November 2011

Bittern showed well again today on Reedbeds at Old Moor. Peregrine over Broomhill Flash + Little Owl in usual place - looking out of hide in 2 o'clock direction you will see a nest box beside hedgerow. Sits on posts just a bit further down or sometimes on nest box.

Sunday 27 November 2011

Bittern at Old Moor

 Bittern on the Reedbeds at Old Moor today - Dave Simmonite

Thou hath sinned!

Ok, I admit it, finally made the trip to Ryhill Pond this morning where the drake American Wigeon was showing reasonably well, albeit in choppy waters.
Drake American Wigeon, Wintersett
note the gleaming white axilleries (armpits), a feature you would need to
 see on a juvenile or female to help clinch identification .
Ok, enough of that and back to the mecca at Old Moor. A lack of call-outs this afternoon gave me chance for a visit before the lights went on and then probably out! The Cetti's Warbler was singing at the Reedbeds and was also seen. The Bittern was there too and was photographed in the afternoon. It had a fly around for me at dusk when six Goosanders were roosting on the Mere and a Barn Owl was hunting nearby.
The drake American Wigeon contiues it's residence, usually on the Top Res from the boathouse but flies to the Country Park lake when the boats come out. Also over 400 Wigoen are present and the Cettis can be heard (usually) on the west bank of the Top Res- the male is singing in short bursts again.
Snow Bunting showing well at Ewden Valley by shooting Lodge today early afternoon + 2 Hen Harriers - per Stu Green.

Saturday 26 November 2011

Saturday 26th November

Whitley Common
A Snow Bunting was at Whitley Common this morning. It was, apparentley re-located in a sheep field on Spicer House Lane by members of the Huddersfield Birdwatcher's Club. However it was unfortunately disturbed by the farmer as he entered the field to feed the sheep. There are a four good photos of it on the Hudderfield Birdwatchers Club website.
A couple of visits to the Old Moor area this whilst on call-out. No sign early morning of any White-fronted Geese at Broomhill, Old Moor or Edderthorpe. However, a skein of 54 Pink-feet passed over Bolton Ings where the/a Bittern was seen in flight. Reedbeds bird or are there two? Latter more likely I think but we need proof. The Cetti's showed well by the screen at the Reedbeds. Also of interest the Dipper has returned to Netherwood CP. and was seen at the western end yesterday. Let's hope it heads down stream soon!

Friday 25 November 2011

More photos from Old Moor today:

The flock of 29 White-fronts - Keith Pickering

White-fronts on Wader Scrape- John Hewitt

Bittern at the Reedbeds - Keith Pickering

The White-fronts at Old Moor after being flushed by a 'chopper' - John Hewitt

My visit to Old Moor today was well rewarded. 29 White-fronted Geese on the Wader Scrape were a splendid sight as well as a site record. Apparently they had been inadvertently flushed by a birder from Edderthorpe Flash earlier in the morning which a few people weren’t too chuffed about. Being a Wath stalwart however, the only complaint I have is why didn’t he do the same with the Marsh Warbler that was there a couple of summers ago! As well as the usual suspects present at Old Moor today a Peregrine paid a visit and the Reedbed Bittern had a ‘showy day’ whilst the Cetti’s Warbler also remained in situ. And as for the record 29 White-fronts – they flew up to Broomhill Flash and were joined by a further six……………………………

White Stork visits Barnsley

White Stork, Silkstone - Colin Bower

A White Stork visited Barnsley for a short while this Monday (21st November). It was first seen at Hoyland late morning where quick thinking resident Elise Shepherd grabbed a couple of record shots of it on her iPhone when it dropped in for a while at the back of her home. Elise promptly got in touch with the RSPB at Old Moor to pass on the news and although it flew off, it was relocated some 30 minutes later in Silkstone where Colin Bower managed to get a couple of excellent photos. Colin described the bird as approachable and if you look very closely you might see that it is sporting a narrow ring just above the foot on the right leg. This probably means that the bird is from one of several free-flying collections in the UK and on the near continent rather than a genuine vagrant. Nonetheless, White Storks are always superb birds to see. Later in the day what was surely the same bird dropped in at Totley, Sheffield and was photographed strutting about in the school grounds on 22nd. Sightings from Nottinghamshire later in the week probably relate to the same bird too and a quick surf of the internet shows that this same bird was in Lincolnshire in October before moving to Market Weighton in East Yorkshire.

Tuesday 22 November 2011

Edderthorpe 22nd November

Its looking good on here - 28 white fronted geese, 4600 golden plover, 11 Dunlin.

Report from Old Moor today - 1 white front, 1 Bittern, 1 Cetti's.

Monday 21 November 2011

Houghton Washland 21st November

Had a walk around Houghton Washland today. Thats the big slab of land owned by the Environment Agency that runs from south of Edderthorpe Ings down the river to Darfield.
The bottom end of this (Little Houghton Marsh) has been drained by the Environment Agency two years ago. They put deeper ditches in to attract water voles and by doing so its dried the marsh out. The RSPB have taken over the management of this particular part of the washland but they still haven't started work on the site yet.
The top half of the washland is where the old lake used to be (old records of breeding BN Grebes in this area). Its been flooded for the last few years and turned some good stuff up, especially good numbers of waders. However, last year the Environment Agency allowed the farmer to drain it. The lake is just a field of rough grass now.
A walk all way around the site from top to bottom today produced 1 heron and 2 moorhens.

Monday 21st November

Castle Dam
11 Greylag Geese, 7 Coot and 2 Little Grebe.

Langsett Reservoir
53 Teal.

Upper Midhope
40+ Greenfinch

1 Red Grouse on pastureland.

November 21st

Nice addition to my Stainborough Country Park list today ~ a single Brambling at the top of South Avenue.
Also Common Buzzard out of Warren Wood.

Sunday 20 November 2011

WEBS count day. Foggy until 2pm so all counts from last couple of hours of daylight.
White-fronted Goose 29, Greylag Goose 150, Canada Goose 183, Ross's Goose 1, Mute Swan 2, Shelduck 1, Mallard 258, Gadwall 6, Teal 202, Wigeon 51, Shoveler 46, tufted 10, Pochard 2, Cormorant 10, Little Grebe 2, Coot 5, Lapwing 450, Golden Plover 1000, Dunlin 12, Snipe 1, Common Buzzard 1.
Mallard 90, Shoveler 31, Teal 6, Tufted 12, Coot 7.
this weekend 1 peregrine, 1 ringtail hen harrier, 2 ravens

Saturday 19 November 2011

The flock of 29 White-fronted Geese are still in the valley with the Greylag flock - this afternoon they were all in the field over the river from the flash. The golden Plover flock is impressive with at least 3700 birds, over 400 Lapwing and 11 Dunlin.
The drake American Wigeon is still present, usually on the Top Res but if flushed by boats it retreats to the Country Park lake. Pink-footed Goose in with the 'resident' goose flock. Water Rails are conspicuous around the Top Res at present with at least a dozen there. Both Cettis Warblers were recorded today although the male is not very vocal or singing at present. A Chiffchaff was seen around the Top Res.

Saturday 19th November

Royd Moor Reservoir
2 juvenile White-fronted Geese in with 72 Greylag Geese. Apparently they have been in the area since Thursday (17th).

Friday 18 November 2011

Friday 18th November

Broasdstones/Broadstones Reservoir
Good numbers of plovers and starlings still about but the number of gulls (particularly Common Gulls) has fallen significantly. The totals were:
450+ Lapwing, 116 Golden Plover and 300+ Starling.

Ingbirchworth Reservoir
36 Greylag Geese, 110 Canada Geese and 10 Tufted Duck.

A high late November count of c50 Linnets.

Royd Moor Res.
25 Grey Lag Geese.

Thursday 17 November 2011

Hemingfield 17th November

4 Buzzards over Hemingfield 

Bernard Emson

White fronts

People shooting in fields between Darfield and Ardsley this morning.

Soon after a line of white fronts went very low over the back garden and just over the top of the house heading towards Broomhill.
Couldn't see the back end of the line but there was at least 5.

These birds keep disappearing.
I think this dispels the rumour that the Dearne Valley is snowed under with birders.
This might be so at Old Moor but nowhere else is watched throughout the day.
If a flock of geese can go missing for days then what else is out there?

Thursday 17th November

Elsecar Reservoir
12 Great Crested Grebes.

1 Raven.

Wednesday 16 November 2011

Other News (16/11/11)

Old Moor
A redhead Smew (probable 1st winter male) was on the field pools and a Cetti's Warbler over on the reedbeds . . . fingers crossed for a mild winter!

Wintersett/Anglers cp
The American Wigeon still is still present on the north bank of Wintersett reservoir. A nice surprise was a Scandinavian Chiffchaff (abietinus) which was caught and ringed.
A single adult Whooper Swan was on Anglers along with 5 Goosander. The gull roost is increasingly building with incredible numbers of Black-headed and Common Gulls.
A juv Aythya sp was also on Anglers which had a bill pattern similar to that of Lesser Scaup. What are the chances of there being two North American duck? . . ,
See image below
Aythya sp on Anglers. © Carl Dixon

Wednesday 16th November

Had a decent morning today, with the following of note:

Langsett Banks
Flock of 35+ Coal Tits with 3-4 Goldcrests.

Langsett Reservoir
74 Pink-footed Geese east at 10:55hrs (and a skein later over Underbank Reservoir but these were only heard and must have been high and above the low cloud), and 2 Brambling with Chaffinches.

Midhope Reservoir
6 Black Grouse at Edge Cliff Brook moving to Spring Moor.

Barnside Moor
1 ringtail Hen Harrier leaving south over Ewden Height.

Edderthorpe 15th November 2011

Had a run round looking for bean geese in the Edderthorpe area today.
Been down to Tyreshall Farm and scanned the fields there and then been down Edderthorpe Lane checking the fields there.
Nowt found but these fields are smallish and many of them are used for grazing cattle so on the face of it they look suitable for bean geese.
Had about a hour sat on Greys Bench at Edderthorpe - and Edderthorpe at the moment is looking fantastic.
The white fronts are still there but they were on and behind the flood banking near the river. I'd guess there's still about 10 there.
Also about 3000 goldies, 15 dunlin and loads of ducks including a shelduck.

The wind pump has been installed by the RSPB and with any luck this will provide the right conditions in the spring to produce all the passage and breeding birds year after year. Which is great news !!!
However, I don't know how secure the structure of the wind pump is because its easily accessible as things stand now and so consequently its likely to end up being weighed in.

Monday 14 November 2011

14th November

1 female Goshawk (only my second since the spring)

Broadstones Reservoir
124 Common Gulls, 350+ Lapwing, 15 Golden Plover and 300+ Starlings.

Ingbirchworth Reservoir
65 Greylag Geese and 6 Tufted Ducks.

Saturday 12 November 2011

Saturday 12th November

Wintersett reservoir
The American Wigeon was near the boathouse this morning before flying onto Anglers where it spent the rest of the day. Goldeneye are beginning to increase in number with at least 26 present. The resident Cetti's sang on a couple of occasions with 1-2 birds still along the west bank.

Edderthorpe Flash
Up to 29 White-fronted Goose (inc. 7 juv) were amongst the local Greylag and Canada geese (and Ross's Goose), moving between the flash and the field to the west. A Brent Goose was also present this morning but later disappeared. Other birds included Shelduck, 8 Dunlin and c.3000 Golden Plover.

Also, 5 Waxwing were reported from Carlton Village this afternoon.

Friday 11th November 2011

Midhope Reservoir

In the gloom. 3 Goldeneye (2 drakes), 3 Tufted Duck and 2 Little Grebe.


5 Red-legged Partridge and c120 Fieldfare.

Thursday 10 November 2011

Thursday 10th November

Worsbrough reservoir
Some locally uncommon species present today, including 2 Little Grebe, 2 Goldeneye(pair), 2 Gadwall (pair), 4 Green Sandpiper and 1 Redshank.
Water levels have been low at the site for just over a month in order to carry out repairs on the dam head. The level is slowly returning to normal but has attracted species such as Ruff and Rock Pipit, both of which are scarce visitors to the valley.

Wintersett reservoir
The American Wigeon was present near the boathouse all day. A Shelduck was also present in the area.

American Wigeon on Anglers CP. © Ron Marshall

Wednesday 9 November 2011

Another excellent day here and another new species for the site. A fine drake American Wigeon was found on the Country Park lake early afternoon and is still present at dusk. It is feeding on weed brought to the surface by Coot directly out from the hide and is showing well. There were also 4 White-fronted Geese seen early morning flying over the Top Res and heading south. A flock of about 100 Pink-footed Geese flew west at dusk.
A late Swallow was over the res in the morning.

Monday 7 November 2011

All day from dawn to dusk was spent unsucessfully searching for yesterdays Penduline Tit. This wasn't a wasted day though as scrutiny of the reedbeds turned up a new Cettis Warbler as well as the resident bird. A short-eared Owl circled the top res at mid day before heading off southwards and a Lesser Spotted woodpecker flew up the top bank in the morning. Visable migration was poor- the Woodies must have all move out yesterday

Sunday 6 November 2011

Wintersett Reservoir did the business today with a new bird for the Barnsley Area; Pete Smith found a Penduline Tit this morning near the boathouse. It played very hard to get but eventually in the next hour or so seven birders managed to see the bird with some good photographs being obtained. Unfotunatly at about 1pm it decided to fly across the reservoir towards another reedbed and despite being looked for all afternoon by many birders it wasnt seen again. This is a very rare bird in Yorkshire being only the fifth record in the County and the first since 1992.
A extreamly large passage of Wood Pigeons flying south in the first few hours after dawn resulted in a record count of over 28,000 moving, easily beating the previous record count of 8,000.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

1st November 2011

Edderthorpe Flash - in the early morning mist;
at least 3 Dunlin, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Shoveler,
Teal, G Heron, Meadow Pipits

Spring Vale Road, Park Springs - Chiffchaff

Ferry Moor Lake - Shoveler, Tufted Duck

M Doveston