Wednesday 31 December 2014

Wintersett Annual Round Up 31st December 2014

The  weather this year has been the warmest  since records began.  However, May was wet and August was one of the coldest recorded and drove the Sand Martin to begin their migration early.  The winter has been mild so far,  with only the the last four days having temperatures slightly below freezing with 5cms of snow falling on Boxing Day. 

Autumn Visible Migration was slow this year with only a handful of memorable watches.  Pink-footed Goose,  Common Buzzard,  Wood Pigeon, Swallow,  Meadow Pipit and  Starling were the species with the biggest totals logged this year.

The Wintersett  Area recorded 167 bird species for 2014, way below the record of 179,  nevertheless we had some quality birds.

The Top Ten birds seen here this year were: -

 1. Black Stork   26th May

 2. Little Auk   6th Nov

 3. Glossy Ibis   29th June and  10 July

 4. Hooded Crow   12th May

 5. Kumlien’s Gull  25th Jan, 2nd Feb,  2nd Mar and 5th Mar.

 6. Lapland Bunting   27th Sept

 7. Red-throated Diver   10th Feb

 8. Dark-bellied Brent Goose   24th March

 9. Raven   1st April

10. Arctic Skua   26th August and 12th Sept.

Glaring omissions for the year were   Scaup,  Knot,  Bar-tailed Godwit,  Slavonian Grebe, Sanderling and Whinchat.

Other major highlights were:-

18th May - A Green Hairstreak  Butterfly 

7th September  -  A flyover by 2 Lancaster Bombers,  on their UK tour,  on the 100 year anniversary of the start of the First World War.

And finally –

We wish everyone a VERY  HAPPY  NEW  YEAR.
May your birding be excellent in 2015

Wintersett + Gull Roost 31.12.14

Below freezing overnight but 2° and thawing at 09.00hrs with clear skies.  Cloudier by mid morning. 
Frozen: Botany Bay 100%,  CHRes 90%,  WRes  5%,  Anglers 2%.
Wintersett Res: Cetti's Warbler 2, Water Rail 5.  Shoveler 14 + 1 ACP.  41 Lapwing flew over west.
Anglers CP: There has been an influx of ducks overnight.  Pintail 1 male + 1 female.  Gadwall 81 + 41 WRes.,  Wigeon 341 + 17 WRes., Pochard 78 + 27 WRes., Teal 41.
Anglers CP Gull Roost: There were a good number of big gulls in tonight but only one notable.  And adult Iceland Gull was picked up flying in by Dave Bedford.  It was present until dark.

Athersley Memorial Lake

Since I moved house my local patch is Athersley Memorial fishing lake and the immediate surroundings.  The icy conditions brought in a few ticks for me - an out of luck Kingfisher appeared briefly on the 28th (the lake was 95% frozen and has been 100% ever since).  Yesterday I had 10+ Red-legged Partridges and 29 Golden Plover.  Willow Tit seems ever present but I've never had sight of more than one so far. 

Wilthorpe Marsh 31/12/14.

A single Chiffchaff in hawthorn near river bridge with no sign of yesterdays pair. Fieldfare 100, Sparrowhawk  1 pair, Common Buzzard.

Carlton Marsh

A late morning visit in the beautiful sunshine produced a Buzzard, Grey Wagtail, Red-legged Partridge, Goldcrest, Willow Tit 2, Treecreeper and Little Owl. 40 Fieldfare and 20 Redwing were feeding on Haws.

Cudworth Common
Meanwhile Corrall & Hibbert were over the Common where they saw a mid-day Barn Owl hunting, Buzzard and 90 Fieldfares.

Tuesday 30 December 2014

Wintersett + Gull Roost 30.12.14

0°C cold with clear sky and a light south westerly.  Frozen today -  WRes - small area in NE corner, Botany Bay totally,  CHRes 60%. 

Wintersett Res: Cetti's Warbler 2 and Water Rail 3. 
Anglers CP: Wigeon 278 + 18 WRes + 2 CHRes..   Shoveler 4 + 6 WRes..   Teal  61 + 3 CHRes..   Great Crested Grebe 12 + 8 WRes..  Little Grebe 4 + 2 WRes. and Golden Plover 7.
Anglers CP Gull Roost:  There was a decent number of gulls tonight but just 2 notables.  The usual adult Yellow-legged Gull at 15.55hrs and  3rd W Caspian at 16.05hrs.
NB.  Rufforth Tip, Nr. York   2 x 1W Caspian Gulls and a juvenile Glaucous Gull  per @TimsBirding  ·  

Wilthorpe Marsh 30/12/14.

A short late afternoon visit. Pair of  Chiffchaffs showing well at sewage farm viewed from river bridge. Checked all the pylons for peregrine but no sign.

Adwick Washlands, Tue 30th, 3pm

Most of the water on the reserve is still frozen so pretty quiet down there. Loose flock of a couple of dozen Meadow Pipits feeding in the fields at the North edge of the reserve. 2 Shelduck landed on the frozen pool to the left of the viewing
area while I was there.

Not many berries in the hedges either, so keep your garden feeders stocked up!

Rabbit Ings

A pair of Stonechats were still present, on the hillside to the rear of the Ranger's Office. Also 4 Kestrels, 8 Meadow Pipits, a Green Woodpecker and a ringed male Reed Bunting.

Martin, if you have my email send me a message and  I will send you my ringing totals


11 Tufted Duck, 39 Mallard, 2 Fieldfare, c100 Canada Geese, 2 Coot,  c70 Grey Lag Geese,  1 Little Grebe,  22 Black Headed Gulls . and 2 Willow Tit.

Monday 29 December 2014

Wintersett + Gull Roosts 29.12.14

-1°C, clear and suny with a light north westerly.
Wintersett Res: Gadwall 20 + 21 ACP + 3 CHRes., Shoveler 2 drakes, Little Grebe 4.  Cetti's Warbler 2,  Willow Tit 1 and Water Rail 1.
Anglers CP:  Wigeon 276 + 17 WRes. and Teal 31
Anglers CP Gull Roost held lots of birds tonight but only two notables.  A 3rd W Caspian at 15.50hrs and an adult Yellow-legged at 15.55hrs.
Here's a couple of shots from yesterday.
3rdW Caspian   ACP      AS  28.12.14
Juv Iceland   ACP  AS 28.12.14
NB: Hampole Tip  had a juv Iceland Gull late afternoon.  per @DonnyBirding
Pugneys roost held a reduced number of big gulls, with no sign of the Thayers. A juv Iceland was the only notable.  per @jonnybirder

     Embedded image permalink 
    Juv Iceland    Pugneys   Andy Hood  29.12.14

Sunday 28 December 2014

Wilhorpe Marsh 28/12/14.

Juv. Peregrine chasing then distantly on pylons. Sparrowhawk chasing in same area near sewage farm + Kestrel and Common Buzzard. Lapwing 46 down. Very distant flock of about 100 thought to be Pinkfeet going w. at 4-14pm looking towards Bretton. No sign of any Chiffchaffs.

Wintersett + Gull Roosts 28.12.14

0°C, very cold and clear with icy patches on roads and a light westerly.
Anglers CP: A Brambling flew over SE.  Golden Plover 61 flew over and  Goosander 39. A Barn Owl was flying at 16.35hrs.
Anglers CP Gull Roost: Just 3 goodies in tonight. A juvenile Iceland at 15.10,  a 3rd W Caspian at 15.35,  an adult Caspian at 15.55. 
NB:  Orgreave  had a 2nd W Caspian Gull.



Late yesterday evening,  exciting news broke of a probable THAYER'SGULL, on the roof  of an industrial unit in Ravensthorpe. It had been photographed by Jim Welford and shared on Facebook - UK Gulls,  then tweeted  by Rich Bonser to alert Yorkshire birders. Nick Addy tweeted Jim's directions  and where to view from.  Lee Evans added further directions.  You've got to admit, social media is brilliant for sharing news and spreading information out to the masses.
At about 11o'clock this morning there were about a dozen observers watching the gulls arriving onto the roof of the Banana factory.  Pete Smith picked up the bird on the edge of the roof where it showed well for about 10 minutes, which enabled photographers to get some shots. All birds then flushed and went back to the roof at the Biffa site where it showed on and off before going out of view. I'm not sure if it was seen there again.  Amazingly, the probable Thayer's Gull showed up at Pugneys roost where it was picked up by Gary Taylor. It was still present at dark.  There was also an adult Caspian Gull.   The Blyth's Pipit is also still present.
Here's a couple of images of the "Thayer's" for those not in with the Twitterati. I think @jonnybirder may be celebrating again!  2 rares on his patch! 
Embedded image permalink
Thayer's Gull  Ravensthorpe    per Twitter  @JABBIRDART

Embedded image permalink
Thayer's Gull  Pugneys       per Twitter   @erichhediger

Martin Garner   Images of first cycle Thayers.

Andrew Lawson
I found this article to be very useful a few years back and it is still useful today. It doesn't solve the kumlieni issue highlighted above, but it should show why this bird is not an American Herring. Of course, as always with gulls, 'sum of parts' should be used for ID purposes rather than just one or two features on their own (as each feature is nearly always variable and subject to overlap). This bird appears to have all juvenile scapulars, a dove-like head, a reasonably fine bill, dark brown (not black) primaries and the dark of the primaries is restricted to the outer webs.

Andrew Lawson
This link is also a good source of info. It shows to a greater degree that the dark tertials and even darker primaries coupled with the ostensibly dark centres to scapulars and wing coverts place this bird squarely in the Thayer's category. Caveat: Based on images to date!

Amar Ayyash Just now had a chance to take a good look at these photos on a monitor. I lightened them up a tad to get at what was really happening - the silvery underside to the primaries and the two-toned effect of the outer primaries from above do seem genuine and unlike any Smiths that I know. I'd hope for better exposed images (I know how tough that is) and side-by-sides with other individuals (yep, I know how tough that is too). For now though, I don't know of anyone in North America who would worry about Kumlien's with a bird this chocolaty. The upperparts do remind me of this messy Thayer's that I had on Lake Michigan a couple of winters ago, but I still don't get a Thayer's vibe from this bird:

Tim Jones Some more pics of the bird taken yesterday

Saturday 27 December 2014

Carlton Marsh

A dusk visit produced 2 Little Owls, Tawny Owl, 3 Water Rails and 13 Snipe, leaving the roost to feed elsewhere. The scape was 80% iced.

Wintersett + Gull Roost 27.12.14

5cm snow fell overnight. At 09.00hrs this morning the temperature was  -1°C with 1/8 cloud and a very light north westerly.
Anglers CP: Wigeon 244.  
There was another impressive Gull Roost at Anglers CP tonight, but this time with more goodies than last night.. A juvenile Iceland was in at 15.30 and another juvenile Iceland arrived at 15.45.  A 3rd W Caspian left Pugneys at 15.20hrs and arrived here at 15.35hrs.   There were also 2 adult Yellow-legged Gulls at 16.00 and 16.05hrs.
Here's a link to ACP Iceland and  Caspian pics from  Twitter @JohnoGull
Of interest:  
Pugneys had 3 Caspians - a 1st W, a 2nd W and 3rd W Caspian (that left for ACP at 15.20hrs.) 2 Yellow-leggeds were also seen.  per Twitter @jonnybirder
Orgreave had a  4th W/adult  Caspian  along with 700+ Herring and 180+ Great Black-backeds. per Twitter @birdpieman
Swillington Ings had an adult Iceland Gull into a.large gull roost (2000+) at 16.00 hrs, picked by MB. All large gulls 20% GBB , 80% Herring.   Per Pete Griff

Bretton 27/12/14.

Top bird here was the mobile regular visiting Green Sandpiper. It was also heard at the w end of the top lake. Reductions of  birds here apart from Coot 43 and Black Headed Gull 300. -  Goosander 10, Great Crested Grebe 6, Little Grebe 3, Canada Goose 56, Teal 40, Gadwall 21, Tufted Duck 26. The assumed family party of  8 Mute Swans, 70 Redwings, Siskin 3, Goldcrest 1 and 3 Kingfishers.

Castle Dam area on Boxing Day

Castle Dam/Cubley - 4 Greylag Geese, 306 Canada Geese, 14 Wigeon, 16 Mallards, 20 Coots, c420 Lapwings, 412 Black-headed Gulls, 20 Carrion Crows, 8 Blue Tits, c180 Fieldfares, 42 Redwings, 11 Tree Sparrows, 6 Chaffinches, 8 Bramblings and 2 Yellowhammers.
per Brian Penistone.

Friday 26 December 2014

Wintersett + Gull Roosts 26.12.14

1°C,  cold with 1/8 cloud and calm this morning. Light south westerly this afternoon.
Wintersett Res: Water Rail 1 and Goosander 17.
Anglers CP: Woodcock 1.
Anglers CP Gull Roost had a hugely impressive roost tonight, with large gulls still arriving as it was getting dark.  Disappointingly, the only notables were the usual adult Yellow-legged and the ringed adult Mediterranean Gull. 
However, smaller numbers in the Wintersett Res. roost produced a juvenile Iceland at 15.20hrs,  an adult Caspian at 15.15hrs . a 3rd W Caspian at 15.25hrs and a 1st W Yellow-legged  Gull.
Also appearing:Great Black-backed   780 (730 CP + 50 Wres),  Herring 1690  (1350 CP + 340 WRes),  Lesser Black-backed 20  (5 ACP + 15 WRes),  Black-headed 11,000 (1000 CP + 10,000 WRes) and Common Gull 1000 WRes..   

Edderthorpe, Boxing Day

Highlight this morning was a skein of 190 Pink-footed Geese that went west at midday (and were seen over Old Moor). Shelduck 1, Pintail 2 drakes, Pochard 16, Wigeon 143, Goosander 6.

Broomhead Moor/ Dukes Road/ Ewden/ circular. 26/12/14.

Good exercise but birds hard to come by in difficult misty conditions. - Common Buzzard 1,  Kestrel 3, GBB Gull 5, Woodcock 1 flushed off broomhead moor, Raven 2 seen and calling over brown edge, Bullfinch 9, and  2 Crossbills flew e calling over the shooting lodge.

Thursday 25 December 2014

Wintersett 25.12.14

4°C, cool with sunshine, 1/8 cloud and a moderate westerly. 
Wintersett Res:  Cetti's Warbler 2 and Willow Tit 1.
Anglers CP Gull Roost: There were good numbers of birds in  tonight but the westerly wind meant they were all head on to the hide. A juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL was spotted at 15.05hrs.  An adult Caspian flew in at 15.45hrs.  The ringed, adult Mediterranean arrived at 15.55hrs and the usual adult Yellow-legged came in at 16.08hrs.

Wilthorpe Marsh 25/12/14.

A late afternoon visit was brought to life by a Peregrine flushing everything off the sewage farm which included 300 Black Headed Gulls. Supporting raptors seen were Common Buzzard 1, Sparrowhawk 2,  Kestrel 2.  Also Little Owl and Green Woodpecker. No sign of any Chiffchaffs but 3 Goldcrests,  200 Woodpigeons.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

Wintersett + Gull Roost 24.12.14

A bit more seasonal 4°C, with 1/8 cloud and a light westerly.  Cloud thickened towards midday, then a shower early afternoon.
Anglers CP:  Little Grebe 3A Little Egret dropped in at 14.10 for an hour, then left. 
Wintersett Res: Grey Partridge 8,  Cetti's Warbler 2 and Water Rail 1.
Both Anglers and Wintersett Gull Roosts were a shambles tonight.  On WRes there was a Black-headed Gull trailing 3 metres of twine which constantly flushed all the birds.  It moved to Anglers and did the same there.  There was also shooting in the back fields which added to the chaos!  The usual adult Yellow-legged Gull the only bird of note identified.
NB Pugneys only had around 150 big Gulls, possibly because of the strong wind. A leucistic Black-headed and 2 Yellow-legged were the notables there tonight. 


c80 Canada Geeese, 1 Kestrel, 1 Moorhen, 5 Tufted Duck, 39 Mallard, 4 Wren, 2 Willow Tit, 1 Grey Heron, 2 Grey Wagtail, 1 Lapwing ,c300 Black Headed Gulls and  2 Lesser Black Backed Gulls.

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Wintersett + Gull Roost

10°C,  mild and cloudy with a moderate south westerly.
Anglers CP: 15 Bullfinches were feeding on Guelder Rose.  Shoveler 12.   A drake Smew was reported at 14.00hrs.
Wintersett Res: Cetti's Warbler 1 and Water Rail 1.
Wintersett Res Gull Roost: There were good numbers of birds tonight but they came in quite late.  A 3rd W Caspian arrived at 15.55hrs,  an adult Caspian came in at 16.05hrs and a juvenile Iceland Gull flew in at 16.12hrs.. 
Anglers CP Roost:  A 1st W Caspian Gull was reported.
NB: Pugneys had a poor roost tonight with 2 Yellow-legged Gulls and a suspiciously dark mantled Caspian-type - see pic.
@jonnybirder - would welcome comments

Phenology:  A Ruby Tiger larva was crawling along the west bank.
                    Ruby Tiger      WRes.                              AS

Wilthorpe Marsh 23/12/14.

Sewage farm- 60 Pied Wagtails, 1 Grey Wagtail, surprisingly no pipits. Chiffchaffs at least 3, assumed to be more, mobile. Goldcrest 2 still. Nearby 2 separate Willow Tits, 19 Common Snipe, 1 Water Rail.

Wet & Windy Ingbirchworth

Castle Dam - 1 Greylag Goose, 167 Canada Geese, 7 Wigeons, 5 Mallards (including the leucistic female), 1 Tufted Duck, 5 Moorhens, 18 Coots, c40 Black-headed Gulls and c60 Jackdaws.
Whitley Common - 200+ Starlings.
Ingbirchworth Reservoir - 36 Mallards, 5 drake Tufted Ducks, 300+ Black-headed Gulls, c10 Common Gulls, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker and 100+ Jackdaws.

Monday 22 December 2014

Wintersett + Gull Roost 22.12.14

10°C,  very mild and cloudy with a strong gusty south westerly wind.
Anglers CP:  161 Greylag Geese is a record count for the site.
Wintersett Res: Water Rail 2.
Wintersett Res  held a large Gull Roost tonightwith birds still coming in after dark.  There were only two notables, an adult Caspian Gull at 15.50hrs and a juvenile Iceland Gull at 15.52hrs.
NB: Jonathan reported frustrating viewing conditions at Pugneys.  An adult Caspian, 2 Yellow-leggeds and a leucistic Herring were the notables there tonight
A hooded Herring Gull was in the Broomhead roost last night - see photo at

Sunday 21 December 2014

Wilthorpe Marsh 21/12/14.

Very steady. A pair of Chiffchaffs showed well with one singing briefly in hawthorns on the river just north of the sewage farm + 2 Goldcrests. A pair of Buzzards again over Standhill Wood and a constant steady movement of Herring Gulls going west. Probably due to the mild weather a notable downturn in numbers of Redwings and Woodpigeon and no Snipe at all in the central marsh. No sign of any Egrets today.

Wintersett + Gull Roosts 21.12.14

6°C, dry with 7/8 cloud and a gusty south westerly.
Haw Park Wood: We spent the whole morning searching from Blue Bridge to Stoneheaps along the old Barnsley Canal for the Firecrest,  but it could not be located today. However there were 3 Nuthatch,  1 Woodcock and 1 Siskin.
The Gull Roosts were a tale of two halves   Anglers CP held only small numbers, with  birds head on to the hide in a strong SW wind.  The notables were:  a 1st W Caspian  in at 15.20hrs. A 2nd W Yellow-legged was picked up at 15.40hrs.  The usual adult Yellow-legged arrived at 15.55hrs.
By contrast, Wintersett Res, which is more sheltered,  had fantastic numbers of birds with  2300 Herring + 278 ACP  Total  2578,  
                       545  GBB     + 133 ACP   Total   678
                           6  LBB      +    2  ACP   Total      8
Notables in Wintersett Roost were:  An adult Caspian that came in at 14.30hrs and another adult Caspian flew in at 15.40hrs.  A 1st W Yellow-legged and a  1st W Glaucous x Herring hybrid were also present.
NB: Pugneys had a brilliant roost with 2 Icelands, an adult and a juvenile and 4 Caspians,  2 adults, a 1st W and a 2nd W.

Record  shot  -  1st W Caspian Gull   ACP            AS    

Ewden and beyond

Cowell Flat - 100+ Starlings and 200+ Fieldfares.
Broomhead Reservoir - 53 Mallards, 10 Tufted Ducks and 40+ Coal Tits, 1 Nuthatch and the usual suspects at Rushy Lane feeders.

Edderthorpe, Sunday morning

The Winter Solstice - the return to longer daylight begins tomorrow..... Mute Swan 16, Pintail the usual 2 drakes, Shoveler 24, Wigeon 115, Goldeneye 1, Goosander 5, Golden Plover 1, Lapwing 285 minus 1 which was despatched and eaten by 2 Carrion Crows after being badly injured and disabled by a Peregrine attack yesterday!


Mixed bunch of over 100 Redwing and Fieldfare in feild,  just after Waggon and Horses on Sheffeild Road.
2 days earlier than the same sized buch in 2013 in the same feild!

Saturday 20 December 2014

Wintersett 20.12.14

6°C,  6/8 cloud and a cold, moderate, westerly.
Haw Park Wood: Firecrest 1seen near Clayroyd Bridge at 14.15hrs.
Anglers CP: Cormorant 44,  Mallard 50,  Gadwall 22 and Teal 56. The adult Mediterranean Gull was flying around at 10.10hrs

ACP Gull Roost: A 1st W Caspian came in at 15.00hrs and a 3rd W Caspian arrived at 15.40hrs.   The usual adult Yellow-legged Gull came in at 15.47hrs.
NB  Pugneys had a 1st W Caspian and a probable 2nd W Caspian.  Also Blyth's Pipit still present.
per @jonnybirder

Friday 19 December 2014

Wintersett + Gull Roosts 19.12.14

6°C with some blue sky and a cold and strong westerly.
Wintersett Res Gull Roost: A 1st W Iceland and a 3rd W Caspian were the only notables tonight.
Anglers CP Roost:  The usual adult Yellow-legged Gull came in at 16.15hrs.

Thursday 18 December 2014

Wintersett + Gull Roosts 18.12.14

A very unseasonal  11°C,  mild with 7/8 cloud and a moderate south westerly.
 Wintersett Res: The drake Smew had returned from the Calder Wetlands area this morning.   Water Rail 1 and Willow Tit 1.
Anglers CP:  Green Woodpecker 1,  Cormorants 40 and Golden Plover 8.
Both roosts were watched this afternoon.  The usual adult Yellow-legged Gull was early  into Anglers CP at 14.15hrs.  A 1st W Iceland Gull arrived on Wintersett Res. at 16.08hrs.

Wednesday 17 December 2014

Wintersett +Gulls 17.12.14

A mild 10°C,  mostly cloudy with a westerly breeze.
Wintersett Res: Cetti's Warbler 1 and Water Rail 2.
By the time the Gulls came to roost on Wintersett Res., it was after 16.00hrs and nearly dark.  The only gulls of note were a 1st W Yellow-legged at 16.00hrs and a 1st W Iceland at 16.10hrs.

Tuesday 16 December 2014

Wintersett + Gulls 16.12.14

4°C with 7/8 cloud and a light south westerly.  Very little to report today.
Anglers CP Gull Roost: The usual adult Yellow-legged Gull came in at 16.00hrs and the ringed adult Mediterranean Gull arrived at 16.20hrs.  Cormorants 44.

Rabbit Ings

Black Redstart not relocated this morning! However a pair of Stonechats were feeding together to the rear of the Ranger's Office in a small plantation.

Rabbit Ings

Couldn't find Black Redstart late morning/early afternoon but two Stonechat (m&f).

Monday 15 December 2014

Carlton Marsh

A Nuthatch seen here this morning was only the 4th record. (Rod 'Hawfinch' Heeley)

Rabbit Ings

Just received news of a male Black Redstart seen this morning by Mick Birkinshaw, Tom Gorman and Ray Dye. It was found just below the Ranger Centre on the left hand side of the path quite near to a ditch and small pond.

Monk Bretton

45 Pink Feet over at 13.15hrs (Chris Parkin)

Wintersett + Gull Roost 15.12.14

5°C, damp and cloudy with a brief shower at midday and a light south westerly.
Anglers CP: Cormorant 41,  Pochard 67 + 25 WRes and  Greylay Goose 107.
Wintersett Res:  Cetti's Warbler 1 SE corner and 1 male west bank and Water Rail 2.
Wintersett Res Roost: The Gulls arrived late today.  An adult Caspian came in at 16.10hrs and a juv/1stW Iceland flew in at 16.12hrs.
NB: Fairburn had an adult Caspian tonight.

Dodworth, midday

Jack Snipe flushed from brownfield site between Hugset Wood and M1.

Sunday 14 December 2014

Wilthorpe Marsh late aft./dusk. 14/12/14.

Just a walk around, gave the flushing a rest. Little Egret 1, a welcome return in the oxbow area where I assume it roosted. Calling Little Owl + 600 Woodpigeons.

Wintersett Gull Roosts 14.12.14

5°C with  7/8 cloud.  Dry with a short shower mid afternoon.
The Anglers CP  hide was standing room only by 14.15hrs and there were also some observers on the east bank.  60 Pink-footed Geese flew west at 14.20hrs as an opener, but the gulls were slow to appear tonight.  At 15.10 hrs the red ringed adult Mediterranean Gull flew through but didn't appear back on the rock wall until 16.30hrs.  At 15.30hrs 2 x 1st W Iceland Gulls were picked up,  but they only dropped in briefly before leaving for Wintersettt Res where they were seen at 15.45hrs  One was a very pale bird and the other was much darker .  The usual adult Yellow-legged Gull arrived at 16.00hrs.   An adult Caspian was  seen on WRes at 15.50hrs.   A total of 442 Great Black-backed Gulls were counted.
NB  Pugneys Roost also had lots of visitors tonight who were  treated to the whole range of Caspians - 1st W,  2nd W, 3rd W, and Adult  plus 2 Yellow-legged Gulls.

Saturday 13 December 2014

Wintersett - Yorkshire Super 6 13.12.14

0°C,  icy conditions with clear sky and a light south westerly.  Cold Hiendley Res. had a small frozen area.
Anglers CP:  Grey Wagtail 1, Green Woodpecker 1 and Cormorant 33. 
Wintersett Res:  Water Rail 2.  A RED KITE flew north along the west bank at 11.48hrs and then came back SE over ACP at 12.10hrs. A Little Egret went north at 13.50hrs.
Our amazing Gull Roosts broke a Yorkshire record tonight with a stupendous 6 CASPIAN GULLS coming in as follows.  The first to arrive on Anglers CP was a 2nd W at 14.25,  another 2nd W came in at 15.00,  a 3rd W flew in at 15.30 and an adult dropped in  on the rock wall at 16.00hrs. This adult had a red ring on its right leg, (unreadable in the poor light) and a metal ring on its left leg.  On Wintersett Res an adult Caspian flew in at 15.45 and a further adult came in at 15.55hrs.
Interspersed among the Caspians were,  a juv/1stW ICELAND GULL at 14.55hrs  and a 1st W Yellow-legged  at 16.10hrs on WRes,  and the usual adult Yellow-legged Gull on Anglers at 15.45hrs.
Other totals for both roosts  - Herring  2870,  Great Black-backed 384 and Lesser Black-backed 10. 
NB - Pugneys had a 2nd W Caspian Gull and a 1st W Yellow-legged Gull.  The Blyth's Pipit is present for the 6th day.

Friday 12 December 2014

Wintersett - Gull Roost 12.12.14

2°C,  cold with 8/8 cloud first thing but some sunny spells from mid morning and a light south westerly.
Anglers CP Gull Roost:  The adult Yellow-legged Gull was in at 15.00hrs. Unfortunately the visiting (Teeside?) birders left just a few minutes before an adult Caspian Gull came in at 16.12hrs  followed by a 1st W Caspian at 16.25hrs.  
NB  Pugneys roost  had a record breaking  5 Caspian Gulls tonight - 2adults,  2 x 2nd W and 1 4thW. 


Drake Mandarin still on Cortonwood Pond midday today.

Between the Blizzards

Low Common, Ingbirchworth - c400 Starlings, c100 Fieldfares and 3+ Redwings.
Ingbirchworth Reservoir - 54 Mallards, 12 Tufted Ducks, 1 male Sparrowhawk hunting low over the water, 3 Moorhens and 7 Bullfinches.
Gunthwaite Dam - 18 Teal, 46 Mallards, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Grey Heron, 3 Moorhens, 3 Coots and 1 Kingfisher.
Castle Dam - 173 Canada Geese, 3 Wigeon, 4 Moorhens, 18 Coots, c60 Black-headed Gulls and 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull,
Roughbirchworth Common - 150+ Lapwings.
Shepherd's Height - c110 Rooks.
Midhope Reservoir - 11+ Teal, 8 Mallards and 1 Common Buzzard.
+ I Blue-faced Martin.

Thursday 11 December 2014

Carlton Marsh

A quick walk round this afternoon produced 2 Little Owls, Shoveler 1 female, 2 drake Teal, Cormorant, 2 Mute Swans, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers, 2 Willow Tits, c50 Redwings, 33 Fieldfares, 13 Jackdaws north and loads of Black Headed Gulls heading north for the Winterset Roost.

Wintersett + Gull Roost 11.12.14

3°C,  cold, gusty south westerly,  with light rain and sleet showers but a couple of sunny breaks around midday.
 Anglers CP Gull Roost: Viewing was hindered by atrocious weather conditions, with only the usual adult Yellow-legged Gull seen tonight.


Elsecar Reservoir - c100 Mallards, 2 Tufted Ducks, 1 Cormorant, 6 Great Crested Grebes, c10 Moorhens, 16 Coots and c100 Black-headed Gulls.

Wednesday 10 December 2014

Wintersett- AnglersCP Gull Roost 10.12.14

2°C, intermittent  rain showers with strong, gusty, south westerly wind this afternoon.
Anglers CP Gull Roost:  The usual adult Yellow-legged Gull came in at 16.00hrs. The adult Caspian Gull flew in at 16.10 (and was also reported on Bird Guides present at 12.00hrs).  The adult Ringed Mediterranean Gull arrived at 16.20hrs.

NB - Great set of photos by of Blyth's Pipit at

Broomhill Flash

Todays sightings for the Broomhill Flash reserve were :-

Teal 7, Lapwing 13, Gadwall 4, Tufted Duck 4, Shoveler 2, Pochard 4, Goldeneye 1♀, Cormorant 1, Black-headed Gull c300, Common Gull 2, Goosander ♂♀ flew down river Dearne circa 8.50, Wigeon 15, Pied Wagtail 2, Sparrowhawk 1, Kestrel 1, Fieldfare 100+, Redwing 60+, Little Owl 1.

Tuesday 9 December 2014

Wintersett 09.12.14

2°C  frosty start with a beautiful red sunrise, but soon clouded over 8/8 with a light but biting SW breeze.
An early morning trip to Calder Wetlands to help refind Blyth's Pipit was successful, but the light was poor and the bird made mainly low flights and didn't always call.  However,  Martin Garner  managed to make good recordings of both call types when it did fly higher for longer.
Jonathan thanks the twitchers for their patience and co-operation throughout the day, so spaced out flushing ensured minimum disturbance of the bird.  John McLoughlin aims to be on site by 08.00hrs tomorrow to assist in locating the Pipit.  Meet opposite the WY Police building on Peel Avenue WF27BN

Anglers CP: Wigeon 202 + 10 WRes and  Teal 21.  Psycho, the usual adult Yellow-legged Gull was present at 11.30hrs.
Wintersett Gull Roost:  A 1st W Iceland Gull was in from 15.30 to dusk.  A 1st W Mediterranean Gull flew in at 15.42hrs.


Broomhill Flash was around 90% frozen early this morning but here are todays sightings.

Broomhill Flash.

Teal 23, Shoveler 2, Gadwall 4, Mallard 2, Tufted Duck 2, Wigeon 10, Lapwing c17, Pied Wagtail 1, Grey Wagtail 1, Common Gull 4, Mute Swan 1 adult, Black-headed Gull c130, Snipe 1, Kestrel 2, Little Owl 1.

Bolton Ings.

Shoveler 53, Great Crested Grebe 6, Little Grebe 1, Tufted Duck 15, Pochard 6, Gadwall 16, Mallard 4, Common Gull 18, Teal 2, Mute Swan 5 (3 adult & 2 juvenile), Goldeneye 2♀, Cormorant 3, Grey Wagtail 1, Whooper Swan 1.

Monday 8 December 2014

Wintersett Ringing Recovery

A juvenile Sand Martin 
ringed at Wintersett Reservoir on 9th August 2014
was controlled at 
Salburua,  Vitoria-Gasteiz,  Alava SPAIN
on 30th August 2014
 at a distance of 1200  kilometres to the south.

Wintersett 08.12.14

2°C,  frosty start,  clear skies and a light westerly.
Wintersett Res: Cetti's Warbler 1 and Water Rail 1.
Anglers CP Gull Roost:  Viewing conditions were poor tonight.  A westerly  means the birds are head on to the hide so are not easily identified.  The usual adult Yellow-legged Gull was the only bird of note.

Not a lot to report from Wintersett today due to twitching the
 first accepted Blyth's Pipit in Yorkshire,
on Calder Wetlands,  found by Jonathan Holliday  -  @jonnybirder.    I know it's not in the Barnsley area but I make no apologies for including some photos by Paul Meredith for those who haven't seen it yet.

Congratulations  JH

Monday 8th December Broomhill Flash.

Mallard 4,
Teal 8,
Gadwall 6,
Wigeon 12,
Pochard 7,
Tufted Duck 2,
Shoveler 2,
Goldeneye 1♀,
Grey Partridge 5,
Peregrine Falcon 1.

Sunday 7 December 2014

Edderthorpe, Sunday WeBS counts

National wildfowl count day again, the highlights from Edderthorpe and Houghton are;- Mallard 232, Pintail 2, Wigeon 89, Gadwall 68, Teal 85, Shoveler 18, Lapwing 240. Fieldfare 70.

Sunday 7/12/12.

Bretton- Higher water level on lower lake but fewer birds. No sign of any Mandarin, Green Sandpiper 1, Goosander 24, Great Crested Grebe 11, Teal 60, Tufted Duck 10, Gadwall 15, Wigeon 17, Coot 35, Mute Swan 6, Little Grebe 3. Wilthorpe Marsh- Chiffchaff 1 on river at sewage farm, Willow Tit 1 at w. end of canal, Common Snipe 32, Woodpigeon 200+, Redwing 200+.

Wintersett WeBS count and Gull Roosts 07.12.14

6°C,  rain first thing, then cool with 4/8 cloud and a brisk north westerly this morning.  Light westerly late afternoon.
The Wintersett WeBS totals are:  Greylag Goose 107,  Cormorant 23,  Mallard 62,  Mute Swan 14,  Coot 521,  Great Crested Grebe 11,  Tufted Duck 189,  Pochard 72,  Goldeneye,  30,  Goosander 5,  Gadwall 66,  Little Grebe 7,  Moorhen 17,  Heron 1,  Teal 9,  Canada Goose 189.  Shoveler  11,  Lapwing 74 and Snipe 10. 
Both waters were watched tonight.
Anglers CP Roost: 
A 3rd W Caspian turned up  ACP at 15.20 after leaving Pugneys at 15.10hrs. An adult Caspian flew in at 15.30 but flew over to Wintersett Res and was picked up at 16.25hrs.    A 2nd W Caspian came in at 15.50hrs. The  usual adult Yellow-legged came in calling
Wintersett Res Roost:
A 1st W Iceland Gull came in at 15.50hrs.  An adult Caspian came in at 15.58hrs  and a 1st W Yellow-legged Gull was in. 
Other Gulls totals:  Herring Gull  1680.  Great Black-backed 260,  Black-headed 10,000.
NB Pugneys roost had 4 Caspians tonight.  An adult,   2 x 3rd Ws  (one came to ACP)  and a 2nd W.

Saturday 6 December 2014

Moorland Rough-legs.....

Viewing over Agden and the Dukes Road area a Rough-legged Buzzard showed well, although distantly over Agden (and outside the BBSG recording area)from 14.45 to 15.15. It looks like a adult female and was clearly not one of the juveniles being seen up here. Sheffield birders have seen this over a week ago and thought it a adult female too. It or another Rough-leg was seen over Cowell Flat earlier in the day in Ariel combat with a Red Kite! The Great Grey Shrike also visited the Barnsley area again this morning at Cowell Flat. The gull roost on Broomhead Reservoir wasn't...- only about 120 Black-headed Gulls came in by dusk. Goosander 9, Mallard 91, Teal 4, Tufted Duck 2, Moorhen 12 were on the Res.

Wintersett + Gull Roost 06.12.14

0°C, cold and frosty, mainly clear sky with some sunshine and a light south westerly.
Wintersett Res:  Water Rail 1 and Willow Tit 1.
Anglers CP: Cormorant 30 and Shoveler 11.
Anglers CP Gull Roost: A new adult Caspian Gull came in at 15.05hrs but left south at 15.20hrs.  A 3rd W Caspian came in at 16.15 hrs.  The usual adult  Yellow-legged came in at 15.10hrs and a further adult came in at 15.20hrs.  A 1st W  Glaucous x Herring Hybrid arrived at 15.18hrs and the ringed adult Mediterranean Gull flew in at 16.07hrs. 
Other gulls of note tonight:  Pugneys had an adult and a 2nd W Caspians.  Orgreave had an adult Caspian and Fairburn Ings had a/the 1stW Iceland Gull.  
Langsett had 2200 Black-heads and 28 Commons but no big gulls - per Roy Twigg, Twitter.

Goosander             CHRes      LHarston

Dusk and beyond , 6/12/12.

Wilthorpe Marsh- a brief visit looking for owls with only a calling Little Owl. Still, after last nights cold an influx of Redwings and without really trying 25 Common Snipe and 4 Jacks round the edges + 4 calling Water Rails. Nowt much to report from Woolley Pit Filters last Sunday regarding the Starling roost with less than 200 going in. Still looks good for a wintering Bittern so maybe a cold snap?

Friday 5 December 2014

Wintersett + Gull Roost 05.12.14

7°C,  cool with 7/8 cloud,  that cleared by mid morning, and a light north westerly.
Wintersett Res: 50 Golden Plover flew over and Water Rail 1. 
Anglers CP: An adult Whooper Swan flew over south  at 10.25hrs and dropped on WRes.  Cormorant 24.
Anglers CP Gull Roost:  An adult Caspian Gull came in at 15.30hrs and the usual adult Yellow-legged Gull arrived at 16.05hrs.
NB  Pugneys Roost  had 4 Caspian Gulls tonight - an adult,  2 x 3rd W and a 1st W.

           Adult Caspian    ACP                   
Out hunting                             LHarston


Stocksbridge - 1 Raven NW at 12:35hrs.

Thursday 4 December 2014

Wintersett 04.12.14

5°C cool and grey with a light north westerly.
Anglers CP Gull Roost: A 1st W Iceland Gull came in at 15.20hrs,  An Adult Caspian arrived  at 15.35 and a new 3rd W Caspian came in at 15.50hrs. Another adult Caspian showed up at 15.58hrs. The usual adult Yellow-legged Gull came in at 15.45hrs.

Broomhill Flash

Pochard 12, Mallard 6, Teal 9, Gadwall 7, Wigeon 10, Shoveler 13, Tufted Duck 1, Goldeneye 1♂, Common Gull 1, Little Owl 1,Grey Wagtail 1, Mute Swan 4 ad & 2 Juvenile.


A chance encounter with my mate Richard Williams this afternoon culminated in something quite unusual. Richard told me he had picked up what he thought was a Jack Snipe this morning at Park Avenue (actually on the street). He took it home and placed under some Nasturtiums at the bottom of his nearby Sidcop Road, garden. He took me to see if it was still there and, sure enough it was, but it was in fact a Water Rail. The Rail's wings were okay and it was in good condition. I think this bird is probably of continental origin grounded through exhaustion. Richard left me to take the bird to Carlton Marsh (half a mile to the east) where he released it on the dike side. Although he took some photos of it, he didn't know how to send them to me over the wire.


Elsecar Reservoir -80+ Mallards, 2 Teal, 1 female Tufted Duck, 1 Cormorant, 9 Great Crested Grebes, 12+ Moorhens, 16 Coots and 40+ Black-headed Gulls.

Wednesday 3 December 2014

Carlton Marsh

2 Goosander came in to roost at 15.45hrs. Present were at least 2 Water Rails calling, 80 Redwing roosting, 6 Fieldfare, 2 Willow Tit, Grey Wagtail, Little grebe and Little Owl.

Rabbit Ings
c100 Pink Feet Geese flew NW at 15.38hrs. (Dave Standish)

Wintersett 03.12.12

6°C,  frosty start with clear sky and a light northerly.
Wintersett Res:  Water Rail 3 + 1 ACP,   Little Grebe 1 + 3 ACP,  Goosander 9 + 5 ACP,  WILLOW   TIT 1 and Tawny Owl 1.
Anglers CP:  Snipe 10,  Cormorant 21 and Canada Goose 99
Anglers CP Gull Roost: Adult Caspian Gull came in at 15.45hrs,  a 3rd W Caspian came in at 16.05hrs.  The usual adult Yellow-legged Gulll came in at 15.50hrs.
Shooting in the back fields at dusk doesn't bode well for future roosts.

Decent day again!!

Castle Dam - 62 Canada Geese, 2 Wigeon, 5 Mallards, 5 Moorhens, 20 Coot, 1 Grey Heron and 60+ Black-headed Gulls.
Scout Dike Reservoir - 75 Canada Geese, 3 Wigeon, 5 Teal (all females), 31 Mallard, 10 Tufted Ducks, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 5 Moorhens, 2 Jack Snipe, 2 Common Snipe, c30 Black-headed Gulls, c70 Jackdaws, c70 Rooks, 30+ Blackbirds and 20+ Robins.
Ingbirchworth Reservoir - 134 Canada Geese, 26 Mallards, 2 Tufted Ducks, 2 Little Grebes, 3 Moorhens, c60 Black-headed Gulls, 4 Common Gulls and 2 Herring Gulls..
Langsett FS - 8 Mallards, 1 Grey Heron and 1 Little Grebes - the list grows.
Midhope Reservoir - 16 Teal, 73 Mallards, 1 drake Goldeneye, 1 Little Grebe and 1 Kestrel.

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Wintersett Gull Roost 02.12.14

Late blog due to another successful jaunt. This time to Scalby for Eastern Black Redstart, and then calling at Hayburn Wyke for Richard's Pipit.
Anglers CP Gull Roost:  The adult Yellow-legged Gull came in at 15.30hrs.  The adult Mediterranean Gull flew in at 15.55hrs.    2 Caspians tonight. An adult at 16.05 and a 3rd W at 16.25hrs.

One Rough Legged Buzzard

One Rough Legged over Bradfield Moors/Wet Slack Ridge from the layby nr Agden Lodge early afternoon. No sign of Great Grey Shrike.

Monday 1 December 2014

Wintersett + Gull Roost 01.12.14

7°C grey  8/8 cloud, drizzly with a light south westerly.
A drake Smew, moulting out of eclipse,  was found off Anglers CP east bank by Steve Denny early this morning.  By mid morning it had moved onto Wintersett Res where it was seen off the west bank before it flew over to the south east corner.  

Drake Smew           WRes                  PSmith
Drake Smew               WRes           PSmith
 Wintersett Res:  Wigeon 20.  A Cetti's Warblers was calling on the east bank. 
Anglers CP:  3 Whooper Swan left at 09.25hrs.  Little Grebe 3 + 4 WRes,  Cormorant 18,  Water Rail 1 + 3 WRes,  Grelylag Goose 148 and Shoveler 18. 
Anglers CP Gull Roost: The usual adult Yellow-legged came in at 15.10hrs and another adult Yellow-legged came in at 15.20hrs.  The ringed adult Mediterranean Gull arrived at 15.40hrs.  The star bird tonight was a 1st W Iceland Gull that arrived at 16.00hrs.

1stW Iceland  Gull         ACP                 SDenny

Moorland Stuff

Windleden Edge - 1 Raven S.
Winscar Reservoir - 4 adult Whooper Swans, 98 Mallards, 5 Red Grouse around the car park and 15 Black-headed Gulls.
Broadstone Reservoir - 4 Mallards, 1 Kestrel, c450 Black-headed Gulls, 38 Common Gulls and 52 Herring Gulls.
Low Common, Ingbirchworth - 1 male Stonechat.
Ingbirchworth Reservoir - 16 Mallards, 1 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebes, 1 Moorhen, c100 Black-headed Gulls, 6 Common Gulls and 2 Herring Gulls.
Langsett FS - 1 Little Grebe.
Midhope Reservoir - 33 Mallards, 6 Teal, 2 Tufted Ducks, 1 drake Goldeneye, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Sparrowhawk and 1 Common Buzzard.