Thursday 31 May 2012

Cudworth Common

This evening were 2 singing Cuckoo's (1 to north of Common & 1 opposite Symphony) Green Woodpecker 1, Red Legged Partridge singing, Oystercatcher 1 in horse pasture, 2 Blackcap, 1 Reed Warbler and 3 singing Willow Warbler, a pair of Lapwing with 3 young, 4 Redshank, a drake Shoveler and 1 Avocet. One of the Redshank nests of 4 eggs I have been keeping an eye on was empty (fledged?) and so was the second one, but very close to the nest were both egg shells so I am more optimistic that these hatched successfully.

Inside the Symphony compound on the north side were 1 pair of Ringed Plover with 3 young and 3 more adults on the south side.

Bolton Ings - Late Morning

Steady drizzle kept 200+ Swifts fairly low over the east end. However, Sand Martins and House Martins only registered single figures. 5 Pochard, 51 Tufted Duck, 18 Gadwall, 2 Great Crested Grebes and 2 Common Terns were the main occupants of the open water. Along the old railway track were singing Blackcaps 5+, Chiffchaffs 5+, Willow warblers  3, Whitethroats 2, Sedge warbler 2and Reed Warbler 2 and looking onto the Waderscrape 8 Avocet were visible.  Other birds seen included Green Woodpecker, Kestrel and 2 Oystercatchers.
Edderthorpe,later morning.
                                          2,redshank eggs on floodbank, was asorry sight , too many corvid in area,but on the plus side a LEO.was out and about at 10 AM.

Edderthorpe early morning

Avocet 1, Ringed Plover 14, LRP 2, Dunlin 6, Mute Swan 29 is probably a site maximum - certainly is during the last 15 years, Cuckoo 1.

More breeding successes

Old Moor - Bittern seen quite frequently from viewing area again. Little Egret roosted tonight. A new brood of Avocets (2) today, so that's two broods of two from six pairs so far. Also a brood of three Oystercatchers appeared yesterday. So migrant wise all pretty quiet, but keep plugging away as this is a fantastic time of year for extreme rarities as a couple of places around us have proved today (well, yesterday now) eg Gull-billed Tern at Thorne and Black-winged Stilt at Fairburn.

An interesting report reached me today of a probable Golden Oriole recently on the Trans Pennine Trail about 5 miles from Old Moor but as yet we have no detailed location. There has been a major influx into the UK so this may well turn out to be genuine.

Wednesday 30 May 2012

Carlton Marsh

As you were; Mute Swan with 2 cygnets, a pair of breeding Tufted Duck and a singing male Cuckoo.
4 Four Spot Chasers, 39 Common Blue, 15 Dingy Skipper, 41 Small Heath, 14 Small Copper and 11 Orange Tip males. (Les Corrall)

Edderthorpe early morning

On the Flash are;- Teal 2, Oystercatcher 2, Dunlin 5, Ringed Plover 8, LRP 4, Cuckoo 1, Yellow Wag 1.
Over at Houghton Washlands where the farmer has now ploughed and reseeded the whole field after it has dried out following the April floods there is mixed news. Five Lapwing nests and a Redshank nest have been destroyed in the ploughing process. There is no sign of any young Lapwings from the 2 broods which originally hatched. However, there are now seven sitting Lapwings (there were 8 before the floods) some of these on their third attempt of the spring and a sitting Oystercatcher. Hopefully, this time.....

Tuesday 29 May 2012

Cartlon Marsh

2 Buzzards and our first Cinnabar moths reported today. Photo's of yesterday's Garganey were supplied by Dave Smith - the first for 12 years. I beleive they were at Fairburn Ings today. 

Breeding Bitterns

As most of you are no doubt aware Bitterns have nested at Old Moor and are now feeding young. The shear number of visitors over the last few days has led to the decision to temporary close the Reedbeds, however a viewing area has been set up at the 'dogs leg' where it is possible to see them in flight. Apologies for the temporary inconvenience. Very little other bird news so far today.


At least 2 nightjars last night at about 10.15pm along the road to the Strines.One heard churring at the end of the Dukes Road and one heard and seen well after the Agden 'dip' from the road near the log pile.

Edderthorpe early morning

A few waders on show include;- Avocet 1, Ringed Plover 5, Dunlin 5, LRP 4,

Monday 28 May 2012

Carlton Marsh

Update- All 3 Garganey are males (1 immature) 2 Large Red Damselflies,

Wintersett 28.05.12

Three firsts for the year: Small Heath Butterfly (WRes),  Four Spot Chaser,  Broad-bodied Chaser 1♀ Dragonflies (ACP).  Thanks to Cliff and Les from Carlton.
Highlight today was a Hobby, giving brilliant views as it caught insects behind the hide on Anglers CP at 11.08hrs. 
A Cuckoo was heard singing on Rough Bottom Plantation at 21.30hrs yesterday (27.05.12)

Up the valley ...

Another glorious day up the Little Don valley and had it all to myself once again.
Highlights included; male Cuckoo, 5 male Redstart, 4 Spotted Flycatcher, Woodcock, Tree Pipit, 3 Stonechat ( 2 male), Common Sand 2, Dipper, Merlin, Buzzard and  Red Kite (came in from north and then headed west up valley at 09:35). Also Water Vole in Mickledon Beck.

Ewden valley, dukes rd. triangle, 27-5-12.

Common buzzard 7.  Pair of ring ouzels near shooting lodge. Cuckoo 4, two in ewden valley, 1 at broomhead hall, 1 at canyards.

Carlton Marsh

Keith Bannister just phoned in with 2 male Garganey & 1 female on the scrape!

Goldeneyes again

Ingbirchworth Rservoir - 2 drake Goldeneyes here again today.

Don at Deepcar May 27th

One juvenile Dipper seemingly fending for itself.
Didn't see any Grey Wagtails which is a first for me at this location!

Edderthorpe early morning

The Flash is looking much better now with decent areas of mud exposed and the water at a much better level, well done the RSPB and Al Stonier for shifting so much water and rescueing so many birds' breeding season. Today;- Shelduck 3, Teal 3, Greylag Goose 28, Oystercatcher 2, Avocet 2, Dunlin 3, LRP 4, Redshank 10, Common Tern 1, Yellow Wag 1.

sun 27th May Old Moor area

Highlights: 3 Black Terns on Mere + 1 Bolton Ings. Bittern Reedbeds.

Sunday 27 May 2012


A quick visit on my way home from the coast this evening;- Shelduck 2, Shoveler 10, Oystercatcher 2, Ringed Plover 2, LRP 4, Dunlin 1.

Trill's & bill's Wharncliffe Wood

Wood Warbler 2 singing males, Crossbill 12+, Tree Pipit 8+ (7 singing males) Wharncliffe Chase (south end), Cuckoo 1 male & Buzzard 1.

Cudworth Common

Les Corrall reported 2 Redshank, 2 singing Cuckoo's, 9 Stock Dove and 1 Avocet. Butterflies included 33 male Orange Tips. 23 Dingy Skippers and 16 Common Blues. 2 Cinnabar moths were among other day flying grass moths.
Edderthorpe Flash had 2 Avocets.

My Garden

Thought you might like to see the Poplar Hawk Moth that came to my light trap last night.

 Others moths included Muslin Moth, Green Carpet (4) Pale Mottled Willow (2) The Spectacle and Shuttle Shaped Dart (2)

Psycho's Back Wintersett 27.05.12

Psycho, the 2nd summer Yellow-legged Gull, flew in to Anglers CP, from the north west, at 09.40 hrs.  It began by trashing a Black-headed Gull nest, then chilled out for a bit before pursuing a swallow all over the lake. When bored with that it flew off high to the south west at 11.00.  BEWARE Edderthorpe and Old Moor!
Other highlights today, under clear blue skies, and in hot sunshine, were the first brood of Great-crested Grebe on Wintersett Res. and 2 Curlew that flew over Anglers CP,  south east at 11.55hrs.

Saturday 26 May 2012

Edderthorpe Flash

This morning, Male Garganey 1, Little Ringed Plover 3, Common Sandpiper 1, Ringed Plover 2, Dunlin 1, Oystercatcher 3 Shelduck 2, Redshank 8, Avocet 1,Common Tern 2,

Friday 25 May 2012

more out than in

More departures than arrivals today at Old Moor. Birds not seen included the Black-necked Grebes, 3 Ruff and Turnstone. New in however were 2 Greenshank on The Wader Scrape. Still around were Bittern, 6 RP, 2 LRP, 12 Avocets, a Dunlin  and 2 Meds'.

Coal Tits Fledge

More photos from Ray Dye from Smithies garden shed

Little Don Valley

I only walked as far as the little foot bridge. (tendinitis) Didn't see any birds of prey and very few Grouse. However, there was a Grey Wagtail and Redstart and Goldcrest were singing and there were plenty of Siskins. On the way back a Spotted Flycatcher was sallying for insects near the river bridge, a Willow Warbler was on eggs, and a pair of Song Thrushes were feeding fledged young in the Langset Barn car park.
Butterflies included 8 Orange Tips, 2 Speckled Wood and 1 Holly Blue. Brown Silver line and Common Heath moths were flying around Bilberry.

Closer to home Geoff Miller reported a Whimbrel calling as it flew over his home in Cudworth at 06.21hrs and Keith Bannister phoned in to say that a shoal of Chub were in the Dike at Carlton Marsh. Cudworth Dike is well known for being the most polluted watercourse in South Yorkshire, but thanks to improvements made by the Environment Agency the water quality has improved of late.


A wood sandpiper feeding about 20m away from the central path on the flooded fen part of the site.
Also 18 greylags there. Obviously this species is getting a welcome hold within the valley.

A few bunches of people wandering about in areas that they shouldn't be.
Putting breeding birds in HARMS WAY - creating fabulous habitat to encourage birds to breed .........and then not protecting the birds or the habitat.
There is still no presence by the RSPB wardens in this area.
Strange but true.

Wintersett 25.05.12

Blue skies and high temperatures with a slight north east breeze ensured it was still very quiet birdwise here. The most unusual record today being a Meadow Pipit over the Country Park fields.  The breeding birds are providing the main interest.  15 Greylag goslings and 6 Mute Swan cygnets at Walton Hall.  The Wintersett Mute Swan cygnets are down to 4 from 6.  A brood of 5 newly fledged Willow Tits were seen, appropriately, in the Willow Wood.
The heat is bringing out the insects  with 2 Holly Blues being new for the year and the first Large Red Damselfly was found on Anglers Country Park. Brimstone and Small Copper butterflies were also out and good numbers of Common Blue Damselflies are appearing.
Moth trapping overnight produced two migrant species: Single Silver Y and Diamondback.
ADWICK WASHLANDS (07.30). Shoveler 4, Gadwall 6, Tufted 10,  Snipe 2 drumming, Redshank 3 pairs with young, Ringed Plover 2, LRP 1, Cuckoo 1, Yellow Wagtail 2.

Four negatives.

The Barmings (Dog & Partridge) - No sign of any Fieldfare over the past fortnight so I presume they were just late migrants after all. The Lapwing situation looks dire here with no young birds seen today.
Stone Moor - 7 Golden Plovers on pastureland were probably failed breeders and again no young Lapwing here

Edderthorpe early am

New arrivals this morning include;- Great Crested Grebe 1, Ringed Plover 2, and LRP up to 3.

Thursday 24 May 2012


1 singing from Baroadhill Bank Winscar at 11 26 tonight.

late news

A Barn Owl at Whitwell Moor on 22nd May per Brian Haywood.

Ferrymoor Flash etc

Ferrymoor Flash
Reed Warbler singing in small reedbed near Sash Warehouse,
Grey Heron also present.

Park Springs - Buzzard

Roadside Reedbed (opposite side to Edderthorpe)
Singing Sedge Warbler

Mark D

Old Moor extras

A few additions from JMT'S sightings - Bittern seen at Reedbeds, adult Med' Gull (thus 2), Turnstone Mere, 2 LRP, 5 RP. Spotted Flycatcher reported by Field Pool West hide, plenty arrived on coast recently so seems quite likely to be gen. A Bean Goose was reported on Wombwell Ings yesterday but when checked out only a Pink-foot could be found.

The 'cream-crown' Marsh Harrier at Old Moor yesterday - Keith Pickering

If you see a Marsh Harrier at Old Moor try to establish if it is this bird or not, which is easily recognized by the missing flight feathers on its left wing. PhotographKeith Pickering

OM this evening

2 BN Grebes on Mere, 1st summer Med Gull, 3 Ruff wader scrape

Whimbrel North

just arrived home (Harden, Winscar) and stood on drive musing about night birding. Calling Whimbrel just went N


Ewden shooting lodge path this afternoon

two common buzzards, two singing cuckoos and a pair of whinchat in same spot as last year

Elsecar Reservoir

1 Mute Swan, pair Tufted Ducks, 6+ Great Crested Grebes including a pair with 1 young, and 1 Common Tern

Edderthorpe, early morning

Shelduck 2, Teal 1, Oystercatcher 2, Redshank 12, LRP 1, Ringed Plover 2 with a brood of young at the south side of 'Symphony'.

Wednesday 23 May 2012

Cudworth Common

Where have all the Meadow Pipits gone? This site usually supports around 6 pairs, but this spring I haven't seen any breeding birds. There are however, about 5 breeding pairs of Skylarks.
It would appear that the Mute Swans are without any cygnets! Even worse I witnessed a dog heading towards a Redshank nest I found last week. Before I or the owner could restrain it an egg was bitten into, now there are two left. The owner was most apologetic. On a more positive note there was an Avocet and pair of Cuckoo's sat on telegraph wires together.
On the north side of the Symphony factory were 2 Ringed Plovers, several pairs of Lapwings with young, a pair of Grey Partridge and 5 Hares.

Old Moor update

Evening visit to Old Moor, the most noticeable change since my last visit (almost a week ago) being an increase in waders. Best of all, 3 Ruff on Wader Scrape but also 5 Ringed Plover, 2 LRP, 2 Dunlin, whilst the Turnstone was on The Mere. A Hobby was hawking over the Reedbeds just as I arrived and both Med' Gulls (adult and 2nd C-Y) remain in situ. At least two Marsh Harrier sightings today, one of which was a/the 'cream crown' and the other too distant to say. A Bittern was again seen at the Reedbeds.


This afternoon 1 Red Kite flying east over Elsecar Ivan Martin. Yesterday evening 1 Little Egret at Edderthorpe Flash

Langsett Banks

Lots of singing going on this afternoon - highlights were a cuckoo and a male Pied Flycatcher.

Carlton Marsh

Mute Swan still on nest with cygnets, not certain how many yet.
Now its time for some lepidoptera. Ralph Hibbert and Les Corrall provided the following butterfly counts for today. 23 Orange Tip males, 47 Dingy Skipper, 15 Small Copper, 12 Small Heath, 9 Green Veined White, 3 Brimstone (2m & 1f) and 2 Common Blue.

Coal Tits

The latest photos from Ray Dye of Coal Tits in his garden shed at Smithies

Edderthorpe, early morning

Little change still. Shoveler 7, Teal 1, Oystercatcher 2, LRP 1, Redshank 6, best of all a drumming Snipe - the first since the April floods.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Carlton Marsh

This evening - Kingfisher, 5 singing Reed Warblers, 3 Sedge Warblers, 3 Garden Warblers, 1 Grasshopper Warbler, 1 Cuckoo etc.
Finally the best news of the day came from Dave Standish who saw that our female Mute Swan had at least 3 cygnets peeping out from under her on the nest. This is our first successful breeding pair for 27 years.

Old Moor - 22nd May

Again very little change today at Old Moor, Bittern seen again and the 2 Mediterranean Gulls still present. Waders today included 12 Avocets + 2 chicks, 10 Ringed Plovers, 2 Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Dunlin and 1 Common Sandpiper. Only other report of note was 2 Buzzards.

Late Goldeneyes

Ingbirchworth Reservoir - 2 drake Goldeneyes and a pair of Great Crested Grebes.
Royd Moor Reservoir - Little Grebe whinnying, pair of Great Crested Grebes and pair of Coot.
Midhope Reservoir - 1 Coot (not common here).

Butterflies - all at RMR - Small White (2), Green-veined White (20+), Orange Tip (c15), Small Tortoiseshell (c10) and Peacock (2).

Summer's Here, Birds Gone - Wintersett 22.05.12

Very quiet here.  A glorious, very hot and sunny day, with clear blue skies, allowed the hirundines and swifts to continue their migration.
4 Common Terns were on Wintersett Res and a pair of Shoveler were on Cold Hiendley Res.

ADWICK WASHLANDS (am). Shoveler 3 male, 1 female, Gadwall 6, Tutfted 2, Redshank 2 pairs with chicks, Lapwing 3 more pairs with new hatched young, Grey Partridge 3 pairs, Wheatear 1 female, Yellow Wagtail 1, Cuckoo 1.

Edderthorpe Flash

Very quiet here at the moment, still far too much water in the flash. Shelduck 3, Oystercatcher 3, Avocet 1. No sign of yesterdays Black Tern.

Monday 21 May 2012

Edderthorpe - 20th May

Called in at Edderthorpe on my way home this evening, highlight being the Black Tern still present. Other birds seen included Grey Heron 2, Mute Swan 8, Oystercatcher 2, Redshank 5, Ringed Plover 1 and LBB Gull 7.

Old Moor - 21st May

Not much change today at Old Moor but still plenty of birds to be seen. The Bittern again seen on the reedbeds, both Mediterranean Gulls seen, waders included Avocet 12 + 2 chicks, Dunlin 7 and 11 Ringed Plovers.

Ewden Valley 20-5-12. shooting lodge path.

hobby 1, merlin 1, cuckoo 1, whinchat 1, ring ouzel 1, reed bunt 1 singing male. + male wheater on 13th.  14 crossbills at midhope on 13th.

Swift Scare - Wintersett 21.05.12

A swift with a white rump and other white markings caused quite a stir on Wintersett Res this morning.  Initially, hopes were high, but were quickly dashed when it was realized that it was just an aberrant swift.   It was the same size as a swift, with a forked tail, a gleaming white rump and an off white mantle and back, streaked with brown.  The under tail and vent were also whitish, as was the lower throat and upper breast.  The rest of the underparts and upper parts were dark brown.  This was a very interesting bird that could have caused major identification difficulties at long range  and height.
A Turnstone was present and Dunlin flew over Anglers CP. a 5 Common Tern and 800 Swifts were present on Wintersett Res. 

Sunday 20 May 2012

Old Moor - 20th May

Another good day today at Old Moor, seems to get better with every visit. Again the wader scrape was the place to be - Avocet 12 + 2 chicks, Turnstone 1, Dunlin 12, Ringed Plover 10, Little Ringed Plover 1, Drake Garganey 1, Mediterranean Gull 2 (adult and first summer), Common Tern 3, Yellow Wagtail 2. On the mere were 2 Common Sandpipers and I had brilliant views of a Hobby. The Bittern was seen again several times on the redbeds as was the Marsh Harrier. Finally on Wombwell Ings a further 2 Avocets and a fly through Egyptian Goose.

Bolton Ings - 20th May

An afternoon visit to Bolton Ings this week for a change, rewarded with fine views of the cream crown Marsh Harrier flying over and dropping into the reedbeds. However at about 1 oclock it flew up then circled higher and higher untill lost to view. Other highlights today were still 15 Pochard, 2 broods of Lapwing and first brood of Redshank. Full list as follows:- Grey Heron 1, Mute Swan 4 adults + 3 cygnets (there were 4 cygnets last week and this is the first cygnet to be lost by this pair for 4 years, in 2010 they had 9 young), Canada Goose 32 (broods of 6 & 2), Grey Lag Goose 9 (brood of 2), Great Crested Grebe 2, Little Grebe 10, Mallard 18, Gadwall 22, Shoveler pair, Tufted Duck 75, Pochard 15 (10 drakes, 5 females), Coot 75 (broods of 3, 2, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1 & 1), Moorhen 5, Lapwing 16 (broods of 2 & 2), Redshank 2 (brood of 2), Oystercatcher 6, Black Headed Gull 914, LBB Gull 4, Common Tern 1, Marsh Harrier 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Kestrel 2, Jay 1, Green Woodpecker 1, Reed Warbler 2, Sedge Warbler 1, Willow Warbler 11, Chiffchaff 8, Blackcap 3, Whitethroat 3, Lesser Whitethroat 1.


Buzzard 1, Cuckoo 2 males, Grey Wagtail 2 pairs, Dipper 1+, Redstart 2 males, Wheatear 5+, Ring Ouzel 1 male & Spotted  Fly 1 (Ellerslie Lodge).

Golden Delights

Worsbrough res (evening) - Hobby 1 west, interestingly one went through yesterday at the exact same time. Other birds of note - 3 Common Tern, 23 GCGrebe + 2y, 6 juv Goldcrest being fed by ad.

Winscar reservoirs

Flying visit to these reservoirs produced very little (as expected). Should have been at Broomhead!!!
Snailsden Reservoir - Curlew with young, pair Common Sandpiper, pair Tufted Ducks and pair of Pied Wagtails.
Winscar Reservoir - 1 drake Tufted Duck and 1 Cuckoo + plenty of Meadow Pipits.

Cop for that Christmas

Bee-eater at Broomhead Res. today (per Pete Middleton). Flew north from Walker Edge.

Psycho Returns - Wintersett 20.05.12

Wintersett Res – 3 new Sedge Warblers were heard today. Common Tern 4, Grasshopper Warbler  1,
Cold Hiendley Sewage Farm - Yellow Wagtail 1♂
Anglers CP – Oystercatcher 4, Lapwing 4, Grey Heron 1 + 1 WR,  Herring Gull 3 flew north,  Lesser Black-backed Gull  18 north + 10 south,   Curlew 1 flew west at 11.08hrs, Buzzard 1 over Haw Park Wood, 1 over Hare Park area  and 1 flew north east at13.30hrs
The 2nd summer YELLOW-LEGGED GULL cruised in from the north west at 11.30hrs. It brushed off a mobbing from the alarmed Black-heads before harassing a passing Herring Gull. It left north west at 11.54hrs.  This is probably the bird that has wintered at Pugneys. It returned  at 13.00hrs  caused mayhem again, before attacking a buzzard and then heading off back to Pugneys. Definitely living up to it’s nickname of Psycho.
Highlight today was a  CREAM CROWN MARSH HARRIER  that flew high north west from 13.35 -13.45hrs.  Could this be the bird seen in the Old Moor area and at Carlton Marsh in the last 2 days?  Due to modern technology, ( phones - N.B. Luddites frequent here!) it was later picked up flying north west over Pugneys
Hirundines and Swifts were again flying low in the very cold and overcast conditions:  Area totals were: Swallow 300,  House Martin 100,  Swift  900,  Sand Martin  15. 
WEBS count: Coot 57, Mute Swan 22, Mallard 32, Great-crested Grebe 24, Tufted Duck 39, Gadwall 8, Moorhen 6, Canada Goose 28, Greylag Goose 30, Cormorants 3

Carlton Marsh

Male Marsh Harrier south at 09.30hrs (Jim Plant)

Saturday 19 May 2012


Cuckoo heard this morning at home in Park Grove.

666 Wintersett 19.05.12

Wintersett Res - The first brood of 6 Mute Swan cygnets was seen briefly.  A male Sedge Warbler was singing on the north east bank and a male Nuthatch was calling in Pits Wood.    6 Common Terns were present and a Yellow Wagtail flew over.
Highlights today were at |Anglers CP this afternoon. 6 Turnstone flew north at 3.15pm. and a Little Tern dropped in but left north at 4.16pm.
The overcast, damp and very cold, 7oC, conditions kept the hirundines and swifts low over the water today.   Area totals were: Swallow 500,  House Martin 60,  Swift  700,  Sand Martin  15.  
Little Tern                                Paul  Meredith

House  Martin                    Paul  Meredith

Swallow                             Paul  Meredith

Marsh Harrier

Has the reedbeds been fenced off - or is it still like a Country Park Circus in there?

And as per usual at this time of year - can someone just explain to me why the reedbeds are left open to the general public during March to June?

Old Moor - 19th May

Early news from Old Moor and as predicted yesterday the cream crown Marsh Harrier is still present, today frequenting the reedbed on Bolton Ings. Also today the Bittern has been seen in flight several times, the 2 Mediterranean Gulls are still present as are the 2 Avocet chicks. Ringed Plover have increased to 10 on the wader scrape and a Common Sandpiper and a Greater Black Backed Gull have been seen. Finally probably the rarest bird of the day is a Cocckoo which has been seen on Bolton Common.

Wentworth Lakes

Wentworth Lakes - 1 Arctic Skua northeast at Morley Pond this am - per SBSG website

Friday 18 May 2012

Carlton Marsh

Just received message from Geoff Miller - 'Cream Crown' Marsh Harrier  hunting over the marsh this evening and may have roosted.

Old Moor - 18th May

Some more good new birds today at Old Moor, highlights being a cream crown Marsh Harrier that spent some time on the reedbeds and then went over to Bolton Ings so could still be in the area. New waders in today on the wader scrape were a winter plumaged Grey Plover, a Sanderling and a Greenshank. Other waders seen included 3 Dunlin, 2 Little Ringed Plovers and 6 Ringed Plovers. The 2 Avocet chicks are still present as is the 2 Mediterranean Gulls (adult and first summer). Finally at Old Moor the Bittern was heard booming again and was seen today.

Cudworth Common

Mute Swan, Redshank (2) on eggs, Avocet 3, Reed Warbler 1 singing male, Canada Goose 2, Lapwing with chicks.

Symphony furniture warehouse 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Redshank, several pairs of Lapwings with chicks, 6 Canada Geese and 4 Brown Hares.


Swallow 100+; House Martin 100+; HOBBY 1; Avocet 2; Garden Warbler 2.

Friday 18th May

Winscar Reservoir - 5 sitting Black-headed Gulls.
Ingbirchworth Reservoir - 1 drake Goldeneye.
Low Moor, Upper Midhope - 6 Greylag Geese, 2 broods Snipe (2+ & 1+) and 1 Short-eared Owl.

Wintersett 18.05.12

Anglers CP - 5  Oystercatcher,   2 Lapwing chicks and 2 slightly older Lapwing chicks on Botany Horse Field.
Wintersett Res -5 Common Tern,  1 singing, male Nuthatch,  3 Herring Gull flew north east.
Highlight today  was 2 newly fledged Blackcap near boathouse reedbed.  These are probably the earliest ever recorded here.
ADWICK WASHLANDS - Quail 2 calling at around 08.00hrs

Edderthorpe Flash

A bit extra for Edderthorpe Sanderling 1, Ringed Plover 7, Dunlin 1.

Edderthorpe Flash

Shelduck 2, Garganey 1 drake, Avocet 5, Oystercatcher 2, LRP 2,
Cudworth Common has;- Shelduck 2, Avocet 2, Common Sandpiper 1, LRP 2, Ringed Plover 8.

Thursday 17 May 2012

Old Moor - 17th May

Another good day in the Old Moor Area with plenty of passing waders and some more breeding news. The Bittern was still booming on the reedbeds and the adult and first summer Med Gulls were still present. There were 6 Turnstones on the mere, 5 left to Broomhill and then north. On the wader scrape Ringed Plovers built up to 12 during the day as well as 6 Little Ringed Plovers and 3 Dunlin. The 2 Avocet chicks were still present and a new brood of Redshank were on Bolton Ings. There were 5 Lesser Whitethroats singing at Old Moor with at least 12 males in the area. Finally the Tree Sparrow nestboxes were checked today, there were 11 active nests with chicks or eggs, 2 further nests with neither eggs or chicks and a further 2 singing males. Potentially 15 pairs which is a big increase on the 7 pairs last year.


After a few discussions with the local residents I have finally pinpointed the area where an otter holt exists on private land in the lower parts of the valley.
Bitterns, avocets and now otters - what ever next !!!
Great news for those of us that have watched this part of the valley since the river was nothing but an open sewer that regularly changed colour every other day as it was used as a dumping ground for all sorts of liquid waste.

Wintersett 17.05.12

Wintersett Res - Arctic Tern 1,  Common Tern 4,  Grasshopper Warbler 1 male, Kingfisher 1 and  Yellow Wagtail  1 on the boathouse slipway.
Anglers CP - Highlight of the day was  5 TURNSTONE in summer plumage that flew west 09.18hrs.

Fight, fight, fight............

A migrant flock of 7 Shelduck dropped onto Edderthorpe Flash just before 6am and were immeadiatly harrassed by a 'resident'  Shelduck. The visitors stood their ground taking little notice of the posturing drake Shelduck so he took his frustration out on a nearby sleeping Avocet, violently attacking it and trying to hold the Avocet underwater. Fortunatly, after a brief struggle the Avocet escaped, took to flight with its accompanying mate and immeadiatly left the Flash! The seven Shelduck left to the north after a ten minute wash and brush-up.
Teal 1, Gadwall 28, Shoveler 6, Avocet 4, Oystercatcher 1, LRP 1, Redshank 8, Common Tern 2.


Its looking mighty interesting in the valley over the next few days. Strong easterlies straight off the continent. Looks like it could be good - that's if we can keep the regular birders away from deserting towards the sea.

Whitwell Moor/Millstones Wood

2 Redstarts, 2 Tree Pipits and 3+ Lesser Redpolls.

Wednesday 16 May 2012

Little Don Valley

A walk with Les Corral as far as the sheep pens produced 4 Buzzards mobbed by 2 Kestrels. Then 2 Sparrowhawks, 2 singing Redstarts, 2 Common Sandpipers, a Grey Wagtail, at least a dozen Wheatears, 1 Dipper and plenty of Siskins. Not forgetting 2 singing Cuckoo's (1 at the river bridge & 1 near the sheep pens)

Old Moor

Still Bittern, Sanderling, 4 Turnstone, 2 Med' Gulls but the best news - 2 Avocet chicks on waders scrape.

Over to Barnsley Blade no 2 for next 6 days!

Sanderling today - Keith Pickering
Turnstone - Keith Pickering

Wintersett 16.05.12

Wintersett  Res - Common Scoter 1♂ + 1♀,  Common Tern 3. 
Anglers CP -  Greenland Wheatear 1♂,  Yellow-legged  Gull 1  2nd summer.


Broadstones Reservoir - 27 Wheatears this morning (per HBW website) - should be Greenlands at this time.

Edderthorpe Flash

As the water continues to be drained off the first traces of mud are now showing - and 2 pairs of Avocets are squabling over it! Shelduck 1, Teal 1, Oystercatcher 1, Common Tern 2.

Tuesday 15 May 2012

Carlton Marsh

Nothing new over last couple of days, but news of two ringing controls have just come in via our ringing secretary Martin Wells.
A Chiffchaff BLX523 I ringed at Carlton Marsh on 31-7-2010 as juvenile was controlled on 12-10-2010 at Trunvel, Treogat (Finistre) France 666kms SWW. This is only our second Chiffchaff recovery and our first abroad.

A Sedge Warbler X076046 ringed by Dave Smith at Carlton Marsh as a juvenile on 17-7-2011 was controlled at Le Massereau, Frossay (Loire-atlantique) France on 15-8-2011 707kms South. This is our 2nd recovery in France, 1 in Spain and 1 in Lanzarotte in September 1986 was discovered by a German scientist as a prey item whilst ringing Eleonora's Falcon young in the nest. What were the chances of that happening! It was in fact the first ever British Sedge Warbler recovery on the Canary Islands.

Old Moor update

Red Kite east this afternoon (YT).

Edderthorpe - late update

Called in on my way home this evening, not much change from this morning apart from 1 Whimbrel. Also seen :- Great Crested Grebe 1, Pochard 1 male, Shelduck 1, Oystercatcher 1, Redshank 4, Sparrowhawk 1, Cuckoo 1.

Wintersett 15.05.12

Wintersett  Res - Common Scoter 1♂ + 1♀,  Common Tern 8,  Common Sandpiper 1, Swift 400,  House Martin 150.
Cold Hiendley Sewage Farm - Yellow Wagtail 1
Anglers CP -  Wheatear 1♂, Yellow-legged  Gull 1  2nd summer, Shoveler 1♂.
Highlight today:  A pair of Sand Martins mated on the Sand Martin Box!  Build it and they will come!  (But will they stay?)

Old Moor am

Old Moor this morning - Bittern still booming, Sanderling, 3 Turnstone, 10 Avocets, 2 Med' Gulls


This morning's sighing's 2 Black-tailed Godwits,8Dunlin, 1 Avocet, 4 Redshank, 1 Little Ringed Plover.

Edderthorpe Flash

Shelduck 5, Shoveler 5, Teal 1, GCGrebe 1, Oystercatcher 1, LRP 1, Black-tailed Godwit 2 non-breeding plumage, Cuckoo 1.

Monday 14 May 2012


No sign of the Greenshank, 4 dunlin flew thro, Common Buzzard, 2 Avocets over WI, male wheatear on posts at back of Flash.

Wintersett 14.05.12

Anglers CP - Common  Sandpiper 1, Shelduck 3, Yellow-legged Gull 1 2nd summer
Wintersett Res - Common Tern 7,  Common Scoter 1 male + 1 female, Wheatear 2 females and on the boathouse concrete slipway that is wader mecca here at the moment: Sanderling 1,  White Wagtail 1.
Disposal Point Highlights - SPOTTED  FLYCATCHER 1,  DINGY SKIPPER 1
Dingy Skipper                                   ASmith


Old Moor - Bittern 'booming' from Reedbeds, Little Egret Wader Scrape, Osprey northwest late afternoon, 4 Turnstone.

Broomhill Flash - Greenshank.

Stainborough May 14th

Highlights of today's patrol around Stainborough CP were two male Garden Warblers and a female Wheatear.

Langsett - Mickleden - Midhope

Langsett Banks - 9 singing Blackcaps and 1 singing Wood Warbler.
Hingcliff Common - 1 Cuckoo.
Mickleden Beck - 1 Common Buzzrd, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (eventually leaving south) and 2 male Ring Ouzels.
Low Moor, Upper Midhope - 6 Greylag Geese, seven broods Lapwing (15+ young), one brood Curlew (1+ young), 1 brood Snipe (4 young) and at least six pairs Linnet.

Mammals - 1 Pygmy Shrew.
Butterflies - 1 Orange Tip, 1 Dingy Skipper and 3 Green-veined Whites.
ADWICK WASHLANDS (early am). Fairly quiet, just 3 new Wheatears.
 Edderthorpe early morning.
avocet 1 south,redshank 6,Oyc.1[limping].Lapwing,could only count 4 juvs. today but grass getting longer now water levels are getting back to normal,still a fair flow to river. 1 male pochard,1G C Grebe,and the little grebe are trying again on the settling pond,where there are about 6 singing reed warblers.

Sunday 13 May 2012

Wintersett - Yellow-legged Gull update 13.05.12

This monster was still present on the shallows this evening, still scoffing goose eggs and  harrasing just about everything - Greylags, BHGs, Oycs, Common Terns. At one point it was chasing an Oyc all over the lake when it turned its attentions to a passing 1st summer Herring Gull which it knocked into the water, kicked about a bit and and then hounded till it (the HG) scarpered off to the north... Think its a bit of a psycho!   per Paul Meredith
Going in
Take aim
Mission accomplished!

Bolton Ings - 13th May

Another good morning on Bolton Ings today, weather early on was good with clear blue skies and 12c, but it didnt take long to cloud over and then a strong wind developed. New in today were 2 Black Necked Grebes, a first summer Med Gull was doing its best to blend in with the Black Heads, still 18 Pochard and 2 pairs of Common Terns now. First brood of Mute Swans and 2 broods of Lapwing were seen but still very few young birds. Full list :- Mute Swan 7 adults + 4 cygnets, Canada Goose 36 (brood of 2), Grey Lag Goose 7 (brood of 2 and 3), Great Crested Grebe 4, Black necked Grebe 2, Little Grebe 6, Cormorant 1, Mallard 7, Gadwall 18, Shoveler 1 drake, Tufted Duck 56, Pochard 18 (12 males, 6 females), Coot 72 (broods of 2, 2, 2, 1, 1, 1 & 1), Moorhen 2, Lapwing 14 (broods of 4 and 2), Oysterctcher 9, Redshank 2, Black Headed Gull 864 (first chicks seen), Mediterranean Gull 1, LBB Gull 4, Common Tern 4, Kestrel 2, Jay 1, Willow Warbler 13, Blackcap 7, Chiffchaff 7, Whitethroat 4, Reed Warbler 1.

Royd Moor & Scout Dike

Royd Moor Reservoir - 1 adult Little Gull flying west towards Ingbirchworth. Also singing Garden Warbler (1), Common Whitethroat (4), Lesser Whitethroat (2), Chiffchaff (3) and unusually Redstart (1).
Scout Dike Reservoir - singing Blackcap (3), Garden Warbler (2), Common Whitethroat (3), Lesser Whitethroat (1) and Chiffchaff (3).
The Lesser Whitethroats are particularly interesting, but are probably passage birds.
Decent numbers (30+) of Willow Warblers at both reservoirs.

Edderthorpe Flash

Shelduck 3, GCGrebe 1, Avocet 1, Ringed Plover 1, Dunlin 3 north, Common Tern 3, Cuckoo 1. The Flash has been a bit limp since the devastating flooding at the end of April, but with the water levels now starting to get favourable and birding coming to the business end of the spring for rarities, hopefully Edderthorpe will do a Man City and snatch glory at the very end!!

Wintersett 13.05.12

Anglers CP – Whimbrel 1 + 3 flew north west 07.15hrs,  Hobby  1 flew over 08.05, Black-tailed Godwit  1 flew south 10.44,  Yellow-legged Gull 1  2nd Summer,   Yellow Wagtail  1 flew north, Tawny Owl  1 young,  Common  Sandpiper  2,  Redpoll  1. 
Wintersett Res - COMMON  SCOTER  1♂ + 1.

Sunday am

Not too much change at Old Moor today, but hey, we've been spoilt - still an impressive selection of birds.
Highlights: Hobby, 2 LRP, 1 Ringed Plover, 12 Avocets, 3 Dunlin, Common Sand, Turnstone, 2 Med Gulls (adult, + 2 cy (hoodless)), White Wag, Wheatear.

Wombwell Ings - 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 2 Wheatears, Yellow Wag.

Bolton Ings - Black-necked Grebe (BB).

Worsbrough res

6 Arctic Tern flew west at 8:40, 2 pairs of Common Tern have settled on the rafts , providing some hope for breeding. This species last bred successfully in 2008 fledging 2 young, with pairs in subsequent years either failing to lay eggs (due to herons or canadas occupying the rafts) or losing eggs/young to mink,other bird spp. or weather conditions.
Also on the res; 20 GCGrebe (6 occupied nests & first 2+ young seen today), Tufted 2 pair, Reed Warbler 2 singing males. Lapwing also seem to have bred successfully in a field adjacent to the res, being the closest breeding pair to the res that I've known.

Saturday 12 May 2012

evening update

Minor update from Old Moor - Bittern seen at Reedbeds again.

Carlton Marsh

Up to 6 Reed Warblers singing now and Lesser Whitethroat, Grasshopper Warbler and 3 Garden Warblers. Butterflies included Male Brimstone and 2 Dingy Skippers.
The Symphony factory grounds this evening - still 4 Whimbrels until 19.30 then 3 appear to have moved on. (they treated me to several flights around the Common calling as only they do) A distinct group of 13 Ringed Plovers kept separate from what appear to be 2 breeding pairs, one of which I think has 1 young.


Small beer to you lowlanders, but, a nice day above the valleys today.

Arranged a morning on't moors with NWM. Started with my first Cuckoo for year from home (Harden) at Then onto the tops. Total of about 17 wheatears, a pair of stonechats seemingly on territory, 3 redstarts, a minimum 1 territorial Ring Ousel seen 'piping' away. Good BOP showing with usual suspects, best, was a Hobby zooming thru about 10 am. A Hudds tick for Mr Mallinson!

Descended to Broadstones and Ingbirchworth = dead, except briefly calling cuckoo!   MC heard Whimbrel over Low Moor, Langsett.

Cudworth Common

The Quail that Cliff had last night was still in song this morning (06.00) around the ponds on the higher level of the Common. In fact most things were still present;- 4 Whimbrel feeding in Symphony grounds, Avocet, at least 8 Ringed Plovers and 6 LRPs, a calling Cuckoo.
Edderthorpe Flash seemed very subdued after this with;- Shelduck 2, Pochard 8, GCGrebe 1, Avocet 1, Common Tern 4, and another calling Cuckoo. Lots of hirundines fed over the water, surely someone is going to pull out one with the hoped-for red-rump before long!

Number 8 at Wintersett 12.05.12

Anglers CP - The 8th OSPREY of the year slowly, flew east at 11.42 to 11.52hrs. Also seen were:  WHIMBREL 4,  Common  Sandpiper 1,  Shelduck 1,  Common Tern 3.
Wintersett Res - COMMON  SCOTER  2♂ + 2♀,  Yellow Wagtail 1 flew north,  Green Woodpecker 1 singing ♂,   House Martin 160.
Walton Hall -  Small Copper butterfly 

                                     Number 8 - Paul Meredith


First the USB. Early morning visit more in hope, but no sign despite playing sound recordings of Arctic Warbler, Blyth's Reed, Lesser Whitethroat and Philippine Hawk Cuckoo, the latter by mistake, honestly! Conditions were somewhat better than yesterday (although still chilly when out of the sun) so I would have expected to hear it unless it has moved on. Time will tell but it may be destined to remain a mystery.

In general, there did appear to have been a bit of an overnight clear out from Old Moor, although at least one Turnstone remained as well as four Dunlin and the adult Med' Gull. Maybe things will build up later? A couple of new Redshank chicks on the Field Pool was good news anyway.

On Wombwell Ings there were 4 Shelduck (flew through Old Moor earlier), 5 Black-tailed Godwits, 9 Redshank, and an Avocet.

A Hobby was seen over Broomhill Flash and Bolton Ings where there was also a Wheatear.

Friday 11 May 2012

Med Mad!

Firstly, the mystery songster near the Wath Ings hide was again heard tonight. Watch this space..........
Otherwise, the only real change was that a total of four Med' Gulls were seen (adult, two 2 cy's, one 3 cy).

This seems like a good time to look at the history of the bird with a yellow darvic ring 2E26 nicely illustrated by Keith Pickerings photos below.

Ringed on The Mere at Old Moor on 9th July 2010, one of three birds and the first proven successfully reared Mediterranean Gulls in Yorkshire. Last seen on 9th August.
Returned to Old Moor on 10th May 2011 and last seen on 31st May. Seen at Seaforth Nature Reserve, Lancashire on 23 August 2011.
Returned to Old Moor on 4th May 2012 and still present today.

A Symphony of Whimbrel

On the north side of the Symphony factory grounds this evening until I left at dusk were 4 Whimbrels, 18 Ringed Plovers (1 on the south side) 2 Redshanks, 2 male Wheatears several pairs of Lapwing with chicks and 8 Brown Hares.
Cudworth Common 3 pairs of Grey and 1 pair of Red Legged Partridge, 7 Singing Whitethroats, 2 Cuckoo singing (1 north of Common & 1 over woodland opposite Symphony) 1 Avocet, 1 drake Shoveler, Mute Swan still on nest + 2 more,4 Redshank & a QUAIL singing at 21.00hrs from grassland between the bottom lakes.
A quick look over Edderthorpe Flash - c300 hirundines, 2 Shelduck, 5 drake Pochard & a female, 1 Oystercatcher. Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat and Blackcap were singing at the botonm of Deepcar Lane when a Barn Owl flew over me near Storrs Mill river bridge at 20.25hrs.


Broomhead Res. (Allas) - 1 singing Wood Warbler, 2 singing Redstarts, 1 Spotted Flycatcher and 4 Crossbills.
Broomhead Res. - 2 immature Lesser Black-backed Gulls west and a pair Common Sandpipers.

Wintersett 11.05.12

Anglers CP -  A Dunlin flew over 09.40hrs.  3 late Redpoll were also present.
Wintersett Res - A SANDERLING flew over ACP  and was then seen on the boathouse slipway.  A KNOT was also seen there before flying off.  Also present were 2 male and 2 female COMMON SCOTER,  7 Common Terns.  Swallow 400, House Martin 100, Sand Martin 30

song stump!

A mystery bird sung from bushes just prior to the Wath Ings hide this morning. It gave two or three bursts about once every five minutes but despite extensive searching we could not find it. After about an hour it stopped singing and may have moved on although the hope is that it shut up due to the very cold strengthening wind and may still be around. The nearest I could describe it to was like a very musical Lesser Whitethroat which I suppose it just possibly could have been as a trawl through All the Bird Songs of Britain and Europe seemed to yield no closer match than Arctic Warbler. About as likely as a Red-necked Phal' in early May I guess!

Birds that were identified with confidence included 16 Dunlin, 2 Turnstone, Knot, LRP and Med' Gull on Wader Scrape whilst at least 200 House Martins were over Wath Ings.

The drake Garganey was still at Adwick Wash this morning.

Turnstone on the Wader Scrape this morning - John Hewitt

Knot on the Wader Scrape this morning - John Hewitt

Edderthorpe early doors

Shelduck 2, Pochard 6, GCGrebe 1, and on Houghton;- Avocet 3, Buzzard 1, Wheatear 1.

Thursday 10 May 2012

Old Moor even later update

The Wader Scrape was the place to be this evening, water levels perfect for the waders and there were plenty to see. Dunlin had increased to 24, Turnstone 2, Knot 1, Ringed Plover 3, Little Ringed Plover 2, Avocets, Oystercatchers and Redshanks. A Whimbrel had been seen earlier, add to that the breeding Lapwings and the Red Necked Phalarope which meant 11 species of waders today. Also present on the Wader Scrape this evening were 3 Mediterranean Gulls giving fantastic views, the adult male and 2 first summers. Add to that the Bittern again seen on the reedbeds completed a brilliant day.

Old Moor update

Bittern seen in flight Reedbeds. 2 Turnstone + 19 Dunlin Wader Scrape. No further sign of RNP.

Dunlin, Wader Scrape - Keith Pickering
Knot, Wader Scrape - Keith Pickering

Worsbrough Res

common tern 8, GCGrebe 20 (5 nests), common sand 1, reed warbler 2, swift c.50

Wintersett 10.05.12

Very little of note on this overcast, but very warm (17oC) and humid day.
Wintersett Res - Common  Sandpiper  3.
Anglers CP - White Wagtail  1,  Common Tern  3, Greylag Geese 30.

ADWICK WASHLANDS.  Garganey 1 drake (afternoon), Tufted 22, Shoveler 6, Gadwall 8, Common Sandpiper 3, Lapwing  14 young seen,  Grasshopper Warbler 1 reeling, Grey Partridge 2 pair.

Thursday 10th May

Elsecar Reservoir - 1 Mute Swan. 7 Great Crested Grebes and 2 Common Terns.

Earlybird excitement

Old Moor - A Red-necked Phalarope (probably a male) was on the Wader Scrape this morning before flying off at about 9am. Although it was thought it might of landed on the Reservoir it has not been seen again despite extensive searching throughout the area. Also on Wader Scrape was yesterdays Knot + 18 Dunlin. Clearly last nights rain had done the 'bizo'. At least two Med' Gulls remain on site.

News from Adwick Wash - Drake Garganey, 2 Common Sands, Whinchat,  Gropper'.

Same, same at Edderthorpe

Very little change here this morning;- Pochard 4, Shoveler 7, Great Crested Grebe 1, Oystercatcher 2, Common Tern 2, Swallow 100.

Wednesday 9 May 2012

Bad weather takes its toll at Wintersett 09.05.12

The remaining Tree Sparrow nest boxes were checked this morning.  The results were disappointing, but much as expected, due to the frosts and heavy rain over the last two weeks.  There were quite a few nest boxes with small, dead young, and, of the broods that had survived, several had only one or two young.   In comparison, last year's first broods were exellent, with most having four or five young, due to the heatwave in April.
Anglers CP - Common Sandpiper 1,  Pochard 1♀,  Wheatear 1♀.
Wintersett Res - Common Tern 4.

Old Moor update

Non breeding-plumage Knot on Wader Scrape + 4 Dunlin. 3 Med Gulls (adult and two 2 cy's).

T time BH

5 drake Pochard, 1 Common Tern and an adult male Peregrine upsetting everything on Wombwell Ings before heading off north.

mid-day update

Morning visit to Old Moor - 12 Avocets, Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, 3 Dunlin, adult Med' Gull. 2 Buzzards and Hobby viewed from Old Moor over Bolton where there was also a drake Garganey and a male Cuckoo. At least one Wheatear at Adwick Wash and interestingly a drake Goosander on the river.

Adult Mediterranean Gull on Wader Scrape today - All photos John Hewitt