Saturday, 31 December 2011

Happy New Year..........from the Nudge

Hoping you have had a COOL YULE !!!
And there was no excuse this year with Two Mad Fridays for you to achieve the goal and aspiration of getting thi 'head darn lav' on at least more than one occasion before the close of play.

Lets make it a bigger and better year in the Dearne Valley this year. On the strength of my unwavering support for the valley I have purchased a larger diary (records book) for the Old Moor this time in the certain believe that we will fill it to the brim with wonderful and exotic bird species the like the whole country will be envious and proud of.

So happy and prosperous NEW YEAR to all the genuine serious ornithologists out there. And not to be discourteous: lets hope the 'LISTERS' out there have a middling good year as well.


The year ended on a high at the res; 2 immature drake Scaup on the Park Lake were new for the year and with a Long-eared Owl seen 2 days ago this took the year list to a record-breaking 179, beating last years record by one. The other long-stayers are still present;- 'Greenland' White-front and American Wigeon on the Park Lake and the drake Smew ended up there after being flushed off the Top Res by boats. The Bittern was seen again on the Top Res yesterday but the Cettis Warblers haven't been seen for two weeks now - we are starting to worry about them. The gull roost held;- GBBGull 220, LBBGull 6, Herring Gull 620.
A Pink-footed Goose was with the Greylags but little else of note.

shrike update

Great Grey Shrike, Haigh/High Hoyland - Geoff Carr
The Great Grey Shrike showed reasonably well though distant until about mid afternoon when the wind got up and it went to ground. It has been present since at least tuesday, but the area is vast so we will just have to hope that this turns out to be its favoured spot. From Junction 38 of M1 (Haigh) take A637  towards Huddersfield, then left up Jebb Lane. After less than a mile you will reach Green Acre Pond on left and Yorkshire Sculpture Park Longside Gallery on right. Please park sensibly somewhere here, as road (Jebb Lane) is very narrow. Continue up Jebb Lane for short distance and take public footpath on left. After first field you will reach a rusty roller beside footpath. View from here (cSE280110), bird favours trees and bushes bordering first and second fields and also gets on wires but also crossed over onto Bretton Park side of road. Do not leave public footpath as this is a heavily used shooting area.

Other news: A juv White-front was with Greylags at Royd Moor. The Bittern was seen going to roost on the Reedbeds at Old Moor tonight and 30 Goosanders roosted on the Mere.

Stop Press

Great Grey Shrike showing early afternoon, c200yds from Jebb Lane end of footpath to High Hoyland Church - per Geoff Carr

Great Grey area?

Apparently, a Great Grey Shrike was seen a couple of days ago out Bretton way, somewhere on the footpath between Jebb Lane and High Hoyland. Local knowledge suggests that the High Hoyland end might be the most likely. Whatever, the claim sounds fairly convincing and of course Great Grey Shrikes often spend long periods of winter in the same general area so this must be worth a look. Please let me know if you find it - 07952 293 060 or

Morning visits to  Elsecar and Broomhill produced very little, although six Goldeneye were at the latter and a small party of Pink-feet had passed through before I arrived. A visitor reported all as quite at Old Moor with no sign of the Bittern by late morning, though you can bet it will be there somewhere.

Pager News - American Wigeon still at Wintersett.

And just to clarify - the SEO's yesterday were in a roost at the west end of the Barnsley (not Wath) area.

Friday, 30 December 2011

An owler!

No news from anyone at Old Moor today and I only managed Broomhill Flash a couple of times where little of note other than Goldeneye.

A really interesting record that has reached me today concerns no less than four Short-eared Owls at a roost site in the west of the area. A blast back to the good old days at Wath Ings!

Bean and gone or never bean at all??

Had a walk from Broadstones Reservoir to Royd Moor and Scout Dike Reservoirs, checking all the fields en route. No sign of any Bean Geese or any other 'grey' geese, including Greylags. Only things of note was:

Broadstones Reservoir
1 adult Yellow-legged Gull, c40 Common Gulls and single figures of Herring (8) and Great Black-backed Gulls (3) and c250 Black-headed Gulls. Also 7 Blackbirds here - high count for this reservoir.

30th Dec. A nip on Wombwell Ings

Been told by locals that the field at the side of the River Dove is holding a bit of water (the field is next to the Iron Bridge onto Wombwell Ings). So I went down to have a quick look from Springfield Crescent. There were about 150 canada geese on there with a few grey-lags, wigeon and teal. It looks interesting and could turn a few things up if the water stays there. Every little bit helps.

Had a nip to the sluice on Wombwell Ings while I was down there. There's still about 9 inch depth of water to go on Wombwell Ings before it reaches its maximum level. We should easily get this amount of water in the next couple of months and it will then be ready for the breeding waders come springtime. It looks really good on there at the moment. A few hundred duck and a peregrine chasing lapwings. Also 2 grey wags along the River Dove.

Thursday, 29 December 2011

Old Moor Reedbeds - Dec 28th

Paid a late afternoon visit to the reedbeds for Bittern and was rewarded with good views. First seen at 3.45 flying in and landing in tall reeds to left of Bittern Hide, remained in view for 10 minutes as it gradually worked its way down reeds untill out of sight. Then at 4.05 it flew to near reedbed screen. Only other thing of note was a few Water Rails squealing.

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Just has-Beans?

A trip to Old Moor this morning was interrupted when, after about an hour in the Mere Hide, a couple of 'grey-geese' flew through. Although they were quite distant the upperwing appeared to have the 'brownish look' of Bean Goose or perhaps White-front but after cranking up the mag on the 'scope I was pretty certain they lacked white face blazes ruling out adults of the latter at least. Nowhere near enough contrast for Greylags and two 'necky' (and brown) for Pinks they looked pretty good for Beans so I called up on the radio to find out if anyone was at Broomhill which was the direction they were flying. Dave Waddington was in his loft and picked them up heading towards Edderthorpe reaching pretty much the same conclusions as me. He got on the blower to Al Stonier who was at Edderthorpe and soon got on two 'grey geese' passing over which he said did not call like Pink-feet. Sadly however, this is where the trail went cold as despite the fact that Al thought they landed we were unable to relocate them, however, as the flock of around 30 White-fronts that were there recently proved geese can certainly get lost for long periods at Edderthorpe. So in conclusion, two 'grey geese' sp.
eg when in doubt leave um out!

Next on to Ingbirchworth. News reached me that yesterdays report of 'some Beans' referred to a report of five 'Tundra Beans' apparently hiding behind walls in fields at the west (inlet) end of the Reservoir. They were first seen flying over with c100 Canada Geese. Anyway, spent a couple of hours looking but nothing other than a small flock of Greylags. There are a lot of fields up there and it has hosted Beans before including the Barnsley areas second ever record, a party of nine on 27th December 1987 - 19th February 1988, so keep looking.

Wednesday 28th December

Langsett Reservoir
30 Canada Geese, 32 Teal, 78 Mallard and 2 drake Tufted Ducks.

Upper Midhope
300+ Fieldfares and 20 Collared Doves (a very high count here).

Low Moor
c50 Fieldfares.

Midhope Reservoir
1 redhead Goldeneye.

Underbank Reservoir
3 Canada Geese, 114 Mallard, c10 Meadow Pipits and c100 Goldfinches.

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Edderthorpe Flash

Pretty much still the same;- Shelduck, Goosander 2, and the Tawny Owl still present. Park Springs Tip had;- Skylark 20 and a similar number of Meadow Pipits. Plenty of disturbance in the area this morning, dogwalkers and even a couple of falconers with Harris Hawks.
The American Wigeon and 'Greenland' White-front are still at Wintersett on the Country Park.

Rough injustice?

With a couple of hours free between jobs, I thought I'd follow on from my pre Christmas efforts and check out some more rough stuff, however, a walk through dykes and scrub around the 'goldie fields' was virtually bird-less. Still, as Barnsley Blade pointed out yesterday, the weather is balmy at the moment, and I must admit that by the time I'd returned to my vehicle parked in Bolton I felt there was more chance of a Swallow than the than the 600 Linnets or cracking male Merlin that I'd seen on the same jaunt at this time last year.

Pretty much no change at Old Moor today, the highlights being Bittern, Cetti's, Peregrine, 322 Gadwall, 30 Goosanders, six Goldeneye and five Shelduck.

Meanwhile, a Peregrine was seen at Ewden and a second-winter Med' Gull roosted on Broomhead Res. There was also an as yet unconfirmed report of 'some' Bean Geese at Ingbirchworth so if anybody knows more please let us know.


Smew still on top res. Finally caught up with Smew after several attempts. Missed Bittern at Wath, sorry Old Moor by 2 minutes. Place was absolutely packed, I assume with folk trying out there Christmas Svarowskis...

Monday, 26 December 2011

Boxing Day at Wintersett

With the high temperatures its no surprise that everything is staying put. The American Wigeon, and 'Greenland' White-front are still on the Country Park and the drake Smew is still on the Top Res. The evening gull roost held;- GBBGull 150, Herring Gull 600, and LBBGull 8.

Balmy Boxing Day at Bolton Ings

No need for gloves today, the temperature at 8 oclock this morning was 13c, more like summer than mid-winter. Anyway onto the birds today, highlight being 2 sightings of Peregrine, firstly chasing Lapwings then drifting over tiptop about an hour later. Other birds present today, Grey Heron 3, Mute Swan 13, Canada Goose 26, Grey Lag Goose 27, Cormorant 18, Mallard 16, Gadwall 19, Teal 34, Shoveler 13, Wigeon 4, Tufted Duck 28, Pochard 8, Goosander 10, Goldeneye 1, Ruddy Duck 1, Coot 264, Moorhen 5, Lapwing c320, Redshank 1, Green Sandpiper 1, Common Gull 32, LBB Gull 1, Herring Gull 2, Black Headed Gull c250, Peregrine 1, Sparrowhawk 1. A quick walk onto Old Moor produced 24 Goosanders, 361 Coot and female Goldeneye on the Mere and Redshank and 3 Shelduck on the Main Marsh. A Bittern was seen in flight on the Reedbeds and a Buzzard went over.

What a difference a year makes

Boxing day. Seen a butterfly in the garden today flying around the brambles at the bottom of the garden. The short time that I saw it; it looked like a small tortoiseshell.
Big contrast to last winter when we had all that snow.
There's not many birds in the garden this year compared to last year. The most visible change has been in the number of reed buntings. There was at least 42 last winter. I've only seen up to 4 this winter.

Sunday, 25 December 2011

Turkey and goose

Just three birders out doing Old Moor area today. I will spare the other two 'saddo's' the embarrassment. Healthy counts included 32 Cormorants, 21 Goosanders, and four Shelduck. Two Redshank were on Wath Ings whilst good numbers of Fieldfares and Redwings lined the surrounding bushes. The only sign of migration was a skein of 62 Pink-footed Geese that passed over Old Moor and made a few minutes touch down at Broomhill before moving off west, no doubt encouraged to do so by the Peregrine that alighted in the same field. Christmas dinner beckoned!

Edderthorpe Flash - Christmas

The flash has now filled to nearly normal levels with all the recent rain. This seems to have aided the wildfowl but not the waders. Teal 367, Shelduck 1, but only 6 shoveler and a solitary Gadwall. 5 Goosanders. A single Dunlin and just 2 Goldies amongst the Lapwing. Annoyingly, a Tawny Owl was in the Long-eared Owl territory which could explain why we are having problems finding any Long-eareds this winter.

Saturday, 24 December 2011

New Species for Barnsley Area at Wintersett

'Greenland White-fronted Goose', Anglers CP - John Hewitt
No, not the 'Greenland White-fronted Goose' but Siberian Stonechat! The BOU have recently announced that Siberian Stonechat should now be treated as a full species (split from European Stonechat). Consequently, this adds one onto the Barnsley area list following a record of one at Wintersett Reservoir present from 19th - 24th October 1976 (trapped and ringed on 22nd).

Now back to the Greenland White-front. Still present today with Greylags in fields adjacent to Anglers Country Park Lake (take outer perimeter footpath). So what are the chances of flavirostris being given full species status? Well, I'm sure we all laughed when the same was said about Siberian Stonechat but look what happened. But one things for sure, if Greenland White-front does go the same way as the Sibe' Stonechat then one (by then) 88 year old Barnsley birder is going to be real glad he went for it!

'Greenland White-fronted Goose', Anglers CP - John Hewitt. It's the one on the left!
flavirostris with Greylags - John Hewitt
Meanwhile the American Wigeon was still on Anglers this afternoon and a drake Smew was on Wintersett Reserevoir. And as well as the Bittern at Old Moor the Cetti's remained in situ and 24 Goosander roosted.


Everything is still in place at Wintersett;- drake Smew on the Top Res, American Wigeon and 'Greenland' White-front on the Country Park. It appears this is the second occurance of a Greenland White-front in the Barnsley Area following 4 at Royd Moor back in 1996 and it seems to be attracting a steady stream of admirers (including the WIM MAN who has previously dissed it).

Old Moor - Xmas Eve

An early morning visit to Old Moor proved fruitful when a Bittern showed well on edge of reeds from Bittern Hide for half an hour (9.15 to 9.45) before walking back into reeds. Also seen were 5 Shelduck and 2 Redshank on main marsh and 3 Goosander and drake Goldeneye on mere.

Friday, 23 December 2011

It's a wash-out

Not much coverage today due to persistent rain. Three Goldeneye at Broomhill Flash. A soggy Buzzard struggled up towards the Canyon late afternoon

Bittern and Cetti's Warbler were still at the Reedbeds yesterday and apparently 600 Pink-feet passed over Worsbrough.

Thursday, 22 December 2011


The American Wigeon drake and 'Greenland' White-front are still present on the country park lake, as are 2 Pink-feet. A drake Smew is on the Top Res. There are 45 Goosanders and 503 Wigeon in the area. No sign of the Bittern tonight which was seen on the Top Res two days ago.

All quiet

Very little news back from Old Moor area today. A Peregrine was hunting over Broomhill Flash at 8 am when at least eight Goldeneye were present, the max so far this winter. Three Green Sandpipers seen on Bolton Ings was noteworthy.

Thursday 22nd December

1 Peregrine flying west at mid-day.

Old Moor

Reedbed: Water Rail Showing well; No sign of Bittern by 3.45; 450+ Pink feet SW 2.45.Very noisy in hide, even i seemed quiet by comparison!

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Wednesday 21st December

Broomhead Reservoir
c50 Crossbills.

Status Quo

News from Old Moor today - Bittern and Cetti's still at Reedbeds. Peregrine seen again + Barnacle + four Shelduck. Three Goldeneye, Broomhill Flash + Little Owl.

Pager News - Yankee Wigeon and Greenland White-front still at Wintersett CP.

And yesterday - single Black Grouse, Midhope.

Testing testing testing

I've been emailing Mark (Blog Admin) about a problem I'm having in posting comments to the original threads.
Is anyone else having problems with this or is it just me?
I think the 'comments' facility is an important part of this Blog because it will stimulate a bit of banter between the birders.
Obviously if you are having problems with the 'comments' facility you won't be able to reply to this. So you will have to write a new thread.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Reports from Old Moor today: Bittern, Cetti's, Peregrine + Brambling around centre. 24+ Goosanders roosted. 40 Lesser Redpolls Warbler Way near 'Shag hide'.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Just Pants!

No real change at Broomhill Flash today except plenty of ice and 60 Golden Plovers stood on it. Barnacle still with Canada's.
News from Old Moor (Chris Harris et al) - Bittern roosted at Reedbeds. 42 Goosander, Goldenete, five Shelduck, Green Sand, 200+ Fieldfare.

Meanwhile, a skien of Pink-feet that passed over were later counted at 55 thanks to digital technology! (John Seeviour). What, no abacus?

Belated news from yesterday of at least one Hen Harrier at Ewden Beck and a Jack Snipe at Wilthorpe Marsh. It's quite amazing really how scarce Jack Snipe have become in the Barnsley area when you consider that a recent estimate of the British wintering population was 100,000. Obviously many go undetected due to the species secretive nature but anybody who has been 'jacking' over the years in Barnsley will tell you how the species has declined.

Pager News - Yank Wigeon and 'Greenland Yfront' still at Wintersett. Potential split? - that's pants!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

Old Moor Webs

It was Webs count today at Old Moor which pulled some interesting counts including over 600 Teal, 342 Gadwall, (318 on the Mere alone), 26 Goosanders, four Goldeneye and a drake Pintail.  Nine Water Rails were calling from the Reedbeds at dusk, where both the Bittern and Cetti's remained. Two skeins of Pink-footed Geese totaling 140 passed over and the Barnacle remained at Broomhill Flash.


National Wildfowl Count Day
90% frozen but on the ice were;- 197 Teal, 173 Mallard, 3 Shoveler, 4 Wigeon, 60 Lapwing, 6 Snipe, and 6 Golden Plovers. 20 Skylark are on Park Springs Tip.
A adult 'Greenland' White-fronted Goose was found amongst the 96 Greylags and 201 Canada Geese. This is the first time this race of White-front has been identified in the Barnsley Area, all other records are of the nominate European race, and a warning to would-be listers -this is a possible future split!! There is also a Pink-foot amongst the geese and a further 6 flew through in the afternoon. The American Wigeon was on the Country Park Lake with 503 Wigeon. Other counts of note are;- Gadwall 227, Tufted 259, Pochard 70, Goldeneye 53, Goosander 22, Great Crested Grebe 29, Coot 1025, GBBGull 58 and Common Gull 2100.

Saturday, 17 December 2011


The American Wigeon is still present, along with almost 500 Eurasian Wigeon. A influx of Teal-62, and Goosanders 28 probably reflecks smaller, shallower waters being frozen. The gull roost wasnt as good as last weekend but, GBBGull 55, Herring Gull 402 is still a decent count. A whooper Swan was on the park lake late afternoon.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Mad Friday?

Well if not mad, three Grey Plovers flying west over Wombwell Ings was certainly a surprise record. Otherwise, it was pretty much status quo, the Bittern and (1+) Cetti's were still at the Reedbeds and the/a 'Mealy Redpoll' was seen near Gypsy Marsh along with a small flock of Lesser's. Barnacle Goose and Little Owl at Broomhill Flash completed the tally of 'still presents'.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

A better day.................

A better day today in the Old Moor area. Three Pintail were on Bolton Ings this morning. The Bittern was again seen at the Reedbeds where it was great to discover that the Cetti's Warbler was still present, giving a burst of song this afternoon. A 'Mealy Redpoll' was seen with a flock of 25 Lesser's in the Reservoir area. Meanwhile, up at Broomhill Flash both the Barnacle Goose and Little Owl were seen.

The Cetti's Warbler currently in residence at the Old Moor Reedbeds - Jeff Wragg

Thursday 15th December

Elsecar Reservoir
11 Great Crested Grebes, 5 Goosanders and 14 Coot.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Old Moor Area today

Barnacle Goose, Old Moor - Keith Pickering
The Barnacle Goose visited Old Moor today. The Bittern roosted up at the Reedbeds where there were also six Water Rail. Wath Ings held 11 Dunlin, 3 Redshanks and 2 Green Sandpiper as well as 14 Goosanders and a couple of Goldeneye..

Drake Goosander  at Old Moor Keith Pickering

Female Goldeneye at Old Moor - Keith Pickering
Meanwhile, the Little Owl continued to perform at Broomhill Flash where there were also four Dunlin and a Green Sandpiper.

Wednesday 14th December

Broomhead Reservoir
1 Barnacle Goose (present here and at More Hall Reservoir since early November) and 118 Mallard (a very high count here for December).

Midhope Reservoir
Very quiet, with only a drake Goldeneye of note.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Gull roosts.

With reference to the large number of gulls roosting at Wintersett Reservoir. The Sheffield Bird Study Group website report c2500 Black-headed Gulls and c300 Herring Gulls roosting at Broomhead Reservoir this evening and c1000 Black-headed Gulls roosting at Langsett Reservoir.

Tuesday 13th December

Broadstones Reservoir
2 Wigeon, 35 Mallard, c65 Common Gulls and c10 Herring Gulls.

Ingbirchworth Reservoir
252 Canada Geese, 106 Mallard and 7 Tufted Ducks.

A flock of 14 Yellowhammers

Royd Moor Reservoir
53 Greylag Geese, 2 White-fronted Geese (same as late November), 41 Mallard, 8 Teal, 2 Shoveler (unusual here) and 1 drake Tufted Duck.

Scout Dike Reservoir
23 Mallard, 1 redhead Goldeneye and flock of 14 Lesser Redpolls.

Salter Hill (SE255006)
c350 Jackdaws & c150 Rooks.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Monday 19th December 2011

Barnacle Goose + Little Owl Broomhill Flash still. 5 drake Goosanders, Elsecar Res.

Very little news from Old Moor today. A skein of 120 Pink-feet flew through + Peregrine seen.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Sunday 11th December

Both the drake American Wigeon and the drake Smew are still present. The gull roost on the Top Res was again excellent with;- GBBGull 180, LBBGull 20, Herring Gull 1020. These numbers are unprecedented in the last decade at this time of year, only after freezing weather and a northerly wind have we seen these sorts of numbers and even then never before the Christmas period. Hopefully it will continue to build and attract a few white-wingers.

A Damp Squib!

The weekend in Old Moor was something of a damp squib with very little new seen. The Bittern remained at the Reedbeds and was watched going to roost tonight at dusk At least two Water Rails were also there but the Cetti's Warbler has not been reported for several days, although this could be primarily due to the wind. At least twelve Goosanders were around during the afternoon and there were also three Redshanks. Meanwhile, up the road at Broomhill, the Barnacle Goose was grazing Cleggs Meadow, whilst the Little Owl was on its usual fence post.


Looking good this morning with;- Shelduck 4, Teal 480, Shoveler 21, Wigeon 50, Dunlin 12, Lapwing 600, Golden Plover 3000, Goosander 3. A single Pink-footed Goose in with the resident Greylags but no sign of the White-fronts for over a week now.

Saturday, 10 December 2011


Both the drake American Wigeon and the drake Smew are still on the Top Res. The gull roost on the Top Res was again very good with;- GBBGull 152, LBBGull 6, Herring Gull 703, Common Gull 2000, and Black-headed Gull 6000. One of the Cettis Warblers showed very well on the west bank in the usual area.

Friday, 9 December 2011

Friday 9th December

The American Wigeon continues its residence on the Top Res as does the drake Smew. The Turnstone from a couple of days ago is still present.

Friday 9th December 2011

Elsecar Reservoir - 12 Goosanders

Broomhill Flash - Barnacle Goose 1, Pink-foot 1, Goldeneye 2, Green Sand 2, Little Owl 1

Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Wednesday 7th December 2011

A couple of brief visits to Broomhill Flash produced Barnacle Goose, two Goldeneye and nine Goosanders at dusk. The only noteworthy bird I heard of from Old Moor was a Peregrine.

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Tuesday 6th December 2011

The Old Moor Bittern was again showing well at times on the Reedbeds and the Cetti's Warbler was still around. Nine Pink-feet passed through after stopping off on the Mere. Two adult White-fronted Geese were back at Broomhill Flash late afternoon in the company of a Barnacle. Now just where is that from?


The American Wigeon is still present as is the drake Smew. A surprise was a Turnstone,unusual at this time of year.

Monday, 5 December 2011

Old Moor = Bittern roosted at Reedbeds again, also 1 + Cetti's Warbler.

Wintersett Reservoir = A Great Grey Shrike was found near the boathouse late morning and was along the north bank early afternoon. Drake American Wigeon still present.

Monday 5th December

No signs of the mysterious Common Crane at Langsett and no geese on Whitley Common, however, the geese below were probably these in part at least.

Annat Royd Lane
90 Pink-footed Geese and 188 Canada Geese.

Ingbirchworth Reservoir
7 adult Whooper Swans, 13 Tufted Duck, c25 Common Gulls and 6 Moorhen.

Barnside Moor
1 ringtail Hen Harrier.

Sunday, 4 December 2011


First an apology;- anyone who travelled to see the 'lesser scaup' reported last Wednesday and Thursday well sorry ,it wasn't one. New information has come to light and it seems the underwing pattern is not diagnostic of that species and it looks like it was simply a juvenile Tufted.
Onto merrier things;- the American Wigeon drake is still present, a fine drake Smew was on the top res in the morning but couldn't be found in the afternoon and a drake Pintail was on the park lake. The gull roost was pleasantly surprising tonight on the top res with 40 GBBG, 220 Herrings, 10 LBBG and about 6,000 Black-heads present. This is a vast increase on last weekend and also on the last few Decembers; hopefully it will continue.

4th December 2011 Edderthorpe Flash

4 Shelduck 13 Dunlin. 1300 + Golden Plover 83 + Teal Shoveler Wigeon. Gadwall. 1 Goldeneye. Bernard Emson
Old Moor today - Bittern, 3 Water Rails, Cetti's Warbler, all at Reedbeds. + Woodcock.

whitely common pinkfeet

Flock still there and grown to 92 - nothing rarer with them (yet?)

Sunday 4th December

A report of a Common Crane at Langsett yesterday by the A616 at 15:00hrs was on the Birdguides website today.
Anybody know who saw it?

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Pinkfeet Whitley Common

47 Pink-footed Geese grounded at Whitley Common

Friday, 2 December 2011

Friday 2nd December

Elsecar Reservoir

1 drake Goosander, 11 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Grey Heron, 14 Moorhen and 9 Coot.
Bittern showed well at Old Moor on Reedbeds today. Cetti's Warbler heard.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Old Moor - two Bitterns again.

Broomhill Flash - two White-fronted Geese.

Thursday 1st December

c300 Fieldfares on Midhope Hall Lane this afternoon.

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

A Snow Bunting was by the road at Whitley Edge today (Mick Cunningham) although it was rather flighty in the strong wind. It is assumed to be the same bird seen nearby recently.
Old Moor - two Bitterns Reedbeds + Cetti's Warbler still.

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Bittern showed well again today on Reedbeds at Old Moor. Peregrine over Broomhill Flash + Little Owl in usual place - looking out of hide in 2 o'clock direction you will see a nest box beside hedgerow. Sits on posts just a bit further down or sometimes on nest box.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Bittern at Old Moor

 Bittern on the Reedbeds at Old Moor today - Dave Simmonite

Thou hath sinned!

Ok, I admit it, finally made the trip to Ryhill Pond this morning where the drake American Wigeon was showing reasonably well, albeit in choppy waters.
Drake American Wigeon, Wintersett
note the gleaming white axilleries (armpits), a feature you would need to
 see on a juvenile or female to help clinch identification .
Ok, enough of that and back to the mecca at Old Moor. A lack of call-outs this afternoon gave me chance for a visit before the lights went on and then probably out! The Cetti's Warbler was singing at the Reedbeds and was also seen. The Bittern was there too and was photographed in the afternoon. It had a fly around for me at dusk when six Goosanders were roosting on the Mere and a Barn Owl was hunting nearby.
The drake American Wigeon contiues it's residence, usually on the Top Res from the boathouse but flies to the Country Park lake when the boats come out. Also over 400 Wigoen are present and the Cettis can be heard (usually) on the west bank of the Top Res- the male is singing in short bursts again.
Snow Bunting showing well at Ewden Valley by shooting Lodge today early afternoon + 2 Hen Harriers - per Stu Green.

Saturday, 26 November 2011

Saturday 26th November

Whitley Common
A Snow Bunting was at Whitley Common this morning. It was, apparentley re-located in a sheep field on Spicer House Lane by members of the Huddersfield Birdwatcher's Club. However it was unfortunately disturbed by the farmer as he entered the field to feed the sheep. There are a four good photos of it on the Hudderfield Birdwatchers Club website.
A couple of visits to the Old Moor area this whilst on call-out. No sign early morning of any White-fronted Geese at Broomhill, Old Moor or Edderthorpe. However, a skein of 54 Pink-feet passed over Bolton Ings where the/a Bittern was seen in flight. Reedbeds bird or are there two? Latter more likely I think but we need proof. The Cetti's showed well by the screen at the Reedbeds. Also of interest the Dipper has returned to Netherwood CP. and was seen at the western end yesterday. Let's hope it heads down stream soon!

Friday, 25 November 2011

More photos from Old Moor today:

The flock of 29 White-fronts - Keith Pickering

White-fronts on Wader Scrape- John Hewitt

Bittern at the Reedbeds - Keith Pickering

The White-fronts at Old Moor after being flushed by a 'chopper' - John Hewitt

My visit to Old Moor today was well rewarded. 29 White-fronted Geese on the Wader Scrape were a splendid sight as well as a site record. Apparently they had been inadvertently flushed by a birder from Edderthorpe Flash earlier in the morning which a few people weren’t too chuffed about. Being a Wath stalwart however, the only complaint I have is why didn’t he do the same with the Marsh Warbler that was there a couple of summers ago! As well as the usual suspects present at Old Moor today a Peregrine paid a visit and the Reedbed Bittern had a ‘showy day’ whilst the Cetti’s Warbler also remained in situ. And as for the record 29 White-fronts – they flew up to Broomhill Flash and were joined by a further six……………………………

White Stork visits Barnsley

White Stork, Silkstone - Colin Bower

A White Stork visited Barnsley for a short while this Monday (21st November). It was first seen at Hoyland late morning where quick thinking resident Elise Shepherd grabbed a couple of record shots of it on her iPhone when it dropped in for a while at the back of her home. Elise promptly got in touch with the RSPB at Old Moor to pass on the news and although it flew off, it was relocated some 30 minutes later in Silkstone where Colin Bower managed to get a couple of excellent photos. Colin described the bird as approachable and if you look very closely you might see that it is sporting a narrow ring just above the foot on the right leg. This probably means that the bird is from one of several free-flying collections in the UK and on the near continent rather than a genuine vagrant. Nonetheless, White Storks are always superb birds to see. Later in the day what was surely the same bird dropped in at Totley, Sheffield and was photographed strutting about in the school grounds on 22nd. Sightings from Nottinghamshire later in the week probably relate to the same bird too and a quick surf of the internet shows that this same bird was in Lincolnshire in October before moving to Market Weighton in East Yorkshire.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Edderthorpe 22nd November

Its looking good on here - 28 white fronted geese, 4600 golden plover, 11 Dunlin.

Report from Old Moor today - 1 white front, 1 Bittern, 1 Cetti's.

Monday, 21 November 2011

Houghton Washland 21st November

Had a walk around Houghton Washland today. Thats the big slab of land owned by the Environment Agency that runs from south of Edderthorpe Ings down the river to Darfield.
The bottom end of this (Little Houghton Marsh) has been drained by the Environment Agency two years ago. They put deeper ditches in to attract water voles and by doing so its dried the marsh out. The RSPB have taken over the management of this particular part of the washland but they still haven't started work on the site yet.
The top half of the washland is where the old lake used to be (old records of breeding BN Grebes in this area). Its been flooded for the last few years and turned some good stuff up, especially good numbers of waders. However, last year the Environment Agency allowed the farmer to drain it. The lake is just a field of rough grass now.
A walk all way around the site from top to bottom today produced 1 heron and 2 moorhens.

Monday 21st November

Castle Dam
11 Greylag Geese, 7 Coot and 2 Little Grebe.

Langsett Reservoir
53 Teal.

Upper Midhope
40+ Greenfinch

1 Red Grouse on pastureland.

November 21st

Nice addition to my Stainborough Country Park list today ~ a single Brambling at the top of South Avenue.
Also Common Buzzard out of Warren Wood.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

WEBS count day. Foggy until 2pm so all counts from last couple of hours of daylight.
White-fronted Goose 29, Greylag Goose 150, Canada Goose 183, Ross's Goose 1, Mute Swan 2, Shelduck 1, Mallard 258, Gadwall 6, Teal 202, Wigeon 51, Shoveler 46, tufted 10, Pochard 2, Cormorant 10, Little Grebe 2, Coot 5, Lapwing 450, Golden Plover 1000, Dunlin 12, Snipe 1, Common Buzzard 1.
Mallard 90, Shoveler 31, Teal 6, Tufted 12, Coot 7.
this weekend 1 peregrine, 1 ringtail hen harrier, 2 ravens

Saturday, 19 November 2011

The flock of 29 White-fronted Geese are still in the valley with the Greylag flock - this afternoon they were all in the field over the river from the flash. The golden Plover flock is impressive with at least 3700 birds, over 400 Lapwing and 11 Dunlin.
The drake American Wigeon is still present, usually on the Top Res but if flushed by boats it retreats to the Country Park lake. Pink-footed Goose in with the 'resident' goose flock. Water Rails are conspicuous around the Top Res at present with at least a dozen there. Both Cettis Warblers were recorded today although the male is not very vocal or singing at present. A Chiffchaff was seen around the Top Res.

Saturday 19th November

Royd Moor Reservoir
2 juvenile White-fronted Geese in with 72 Greylag Geese. Apparently they have been in the area since Thursday (17th).

Friday, 18 November 2011

Friday 18th November

Broasdstones/Broadstones Reservoir
Good numbers of plovers and starlings still about but the number of gulls (particularly Common Gulls) has fallen significantly. The totals were:
450+ Lapwing, 116 Golden Plover and 300+ Starling.

Ingbirchworth Reservoir
36 Greylag Geese, 110 Canada Geese and 10 Tufted Duck.

A high late November count of c50 Linnets.

Royd Moor Res.
25 Grey Lag Geese.

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Hemingfield 17th November

4 Buzzards over Hemingfield 

Bernard Emson

White fronts

People shooting in fields between Darfield and Ardsley this morning.

Soon after a line of white fronts went very low over the back garden and just over the top of the house heading towards Broomhill.
Couldn't see the back end of the line but there was at least 5.

These birds keep disappearing.
I think this dispels the rumour that the Dearne Valley is snowed under with birders.
This might be so at Old Moor but nowhere else is watched throughout the day.
If a flock of geese can go missing for days then what else is out there?

Thursday 17th November

Elsecar Reservoir
12 Great Crested Grebes.

1 Raven.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Other News (16/11/11)

Old Moor
A redhead Smew (probable 1st winter male) was on the field pools and a Cetti's Warbler over on the reedbeds . . . fingers crossed for a mild winter!

Wintersett/Anglers cp
The American Wigeon still is still present on the north bank of Wintersett reservoir. A nice surprise was a Scandinavian Chiffchaff (abietinus) which was caught and ringed.
A single adult Whooper Swan was on Anglers along with 5 Goosander. The gull roost is increasingly building with incredible numbers of Black-headed and Common Gulls.
A juv Aythya sp was also on Anglers which had a bill pattern similar to that of Lesser Scaup. What are the chances of there being two North American duck? . . ,
See image below
Aythya sp on Anglers. © Carl Dixon

Wednesday 16th November

Had a decent morning today, with the following of note:

Langsett Banks
Flock of 35+ Coal Tits with 3-4 Goldcrests.

Langsett Reservoir
74 Pink-footed Geese east at 10:55hrs (and a skein later over Underbank Reservoir but these were only heard and must have been high and above the low cloud), and 2 Brambling with Chaffinches.

Midhope Reservoir
6 Black Grouse at Edge Cliff Brook moving to Spring Moor.

Barnside Moor
1 ringtail Hen Harrier leaving south over Ewden Height.

Edderthorpe 15th November 2011

Had a run round looking for bean geese in the Edderthorpe area today.
Been down to Tyreshall Farm and scanned the fields there and then been down Edderthorpe Lane checking the fields there.
Nowt found but these fields are smallish and many of them are used for grazing cattle so on the face of it they look suitable for bean geese.
Had about a hour sat on Greys Bench at Edderthorpe - and Edderthorpe at the moment is looking fantastic.
The white fronts are still there but they were on and behind the flood banking near the river. I'd guess there's still about 10 there.
Also about 3000 goldies, 15 dunlin and loads of ducks including a shelduck.

The wind pump has been installed by the RSPB and with any luck this will provide the right conditions in the spring to produce all the passage and breeding birds year after year. Which is great news !!!
However, I don't know how secure the structure of the wind pump is because its easily accessible as things stand now and so consequently its likely to end up being weighed in.

Monday, 14 November 2011

14th November

1 female Goshawk (only my second since the spring)

Broadstones Reservoir
124 Common Gulls, 350+ Lapwing, 15 Golden Plover and 300+ Starlings.

Ingbirchworth Reservoir
65 Greylag Geese and 6 Tufted Ducks.

Saturday, 12 November 2011

Saturday 12th November

Wintersett reservoir
The American Wigeon was near the boathouse this morning before flying onto Anglers where it spent the rest of the day. Goldeneye are beginning to increase in number with at least 26 present. The resident Cetti's sang on a couple of occasions with 1-2 birds still along the west bank.

Edderthorpe Flash
Up to 29 White-fronted Goose (inc. 7 juv) were amongst the local Greylag and Canada geese (and Ross's Goose), moving between the flash and the field to the west. A Brent Goose was also present this morning but later disappeared. Other birds included Shelduck, 8 Dunlin and c.3000 Golden Plover.

Also, 5 Waxwing were reported from Carlton Village this afternoon.

Friday 11th November 2011

Midhope Reservoir

In the gloom. 3 Goldeneye (2 drakes), 3 Tufted Duck and 2 Little Grebe.


5 Red-legged Partridge and c120 Fieldfare.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

Thursday 10th November

Worsbrough reservoir
Some locally uncommon species present today, including 2 Little Grebe, 2 Goldeneye(pair), 2 Gadwall (pair), 4 Green Sandpiper and 1 Redshank.
Water levels have been low at the site for just over a month in order to carry out repairs on the dam head. The level is slowly returning to normal but has attracted species such as Ruff and Rock Pipit, both of which are scarce visitors to the valley.

Wintersett reservoir
The American Wigeon was present near the boathouse all day. A Shelduck was also present in the area.

American Wigeon on Anglers CP. © Ron Marshall

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Another excellent day here and another new species for the site. A fine drake American Wigeon was found on the Country Park lake early afternoon and is still present at dusk. It is feeding on weed brought to the surface by Coot directly out from the hide and is showing well. There were also 4 White-fronted Geese seen early morning flying over the Top Res and heading south. A flock of about 100 Pink-footed Geese flew west at dusk.
A late Swallow was over the res in the morning.

Monday, 7 November 2011

All day from dawn to dusk was spent unsucessfully searching for yesterdays Penduline Tit. This wasn't a wasted day though as scrutiny of the reedbeds turned up a new Cettis Warbler as well as the resident bird. A short-eared Owl circled the top res at mid day before heading off southwards and a Lesser Spotted woodpecker flew up the top bank in the morning. Visable migration was poor- the Woodies must have all move out yesterday

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Wintersett Reservoir did the business today with a new bird for the Barnsley Area; Pete Smith found a Penduline Tit this morning near the boathouse. It played very hard to get but eventually in the next hour or so seven birders managed to see the bird with some good photographs being obtained. Unfotunatly at about 1pm it decided to fly across the reservoir towards another reedbed and despite being looked for all afternoon by many birders it wasnt seen again. This is a very rare bird in Yorkshire being only the fifth record in the County and the first since 1992.
A extreamly large passage of Wood Pigeons flying south in the first few hours after dawn resulted in a record count of over 28,000 moving, easily beating the previous record count of 8,000.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

1st November 2011

Edderthorpe Flash - in the early morning mist;
at least 3 Dunlin, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Shoveler,
Teal, G Heron, Meadow Pipits

Spring Vale Road, Park Springs - Chiffchaff

Ferry Moor Lake - Shoveler, Tufted Duck

M Doveston

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Sunday October 30th

First Goosanders?
Into roost at Anglers at 4pm ~ 3 Goosanders - all redheads.
First of winter for me if not for the site.
Also a party of 15 Redpolls on the west bank of Anglers - didn't get a good look at all of them but the ones I did examine were all Lessers. Then two more Lessers on the east bank.


Shelduck 3, Golden Plover 600, Dunlin 6,
Shoveler 60, Pintail 1, Goldeneye 5, Cormorant 60, Common Buzzard 5 plus another flying south, Fieldfare 400 and Redwing 200 were flying south, A calling Crossbill flew over the Country Park towards Haw Park wood.

Friday, 28 October 2011

Kingfisher 28/10/11

Fantastic performance this afternoon from a male kingfisher right in front of the main hide at Angler's. Posing on a post and taking fish with ease then whacking them and swallowing. It was there when I arrived and stayed for at least half an hour taking at least 6 fish.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Monday October 17th ~ Stainborough Country Park

2 Common Buzzards near Archers Gate and 1 over Warren Wood.

Friday, 14 October 2011

14th October 2011

Ferry Moor Lake (opposite Sash) 12.35
Kingfisher, Chiffchaff, Shoveler 2, Tufted Duck,
Common Gull, Grey Heron

Spring Vale Road, Park Springs
Kestrel, Buzzard

M Doveston

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

11th October 2011

Edderthorpe Flash - 0720-0735
Little Stint still present, Dunlin 8+, Ruff, Greenshank,
Golden Plover 300+, Lapwing, Snipe,
Adult Ross's Goose (presumed escaped) with Greylags,
Shelduck 4, Teal, Shoveler, Kestrel

M Doveston

Sunday, 9 October 2011

Wintersett Res and Anglers CP
Red-crested Pochard 4 still on the res near the boathouse. First Goldeneye of the winter returned today. Vis migging from the country park produced 5 Pintail flying sw and a good Snipe movement totalling 74 flying west by lunchtime. No doubt about the biggest frustration of the day (or year)- a fly-over golden plover with dusky underwings and auxillaries giving a double note call;- surely a American! The perils of vis-migging leaving a couple of observers feeling mugged. The autumns first Redwings, a couple of small flocks also went west today. For more on Anglers CP vis-mig please visit

9th October 2011 - Edderthorpe Flash

Shoveler 125, Teal 130, Shelduck 4, Golden Plover 500,
Grey Plover 2, Dunlin 13, Little Stint 1 juv, Ruff 2,
Greenshank 3, Rock Pipit 1, Redwing 12,

Graham Speight

Edderthorpe Flash 7th October 2011

My usual quick 10 minute visit before work from about 0725am - all viewed from just below the layby;

Lapwings and Golden Plovers in good numbers.
A lone Ruff flew around before settling on the near shoreline.
The recent Greenshank were not found.
At least three Snipe were visible.

Ducks; Shoveler, Teal, Mallard, Wigeon, Tufted Duck and the 4 immature Shelduck.

Mark Doveston