Trip Reports - 2012
8th January 2012
Seven members gathered for a pleasant walk on this calm, dry, mild and
sunny day. Our primary "target" was Hawfinch - sadly, despite them having
been seen earlier around the chapel and our prolonged search for them, we
failed to find them. However, we found plenty of other woodland species,
such as Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Marsh Tit and Goldcrest. There was a very
good selection of wildfowl on the lake, including Tufted Duck, Great Crested
Grebe, Pochard, Gadwall and Shoveler. The highlight was probably the handful
of Goldeneye. Gulls were represented by Black-headed Gulls, Common Gull,
Herring Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull. A skein of 200-250 Pink-footed
Geese flew over in a westerly direction at about 11AM. Just before this,
we saw a Green Woodpecker, after first hearing its "yaffling" call. Around
the ford, we found a solitary Reed Bunting, and at Hardwick village there
were flocks of House Sparrows and Chaffinches feeding on spilled grain.
At the feeders across the Classical Bridge, 4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers
were feeding. Finally, 3 of us walked around the Carburton end of the lake,
discovering several Goosander and hearing a flock of Siskin. Altogether
we saw or heard 56 species.
Old Moor Wetland
23rd January 2012
We were pleasantly surprised by the new extension to the garden hide
which improves opportunities for photography considerably. The light today
was perfect for this and also to study the pristine new plumage of the wildfowl
on show! On the garden feeders were several Bullfinches and a Willow Tit
although the Tree Sparrows were missing. A new screen and feeder area has
been set up along the hedges in an area called "tree sparrow farm". In addition
to the Tree Sparrows there were several Reed Buntings and Yellowhammers.
It was good to see Yellowhammers back at Old Moor, they seem to have been
missing for some years. In addition to the usual winter wildfowl - Tufted
Duck, Wigeon, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler and Gadwall - we also found a splendid
male Pintail, a female Goldeneye, a Shelduck and several Goosander. At lunch
time, a covey of at least 17 Grey Partridge dropped in and swiftly disappeared
into long grass near the Wath Ings hide. Other highlights included a Little
Egret, a large flock of Linnets and loads of Stock Doves. One of the surviving
Ruddy Ducks was keeping a low profile on the main lake. A total of 53 species
were recorded. After lunch we spent an interesting 1/2 hour at Broomhill
flash where there was a Green Sandpiper, 5 Goldeneye (including a displaying
male), another male Ruddy Duck and a Red-legged Partridge.
14th February 2012
Only two of us braved the north wind but at least the ice and snow had
gone. It was very quiet but we did manage to find a few raptors. Marsh Harrier,
Kestrel, Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk were seen. Quite a few Skylarks
were singing and sorting out territories despite the biting wind. The total
species count was only 22 with nothing much to get us overly excited.
14th March 2012
Five members made the trip on a dull and cool day. Only one Bittern has
been reported this year so we weren't surprised when we failed to find it.
Highlights included good views of Green Woodpecker, at least 5 Willow Tits
and a stoat from the Roger Mitchell Hide. We finished the day with late
sightings of a Little Egret and a Kingfisher. We seemed to have the reserve
to ourselves and enjoyed a good day recording 48 species.
31st March 2012
Unseasonal hot and sunny weather has been with us for well over a week,
however that ended yesterday so it was a cold northerly breeze and overcast
skies that greeted us this morning. There was drizzle in the air when four
of us set off from Fairholmes and it didn't look very promising. It turned
out so much better than we expected. We only saw 3 raptor species being
a Kestrel with 3 or 4 Buzzards but the Goshawks stole the show. Two did
a superb display flight over the woods on the west side of the reservoir
and delighted us by continuing almost over our heads departing to the east.
Not much later 2 more birds were at it again on the west side and were soon
joined by a third. We'll be lucky to get any better views of their display
flight! A good list of 39 species was recorded which included Oystercatcher,
a pair of Goldeneyes, a drake Red-breasted merganser, a drake Mandarin and
several Curlew. A male Red grouse trudged down through the woods to give
us grand views as it went to drink in the roadside ditch on our way back
to the cars.
3rd August 2012
Four members made the club's second visit to Hatfield Moors on a hot
and sunny day. The birds were mostly invisible as is usual at this time
of year. Only 30 species were reported and the highlight was a Hobby which
came and went too quickly for everyone to see. Butterflies were also few
and far between but several were noted including Small Copper. There were
loads of Common Blue Damselflies and at least 3 species of dragonfly, being
Common Darter, Common Hawker and Brown Hawker.
20th August 2012
Five members spent an enjoyable day in excellent weather. Even the August
fly population seemed to be under control this year. Ten wader species were
recorded, being: Golden Plover, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Snipe, Spotted
Redshank, Ruff, Lapwing, Green Sandpiper, Greenshank and Curlew. Early arrivals
saw a Bittern fly between the reed-beds. Passerines were few but the usual
wetland birds were there with a record number of Greylag Geese present (over
450). Other highlights included around a dozen Yellow Wagtails with similar
numbers of Pied Wagtails at Ousefleet (which was dry).
18th September 2012
Only 3 members started on the journey to Far Ings, but none arrived there.
We took so long to get across Sheffield through heavy traffic, we diverted
to Potteric Carr instead! It was warm and sunny but a little too windy to
see many birds. Our efforts were also limited by high water levels (so no
waders) and volunteer activity around the Piper Marsh feeding area. The
highlight of the day was getting excellent views of a Hobby. We watched
for several minutes as it hawked for dragonflies over Huxter Well Marsh.
Other highlights included a couple of Garganey, a Little Egret and a Black
Swan. In total we recorded 41 species.
Old Moor Wetland
24th October 2012
Only four members managed the trip on what was to be a dank and miserable
day. There was thick mist around on the way there but it was clear in the
Dearne Valley and visibility wasn't so bad. Waders were a shade thin on
the ground, although there were hundreds of Lapwing and well over 1,000
Golden Plover. The wader list was completed by lots of Snipe, a couple of
Redshank, a Green Sandpiper, a Ringed Plover and a Dunlin. A distant Marsh
Harrier was spotted drifting over towards Wombwell Ings. Other highlights
included at least 3 Green Woodpeckers, 4 Bullfinches and a couple of Goosanders.
There were good numbers of wintering Teal, Wigeon, Mallard and Gadwall with
fewer Pochard, Shoveler, Tufted Duck and 2 Goosanders. If you were wondering
where all your Greenfinches have gone, they are at Old Moor, the car park
feeders were overloaded with them! We walked along the reserve edge to a
new hide overlooking Bolton Ings before going in to Old Moor and finished
the day with a short visit to Broomhill Flash.
23rd December 2012
Four of us made the trip on one of the few dry days in December! Although
it was very bright and sunny, there was a very strong and cold wind to make
up for it. The usual huge numbers of Whooper Swans were present, as expected,
together with lots of Pintail and Shelduck. The afternoon was memorable
for the number of Pink-footed Geese around. The sky was full of skein after
skein for quite a while and we must have seen most of the 10,000 reputed
to be around the site, returning to roost. There were large number of Lapwing
but only a handful of Ruff. There was a vast flock of Woodpigeons (certainly
over 1,000) wheeling over the woods to the north of the reserve. Small numbers
of both winter thrushes were spotted. Despite the strong winds, we managed
to record 41 species.