Saturday, 21 April 2018

St Aidan's & Fairburn

Last Sunday we spent the day in the at St Aidan's and then Fairburn. Another good day weather wise though the rain had left things muddy and still flooded in places. But we're used to that!

At St Aidan's there'd been Whimbrels spotted but we dipped on those however my husband did find a Black-tailed Godwit hiding behind a couple of Mallards, my first one in a while.

We could hear Bitterns booming all around, some seemed really close but of course we didn't see any sign of any. We did see lots of Reed Bunting, Gadwall, Gulls, Pochard, Lapwing, Little & Great Crested Grebe amongst others.

Chiffchaff where calling too. Overhead we saw Buzzard and Kestrel and up in the trees on the hillside a Green Woodpecker. A Hare ran up the hill and there were quite a few geese on it. Around the paths lots of Meadow Pipit plus Skylarks and a Wheatear.

At Fairburn the sight from the Kingfisher screen.......a Heron in a tree!

Instead of going around the coal tips we walked down the lake trail instead, only as far as the Bob Dickens hide though. We spotted a pair of Blackcaps in the trees and again could hear Chiffchaff all around.

From the hide we saw several Great Crested Grebe, Gulls, Gadwall and a few Mallard.

The sun was out by now and off to the side of the hide a couple of Brimstone butterflies were flying around.  They were too quick for the camera though, so was this Ladybird that was disappearing round the back of the stem.

This Chiffchaff was singing at the very top of the tree by the visitors centre.

It was t-shirt weather by the time we were leaving.....finally a hint of spring, maybe even summer!

Monday, 16 April 2018

A Stand Off

Last Monday as I left for work I could see a flock of Starlings screeching around a car park near home and as I got closer the screeching got worse. A couple of Magpies were hopping off a fence and flying at a bush then I realised that most of the noise was coming from a Sparrowhawk in the bush. It had a Starling (still alive) in its claws and the Magpies were not happy!

I had grabbed my camera as i'd been planning on taking a few photos as I walked through the local park so I managed to grab a few shots of the angry exchanges. The hawk was not giving up its grip on the Starling so every time a Magpie flew at it, it swung itself at them snapping it's beak.

Unfortunately it seemed quite a stand off that I couldn't wait for the end of or i'd be late for work (I know, I know I should have stayed), I was in fact a little late but hey ho. The photos I got give a pretty good idea of what was happening.

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Rodley Nature Reserve

We left Golden Acre about lunchtime and drove over to Rodley. I'd read that a Garganey had been seen on the reserve so I was hoping it was still around.

A noisy Oystercatcher was flying around as we got out of the car and there were several geese in the field.

At the lagoon hide we watched a few more Oystercatchers flying around, on the water Cormorant, Canada Geese, Great Crested Grebe, Gadwall with the usual Mallard etc.

Where we'd seen snipe last time we visited we now saw sleeping Gadwall, more Oystercatchers and geese.

We saw Dunnock along the path, one of them shaking a tail feather....

The Garganey was still around and viewable from the Willow Path hide, we needed a little help to get on it though as it was asleep at the back, it did move it's head up a few times for a better view. A new bird for me!

Spot the Garganey.........*

A little wander along the riverside trail had us dodging toads and I saw a butterfly fly off ahead of us, a Small Tortoiseshell I think.

Stopping at the visitors centre for a cuppa and a cake and we made our way home. A good weekend with lots of good birding!


My daughter took this one and she couldn't tell where it was either hence it being in the corner!

Friday, 13 April 2018

Adel Dam & Golden Acre

Up early on Sunday for a walk around the park before it got too busy. A Goosander was on the main lake at Golden Acre along with Mallard,Tufted Duck, Moorhen, Coot and the stroppy farmyard goose that was pecking shoes last time.


Tufted Duck


We could hear Chiffchaff, Blue Tits, Dunnocks and Robins, there were a few Nuthatch around too.



This American skunk cabbage grows around the edge of the water and I quite like it, it's managed so it doesn't spread as it's an invasive species.

Onto Adel Dam and we saw more Nuthatches. At the first hide we chatted to a guy already in there, we the first people he'd seen so far this morning. A couple of Mandarin were around with the usual small birds at the feeders. 


From the lake hide we saw quite a few Greylag Geese, Teal,Little Grebe, more Mandarins and overhead a Red Kite and a couple of Buzzards

Greylag Goose



At the side of the hide where the feeders are a Reed Bunting flew in, i've not seen one here before.

Reed Bunting

Blue Tit

We carried on and walked through the woods stopping for a while to watch a Treecreeper fly around the trees. Further along the path a bird flew up out of the undergrowth - a Woodcock! Then a few minutes later another, again a new bird for me here and a bit of a surprise....although probably more so for the poor birds!