Thursday 30 April 2020

Carlton Marsh

The Great White Egret came in from the west at 09.40hrs and alighted on the big island in the main scrape. Soon after it moved into the reedbeds to forage and was lost to sight.
A Mistle Thrush was alarming in the car park as though it had fledged young. 56 Herring and 1 adult LBB Gull were on the wader scrape at mid-day.

Cudworth Common
3 Redshanks and 2 Buzzards (Les Corrall)

Wilthorpe Marsh 30/4/20.

Little Egret 7, a site record here. Not much else apart from Common Sand and LRP still here.

30/4/20 Wharncliffe Chase (south)

I was on the Chase from 6.30 and there was a cold wind from the S/W direction. As I left around 8.30 it was trying to brighten up.

The 3 Dotterel (2m, 1f) we’re feeding in their original spot. 2 Snipe chipped behind us within 50 mts of each other. I’ve never had them stay so long so I assume breeding is underway. Skylarks were everywhere (30+) and the total Linnet count was good at c.22.

Following a circular route, there were 10+ Wheatear, a Redstart sang in Pales Wood, a Cuckoo called and was seen several times here plus (a presumed) another one called further south on the border of Greno Woods.

I recorded at least 6 Tree Pipit singing along the SW edge (A.Hill had 10+ earlier), a Grasshopper Warbler reeled intermittently and a Common Whitethroat was new for the year singing near HH Farm where a pair of Swallows we’re back on territory.

Also, 8 Lapwing, Curlew, 4 Stock Dove, 9 Goldfinch, a male Reed Bunting, plenty of Meadow Pipits, Buzzard, Kestrel and a sub-adult Lesser black-backed Gull drifted south.

Wednesday 29 April 2020

Wilthorpe Marsh 29/4/20.

Pretty much quo here. Common Sand, LRP, pair Parakeets, GS Pecker. c 200 hirundines at the sewage farm were mostly House Martins.

Carlton Marsh

The Great White Egret was seen this morning flying north then later SW at 10.10hrs over the wader scrape gaining height heading towards the Monk Bretton glass making factory. Also on the wader scrape, Little Egret, Redshank and 2 Lesser Whitethroats nearby. (Jim Plant/Andy Wood|) 

This afternoon 17 Swallows, 4 LBB and 246 Herring Gulls were on the wader scrape.
Elsewhere Kingfisher, GS Woodpecker, Greylag with 5 new young and Coot with 4 new young. (CG)

This evening male and female Tawny Owl called to each other and a Grasshopper Warbler was 'reeling' in the Western Meadow. (Dave Standish)

29/4/20 Wharncliffe Chase (south)

The 3 Dotterel showed well, seen not far from where they were yesterday and lived up to their tame reputation by coming so close they were clearly visible to the naked eye. Another birder reported 2 more towards the northern end of the Chase although I wasn’t able to verify.

Another excellent addition to the year list was a reeling Grasshopper Warbler (thanks Malcolm for the tip-off) singing hidden in reeds by some small pools. A Cuckoo called from the woodland fringe and a Raven flew east across the Chase mobbed by a crow allowing size comparison to be seen. A Tree Pipit called briefly plus up to 10 Linnets were around a breeding colony. Male Reed Bunting and Curlew also seen.

Tuesday 28 April 2020

Carlton Marsh

I was busy today so went for my exercise walk this evening in the rain. It was worth it though, the Great White Egret was back, preening on one of the islands in the main scrape at 19.55hrs. Within the blink of an eye it was gone while as I was tweeting, but as it was dull and wet with dusk approaching, I think it will have gone in the large Crack Willows out of sight to roost. 

If this is the same bird, it has certainly been around. Yesterday one was repopted from Treeton and Orgreave in Sheffield. This morning it was seen passing over North Ings near Denaby by Danny Fardell, then flying east past Adam Hutt's home in Wombwell, and was reported heading NW from Edderthorpe Flash at 09.35hrs. Although Jim Plant was out looking for it at Carlton Marsh later in the morning, he didn't see it. 
Other birds of note this evening Snipe 1, Stock Dove 2 singing, Water Rail calling, Kingfisher and 5 Swallows.

A Fox was on the prowl.

Wilthorpe Marsh 28/4/20 +.

Very steady here since the 10th. Today’s highs at the oxbow pond with the Common Sand still present and a pair of LRP have reappeared and Oystercatcher 1. Sedge Warbler on the 22nd might be the only one. Very scarce. Area report from Jeff Lunn yesterday was, Green Sand, Common Sand, 3 Lesser Whitethroat, 5 Whitethroat, 6 Reed Warbler. Green Pecker, pair Kingfisher, pair Grey Wag, 2 Swift. c 50 House Martin, c 20 Swallow, pair Parakeets.

28/04/20 Wharncliffe Chase

A cold morning was brought to life by a pair of Dotterel feeding quietly towards the southern end. There were plenty of Wheatears around and I was scanning for more when the eye stripe of the female caught my attention plus the male moved nearby. A new patch tick and welcome relief for reddened hands in the cold! Still feeding quietly as I left after 20 mins.

Also, a Cuckoo pair were together near the res, up-to 20 Wheatears (mainly females) were active/chasing together, c20 Fieldfare chattered in the Roundabout plantation with sub-song heard, Redstart, Raven, 3 Yellowhammer, 2 Reed Bunting, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 2 Green Woodpecker and 10+ Skylark

Dotterel female

Cuckoo female

Dotterel pair

Dotterel female

Wheatear male


Monday 27 April 2020

Carlton Marsh

This morning on the wader scrape 150 Herring Gulls, 2 Redshanks and 1 Green Sandpiper. (K. Bannister). The GW Egret was not seen today!

Elsewhere on the reserve singing birds included 1 Coal Tit, 5 Reed Warblers, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 L. Whitethroat, 5 Whitethroats, 5 Sedge Warblers, 15 Wrens, 12 Chiffchaffs, 12 Blackcaps, 9 Willow Warblers and 4 Song Thrushes.
A Swift with a House Martin headed north at 09.23hrs., our first this year. (CG)
This afternoon a Red Kite flew over the wader scrape at 14.25hrs. (Dave Tattershall)  

Green Sandpiper (Richard Laverack)

Cudworth Common
A Cuckoo was singing at the bottom of Lidget Lane, 2 Buzzards were up together and 6 House Martins, 1 Sand Martin and 10 Swifts were heading north. (Les Corrall)
In his Cudworth garden, Les has a Mistle Thrush nest with 3 young and a Goldfinch nest with young.

Sunday 26 April 2020

Carlton Marsh

On and around the wader scrape today Great White Egret (from 14.00hrs, it was on the main scrape this morning), Little Egret, Great Spot W.Pecker, Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Stock Doves, 2 LBB Gulls, Mallard with 7 chicks and 2 Little Ringed Plovers at 16.15 hrs.

A Kingfisher was on the main scrape with 5 singing Reed Warblers and 2 Sedge Warblers and 2 family groups of Long-tailed Tits. Dog Violets are out now to add colour to the scene.

Jim Plant had a Garden Warbler and later a Curlew flying west this morning.

Swifts were seen over Beech Avenue (6) and The Grove, Cudworth (5) (G. Miller/J. Plant), but none at the reserve yet.
In a 3 hour stint in his Cudworth garden this afternoon Geoff miller saw 10+ Swifts, 5 House Martins, Swallow, Peregrine, Kestrel, and several Buzzards thermalling.  A Peregrine was also reported from Monk Bretton by Dave Smith.

Last nights moths in Dave Smith's Carlton garden, a very early Lime Hawk Moth, Knot Grass, and Pebble Prominent.

 Photos by Richard Laverack

Saturday 25 April 2020

Carlton Marsh

The Great White Egret was on the wader scrape at 07.00hrs. (K. Bannister) By late morning it was back on the main scrape. It goes into some large stands of Willow out of sight to perch now and again, which it did, but by 14.30hrs, it was posing on the main scrape all afternoon. (D. Standish/CG etal)

A Garden Warbler was new in today and 3 Lesser Whitethroats were singing. (Jim Plant)

This afternoon on the wader scrape 1m 1f Teal, 5 LBB and 103 Herring Gulls and a female Grey Wagtail.
On the main scrape 5 singing Reed Warblers, a Kingfisher, Mallard brood of 5, Tawny Owl singing at 15.56hrs, Great Spot Woodpecker and a pair of Pochard. 2m Brimstone on the embankment. (CG)

Butterfly counts from Chris Parkin were; 1 Small Copper, 2 Dingy Skippers, 17 Orange-tips that included 4 females, 1 Large White, 21 Peacock, 2 GV White, 1 Small White and 2 Bee Fly.


25/4/20 Wharncliffe Chase

A good mix of birds fed in the cover of a small plantation on the Chase including 15 Fieldfare, male Ring Ouzel, Cuckoo, 2 Jays and a male Wheatear

At least 4, possibly 5 male Stonechats were on territory with 2 females seen. 2 males are routinely seen standing guard with female presumably at nest. 

In total 7 Wheatear seen plus single Swallow and singing Tree Pipit. A Snipe was heard chipping again from suitable breeding habitat where I’ve heard it on and off for a few weeks now (and different location to yesterday’s bird). 

10 Linnet seen, some collecting nesting materials also male Reed Bunting. A pair of Raven flew up from the flash where a Pied Wagtail pair were seen. 

The Redstart sang from the Roundabout plantation again, 4 Lapwing, 2 Buzzard, 2 Herring Gull SE and a large female Sparrowhawk seen too. 

Friday 24 April 2020

Carlton Marsh & Cudworth Area

There was no sign of the Great White Egret. 2 Redshanks and 2 Lesser Whitethroats were the only birds of note today. (Jim Plant)

Cudworth Common
On Les Corralls's walk this morning he heard a Cuckoo for the first time this year. A pair of Gadwall with 6 young were on the flashes. A pair of Ringed Plover and several Lapwing with their young were in the Symphony compound.

On my walk over the Common this afternoon, up to 10 Willow Warblers in addition to several Blackcaps and Whitethroats and 2 singing Coal Tits. A pair of Coot had 5 young on the bottom flashes and a Dabchick was singing from another nearby pond.
2m Brimstone and 1 Comma were the stand out butterflies.
Ferrymoor Flash (Sash pond)
2 Adult Cormorants were langiushing in a very large Willow overlooking the pond and a pair of Great Crested Grebes were present. (CG)

Storrs Mill - Ardsley Viaduct
Treecreeper, Green and Great Spot Woodpecker, Coal Tit, Sparrowhawk and male Grass Snake.
Butterflies included 95 S. Tortoishell, 46 Orange-tips, 1m Brimstone, 23 Speckled Wood and the first Small Copper of the year. (Chris Parkin)

My regular Pipistrelles were feeding over the garden at dusk, but just before they came out a strikingly beautiful blue, white-headed Budgie came and landed in a tree at the bottom of the garden and is roosting.  

24/4/20 Wharncliffe Chase (N), Woods + Nature Reserve

Slight frost on the ground initially but generally pleasant with little breeze and marginal cloud cover.

Snipe - heard calling from new area. Redstart - 2 singing, Swallow, Wheatear, Buzzard (4 yesterday), Kestrel, 2 Curlew, 2 Green Woodpecker, Cuckoo, Stonechat, 12 Stock Dove (9 together in field), 2 Tree Pipit (1 singing from new spot, the other from the NR), Raven, 50+ Willow Warbler, 2 Chiffchaff, 4 Blackcap, Tawny Owl (8am), Jay carrying food, Yellowhammer, 2 singing Goldcrest, 15+ Skylark, 2 Reed Bunting

singing Redstart


Green Woodpecker

Stock Dove

23/04/20 - Wharncliffe Heath NR

A pleasant but steady evening at the heath yesterday. Highlights included:

Pied Flycatcher - One but probably two males singing below Wharncliffe Crags, difficult to be sure, as not much singing going on, and birds didn't show, but distance between some song bursts would suggest 2 birds.
Woodcock - Two birds flushed near heath
Willow Warbler - 20+ singing
Tree Pipit - one singing

Thursday 23 April 2020

Carlton Marsh

The highlights today, the Great White Egret for the 4th day posing again on an island in the middle of the scrape, so many people other than birders could easily see it. Another Lesser Whitethroat arrived and the Green Sandpiper was on the wader scrape. (Jim Plant)

Meanwhile a Grasshopper Warbler was reeling in the western meadow at 08.30hrs. (Rod Heeley)

This afternoon on my walk a Little Ringed Plover came onto the wader scrape to join the Green Sandpiper, 270 Herring and 12 LBB Gulls, 2 Swallows and 4 Greylags with 7 young.

This evening the Great White Egret flew south from the scrape, but not sure if its gone altogether. 3 Oystercatchers flew high north at 18.10hrs. (Dave Standish) 
There has been a report of a large bird of prey hunting over the marsh with jesses on! 

South Kirkby reclamation
A very early Dingy Skipper, 7m Brimstones and 51 Orange-tips. (Chris Parkin)

Wednesday 22 April 2020

Carlton Marsh

On the wader scrape this morning Little Egret and 2 Green Sandpipers, 150 Herring and 2 LBBGulls. Elsewhere a Grasshopper Warbler sang briefly near Bleachcroft pond. On the marsh 5 singing Whitethroats, 2 Reed Warblers, 5 Sedge Warblers and the dodgy Wren. The Great White Egret roosted and was seen feeding in typha at the back of the main scrape. (Jim Plant/Keith Bannister)

This afternoon a Lesser Whitethroat was singing from the usual area and 2 House Martins and a Sand Martin flew north. 184 Herring and 4 LBB Gulls were on the wader scrape with the 2 Green Sandpipers.
The G.W. Egret spent most of the afternoon preening on an island in the main scape again providing visitors with fantastic views.  (CG)

This evening 2 Little Ringed Plovers and a Snipe were on the wader scrape with the G. Sandpipers.(Dave Standish)

Dave also had a Grasshopper Warbler reeling at Rabbit Ings.

Cudworth Common
There were 4 House Martins over the flashes and nearby a Kestrel, Whitethroat and Green Woodpecker singing, but the highlight of Les Corrall's walk was a Buzzard lifting off with a small Grass Snake. He had a Buzzard doing this last week from the same area. Finally there were 2 Lapwing chicks and a Redshank in the Symphony compound.

All photos by Tony Harding.

22/04/20 - Wharncliffe Heath and Wharncliffe Wood

Wharncliffe Heath NR: Pied Flycatcher - male singing below Wharncliffe Crags, 20+ Willow Warbler, 4 Nuthatch, Woodcock

Wharncliffe Wood: Wood Warbler - singing in sessile oak woodland, 5 chiffchaff, 3 Blackcap

Tuesday 21 April 2020

Carlton Marsh

The Great White Egret must have roosted. It spent the morning preening on the main scrape giving excellent views. It did become a little more animated this afternnon feeding in the semi open reed beds and was still present at dusk.(J. Plant/R. Laverack/CG)

A very strange song from a Wren gave us the runaround this morning until we finally saw it actually singing. I have to admit it stopped me in my tracks when it repeadly sang this very different song without reverting back to type. I pass this way everyday and have never heard this song before or in all the years I have been birding. I have come across crows with a malfunction in the voice box, but this Wren really was very different. The trill-like song lasted about 3 to 5 seconds each time and was repeated every few seconds as it did a circular of the trees in the northern meadow.

Meanwhile 2 Green Sandpipers and 3 pairs of Teal were on the wader scrape. In the reed beds 1 singing Reed Warbler and 2 Sedge Warblers. A pair of Kestrels were displaying over the main scrape and a Meadow Pipit flew over.

An Oystercatcher flew south at aboot 11.30hrs

This evening 2 Little Ringed Plovers were on the wader scrape. (Dave Standish)

Cudworth Common
Buzzard, 4 House Martins and Ringed Plover at Symphony (Les Corrall) In his Cudworth garden Mistle Thrush with 1 young. The adults harassed by a male Sparrowhawk.

21/4/20 Wharncliffe Chase (mid/southern end)

In addition to earlier records:

Jack Snipe - typically flushed within feet of where I stood, flew a few metres up the path where flushed again and flew to marshy area a few metres away. New patch tick.

Sand Martin - 1 flew east, Cuckoo, Ring Ouzel - male with Fieldfare, Fieldfare c50, Redstart, 2 Green Woodpecker, Stonechat, 10 Linnet, Tree Pipit, Grey Heron over, 2 Goldcrest singing, Tawny Owl calling, assumed young nearby.

Ring Ouzel
Ring Ouzel - another pic

Wheatear - social distancing


Wilthorpe Marsh / Fleets 21/4/20.

Very steady all round. Wilthorpe - New in Lesser Whitethroat. Also, LRP, 2 L Egret, 1 Parakeet. Fish news, hundreds of Minnows on the dyke. Fleets, - 2 Parakeets, 1 LBB Gull.

21/4/20 Wharncliffe Chase (N); Heath and Woods (N)

Another fine morning with a stronger easterly than yesterday.

Highlights were 2 singing Redstarts and a summer-plumaged Golden Plover over NE plus 2 singing Tree Pipits. Also, 5 Wheatears (3m, 2f), 5 Herring Gull NW, 2 adult Grey Heron low east, c15 Skylark, c40 Meadow Pipit, c25 Willow Warbler, 5 Blackcap (increase), 2 singing Yellowhammer, 3 Chiffchaff, 5 Goldfinch, Swallow, 10 Nuthatch, 4 singing Mistle Thrush, Curlew, 2 singing Song Thrush, 2 Treecreeper, 2 Buzzard, 2 prs Long-tailed Tit, 2 Kestrel, 2 Green Woodpecker, 3 Jay, Reed Bunting, 5 Linnet, 4 Lapwing.

Monday 20 April 2020

Carlton Marsh

This morning on the wader scrape Green Sandpiper, 2 Redshank, 4 Swallows. 2 Whitethroats were singing (K. Bannister/J.Plant).
I had a walk this afternoon and both the Green Sand and the 2 Redshanks were still present, the latter mated. 6 Teal were still around and a Sedge Warbler was singing. 
A white blob found at 15.50hrs at the back of the main scrape was largley concealed in the typha reed. It turned out be a Great White Egret! It was still present at 20.20hrs. This was our 6th record, but the first for some of our regulars, me included.

 Photos by Tony Harding

Cudworth Common
Les Corral had 3 Swallows, 3 Sand Martins and 2 Buzzards.

Rabbit Ings (19/4) 
Barn Owl, 2 Great Crested Grebes and 2 drake Shovelers (Dave Standish|)

Wilthorpe Marsh / Fleets Dam , 20/4/20 R Tolson, S Green.

Oxbow pond.- 2 Whooper Swans wanted to land here but turned and got down on the Fleets. C Snipe flushed, Green Sand 1, 2 Parakeets, 9 Sand Martins on the river nearby. LRP here yesterday. Fleets add ons, 2 LBB Gulls, ad Common Gull yesterday.

20/04/20 - Wharncliffe Heath NR

Cold start, warming up later, gentle easterly breeze.

Singing birds included 58 Willow Warbler, 63 Wren, 62 Robin, 4 Linnet, 5 Chiffchaff, 5 Nuthatch, and singles of Tree Pipit and Blackcap. Two Sparrowhawks and a Common Buzzard were seen hunting over the heath. Also Roe Deer and Brimstone butterfly seen near Plank Gate.

20/4/20 Wharncliffe Woods/Heath NR

A fine morning with a light easterly keeping things cool.

Best bird was a Redstart singing strongly plus Tree Pipit too. 3 Swallows were around traditional territory plus Skylark singing over nearby farmland with 4 Lapwing was encouraging. Plenty of Willow Warblers plus 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, Wheatear, Green Woodpecker, Curlew, Treecreeper, 10+ Nuthatch, Buzzard plus singing Yellowhammer, Goldcrest, Mistle and Song Thrush.

Sunday 19 April 2020

Carlton Marsh

Two Green Sandpipers were on the wader scrape and a Sedge Warbler was singing. (K. Bannister/J.Plant) Two Whitetroats were singing and 6 LBB Gulls were amongst the Herring Gulls.

A Little Egret was present this afternoon. 
Butterfly counts were as follows 5 Large White, 1m 1f  Brimstone, 10 Speckled Wood, 36 Orange-tip, 34 Peacock, 12 S. Tortoiseshell, 2 Small White, 3 GV White. (Chris Parkin)

A Fieldfare flew NW over Dave Smith's garden at 12.28hrs.

A Yellow Wagtail flew over Geoff Miller's garden  at 16.46hrs.

Saturday 18 April 2020

Wilthorpe Marsh 18/4/20. R Tolson, P Middleton, S Green.

Oxbow pond area had GW Egret early morning showing well. Feeding party of c 55 Meadow Pipits down this aft., and 2 Parakeets, 1 L Egret. Sewage farm had c 100 House Martins, Kingfisher.

Carlton Marsh

A Common Sandpiper on the wader scrape at 08.05hrs (K. Bannister) was new in, but had left by the time Jim Plant arrived at 09.40hrs by which time a Green Sandpiper was feeding in the shallows.

In addition there were 4m 1f Teal, 3 Mute Swans, 52 Herring and 1 LBB Gull. On the main scrape 4 pairs of Tufted Duck, Water Rail and Reed Warbler singing.

Yellow Archangel is one of my favourite wild flowers (CG)

Friday 17 April 2020

Carlton Marsh

This morning there were 170 Herring and 2 LBB Gulls and 2 Redshanks on the wader scrape (R.J. Boland)
In addition this afternoon Little Egret, 2 Mistle Thrush, 3m 2f Teal, Swallow, 5 Tufted Duck, Moorhen and Coot on eggs, 2 Buzzard up together, 4 Skylarks singing.

 Rod Heeley
4 possibly 5 Hedgehogs and a Pipistrelle in Dave Smith's garden after midnight last night.

A Cuckoo was seen and heard over Royston canal this morning heading towards Carlton Marsh (per Dave Standish)

17/04/20 - Wharncliffe Wood and Wharncliffe Heath

Wharncliffe Wood: Wood Warbler - singing to the north of the wood, my earliest local record by 7 days, 3 Blackcap, 30+ Willow Warbler

Wharncliffe Heath NR: Woodcock - flushed below Wharncliffe Crags, Tree Pipit, 10+ Nuthatch

Wilthorpe Marsh 17/4/20. P Middleton, S Green.

Very steady here. Common Sandpiper yesterday the 16th. Green Sandpiper 2, Oystercatcher 1 pair. Build up of House Martins again c 120 mostly at the sewage farm. 2 Reed Warblers at the oxbow, Green and GS Peckers at standhill wood. Fleets Dam, - very quiet. 3 pairs GC Grebes and 1 pair of Tufted Duck.

17/4/20 Wharncliffe Woods/Chase

A cool morning with a moist fog/mist low lying initially. Bird song in the woods was excellent and vibrant.

Cuckoo - brief song; 2 Tree Pipit - one singing in nature reserve plus one calling earlier flying near the res; c50 Willow Warbler singing; 4 Chiffchaff; c30 Fieldfare; Wheatear, 2 Stock Dove song/display; c15 Skylark - majority feeding on grassy banking; 4 Song Thrush singing; 3 Mistle Thrush; Green Woodpecker, 2 Goldcrest singing; 3 Treecreeper singing; Curlew; 4 Lapwing; Long-tailed Tit collecting nesting material.

Thursday 16 April 2020

Carlton Marsh

New in today Reed Warbler (Jim Plant).
My walk produced 1 Lapwing (a very scarce bird up this valley so far this year), 170 Herring and 5 LBB Gulls, 1f Teal, 3 Mute Swans and 1 Swallow on the wader scrape.
On the marsh a new brood of 5 Canada Geese and one nest abandoned with at leat 3 eggs exposed. A Stock Dove was singing and a Great Spot Woodpecker was 'drumming'.

A male Brimstone was the pick of today's butterflies.

Cudworth Common
Les Corrall reported a pair of Ringed Plover still in the Symphony compound, a brood of 7 Gadwall on the flashes and about 15 Linnets. A Holly Blue was flying in his Cudworth garden.

Meanwhile Dave Smith trapped Early Moth, Lunar Marbled Brown and The Spectacle in his Carlton garden last night.

Storrs Mill to Ardsley Viaduct 
Chris Parkin reports a phenominal turn around  for Small Tortoiseshells after last year with 154 counted on this stretch. Also 2 Large Whites, 68 Peacocks, 64m Orange-tips and 6m Brimstones. 
3 Grass Snakes (not alltogether) one of which startled him when he stumbled upon a nest of 10 Mallard eggs.
Other birds of interest Buzzard, Coal Tit, Green Woodpecker, 2 Grey Partridges and Kestrel. 

16/4/20 Wharncliffe Chase

A late afternoon walk in good sunshine provided:

8 Buzzard (4 circling together), 3 Sparrowhawk (2 circling with Buzzards), 3 Kestrel, 4 Swallow (1 over res, 2 feeding over grassland and flash, 1 near Crown Inn on territory), c20 Skylark, 2 pairs of Stonechat, 11 Wheatear (1 possible Greenland race), c20 Fieldfare, Green Woodpecker, c70 Meadow Pipit, Reed Bunting (male), Curlew, 3 Grey Herons, 2 Jays, 3 prs RL Partridge, 3 Lapwing
Stonechat - male

Stonechat - female

Wheatear - male

Wednesday 15 April 2020

Carlton Marsh

On the wader scrape this morning 2 Redshanks and 5 Mute Swans (4 immatures) + 4 north (K Bannister/J Plant).
This evening our first Whitethroat of the year was singing. (D. Standish)

Cudworth Common
On Les Corrall's exercise walk there were 2 House Martins, 5 + 2 Linnets and a Buzzard taking off with a small Grass Snake. A Pair of Ringed Plover were in the Symphony Compound.

On my walk this evening a pair of Red-legged and a pair of Grey Partridges, 2 Redshanks and 3 Snipe. A Canada Goose was on eggs. There were at least 4 Pipistrelles flying at dusk

Ferrymoor Flash (Sash Pond)
A pair of Great Crested Grebes (I dont think I have seen any on here before) and 30+ Pied Wagtails looked as if they were going to roost on the fallen Crack Willows in the middle. More were arriving as I left.

A Holly Blue butterfly was in Dave Smith's Carlton garden this afternoon.

Wilthorpe Marsh 15/4/20, J Lunn, S Green.

Nowt new apart from the Cuckoo at standhill wood, per J. Lunn. 7 Jays flew into and were fighting it out in standhill wood. Entertainment at the Mute Swan nest when a terrapin decided to sun bathe on it. They eventually evicted it and revealed about 6 eggs. Green Sand 1, L Egret 1. Belated news was a Water Pipit down on the mud on the 10th briefly before flying to sewage farm, per J. Lunn.

Tuesday 14 April 2020

Wilthorpe Marsh 14/4/20. P Middleton, S Green.

2 Whitethroats were new in. Pair of Sand Martins were prospecting on the river and at the oxbow singing Reed Warbler, 2 Green Sands, 1 LRP, 2 Parakeets, 1 L Egret. Pair of Oystercatcher were mating near the sewage farm and a pair of RL Partridge nearby. 2 yaffling Green Peckers in the valley.

Carlton Marsh

A Red Kite was soaring over the marsh at 10.20hrs (Mick Littlewood). The first broods of Greylag and Coot were evident with more to come. Our resident Buzzards were airborne this afternoon along with a male Kestrel and a female Sparrowhawk, the Herring Gulls constantly disturbed by them. A pair of Teal remain and a dabchick was the first for a while. A Water Rail was singing from south of the ringing rides and a Coal Tit was singing.

Orange-tip (including 1 female), Peacock and Comma were on the wing along with a Bee Fly.

Buzzard (CG)

Greater Stitchwort

14/4/20 Wharncliffe Chase + general area

Highlights today were:

Cuckoo - 1 called briefly at 18.40 at the southern end.
Wheatear -13 obvious recent influx including females, at least 10 on a single banking feeding with large Mipit flock.
Stonechat - 2 pairs, this is the most abundant I’ve seen of this species here with potentially 4 pairs.
Green Woodpecker 3+ - great views of 3 feeding together, potentially at least 5+ in the area
Tree Pipit 3 - 2 singing + 1 north
Redstart 1 singing
Raven 1 - calling as it returned to assumed nest site
Fieldfare 37
Meadow Pipit 100+ - single group feeding + widespread across region breeding
Kestrel - pair on territory
Finally, a possible Hobby flew west from Wharncliffe Craggs, across the valley to Stocksbridge Golf Course and over the horizon. Regrettably, I only saw it from the rear in the main but it’s profile, direct purposeful flight and size gave the jizz of a Hobby.

Monday 13 April 2020

Wilthorpe Marsh 13/4/20, P Middleton, S Green.

Lock down coverage will probably continue all month here. Steady today probably due to the return of winter. Early morning had GW Egret briefly, going east but lost to view behind canal screen of trees. Nowt new but still good birds around with LR Plover, Green Sand and L Egret at the oxbow. 5 Water Rail territory’s in the valley and c 100 House Martins at the sewage farm this aft.

Woolley Dam 13/4/20.

Nice pleasant short walk. GS Pecker 1 seen drumming, Nuthatch 3, Treecreeper 1, Blackcap 3, Willow Warbler 1. Stock Dove 1, flushed from nest hole. Nowt on the Dam apart from Mallard.

13/4/20 Wharncliffe Chase, Nature Reserve and general area.

A cold easterly wind led to suppressed bird activity and several were feeding quietly in more sheltered areas.

Willow Warbler c35, Chiffchaff 3, RL Partridge 2 prs, Linnet 8, Raven, Green Woodpecker, Stonechat - pair, Curlew, Skylark c30, Meadow Pipit c40, Fieldfare c100, Redwing c30 (single large group of latter winter thrushes photographed and counted then disappeared!), Mistle Thrush 2 song, Yellowhammer, GSW drumming, Song Thrush 2 song, Sparrowhawk- 2 males (1 followed from Deepcar area, across valley and through to NR area), Buzzard 3, Lapwing, Reed Bunting - singing male, Wheatear - 3 males, Blackcap
Wheatear - male

Sunday 12 April 2020

Wilthorpe Marsh/ Fleets Dam 12/4/20. P Middleton, S Green.

Wilthorpe Marsh. - Very steady with the oxbow pond area again producing a couple of new migrants with Reed Warbler and Garden Warbler. 2 Parakeets mating and 1 L Egret. At the w. end Curlew and the scavenging corvid flock still around, mostly Carrion Crows c 60. Fleets Dam - Very pleasant walk round but not many birds. 1 Parakeet, 3 pair GC Grebes.

Saturday 11 April 2020

Carlton Marsh & Cudworth Area

A Little Owl dropped into a tree at the bottom of my Cudworth garden last night and continued to sing from various points.

Carlton Marsh
On the wader scrape Little Egret, 1 LBB Gull and 3 Mute Swans.
Butterflies sightings were 26m Orange-tips, 1m1f  Brimstone and 2 Bee Fly firing eggs down holes again. (Chris Parkin)

Cudworth Common
Swallow 2 north, 2 LRP, Buzzard, Whitethroat 2 (1 singing) and a singing Willow Tit from the same territory as previously reported. (Les Corrall & CG seperately)

Crookhouse Farm area Edderthorpe Lane 
This afternoon a lone Fieldfare was in no hurry and alighted in the same hedgerow further along. (Arthur Vincent)

Wilthorpe Marsh 11/4/20. R Boland, P Middleton, S Green.

Oxbow pond the place to be this morning with GW Egret which eventually flew east down the valley towards the fleets. Little Ringed Plover here was still present late aft. This species has always been suspected of breeding in the nearby redbrook industrial est. Also 2 Parakeets, 1 Green Sand, 2 L Egrets. In the valley 19 Willow Warblers, 9 Sand Martins, Green Pecker.

11/04/20 - Wharncliffe Heath NR and Wharncliffe Chase

Wharncliffe Heath NR: 41 Willow Warbler singing, 3 Tree Pipit, 4 Linnet, 10+ Nuthatch (5 nests in boxes), 4 Chiffchaff, Brambling over calling at 07:30, Curlew high over the heath calling, flew west.

Wharncliffe Chase: 6 Stonechat (3 pairs, one male singing), Raven, 4 Common Buzzard, 2 Curlew.

Wintersett 11th - 17th April 2020

Hot and sunny, up to 19 degrees with a very light westerly breeze.
Anglers CP: Teal 2m + 1f.   10 Herring Gull flew north.
Wintersett Res: Long-tailed Duck 1f.  Goldcrest 1m Pits Wood.  3 Greylag Geese flew over.  A male Green Finch flew over the boathouse.
Old Royston Flash: Green Sandpiper 1.
Mammal: A Mink with a dead rabbit was seen in the south east corner WRes..
Reptile: The Red-eared Terrapin was on reeds in  the north east corner WRes..

WintersettRes. : Long-tailed Duck 1f.  Goldcrest 1m HPLane + 1m Vis.Mig. Hill.  Fieldfare 37 north.   Barn Owl 1.  Herring Gull 6.  Sedge Warbler 1m west bank.  A Curlew flew over.

Old Royston Flash: Green Sandpiper 1.  Redshank 2. 
Walton Hall: Canada Goose 1. Greylag Goose 2.  Wigeon 1m + 1f.. Yellow Wagtail 2.
Stubbs Wood:  Great Spotted Woodpecker heard.
Mammal: Common Shrew 1 deceased.
Insect:  Beefly 6

Anglers CP:  Greenfinch 1m.  Swallow 7.  Wigeon 1m + 1f.  Teal 2m + 2f.  Willow Tit 1 NW area + 1m east bank WRes.. 
Wintersett Res. Reed Warbler 1m boathouse reeds + 1m west bank marsh.  Longtailed Duck 1 female.  Sedge Warbler 1 west bankPochard 8m + 3f. + 2m + 1 f  CHRes.. House Martin 22.  A Ring-tailed Hen Harrier flew west, mobbed by Crows.  Meadow Pipit were in the east bank field. A Rnged Plover flew north.
Cold Hiendley Res SF: Yellow Wagtail 8m + 2m Walton Hall.  Grey Wagtail 1m.

Wintersett Res:  Goldeneye 14 + 4 ACP.  Reed Warbler 2 boathouse reeds.  Yellow Wagtail 1 over.   Fieldfare 1 NE bank.  A Red Kite flew over west bank.
Cetti's Warbler 6m - Ruin, west bank, south east corner, north east bank, north bank and  boathouse reeds. Long-tailed Duck 1f.  Sedge Warbler 1m boathouse reeds. 
Anglers CP: Snipe 3.  Teal 1m + 1f.  Whitethroat 1m.  Great Black-backed Gull 1 1stW over. Sand Martin 30.
Lepidoptera: A Green-veined White and a Speckled Wood seen at ACP.

Red Kite      J Gardner @WildscenesUK
Wintersett Res. 
 A Whimbrel flew south west.  Greylag Goose 3.  Goldeneye 1 female with dodgy right wing.  Reed Warbler 1 SE corner + 1m boathouse reeds.  Goldcrest 1 Pits Wood.  Common Sandpiper 2 west bank.  Sedge Warbler 1m.  Coot 4vs young. 
Anglers CP: A Grasshopper Warbler was in the SW corner reedbed,   Teal 3m + 3f.   Goosander 3 f + 1m flew SW.
Lepidoptera: A Green-veined White  ACP and a Small White  west bank WRes..

Anglers CP: Teal 3m + 3f.  Great Crested Grebe 7.  A Grasshopper Warbler was in the SW corner reedbed.  Green Woodpecker 1 ruin WRes + 1 HarePark.  Shoveler 1m + 1f..  Dunlin 1 in shallows.  A Hobby flew east. Linnet 7.
Cold Hiendley Res:  Pochard 1m + 1f + 1m ACP.  
Wintersett Res: Nuthatch 1m +1f road side Pits Wood  + 1m Pits Wood O'Donnells. Sedge Warbler 3m.  Willow Tit 1 pair east bank.  

Anglers CP: Shelduck 1.  Goldeneye 9 + 4 WRes..  Teal 2m + 2f.

Wintersett Res: A Meadow pipit flew over.  A Nuthatch was collecting food for female.  Sedge Warbler 1 west bank.  Reed Warbler 6males -  1 east bank, 3 boathouse reeds, 1SE corner, 1 Botany.
Cold Hiendley Res: Yellow Wagtail 4  Pochard 4m + 1f.

Friday 10 April 2020

Wilthorpe Marsh 10/4/20.

Best here, - Male Whinchat, Meadow Pipit 1 which could be a breeding bird. Green Sandpiper 2, Parakeet 2, L Egret 1. No fish news from the river of late but c 50 Minnows showing well in a small dyke.

Carlton Marsh

More Blackcaps were evident this morning with at least 6 singing and a similar number of Willow Warblers. Also of note Buzzard, Treecreeper, Great Spot. Woodpecker and Water Rail singing from the reed beds. 88 Herring Gulls and 2 adult LBB Gulls were on the wader scrape with a few Teal and 3 Mute Swans.
Insects included 1m Brimstone and 1 Speckeled Wood, Tree Bee and a Red-tailed Bumble Bee queens.

Away from the reserve a brood of 5 Mallard were on the canal to the west and an Oystercatcher flew south over Jim Plants upper Cudworth home.

Storrs Mill to Ardsley Viaduct 
Treecreeper, Buzzard, Green Woodpecker, 2 Grey Wagtails.
Butterflies today were 1 Holly Blue, 6m Brimstones, 3 Speckled Wood, 37m Orange-tips, 88 Peacocks and an amazing 94 Small Tortoiseshells. (Chris Parkin)

Wintersett 10.04.20

14 - 19 degrees, 0/8 hot and sunny with a light south easterly.
Anglers CP: A male Ring Ouzel  flew into the east bank field, then to the east bank, calling at 08.35hrs.. A Redwing was on the Pol and 2 more were in Hare Park fields. Teal 2m + 1f.   40 Crows and 1 Meadow Pipit were in back fields.  Shoveler 1m + 1f. 
Hare Park Fields: Fieldfare 40. 

10/4/20 Wharncliffe Chase + woodland fringe

Early mist eventually lifted and provided another great birding walk around the Chase.

Yellow Wagtail - 1 flew low south calling in the early morning mist, my first of the year.
Redstart - male gave brief song from traditional territory, my first of the year.
Stonechat - cracking pair gathering nesting material, the male was in full breeding magnificence!
Tree Pipit - 3 disputing territory along western side.
Snipe - initially heard chipping then displayed widely over southern end.
Raven - one seen carrying food again in same direction as before then 2 together later.

+ 6 Chiffchaff, Blackcap, 50+ Willow Warbler, 15+ Skylark, 40+ Meadow Pipit, 4 Stock Dove, Redwing, 12 Fieldfare, 6 Curlew (good number), 10 RLP, 3 Yellowhammer, 3 Green Woodpecker, 16 Linnet, 2 Lapwing, 3 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Goldcrest and 3 Cormorant on the pylon above Howden.

Blackcap - male

Coal Tit

Tree Pipit

X3 Cormorants

Stonechat - female with nesting material

Thursday 9 April 2020

Wintersett 09.04.20

8 - 16 degrees, hot and sunny until midday when cloud started to increase with a very light north easterly.
Wintersett Res: The first Whitethroat was on the east bank (SD).  At WRes. a Meadow Pipit flew north, + 1 on east bank + 1 CHSF.   Willow Tit 1.   Long-tailed Duck 1f. 
Anglers CP: 2 Redshank, on the shallows, were new for the year list. A Little Ringed Plover flew over. House Martin 1.  Pochard 1m  3 Common Gulls were in the fields. Teal 2m + 3f  + 1m and 1f WRes,  + 1m +1f CHRes..  Little Owl 2 at George's Farm. 
Hare Park Fields: Redwing 1.  Fieldfare 16 + 1 Wintersett Village.
Cold Hiendley SF:  Yellow Wagtail 1m. 
Moorhouse Lane Pond:Pochard 1m + 1f.
Disposal Point: Weasel 2. 


Its good to know there still some Hedgehogs around, Dave Smith had 3 in his garden last night and I had two in mine recently. Dave had an early Swallow today over his garden heading east at 08.16hrs and 2 House Martins this afternoon over Monk Bretton.

Last night in my Cudworth garden I was treated again to the haunting song of the Little Owl. It's sometimes referred to as the Curlew call and is repeated about every 13 seconds.

Carlton Marsh 2019 Annual Natural History Report is now available free for those who would like one. This is the 44th consecutive report published by Barnsley Council since 1976. There are 63 pages of data which include Mammal and Bird sightings, Moth captures, vascular plants and other insects. Just e-mail me
The front cover is another excellent piece of artwork by Parks officer, and mate, Russ Boland and was written and compiled by Dave Smith and CG.

Red Kite

Red Kite soaring over Greenmoor at c3:00pm plus swallow over garden at 5:00pm

9/4/20 Wharncliffe Chase (north) / woodland fringe

A late afternoon stroll along the Chase/woodland fringe. Migrants song were less prevalent but the commoner woodland species showed well and their status seems healthy.

Swallow 1 sat on wires by traditional nest site, Blackcap 1, Chiffchaff 1, Willow Warbler 5 (1 of each of these sang from the same small clump of bushes near res), Nuthatch 20+, Great Tit 40+, Coal Tit 20+, Blue Tit 50+, Long-tailed Tit 10+, Treecreeper 7, Kestrel, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard 4

Also Grey Squirrels were abundant with over 30 seen with 7 in one tree alone.

Wednesday 8 April 2020

Cudworth Area

Blackcap arrivals overnight saw many more appear in gardens.
Jim Plant's phone has been out of action over recent days, but is now up and running. He tells me he had a flock of Common Scotor heading east over his home at 'The grove' in upper Cudworth on Saturday night (4/4), a first for him. Today Jim had a Yellow Wagtail fly over the house.

Last night from my Cudworth garden Tawny and Little Owl were singing very near to each other at the same time 23.30hrs. A drake Teal called as it flew over in darkness moving NW.

Cudworth Common 8/4/20
Les Corrall took his usual exercise over the Common and reports Ringed Plover at the same site as recent days in the Symphony factory compound. He also saw a Buzzard, Brown Hare, 1 Speckled Wood (2 yesterday) and Brimstone male butterfly.

Later it was my turn for a walk on what turned out to be the warmest day of the year so far 21.3c. My target today, to relocate the Willow Tit for the 'Back from the Brink' survey. Sure enough one reacted to the tape lure in the area I had found them before and it soon started calling back (14.00hrs). A little further along this, or another bird, reacted by singing back for a good 10 minutes. The area they are in is a reclaimed pit stack with a mixture of coniferous and broad-leaved dry woodland. 
Other bird species of interest included 2 Grey Partridges, Jay, 2 singing Blackcaps, 5 Willow Warblers, 6 Chiffchaffs, 1 Kestrel, 3 singing Skylarks, 1 Buzzard, 3 Meadow Pipit and 2 Coal Tits were singing, 

Butterflies included 30 Peacocks, 5 Small Torts, 2m Orange-tips, 1 Comma. 

Meadow Pipit, c20 Lapwings, 1 Ringed Plover, 10 Stock Doves.

Ferrymoor Flash
1 Cormorant, 9 Tufted Duck, 1 Pink Footed Goose and 1 Great White Egret. (I have yet to see one on my own patch - Carlton Marsh!) It was in Typha on the bypass side. It occasionally flew into some fallen Crack Willow in the middle of the flash. It was still present when I left at 16.30hrs. 
Across the way is a small settlement with a bungalow and caravan with some horses. A flooded field in front of that held 2 Little Ringed Plovers.

Wintersett 08.04.20

10 - 15 degrees, hot and sunny with increasing cloud late afternoon.
Anglers CP: A REDSTART was in the east bank field.   Greylag Goose 3 + 4 WRes.. Teal 2m + 2f.  Mute Swan 9 + 2 WRes. + 2 CHRes.. Barn Owl 1.  A Little Owl was at George's farm.
Cold Hiendley Res: Pochard X Tufted Duck hybrid 1m.  Shoveler 1m + 1f. 
Wintersett Res: Long-tailed Duck 1 f. Willow Tit 1 east bank. Cetti's Warbler 1m east bank + 1f ringed bird,  + 1m + 1f in  boathouse reeds.  A male Nuthatch was in Pits Wood.  2 Mediterranean Gulls in breeding plumage circled over north at 12.03hrs, 
Diptera: A Beefly was near the boathouse bench, 
Reptilia: A Grass Snake was on west bank clump.
Lepidoptera: Orange Tip 1m ACP + 1 north bank WRes. + 1 boathouse reeds.

8/4/20 Wharncliffe Chase (north) + surrounding area

Perfectly still morning with some cloud cover increasing my optimism of picking out some flyovers, alas... However, new migrants had arrived and Spring bird song was fantastic.

TREE PIPIT 1 flew onto Wharncliffe Heath NR calling briefly
BLACKCAP 1 singing near the res.
Chiffchaff 3 all around/near to the res, Willow Warbler 30+ all singing in Wharncliffe Woods, Swallow 1 north, Raven 1 flew low north over farmland below res., Snipe chipping near flash again, Wheatear 2 males, Cormorant 4 on pylon near Howbrook plus one dead in a field near the res., Linnet  at least 4 pairs, Skylark 30+ singing & territorial display, Fieldfare 20+, Redwing 10+, Red-legged Partridge 7, Lapwing 1+, Buzzard 1, Song Thrush 5 singing, Kestrel pair, Yellowhammer 2 singing, Curlew 4, Green Woodpecker 4 (suspect 2 pairs in area), Stock Dove 1 display flight, Meadow Pipit 50+ (numerous display etc), Jay 1

Finally, I’ve recorded no Reed Buntings recently whereas there are usually 2-3 singing males in the area I’ve covered. Has anyone else experienced an absence like this?

Yellowhammer in song

Tree Pipit