Monday, 31 December 2012

Wintersett 12/2012

A cracking year draws to a close with a total of 175 species recorded here.
We haven't seen several species that we normally record, i.e Whinchat, Sandwich Tern, Barnacle Goose, Red-crested Pochard and Red-breasted Merganser, which would have beaten last year's record total of 179 species.  However, we have seen some quality birds during 2012.
Here are our 12 highlights from 2012.
 1. Rough-legged Buzzard
 2. Long-tailed Skua
 3. Azorean Atlantic Gull
 4. Taiga Bean Goose
 5. American Wigeon
 6. Greenland White-fronted Goose
 7. Velvet Scoter
 8. Long-tailed Duck
 9. Blue-headed Wagail
10. Honey Buzzard
11. Twite
12. Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

And finally -  We wish everyone excellent (and lucky) birding in 2013. 

Wintersett - Caspo Gallery 31.12.12

Grey with heavy rain showers throughout the day. It was a relief today to find all the usuals still here today!
Wintersett Res: 2 Male Scaup, 3 Egyptian Geese
Anglers CP.  Drake American Wigeon, Long-tailed Duck and 48 Teal. The highlight today was a 1st Winter Caspian Gull flying in at 12.05hrs  and landing on an islands in front of the hide. It gave brilliant views before doing a fly past southwards at 12.20hrs.  See below for Kev Denny's pictures showing many identification features.

1st Winter Caspian Gull  31.12.12  K Denny
As if that wasn't enough, Wintersett Gull Roost tonight held an Adult and a 1st winter Caspian Gull 
What a satisfying end to 2012! 

moorland bits

Upper Midhope - c200 Redwings and c50 Fieldfares.
Broomhead Reservoir - 12 Tufted Ducks.
More Hall Reservoir - 1 Whooper Swan, 7 Cormorants, 18 Pied Wagtails, 1 Grey Wagtail, 8 Meadow Pipits and 3+ Crrossbills.

Old Moor outgoing:

Old Moor: Bittern flew from The Mere to Reedbeds at dusk. 43 Goosander roosted. 37 Waxwings in Car Park.

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Rabbit Ings

Spent most of the afternoon awaiting the SEO's, but none did I see.  However, Chris Sayer assures me there was one hunting shortly after mid-day.  Shooters arrived in 4 X 4's in the field north of the flash, but left without firing a shot.

For the record I saw 8 Mallard,  1 Coot, 4 Redpoll, c14 Goldfinch, 6 Grey Partridge, 1 Skylark & heard Little Owl calling at dusk. (Thanks for company Ricky)

Another Caspian Gull

Broomhead Reservoir - 10 Tufted Ducks and 800+ Black-headed Gulls, 36 Common Gulls, c220 Herring Gulls, 1 adult Caspian Gull, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and c70 Great Black-backed Gulls in the gull roost - per SBSG website.


A lovely day for birding.I parked at the Old Moor entrance gate,inside the gate two extra large women emerged from a car and were having an heated altercation with a cyclist, foul language Inabundance. At this point I decided to go to the reserve centre where the car park was overflowing and the side roads were also full. I went to purchase a Yorkshire Birding Magazine. The centre was crammed with people. As I left a police car entered the car park, I wonder if they were there to control the controversy or the crowds. Afterwards I parked on the side road at Broomhill Flash. A very unpleasant farmer approached me and said he could have me removed, it was his land. Eventually I decided to visit my old flooded patch Edderthorpe Flash. It was peaceful and quiet but not many birds. In the distance I could see gunners and probably with their new year banquet. Went home and thought what a lovely day, and hung up my binoculars. Happy New Year.

Wintersett Roost - Caspian Gulls 30.12.12

Here are a couple of shots from the excellent gull roost tonight  - per Paul Meredith (Fitzy).
 First 1st Winter  Caspian Gull        30.12.12
    Second    1st Winter Caspian Gull       30.12.12

Broomhill Flash

Mick Rushton has requested that any key-holder present at dusk and locking up to let him know by text to save an unnecessary journey. Mick can be contacted on 07814 753013. Thanks for you're cooperation.


The Wintersett gull roost produced the birds again this evening. Watched by a bumper crowd, most of the locals were out (one out of hibernation) and a couple of Old Moors finest were here for a lesson in gulling (dont worry, you wont be named). A first-winter Yellow-legged Gull (a different bird to yesterday) was first to be found quickly followed by both of yesterdays returning first-winter Caspian Gulls. Both Caspians showed well and were in the same 'scope view at one stage. And at 4.00 pm a juvenile(first-winter) Glaucous Gull flew in to be the eighth gull species in the roost (next weeks Birdracers take note). Totals of other large gulls were equally impressive with;- GBBGull 305, LBBGull 10, Herring Gull 940.
And with a day list including;- American Wigeon, Long-tailed Duck, Scaup, Egyptian Goose - best site in Yorkshire? Well it certainly is at present!


A few bits from Old Moor: 110 Waxwings moving between Green Lane and Car Park. 4+ Brambling. 37 Goosander roosted.

A good gull roost at Wintersett tonight but I will not steal their thunder!

Some Good Uns

More Hall Reservoir - 1 adult Whooper Swan, 1 Canada Goose, 1 drake Mandarin Duck, 74 Mallards, 1 Cormorant, 3 Moorhens and c80 Black-headed Gulls.
Ewden Brows - 1 ringtail Hen Harrier flying slowy down the valley - first this winter (for me).
Broomhead Reservoir - 8 Mallards and 6 Tufted Ducks.
Midhope Reservoir - 2 Mallards.
Ingbirchworth Reservoir - 72 Canada Geese, 24 Mallards, 11 Tufted Ducks, 9 Coots, 3 Moorhens and c150 Black-headed Gulls.
Castle Dam - 1 Greylag x Canada Goose, 39 Canada Geese, 3 Mallards, 3 Moorhens, 9 Coots, c40 Black-headed Gulls and 1 Great Black-backed Gull.

Wintersett - 1 in, 1 out 30.12.12

Mainly blue sky, cooler and with a strengthening, gusty SW/W wind.
Anglers CP:  It was a relief to see the drake American Wigeon back on the island in front of the hide.  The Long-tailed Duck  was a bit harder to spot as it emerged, very briefly between dives,  in the choppy water. The 3 Egyptian Geese  and a Shelduck were also here.
Wintersett Res: The drake Smew has disappeared again, but the 2 male Scaup were feeding off the east bank.
Long-tailed Duck 30.12.12       Kev Denny
Scaup  30.12.12                 Kev Denny

American Wigeon 30.12.12            A.Smith

Goldfinches - Jump

Flock of c 25 Goldfinches on Jump Fields this morning. Nice to see these returning to the area. They usually visit my garden for the Niger seed feeders but have not seen them here for about 4 weeks.


Saturday, 29 December 2012

Rabbit Ings

A SEO was perched in a hawthorn near Monckton Flash at 3:30pm and what was probably a Sparrowhawk flew off with an unfortunate Blackbird. 100 + Fieldfare passed through. (Mick Birkinshaw)

Carlton Marsh 
2 buzzards circling, flew off together after 10 mins or so SE towards Newtown, Cudworth at 14:35hrs (Rod Heeley)

Old Moor Late Update.

There were c47 goosander in to roost as dark fell .. Also present were a kingfisher on Green Lane, at least 3 snipe on the Field Pool and a single redshank on the Wader Scrape ...

Wintersett gull roost

A superb gull roost tonight. Started with both yesterdays Yellow-legged Gulls (the third-winter and the first-winter) both in quite early. Next up a first-winter Caspian Gull and then another first-winter Caspian Gull (we had both birds in different telescopes at the same time) and both are new birds to us (neither are birds seen earlier in the winter). And numbers of other big gulls;- GBBGull 152, LBBGull 16, Herring Gull 525.
Two juvenile Peregrines were over the Top Res mid-afternoon chasing each other.

Green Sand

Gunthwaite Dam - 8 Teal and the long-staying Green Sandpiper - per Nick Mallinson.


A very wet and sludgy tramp round this morning. Odd that there were so many midges about.

Had a great view of a Jay for 15 mins, it was 30m infront of the hide on the bank, wrestling with what looked like a peanut in its shell.
Also 60 Mallard,
30 Tufted Duck,
16 Cormorant,
20 Pochard,
60 Lapwing,
2 Mute Swan,
8 LBB Gulls,
1 Heron,
6 GC Grebe, 
c100 BH Gulls,
the odd robin & blue tit

After all that a well earned special haddock from the W Whaler just down the road

Wintersett - ? ! ? ! 29.12.12

Continuous rain all morning.
Anglers CP: Hurrah!!  The Long-tailed Duck removed her cloak of invisibilty and reappeared in her usual spot this morning.  Let's hope the American Wigeon does the same in a couple of days.  90 Wigeon still here.
Wintersett Res: Drake Smew,  2 male Scaup and 3 Egyptian Geese.
Here's a reminder of this time last year for all the wet weather wimps.

View from hide - Anglers CP          December  2011

View from hide - Anglers CP       December  2012

More Hall res. saturday 29-12-12.

1 whooper still present.

Saturday, early morning Edderthorpe

It struggled to get light this morning with the low thick black clouds and by 09.00 I found out why - the predicted heavy rain started! Not a single wildfowl on a excellent looking Houghton Washlands at 'dawn' but I soon realised why- five cardboard-looking Canada Geese decoys and a shooter in the field.
Managed to flush a Jack Snipe from nearby but the best on a rain-lashed Edderthorpe was just 7 Pochard.

Wot no paracetamol!

A morning visit to Old Moor. Cormorant 11, Shelduck 1, Wigeon 280+, Teal 110+, Goldeneye 2 (+5 Bolton), Lapwing c500, H Gull 2, GBB Gull 1, LBB Gull 1, C Gull 14, Brambling 7. Maybe we are spoilt nowadays but as one dear friend at Edderthorpe texted - "soaking wet, wish I was in bed with a banging headache like a normal Saturday morning". Oh well, guess every Mad Friday is followed by a Bad Friday. Anyway, no such problem for me in the morning I suspect!

Wintersett Friday evening gull roost

Not an ideal evening, the light was awful - it was getting dark by 15.30, and many large gulls seemed to be roosting on the Country Park lake. However, we still managed ;- Yellow-legged Gull 2 - a 3rd winter (which we assume is the bird seen recently at Pugneys) and a 1st winter, GBBGull 135, LBBGull 10 and Herring Gull 250.

Friday, 28 December 2012

Rabbit Ings

Had a walk up this afternoon, arrived at 2pm and it began to drizzle. Didn't see any Short Eared Owls, but one visiting birder came after seeing 4 yesterday on his pager.  However, there was a female Peregrine carrying prey leaving NE with a Kestrel in pursuit. Other birds included Siskin 1, Meadow Pipit 1,  Fieldfare 5, Redwing 3 & Kestrel 3.

Carlton Marsh
12 Siskin, 4 Redpoll, c35 Goldfinch, 175 Rook & 60 Jackdaw, the latter in a wheat field nearby. Over recent years Rook has become quite scarce here, daily winter movements from roosts at Bretton Park or Haw Park into the Dearne Valley suddenly stopped. Since then a few pairs of Jackdaws have bred on the cottages opposite the reserve car park.

Not seen the light?

About 30 Waxwings still at White Rose Roundabout this morning.

A late afternoon visit onto Wombwell Ings in the hope that the American Wigeon or even Long-tailed Duck had finally seen the light, however, hardly saw the light myself and couldn't say with certainty that either weren't there. Did manage to make out 4 Herons, c70 Wigeon and about 50 Teal. The only news I got from Old Moor was of 4+ Brambling and also that the Bittern was seen at least twice yesterday.

Some of the White Rose Roundabout Waxwings - Jim Thompson. Where are the other 459?

More Hall res. fri. aft. 28-12-12.

Only 1 whooper at 2-20pm. It was on the bank at first, it swims o.k., calling constantly. I hope it hasnt got a flight problem.

Wintersett - Another Au revoir. 28.12.12

Overcast and mild.
Anglers CP: Sad to say the Long-tailed Duck has gone after sleeping much of yesterday.
Wintersett Res: The Drake Smew, 2 male Scaup and 3 Egyptian Geese are still here.

Extra Whoopers

More Hall Reservoir - 5 Whooper Swans and 5+ Crossbills.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Carlton Marsh

Sad to say we don't have the Wigeon in fact we haven't recorded any this year!
Today 1 Little Owl (Lidster's yard) 
1 immature Swan (Bleachcroft Farm Pond ) 10:05 not there afternoon  
1 Kestrel, 1 Green Woodpecker  
On the scrape this afternoon 2 Canada Geese 2 Mute Swans, c20 Mallard & 6 gadwall
Rod Heeley

Wintersett - Where's Wigeon? 27.12.12

A cool,grey, still morning with a strengthening wind by midday.
A search for the missing 200+ Wigeon flock and the American Wigeon drew blanks  at Nostell Lake,  Moorhouse Lane Ponds, Rabbit Ings and Old Royston Flash .  There were only 66 Wigeon left on Anglers CP.  However, the female Long-tailed Duck was still here.
Wintersett Res. had the drake Smew,  2  male Scaup and  3 Egyptian Geese.

Bird Acivitiy is Rising

Jump & Elsecar. While walking for 30 mins there was plenty to see on this mild morning. Small flocks of finches and tits flying in all directions. Blackbirds, thrushes, robin, and chaffinch

3 Squirrels in the same tree, thats a record for me.

In The Garden we had, 1 Goldcrest (probably a 2nd in that bush but didn't actually see it) 2 Collard Doves, Robin, 2 Blue Tits fighting or courting, 7 Blackbirds, 6 Long Tailed Tits,

Thro The Car Window
Lundhill. 12 Waxwing near the golf course

Billingtons. 20 Waxwing

Thursdays snippets

Old Moor area:  27 Goosander, 3 Goldeneye, Peregrine,  male Merlin, 3 Waxwings, 3 Brambling,  c150 'redpolls' in Broomhill New Park.

55 Waxwings still at White Rose Roundabout this morning.

3 Waxwings on Dearne Valley Parkway at Hampton House Roundabout; cock-birds indeed.

Ewden Height 27/12/12

A couple of hours on Ewden Height but nothing too exciting really .. 2 common buzzards, 9 ravens (4,3,1,1) and a flock of 22 pinkfeet headed NW at 1:30 ... A quick look on Morehall Res on the way home produced 2 whooper swans up at the neck end .. A nice bonus !!!


Elsecar Reservoir - 65 Mallards, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 8 Moorhens, 8 Coots and 50+ Black-headed Gulls.

Wed. 26-12-12.

Ingbirchworth res. 10 whoopers 11-30- 11-45 a.m. not present at 3p.m., forgot my phone to put out the news. Not many xmas presents on the moors, as one would expect, just 2 ravens w. over upper commons.

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Rabbit Ings

Just one Short Eared Owl yesterday at 10am and some fresh pellets at the usual posts.

The area to the north is at the highest flood level I've ever seen, I call this area Monckton Flash. I was in the field adjacent taking pictures of the flood when I heard the unmistakable whistle of a Wigeon, this is a new species for the site! (Mick Birkinshaw)

Old Moor gull roost!

A first-winter Yellow-legged Gull was on The Mere at dusk tonight in the company of just one other gull which was probably an adult Yellow-legged. (Dave Waddington)


Egyptian Goose 3, Scaup 2 drakes, Smew 1 drake all top res, Long-tailed Duck 1 female on country park. Ten Whooper Swans were on the top res late afternoon (presumably those reported from Ingbirchworth earlier). The evening gull roost was split between both lakes tonight and totals are;- GBBGull 310, Herring Gull 480, LBBGull 20, Common Gull 1950. No sign of the drake American Wigeon and a couple hundred Wigeon are also missing - presumably they are feeding somewhere else close by, might be worth checking any floodwater you come across.

Edderthorpe Flash

Greylag Goose 126, Mallard 360, Teal 123, Gadwall 49, Shoveler 14, Wigeon 76, Pochard 5, Goosander 8, Coot 39, Woodcock 1, Snipe 7, and Waxwing 4 .

Boxed-in Day Morning!

After sales service as follows:

190+ Waxwings, White Rose Roundabout, Wombwell.

Bittern, Old Moor in reedbed on Mere. 80+ Waxwings car park. Reserve closed until tomorrow.

10 Whooper Swans, Ingbirchworth Reservoir (Nick Mallinson)

Drake Smew, 2 drake Scaup, Wintersett, female Long-tailed Duck, Anglers CP.

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Christmas Wings

At least 15 Waxwings were upsetting a Mistle Thrush on Wood Walk Wombwell this morning at 11.40hrs.


This morning 9-45am, 215+ Waxwings near the White Rose rounder about. Some were in the trees, others on the grass verge feeding on fallen berries.

Carlton Marsh Xmas - Wings

21 Waxwings were feeding on Guelder Rose berries in the southern meadow at 10.55hrs, 17 left east at 11.00hrs and the 4 that stayed moved to White Poplars near the double seat on the railway embankment.

Wombwell Waxwings

We had a tour of the roundabouts in Wombwell but couldn't find any waxwings between 1:45 and 2:45 but then came across c40 feeding and dropping to the puddles to drink on the road near Broomhill Flash
At least 180 Waxwings still at White Rose Roundabout, Wombwell, also ten at top of Everill GATE Lane.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Royc indeed Mr Man...

Yes John you are indeed a royc. The previous highest count was of 400 at Tankersley on 26th February 2005. Thats dessication for you.

Ferrymoor Flash

A Quick look this afternoon revealed 2 Goosander, 2 pairs of Shoveler, c8 Teal, 8 Tufted Duck.

Merry Christmas everybody

Roy Castle!

Yes folks, it is a record breaker - a minimum flock of 470 Waxwings at White Rose Roundabout, Wombwell this afternoon, the highest ever number recorded in the Barnsley area....... so far. Quite an incredible sight with large flocks coming and going regular leading me to think there must be many more but about 470 was the most that I saw present at any one time. As always there looked to be far less until I actually counted them. They were dropping to feed on berries adjacent to Billington Structure but the way they were going through them they might not last long.

Wintersett - Precipitation Reigns! 24.12.12

Dry at first but drizzle turned into heavy rain by midday.
Highlight today: The female Scaup returned to Wintersett Res, after a 3 week jaunt to who knows where,  and joined the 2 male Scaup off the east bank. The 3 Egyptian Geese were in North Bank field.
Anglers CP: Drake American Wigeon,  female Long-tailed Duck and  a 1st W male Pintail.
Merry Christmas to all.

Sunday 23-12-12.

Staincross- small flock of around 6 waxwings heard and seen briefly appeared to drop into yorkshire scaffoldings yard but not relocated.  Low Barugh- a brief look, 14 lapwing, 6 snipe, 4 goosander.

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Carlton Marsh

Water, water everywhere, but not much duck. 19 Mallard, 2 Gadwall, 1 Coot & 2 Mute Swans. 10 Siskin, & 6 Lesser Redpolls were feeding on Alder seed in the car park & 4 Linnets were in a nearby field. Also present Great Spotted Woodpecker, Kestrel, 2 Bullfinch & Jay. The Little Owl was on his usual perch in Lidster's yard. 

Adwick washlands

Little Egret 1 late afternoon, but vey few other birds, no Short-eared Owl today, but 1 reported from Adwick tip yesterday, plus 1 Barn Owl

'Sinnerman' does the Chase

Having just read my last post I feel I should clarify something. The 42B refers to a bus service, not a bra size. Right, glad to get that off my chest!

Made the trip into the unmentionable, but alas the bus was running late and I arrived just after a first-winter (or juv, if you prefer?) Glaucous Gull had passed through. Not to worry, the drake American Wigeon and female Long-tailed Duck were both showing well. Over to the other nearby water where the two drake Scaup also showed well. The gull roost was healthy too, and included a couple of juv (or first-winter if you prefer?) Yellow-legged Gulls. More detailed sightings and numbers to follow from the yocals. And now, it's dinner for sinner!

A couple of drake Scaup, locality withheld - photographer withheld

Wintersett Sunday

Another pretty good day here;- all the usual wildfowl are still present, the drake American Wigeon and female Long-tailed Duck on the country park lake, two drake Scaup and three Egyptian Geese on the top res. A Bittern was flushed from the willow wood on the top res (first this winter). A steady westward movement of large gulls mid afternoon revealed GBBGull 77 and a first-winter Glaucous Gull. The top res gull roost in the evening held;- GBBGull 226, LBBGull 16, Herring Gull 620 and two first-winter Yellow-legged Gulls

Bolton Ings - 23rd December

Very mild this morning at 9c but with a gale force wind it didnt feel very mild. As expected the water level is very high with the 2 main pools nearly joined up. Because of the wind counting was very difficult because the birds were seeking shelter in the reeds/rushes. Highlights today were Green Sandpiper on the flooded grass and a couple of Redshank. Duck numbers were generally low but 35 Pochard were out. Full list :- Grey Heron 1, Mute Swan 8, Canada Goose 78, Grey Lag Goose 1, Cormorant 3, Little Grebe 2, Mallard 73, Teal 5, Gadwall 86, Shoveler 12, Shelduck 1, Tufted Duck 20, Pochard 35, Goldeneye 2, Goosander 2, Coot 183, Moorhen 1, Lapwing 82, Redshank 2, Green Sandpiper 1, Black Headed Gull 44, Common Gull 4, Kestrel 1, Green Woodpecker 1, Great Spotted Woodpecker 1.

On the way home there were 18 Waxwings at the Meadows pub/hotel.


Morning visit to Wombwell Ings; good numbers of Wigeon, Teal and Gadwall in the flooded grasses but pretty much uncountable unless they get flushed out, which they didn't. Best bird was a drake Pintail but also about 200 Lapwings, 100 Black-headed Gulls and a couple of Herrings. Very little in the wind swept bushes.

c30 Waxwings at Cloughfields Road, Hoyland @ 12.45 though mobile (Jonathan Wasse).

Just about to embark on the unmentionable (42B and all that)!

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Edderthorpr floods - again

Yes, for the fifth time this year the Flash is again full of water due to the flooding from Wednesday/Thursday rains. And Houghton is also holding a lot of water again. Not too many birds in evidence this afternoon;- Greylag Goose 118, Tufted 36, Goosander 4, Goldeneye 1, being the highlights.

Old Moor water

A pretty flooded looking Old Moor, with Wath Ings and Willow Pool one sheet of water and an excellent looking fully-flooded Field Pool which was coated in good numbers of Wigeon and Teal. Waxwings were scattered around but the largest single flock was of 85 in the Playground. At least 8 Brambling were viewable from the Tree Sparrow farm where there were also plenty of Reed Buntings. Several hundred Lapwing were on The Mere with around 70 Golden Plovers and 2 Redshank. 47 Goosander and 2 Goldeneye came in to roost when a Barn Owl was hunting.

Wintersett - Rain dears! 22.12.12

Continuous heavy rain up to midday. 
Anglers CP: Drake American Wigeon,  female Long-tailed Duck,  3 Little Grebe, Teal 64, Pochard 177 + 12 WRes, 3 Egyptian Geese in Pol field.  There  were 81 Goosanders in the roost here last night.
Wintersett Res: 2 male Scaup.

Mad Friday

Youve got to be mad to bird the moors. Only birds of note, 2 buzzards at low moor + 1 at ewden. Even this species as been scarce at times over the last few weeks. The regular bullfinch flock at the e. side of broomhead moor as reached 15. Gunthwaite Dam - grey wag 1, tufted duck 1 pair, + top views of a pair of nuthatch at the old sheep dip.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Carlton Marsh

The marsh is flooded like everywhere else - again!

Our resident breeding pair of Mute Swans left in early October then a new pair moved in.  The BTO has just informed me that ZZ6976 was ringed as a female of at least 3years old on 4/3/2009 at Doncaster, a movement of 23kms WNW.

Paired with  ZZ6801 which was ringed as a 2nd year bird (sex unknown) on 23/3/2008 at Rother Valley Country Park near Killamarsh a movement of 29kms NNW. Both birds were ringed by Sorby Breck Ringing Group.  

Mad Friday Sofa

Old Moor: 19 Goosander, 2 Goldeneye, 2 Redshank, Green Sand, 80 Waxwings (car park area), 2 Brambling.

Adwick Wash: Little Egret, 29 Snipe, 2 Green Sands.

Wath-upon Dearne: 93 Waxwings at Tesco, presumably now better shopping than Asda where they were the other day!

Wintersett Wade Again 21.12.12

Grey, damp, mild and misty at times.  Nothing new birdwise  to report, but water levels are at the highest ever seen and there is lots of run off into the reservoirs from the surrounding cultivated fields. Gas guns to scare off  feeding geese are also firing at regular intervals throughout the day. 
Anglers CP: Drake American Wigeon and  female Long-tailed Duck
Wintersett Res: 2 male Scaup,  1 Grey Wagtail,  40 Fieldfare in SW field and the 3 Egyptian Geese are in the field south of Botany.
Track to Dam Wall  (West Bank)   Wintersett Res

Adwick a. m.

Water everywhere but more birds. Little Egret 1, Grey Hero 1, Canada Goose 120+, Greylag Goose 1, Shelduck 1, Wigeon c.10, Gadwall 26, Mallard c.70, Teal 34, Shoveler 2, Tufted Duck 4, Golden Plover c.60, Green Sandpiper 2, Kignfisher 1.

Thursday, 20 December 2012


The only news I know of for today is of 2+ Brambling at Old Moor and a report of an immature Kittiwake through Broomhill Flash. Water levels throughout the area appear to be dangerously high and I'm surprised we haven't received flood any warnings yet.....................

Wintersett Wade 20.12.12

Continuous downpour all day! 
Anglers CP: drake American Wigeon,  female Long-tailed duck, 1st W male Pintail, Buzzard, Pochard 168 + 20 WRes.
WRes: 2 male Scaup

Bird Table Visits

Over the past week we have seen very few birds on our garden bird tables and nothing on the feeders, I thought the Doves were eating it all.

I had a nice surprise.
In 15 minutes I saw 2 Blue Tits, 2 Great Tits, 2 Coal Tits, Robin, and Dunnock.

They were dashing out of the bushes, picking a bit of food and then dashing back under cover to eat.


Steady at Elsecar

Elsecar Reservoir - 52 Mallards, 3 Great Crested Grebes, 4 Moorhens and 7 Coots.


8 Waxwings low east at Stocksbridge at 08:25hrs and 13 Long-tailed Tits on garden feeders.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Waxwings n things


12+ Wath-upon-Dearne by Asda.

c40 Shortwood Roundabout (Steve Bennett) on Dearne Valley Parkway (A6195).

36 Adwick Wash

47+ Old Moor RSPB Also there, 35 Goosander, 25 Pochard, Dunlin, 6 Brambling

The Edge

Broomhill Flash mid AM- Initially on the open water were 2 Cormorant, 5 Tufted Duck, 4 Shoveler, 2 Pochard, 1m Goldeneye and 2 Common Gull. After being flushed from the flooded juncus grass margins, 52 Mallard,  36 Teal and 6 Goosander(5m+1f) appeared on the flash. Also present were 1 Kestrel, a flock of 200+ Woodpigeon( flying north east ) and 2 Hare.

Bolton Ings late AM- Very quiet on the TPT with 1 Kestrel and 1 Cormorant being the only birds of note. For the second day running no winter thrushes were seen. On the open water were 6 Cormorant, 2 Mute Swan+1 juv, 58 Gadwall, 25 Pochard,  8 Shoveler, 6 Tufted Duck, 3f Goosander, 3f  Goldeneye, 2 Teal, 2 Mallard and 4 Common Gull. Also present were 1 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk and 1 Redshank.

Wintersett 19.12.12

Grey, damp, mild.
Anglers CP:  Drake American Wigeon,  female Long-tailed Duck,  1st W male Pintail and 70 Teal.  26 Waxwings dropped in for a brief visit near the hide.
WRes: Drake Smew, 2 male Scaup (1 1st winter) and 3 Egyptian Geese.  Little Grebe 4 + 2 ACP + 1 Botany.

Castle Dam

Castle Dam, Penistone - 78 Canada Geese, 4 Mallards and 8 Coots.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Carlton Marsh

I went down this morning, still 750 + Wood Pigeons around and at least 60 Redpolls, all Lessers. 
There were none remotely resembling mealy. (D. M. Smith)  These equalled the previous record maximum in November 2010.
2 Waxwings paid a brief visit to Geoff Miller's Cudworth garden this morning to feed on apples.

Adwick tip

Short-eared Owl 2, showing briefly  mid-afternoon

The Edge

Broomhill Flash mid AM-  On the open water were 21 Mallard, 12 Pochard, 8 Tufted Duck, 2 Teal, 2 Wigeon, 1m Goldeneye, 1m Goosander and 1 Common Gull. Also present were 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Grey Heron and 1 Mute Swan(on the grass near the sluicegate).

Bolton Ings late AM- After the distraction of the Waxwings in the Old Moor car park,  a Green Woodpecker was the only bird of note on the walk along the TPT to the Cormorant Hide. On the open water of Bolton Ings were 4 Cormorant, 4 Mute Swan+3 Juv,65 Gadwall,23 Pochard, 8 Shoveler, 5 Tufted Duck, 4 Mallard, 2f Goldeneye, 1 Wigeon, 1 Teal and 1 Common Gull. Also present were 1 Redshank and 1 Sparrowhawk.

Old Moor bits

Waxwings: groups of 6, 17 and 35. Peregrine, 90 Golden Plover over, 3 Brambling.

30 Waxwings at Jet Garage West Melton, perhaps part of the above?

Little Don Valley reservoirs

Langsett Reservoir - 12 Canada Geese, 62 Mallards, 2 Teal and 1 Grey Heron.
Langsett Banks - 2+ Crossbills.
Midhope Reservoir - nothing.
Underbank Reservoir - 58 Mallards, 5 Tufted Ducks and 2 Coots.
Millstones Wood (top of Whitwell Moor) - 1 male Merlin (same as Whitwell, Stocksbridge on 03/12/12?).

Wintersett 18.12.12

Mild, overcast and still.
Wintersett Res: Drake Smew, 2 male Scaup (1 1st W) Little Grebe 2.  3 Egyptian Geese in south Botany field.
Anglers CP: Female Long-tailed Duck, drake American Wigeon, and a 1st W male Pintail.
Haw Park Wood: 7 Crossbills, 3 male and 4 female  near entrance.
Raggy lad  -  1st W male Pintail                   A.Smith

Monday, 17 December 2012

Carlton Marsh

The scrape was still covered in around 50% of ice this afternoon so there were only 16 Mallard, and
a Kingfisher on the dike.  Siskin, Jay, Green Woodpecker and up to 6 Bullfinch were present and c20 Yellow Buntings were feeding in fields nearby.

Bleachcroft Farm Pond (ice free)
6 Goosander (2m & 4f) and a Mute Swan (Rod Heeley)

After re-opening a gap in the trees to facilitate views over the marsh The British Trust for Conservation Volunteers constructed this hedge screen for us. Its a nice feature.

Caspian Gull Wintersett Roost 16.12.12

Another good visitor came in to the roost on Sunday at 15.20hrs.
1st winter Caspian Gull                                     Kev Denny

Sunday 16th December.

Wilthorpe marsh- j.snipe 1, flushed by a handy large dog. Quiet on the moors, the best birds seen at ewden by Dave Simmonite were 6 Ravens, Buzzard, Kestrel.

minor update

Waxwings, Old Moor - Jim Thompson
Just a little bit of additional news:

Old Moor: 20+ Goosander, 15 Snipe (Field Pool), 2+ Brambling.

A belated report from Saturday of a 'ringtail' Hen Harrier over Sandhill Golf Course.

Waxwing, Old Moor  - Keith Pickering
Waxwing, Old Moor  - Keith Pickering. Are we not worthy?

Wintersett 17.12.12

Very mild, cloudy, a couple of short, light showers.
Highlights today: 59 Pink-footed Geese flew west at 09.29 hrs and a 1st W male Pintail  flew in. (looks like the raggy lad that's been here before.)
Anglers CP: Female Long-tailed Duck,  drake American Wigeon,  1st W male Scaup and a Water Rail
Wintersett Res: Drake Smew off the west bank,   3 Egyptian Geese in the north bank field, and 2 male Scaup (1 1st W).  A 1st W Yellow-legged Gull was in the roost this afternoon.

The Edge

Broomhill Flash mid AM- On the open water were 1 Cormorant, 2 Mute Swan, 18 Teal, 12 Mallard, 9 Tufted Duck, 5 Pochard, 5 Shoveler, 5 Wigeon,4 Gadwall, 2f Goldeneye, 1m Goosander and 2 Common Gull. Also present were 7 Pied Wagtail, 3 Red Legged Partridge, 2 Snipe, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Kestrel.

Bolton Ings late AM-Very quiet along the TPT from Old Moor to the Cormorant Hide with 9 Waxwing( flying south ), 1 Kestrel, c100 Golden Plover( flying west ) and 1 Jay. On the open water were 3 Cormorant, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Mute Swan+1 juv,54 Gadwall, 10 Pochard, 7 Goosander(3m), 7 Goldeneye(4f), 6 Tufted Duck, 5 Mallard, 3 Shoveler, 2 Teal and 6 Common Gull.

Stainborough 17/12

Ploughed field between Menagerie Wood and Walker's Pond ~ about 100 Lapwing, 25 Golden Plover and a Buzzard.


Ingbirchworth Reservoir - 3 Pink-footed Geese, 106 Greylag Geese, 21 Mallards, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Moorhens and 15 Coots.

Old Moor 17-12-2012

An early start, nice morning, do I detect spring is in the air? Perhaps not 17 Waxwings, 15 Snipe, 2 Goldeneye, 4 Goosander, and 2 Redshank.

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Bolton Ings - 16th December

A late start today, around 1 pm when I finally made an apearance. Weather seemed mild at 9c but the paths were still icy and overnight frost lingered. The western pool was 50% ice but the eastern pool was completely ice free. Very quiet today, not helped by my lateness, highlight probably 6 Goldeneye (3 drakes) and Gadwall 92. No raptors seen today nor Green Woodpecker for the first time this year. Full list:- Grey Heron 6, Mute Swan 7, Canada Goose 143, Grey Lag Goose 12, Cormorant 2, Little Grebe 2, Mallard 25, Teal 5, Gadwall 92, Shoveler 10, Tufted Duck 10, Pochard 16, Goldeneye 6, Goosander 2, Coot 221, Moorhen 6, Black Headed Gull 48, Common Gull 14, Fieldfare 10, Redwing 40.

Went onto Old Moor afterwards and counted 35 Goosanders roosting tonight, 19 on Wader Scrape and 16 on Mere. Also 2 Redshank on Wader Scrape and 3 Snipe came off Field Pools.

Worsbrough Res

Walk with Sheila at Worsbrough Res rather than a birding session produced Goosander, 3 male and 2 females and two flocks of 12 LT Tits or one flock twice.


Just a reminder to those of you that are coming, that the Barnsley Birders Christmas Dinner bash is tomorrow evening at 7pm at the Old Moor Tavern. Now to birds:

Old Moor: Not much change but still a good selection. Highlights were Bittern, Marsh Harrier, 30+ Goosander, Dunlin, 4+ Waxwings, 3+ Brambling.

Broomhill Flash: Short-eared Owl still.

Broomhead Res: 2 adult Caspian Gulls in roost.

Edderthorpe WeBS count

Not much to count since the Flash is still 80% frozen and Houghton is 100% frozen.
Highlights are;- Shoveler 30, Mallard 226, Teal 121, Gadwall 18, Wigeon 20, Tufted 22, Goosander 2, Lapwing 60.

And theres more from Wintersett

The evening gull roost held;- first-winter Caspian Gull, GBBGull 77, LBBGull 8, Herring Gull 350, Common Gull 2000 and Black-headed Gull 6000. The WeBS counts revealed;- Tufted 224, Pochard 182, Gadwall 44, Goldeneye 69, Goosander 36, Great Crested Grebe 42, Coot 668.

Sunday Smew 16.12.12

Anglers CP is the place to be today.  Blue sky, sunny and very mild.  Lots of birders and photographers.
The drake Smew is paying his weekly visit.  Female  Long-tailed duck,  drake American  Wigeon, all 3 male Scaup (2 1st winters) and 3 Egyptian Geese are all here.
Also here: Teal 75,  Wigeon 322, Pochard 179,  Lapwing 22, Litle Grebe 3, Shoveler 1 male, Kingfisher,  Green Woodpecker,  Snipe 2 and 380 Canada Geese.
Wintersett Res: Yachts and fishermen!

Newmillerdam WeBS 16.12.12

08.40 - 09.25hrs  Lake  25% ice.
Mallard 169,             Mute Swan 4,             Coot 37,              Moorhen 10,
Tufted Duck 13        Canada Goose 4,       Goosander 2,      Little Grebe 2

Saturday, 15 December 2012

Wintersett gull roost

On the Top Res roost tonight;- GBBGull 143, LBBGull 12, Herring Gull 535, Yellow-legged Gull 1 first-winter.

Complete Ingbirchworth

Broadstones Reservoir - 7 Mallards, c40 Black-headed Gulls, c120 Common Gulls and c30 Herring Gulls.
Low Common, Ingbirchworth - loose flock of 30+ Lapwings, 53 Golden Plovers, c400 Starlings and 50+ Fieldfares.
Ingbirchworth Reservoir - 112 Grey Lag Geese, 1 Pink-footed Goose, 238 Canada Geese, 26 Mallards, 7 Tufted Ducks, 2 Little Grebes, 3 Moorhens and 15 Coots.
Ingbirchworth Fishing Pond - 2 Moorhens.
Scout Dike Reservoir - 61 Canada Geese, 30 Mallards, 17 Tufted Ducks, 1 immature Cormorant, 4 Moorhens, 12 Coots and a flock c30 Starlings and c100 Fieldfare.
Royd Moor Reservoir - 2 Wigeons, 1 female Gadwall, 28 Mallards, 1 female Tufted Duck and 8 Stock Doves.

Brampton Bierlow

Blackcap feeding on Apple in my garden @ Cliffe Road ;

Wintersett 15.15.12

Blue sky, sunshine and mild, but wellies still required.
Anglers CP: The Female Long-tailed Duck,  drake American Wigeon and a 1st W male Scaup are all still present.  Also 425 Canada Geese,  79 Greylag Geese, and 3 Water Rail.  An adult Peregrine flew over south, 4 Waxwings  went west and 5 more went east.
Wintersett Res: The two male Scaup, an adult and a 1st winter, returned from ACP.  The 3 Egyptian Geese were in the north bank field.

Barnsley Sightings.

It looks like theres been some nudging around in the list of blog authors.

Saturday morning, all clear!

Old Moor: Marsh Harrier (Mere), Waxwing.

Broomhill Flash: 3 Goldeneye, 2 Goosander.

c100 Waxwings Stairfoot Tesco.

Still 3 Blackcaps Derwent Place Wombwell.

Single Pink-footed Goose flew from behind Youngnudgersville towards Houghton Wash.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Friday's news

Couldn't even see Broomhill Flash in the gloom this morning, but it's still there apparently!
News from Old Moor: Bittern, Marsh Harrier, 40 Goosanders (roost), 20 Waxwings, 4 Bramblings.
Still 2 Blackcaps at Derwent Place, Wombwell.

Waxwings at the bottom of my garden

Waxwings 7 in the public open space rear of Kendal Drive /Cumberland Way Bolton on Dearne, been here last two days 4 paid a flying visit yesterday, 20 Waxwings on TPT BOD end yesterday flew off towards Manvers Lake, also 8+ Goldcrests with a flock of 25 Long Tailed Tits TPT,near iron man footbridge down towards Mexborough, 3 Goosanders River Dearne 2m 1f 

Wintersett - Holding On 14.12.12

Treacherous black ice and fog this morning, but milder, with a strengthening east wind and rain by midday. 
Turns out that Wintersett Res and Cold Hiendley Res were not totally frozen yesterday with 5 small areas of open water visible today.  However by mid afternoon today WRes was still 90%, but breaking, ice, CHRes was 98% ice and Anglers CP was 20% ice.
The usual goodies  have all held on at Anglers CP:Drake American Wigeon,  female Long-tailed Duck, 3 male Scaup, 2 of which are 1st winters. 6 Waxwing37 Teal, 7 Shoveler, 3 Little Grebe + 1 WRes.
It was surprising to see 3 immature Common Frogs swimming under the ice of a pool at the side of the footpath.    The 3 Egyptian Geese are still in the north bank field WRes.

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Elsecar Feeder and ..

Very few birds visiting the feeds & bird table in the garden. Those that are visiting are mainly singles.
1 Robin, 1 Blackbird,1 Wren, 1 Goldfinch, 2 Collard Doves.

1 Grey Wagtail that flew out of the stream culvert in Jump Fields, also a few Red Wing and Field Fare and 2 Goldcrest in this area this morning.


Elsecar & Tesco

Elsecar Reservoir - completely frozen - 58 Mallards, 1 Grey Heron, 3 Moorhens, c80 Black-headed Gulls and 6 Common Gulls.
Stairfoot, Barnsley - 7 Waxwings at Tesco Filling Station at 11:45hrs.

Carlton Marsh

After a scrub bashing session this morning with the lads I returned to the hide to write up.  When I looked out of the hide window I noticed the Mink trap door was shut.  After more than a year we had finally got the blighter!
The water areas were completely frozen over except for a very small bit that the Swans had kept open.  My daytime maximum at home was only 0.5c.  The only birds of note were Siskin 1, Redwing c50, Water Rail 1.


Old Moor: 6 Bramblings by Centre. 31+ Goosander could just be made out in freezing fog tonight.
2 Bittern + Marsh Harrier reported late yesterday.

7 Waxwings, Station Road Industrial Estate, Wombwell.

The Edge

Broomhill Flash mid AM- A bright, clear and cold start. On two small areas of open water( 95% ice cover) were 16Shoveler,6 Mallard, 3 Tufted Duck, 3 Gadwall, 3 Teal, 1f Goosander, 1 Pochard and 1 Shelduck. On the ice were 23 Lapwing, 8 Pied Wagtail, 4 Golden Plover and 2 Common Gull. Also present were 1 Grey Heron, 6 Red Legged Partridge, 5 Grey Partridge, 1 LBB Gull, 8 Snipe, 1 Kestrel and 1f Sparrowhawk.

Bolton Ings late AM- The mist began to roll in and by the time we reached the Cormorant Hide, the only  waterbirds visible on the pools , through the fog , were 4 adult Mute Swans and 3 juveniles. 12 Mallard and 6 Tufted Duck were seen on the R. Dearne. Also present were 1 Cormorant, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Green Woodpecker

Wintersett Ice and Fog 13.12.12

Thick freezing fog here from 07.30am onwards. 
Wintersett Res and Cold Hiendley Res not checked,  but most likely that they are completely frozen.
Anglers CP: Still some clear water at southern end of lake and in front of hide.  The drake American Wigeon was seen through the murk this morning.
Car Park Feeding Station:  30 Tree Sparrows

Adwick +

Stairfoot Tesco   56 Waxwings at 08.30

Adwick = very quiet and frozen solid throughout. Little Grebe 2 on river, Cormorant 5, Goosander 2 on river, Fieldfare 120+, Redwing 60+.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

today's news, just........

Very little news today: 3 Blackcaps (2 males) in a garden at Derwent Place, Wombwell.

The 20 Waxwings at Stairfoot Tesco filling station were there most of the morning too.

At least 6 Bramblings still at Old Moor. A couple of Keith Pickering's photos taken today below.

On offer at Tesco

Drive-by sighting this afternoon - about 20 Waxwings in tree by filling station at Tesco.  Still there later on return journey.

Ingbirchworth reservoirs.

Fullshaw - c150 Jackdaws, c250 Rooks and 2 Ravens.
Broadstones Reservoir - 6 Mallards and 1 Common Buzzard (slowly west).
Low Common, Ingbirchworth - c30 Lapwings and c120 Golden Plovers.
Ingbirchworth Reservoir - 9 Pink-footed Geese (6 leaving west), 102 Greylag Geese, 227 Canada Geese, 68 Mallards, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Cormorant and 13 Coots.
Royd Moor Reservoir - 4 Wigeons, 5 Teal, 28 Mallards and mixed flock of c6 Blue Tits, 8+ Long-tailed Tits and 3 Treecreepers.
Midhope Reservoir - 8 Mallards.
There have been very few Teal & Wigeon on the upland and moorland waters this autumn/late winter.

Wintersett Ice 12.12.12

Hard frost overnight. Started overcast but bright sunshine by midday.
Wintersett Res: 95% ice.   As expected the Smew has gone (hopefully back over Pugneys way)
Cold Hiendley Res: 95% ice 
Anglers CP: 50% ice.   Drake American Wigeon,  female Long-tailed Duck.  All 3 male Scaup are here, 2 of which, are 1st winters.   190 Pochard  and  40 Great Crested Grebe are in the area. 
Highlight today was a brief visit by 8 Waxwings near the cafe.

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Tuesdays news

Old Moor: 2 Bitterns seen in day + roosted at Reedbeds, 4 Brambling.

Broomhill Flash: Short-eared Owl again late aft.

Woolley Waxwings

Several were seen feeding on haws on the golf course yesterday along with good numbers of Fieldfare and Redwing (a local golfer)

Wintersett 11.12.12

Freezing but sunny.  WRes. 80% ice,  CHRes. 60% ice,  ACP 1% ice.  However, all the usual goodies are still here.
Anglers CP:  WAXWING - 1 in car park briefly at 09.07 hrs before flying west.  Female Long-tail Duck, Drake American Wigeon,  Wigeon 257, Pochard 143, Shoveler 7,  Siskin 2,  Canada Goose white type,  and 1st winter male Scaup.
Wintersett Res: Male Smew , Egyptian Goose 3, Water Rail 2, Teal 3, Great Crested Grebe 31 +17 ACP and 2 male Scaup (adult and 1st winter).

1st winter male Scaup - Anglers CP        Kev Denny

1st winter male Scaup - Anglers CP         Kev Denny

Beech of a Haw..!

A Hawfinch was seen this morning in the beech trees in Worsbrough Village churchyard. It was apparently first seen 3 weeks ago and was only identified as a hawfinch yesterday. I spent a couple of hours in the area, but to no avail.

Although this species has never been common, it has become increasingly scarce over the last decade in the Barnsley area. Rockley and Stainborough (also Bretton Park) have always been the main strongholds, with small numbers breeding annually and regular sightings of flocks in winter. Unfortunately this now seems to be a thing of the past, and large flocks such as the Barnsley area maximum of 29 at Rockley on 14th April 1994 seems unlikely to be repeated. However, a wintering flock of up to 11 birds in January/February 2009 at Wentworth Castle Gardens raised hopes that this species maybe a regular occurence once again . . .

Male Hawfinch - Stainborough Feb 2009

Adwick tip

Short-eared Owl 2 showing well this afternoon, Sparrowhawk 1, Kestrel 2, Fieldfare 250, Redwing c100, Blackbird 40, several hundred corvids flying west late afternoon to a roost somewhere.

The Edge

Broomhill Flash mid AM- Not exactly the 'Beast from the East'  weatherwise but still cold. About 80-90% of flash covered with ice. Birds present included 60 Teal, 76 Wigeon  30 Mallard, 13 Tufted Duck, 6+ Gadwall, 6 Pochard, 2 Shoveler, 13 LBB Gull, 6 Common Gull, 6 Grey Partridge, 5 Red Legged Partridge, 2 Kestrel and 5 Meadow Pipit.

Bolton Ings late AM- About 90% of eastern pool covered in ice. On the open water and ice were 1 Grey Heron, 2 Little Grebe,  4 Mute Swan+ 4juv,113 Gadwall, 80 Wigeon, 36 Pochard, 21 Shoveler, 20 Teal, 26 Mallard, 6 Tufted Duck, 2m+1f Goosander(+4 flyover), 2f Goldeneye, 1 Shelduck, c250 BH Gull and 18 Common Gull. Also present were 3 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Jay, 3 Green Woodpecker, 3 Cormorant, c150 Redwing and c100 Fieldfare.

two good uns

Never got out of Stocksbridge this morning but managed 8 Waxwings in the Clock Tower Gardens and 1 Goshawk drifting north over the house as I was filling the feeders. Also unusual in the garden over the past three months is the almost daily appearance of a Stock Dove.

Monday, 10 December 2012

Wintersett Ringing Recovery

 From Pete Smith:
A TREE SPARROW  (TS09438), ringed as a nestling from a brood of six, in a nestbox at Cold Hiendley on 15.07.11, was found (ring only) at Thetford, Norfolk on 30.09.12, a distance of 200kms to the south east. 
This confirms that some of our Tree Sparrows, do,  in fact, move considerable distances from their natal areas.

Rabbit Ings

4 Short-eared Owls were hunting today and there were plenty of Fieldfare and Redwing on the south side as well as this Lesser Redpoll. (Ray Dye)

Derek Wroe
32 Waxwings in Ben and Jerry's at Stairfoot this morning, with another c. 40 over Tesco carpark.

Carlton Marsh Area

2 Waxwing flew north at 13.25hrs and 3 Goosander (2m 1 f) were at Bleachcroft Farm Pond with a Little Grebe.

15 Waxwings were seen at 13.45hrs near Moor Lane, Pontefract Road, Lundwood and later a Barn Owl was hunting over Carlton Marsh at 15.30hrs.  A Water Vole on the dike near the hide was a pleasing sight.
(Dave Standish)

Mondays news:

Old Moor: 8 Brambling in sacrificial crop. Parties of 9, 6, 1 Waxwings moved through.

Adittional for yesterday: 1+ Bittern, 9 Whoopers through at dusk.

Other Waxwings today: 20 - 30 at Glebe Court Tankersley (Steve Bennett). 1+ over Wilson Street, Wombwell this morning. No sign of Hoyland Common flock early am.

Wintersett 10.12.12

Wintersett Res: Male SMEW in NE corner,  American Wigeon on Botany Bay and 3 Egyptian Geese in the north bank field.   The 2 male Scaup (one juv) were still diving for mussels. A Nuthatch  was seen in Pits Wood.
Anglers CP:The female Long-tailed Duck was still present, as was the juvenile male Scaup. An adult male Peregrine flew west at 14.25hrs.
Car Park Feeding Station: The swish new birdhouse (thanks Graham)  was being used by Great Tits and Blue Tits. Also seen at lunchtime were 58 Chaffinch, 20 Collared Dove, 1 Willow Tit and numerous Tree Sparrows.

Ewden, dukes rd. triangle walk. 9-12-12.

Quieter than quiet. The only bird of note was a woodcock flushed from near the track which flew w. over broomhead moor. No sign of any owls at woolley grange a.m.


Underbank Reservoir - 73 Mallards, 2 Tufted Ducks, 1 Cormorant, 3 Moorhens, 2 Coots, c30 Black-headed Gulls and 1 Dipper. An obvious increase in the number of Blackbirds (c35) and Robins (c25).

Adwick washlands (am)

Mallard 14, Shelduck 1, Peregrine 1, Waxwing 8 (Bolton end of the lane), Grey Partridge 12,  Fieldfare c200, Redwing c50, Redpoll 5, Yellowhammer 12, Bullfinch 4, Greenfinch 3,  Willow Tit 1.

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Carlton Marsh

Keith found a fresh dead Great Spotted Woodpecker near the hide which had gone by the time I arrived.  2 Sparrowhawks were chasing Redwings and a Buzzard was harassing about 400 Wood Pigeons.  A Little Owl was well concealed from the wind and a Water Rail called from the southern end of the marsh. 


c100 Waxwings there this morning (Chris Parkin) but when I arrived at about 1.15pm there were only 8 near the petrol station

Storrs Mill Wood
3 Buzzards were hunting together and 7 Lesser Redpolls were feeding on Stinging Nettle seed.

Bolton Ings - 9th December

Mild this morning at 9c but very windy which meant birds were difficult to count as they sought shelter. Highlight of day was a cream crown Marsh Harrier that dropped into reeds at 12.15 and left over the tip towards goldie fields at 13.20. The Harrier was seen yesterday and is probably the first ever record for December? Duck numbers were average to low apart from a healthy 118 Gadwall and no Grebes were seen at all. Full list :- Grey Heron 3, Mute Swan 4, Canada Goose 70, Grey Lag Goose 3, Cormorant 8, Shelduck 1, Mallard 49, Teal 6, Wigeon 14, Gadwall 118, Shoveler 17, Tufted Duck 3, Pochard 24, Goldeneye 2, Goosander 1, Coot 206, Moorhen 2, Redshank 1, Black Headed Gull 155, Common Gull 9, Herring Gull 7, LBB Gull 2, Marsh Harrier 1, Kestrel 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Redwing c100, Fieldfare c20, Green Woodpecker 1.

Bits 'n' Bobs

Stairfoot & Tesco Waxwings;-
About 40 were in trees by Frankie & Bennies with another 15 in Tesco carpark. Couldn't find the big flock this morning in a fairly strong wind but there are lots of berries and fruit still on the Trans Pennine Trail.
Edderthorpe Flash;-
Goosander 6, Goldeneye 5 and Wigeon 45.
Wintersett gull roost;-
Good numbers of big gulls tonight (Sunday is consistently the best night for big gull numbers here), GBBGull 210, LBBGull 23 and Herring Gull 720 but unfortunatly we couldn't find anything more unusual amongst them.

Sunday update

News from Old Moor today: Marsh Harrier, 2 Redshank, Dunlin, Green Sand, 6 Waxwings car park, 5 Brambling in sacrificial crop.

Broomhead Res: (Roy Twigg) Adult Caspian Gull in roost + c200 Herring Gulls, c100 GBB Gulls

Brampton Bierlow

7 Waxwing NE over Cliffe Rd > Old Moor @ 14:45.

Wintersett a.m 09.12.12

Wintersett Res Highlight:  The male SMEW made a return visit from Millfield Lagoons. He was diving off the west bank but flew over to the north east corner around 11.00 hrs.
All other usuals still here:  Male Scaup and 1st winter male Scaup and 3 Egyptian Geese.
Anglers CP: Drake American Wigeon,  female Long-tailed Duck,  1st winter male Scaup, Teal 17, Pochard 138.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Rabbit Ings

Mick Birkinshaw has confirmed that there were 6 Short-eared Owls present on the 4th of December, but later today he discovered a fresh dead Barn Owl on Lundhill Lane, where it goes up and over the old pit railway lines. It didn't have a ring.


Ferrymoor Flash

4 Goosander (2m 2f) 1 female Goldeneye, 1 pair Shoveler, 3 Teal, 6 Tufted Duck, c50 Mallard and 10 Common Gull.

Cudworth Common
5 Mute Swans (3 immatures) the 4th young swan was just a carcass. Green Woodpecker

Monk Bretton
A Peacock butterfly was sunning itself this morning in Ralph Hibbert's garden.

Wintersett 08.12.12

Just the usual goodies enjoyed by lots of visiting birders today.
Anglers CP: Drake American Wigeon,  female Long-tailed duck, 1stW male Scaup,  Green Woodpecker, 98 Greylag Geese.
Wintersett Res :3 Egyptian Geese, male Scaup and a 1stW male Scaup.
Gull Roost: GBBG  105,  LBBG 21,  Herring Gull 340.

Hawfinch at Carlton Marsh!!

Wonder if you could help in identifying the bird in the attached photo.
It was taken at carlton marsh on 21/11/2012 at approx 1400 hrs.
Opinions from other regulars at carlton are of the opinion that it is a Chaffinch
but in my opinion the wing bars are wrong. I myself thought it may be a Hawfinch
but as they are rare I have my doubts.
Picture is not very good as it was taken on a phone
Looking forward to your suggestions ?
Rod Heeley (Cudworth)

This photo and message has been sent to the blog administrator - Mark Doveston and clearly is a Hawfinch, (and a superb photo considering its from a phone). Thanks very much Rod, I assume this will be the first for Carlton Marsh. How about that then Cliff?

Waxwings etc

Hoyland Common just past Allotts Corner on Sheffield Road 2.30pm
100 Waxwing
2 Willow Tit

My Garden
2 Goldcrest
Only a few visits to the bird feeders

Broomhill 1pm
4 Golden Eye
1 Kestrel
2 Heron
A few Teal, Tufted, Gadwall and others

Old Moor update

Dave Waddington reports;- 1 Bittern, the Marsh Harrier was present again this morning, a Peregrine over, 6 Goldeneye, Waxwings - flocks of 20 and 2 flew over, 6 Brambling are still in the crop near the visitor centre and a very elusive Firecrest was seen briefly (and heard a few times) in the hedgerow bordering the field (same area it was in 2 weeks ago). 25 Tree Sparrows are in this same area.

from the Huddersfield website

Gunthwaite Dam - 6 Teal, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Water Rail, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Kingfisher.
Annat Royd Lane - 3 Pink-footed Geese with the Greylag flock.
Spicer House Lane - 5 Golden Plovers
per Nick Mallinson.

Friday, 7 December 2012

quick splash

Old Moor: 2 Bitterns, c20 Waxwings, 4 Brambling.

Hoyland Common: 200+ Waxwings, same place as yest.

Wintersett 07.12.12

Blue sky, sunshine, biting wind.   Birds much the same.
Anglers CP: An adult male Peregrine flew over.   Drake American Wigeon,  female Long-tailed duck, 1st winter male Scaup.  Shoveler 4 + 1 WRes.
Wintersett Res:Egyptian Goose 3,  Scaup 1 male and a first winter male.

Ewden Valley

Ewden Valley (More Hall to Broomhead Wood) - Although relatively quiet there was a good number of 14 Jays (including 4 in a Ewden Village garden), c50 Blackbirds and c30 Robins, plus 2 Willow Tits, 1 Nuthatch and 5 Bullfinches.
More Hall Reservoir - 1 Canada Goose, 84 Mallards and 2 Moorhens.
Broomhead Reservoir - 7 Mallards and 2 Cormorants.

Black-head recovery & Massing Waxwings

Just received info of an adult Black-headed Gull with a white darvic (26A4) that was at Worsbrough res on 25th October and also Broomhill a few days prior. Details below:

This bird was ringed by Cotswold Waterpark RG as age nestling, sex unknown
on 09-Jun-2011 at Cokes Pit, Somerford Keynes, Gloucestershire
OS Map reference SU0295, co-ordinates 51deg 39min N 1deg 58min W.

Waxwings were refuelling at Tesco petrol station (Stairfoot) again this morning,
and had built to c.400, although this estimate is thought to be conservative.
There were 259 + when I arrived, and I was toldthat c.200 had flown SW before

259 Waxwing - only part of the flock

Waxwings refuelling
There were also 10 waxwing in Royston this morning.


Just to add to yesterdays total. At least 49 Waxwings were present in bushes at the junction of Wath Road & Westfield Road near Brampton around 15.00 hrs.

Thursday, 6 December 2012

A trilling meeting!

Old Moor: 32+ Goosanders roosted on Mere. No Bitterns were seen at dusk, however there were probably 2 seen on Bolton Ings at dusk. 2 Waxwings flew over Old Moor about 9am and 4 were in the car park at 3pm.  2 Brambling remain in the sacrificial crop.

Got a text from someone to say his dad had seen 50+ Waxwings at Hoyland Common (presumably Jonathan Wasse). Fortunately I was summoned to a meeting nearby and when passing was stunned to see at least 220 Waxwings.  From Allotts Corner (Hoyland Common traffic lights) take A1635 Sheffield Road (towards Chapletown) after passing Parkside Road on left you will notice a sheep field on right. The flock were in Hawthorns beside the main road. With a big flock at Stairfoot Tesco too could we be in for breaking the record? To the best of my knowledge this is a flock of 400 seen at Tankersley on 26th February 2005. Anybody know different?

Tesco Bonus

Stairfoot, Barnsley - 8 Fieldfares and 140+ Waxwings by the Tesco Filling Station at 14:00hrs.
Elsecar Reservoir - 58+ Mallards, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Moorhens, 12 Coots and c100 Black-headed Gulls.

Wintersett 06.12.12

A freezing trudge today, but  at least not up to the ankles in mud.  Cold Hiendley Res 60% ice,  Wintersett Res 1% ice,  Anglers clear.
Anglers CP: Female Long-tailed duck and drake American Wigeon, Shoveler 4
Wintersett Res: Egyptian Goose 3,  Redwing 75 S,  Water Rail 1,   2 Scaup - 1 adult male and a first winter male.   A phone call this morning confirmed that the male Smew has gone on a jaunt to Pugneys - Millfield Lagoons.

The Edge

Broomhill Flash mid AM-  Only a small area on the western side was not frozen and this is where most of the bird activity activity was taking place. 2 Mute Swans flew in at 9.45am and proceeded to do a passable impression of icebreakers, doubling the area of open water. Other birds present included 2 Grey Heron, 35 Teal, 30 Wigeon, 4 Goldeneye, 2 Pochard,6 Gadwall, 5 Shoveler, 8 Tufted Duck, 18 Golden Plover, 7 Red Legged Partridge, 1 Common Gull, 1 Meadow Pipit,1 Mistle Thrush,1 Kestrel and 154 Coot.

Bolton Ings late AM- The highlight was watching a Bittern fly about 100m west over the reeedbeds. Again activity was around the small areas of ice-free water and 6 Mute Swans(2adult+4juv) were doing ice breaking duty. Birds present included 1 Cormorant, 3 Grey Heron, 2Little Grebe, 11 Greylag, 13 Canada Geese, 34 Pochard, 32 Gadwall, 32 Mallard, 18 Tufted Duck, 3 Goldeneye (1m+2f), & Shoveler, 3 Goosander92m+1F), 2 Teal, 2 Wigeon, 11 Common Gull, 1 LBB Gull, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, 3 Redpoll, 1 Green Woodpecker, 100+ Redwing and aflock of 200+ Woodpigeon.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

Ferrymoor Flash

2 female Goldeneye were present this afternoon along with 1 male Goosander. 2 Goldcrests were notable at 5 Lanes End on Cudworth Common. (Keith Bannister)

Storrs Mill Wood
Yesterday a Woodcock was flushed and a Nuthatch was on a bird feeder provided by a local man. (Arthur Vincent) 

Rabbit Ings

E-mail from Mick Birkinshaw
The other day we got good aerial views of 4 owls grappling with each other in clear blue skies to the north of the site and then a buzzard came in low and at speed to take part in the scrum, what an amazing site that was. It must have looked like this over the cliffs of Dover in 1940!

I received a report of 6 being seen yesterday but I don't know the full story yet.

I also attach some excellent shots taken by Mel Plant, these have been added to the portfolio for the public to view when I'm here.

Wintersett 05.12.12

Freezing wind,  icy underfoot but sunny.
Anglers CP: Drake American Wigeon,  Female Long-tailed Duck,  Redshank 1 over,  Buzzard 1 over car park.
Wintersett Res: Male Smew in NE corner this morning,  3 Egyptian Geese,  40 Golden Plover flew over,  Scaup 1 male, 1 first winter male and also first winter male on ACP.   Just 1 Teal on Botany.

Some of the 226 Waxwings, Stairfoot -Tesco Car Park, late p.m.    ASmith

a little

Very little news today; Waxwings: saw 2 as I drove through Hemmingfield and there were still about 20 in Hoyland yesterday aft. 2 have been seen on 'Warbler Way' Bolton Ings today. About 100 were back in the Stairfoot Tesco carpark. A Bittern was at the Reedbeds at Old Moor and 31 Goosanders roosted. The Golden Plover flock at Thurnscoe numbered about 300 this aft with a Buzzard there too.

Gunthwaite Dam

Gunthwaite Dam - 2 Wigeon, 6 Teal, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Kingfisher - per David Pennimgton.


About 80 at stairfoot tesco late a.m.

Winscar & Ingbirchworth

Absolutely bleak, and not just the weather.
Winscar Reservoir - 1 Canada Goose, 101 Mallards and 1 Moorhen.
Ingbirchworth Reservoir - 165 Canada Geese, 18 Mallards, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Moorhens and 10 Coots.
Plenty of corvids in the fields, but very few gulls.

The Edge

Broomhill Flash mid AM- A bright, clear morning with a biting cold north westerly wind. On the open, ice-free water were 2 Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron, 14 Tufted Duck, 10 Mallard, 8 Teal, 6 Wigeon, 4 Goldeneye, 3 Pochard,  2 Gadwall, 1 Shoveler and 4 Common Gull. Also present were 6 Grey Partridge, 2 Red Legged Partridge, 25 Greylag, 3 Snipe, 1 Kestrel and 6 Meadow Pipit.

Bolton Ings late AM- On the open water were 9 Cormorant, 3 Grey Heron, 2 Little Grebe, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Mute Swan + 1juv, 61 Greylag,  60 Gadwall,14 Mallard, 13 Pochard, 12 Shoveler, 11 Wigeon, 8 Tufted Duck, 6 Teal, 5 male Goosander, 3 female Goldeneye, 1 Shelduck and 5 Common Gull. Also seen were 1 Kestrel, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Snipe, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Bullfinch and 2 Redpoll(TPT).

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

DV Camera Club


80+ Waxwing's late afternoon for a short period. Spooked intermittently by a Sparrowhawk. Excellent Photo's Peter

Wintersett 04.12.12

Cold, damp, sunny start but clouded over by midday.
The muddy trudge this morning ended nicely with a flock of  10 Crossbills, (at least 2 were male) and a flock of 30 Siskins near the entrance to Haw Park Wood.
The highlight this afternoon was a 1st winter CASPIAN GULL in the WRes. roost.
Anglers CP: Drake American Wigeon,  female Long-tailed Duck,  1st winter male Scaup. 27 Cormorant.
Wintersett Res: Male Smew,  2 Scaup - a male and a juv. male,  3 Egyptian Goose,  Buzzard 1.

Rabbit Ings

4 Short-eared Owls were showing well again this afternoon. (Keith Bannister)

tuedays bobs

Old Moor: Bittern 2+ roosted, Goosander 39 roosted, Redshank 2, Green Sand' 1, Barn Owl 1, Tawny Owl 1, Waxwing 5 briefly in playground, Brambling 3.

Broomhill Flash: Goldeneye 4, Short-eared Owl 1 (late afternoon).

About 100 Golden Plovers in field on left as you come into Thurnscoe from Houghton.

As I passed through Hemmingfield late morning about 40 Waxwings were near The Albion boozer.

Drove on Springwood Road, Hoyland twice this morning without seeing a Waxwing but they do tend to rove. Around 60 were seen yesterday afternoon. As the Short-eared photos have finally gone to ground thought I'd throw some more Waxwings at you. Well, they are pretty!

Waxwing, Hoyland - Pete Garrity

Waxwing, Hoyland - Pete Garrity

Midhope & Underbank

A very steady morning (even by moorland standards).
Midhope Reservoir - nothing.
Midhope Hall Lane, Midhopestones - c50 Starlings, c40 Fielfares and 3 Jays.
Underbank Reservoir - 76 Mallards, 4 Tufted Ducks, 3 Moorhens and 3 Jays.

Monday, 3 December 2012


A supposedly photo of Syd? Are you sure it's not Bill Oddy trying to gatecrash the Christmas Bash.

A quiet sunday 2-11-12 .

5 common snipe at wilthorpe, no jacks, nothing new either at low barugh s.f. Even quieter on the moors, just 2 ravens w. over broomhead moor, viewed from dukes rd.

ho ho ho

Photograph, courtesy of - missus Sid
Just a reminder to everybody that the deadline for bookings for the Barnsley birders Christmas bash is this Thursday evening at the Barnsley Bird Study Group meeting at the Old Moor Centre. The event will take place at the Old Moor Tavern, Broomhill at 7pm on Monday 17th December and is proving to be popular. Remember, to secure you're place you must have paid a £5 deposit  per head and given you're choice from the menu. If you require further details please contact John Hewitt

Wintersett 03.12.12

Overcast, damp, becoming colder in the afternoon. 
Wintersett Res: Male Smew usually good views from Dam Wall.  (Wellies preferable, track still flooded)   Egyptian Goose 3.  Scaup 2 - male and juv male - usually feeding on mussels off  west bank also 1st winter male ACP.    There were  58 Great Black-backed  Gulls in the roost today. 
Anglers CP: Drake American Wigeon,  Female Long-tailed Duck, Goosander 34 + 3WRes.,  Cormorant 30.

Adwick tip (late afternoon)

Short-eared Owl 1, Kestrel 2, Fieldfare c150, Redwing 100, Siskin 6, Linnet 20; Green Sandpiper  1 (Adwick washlands)

The Edge

Broomhill Flash Mid AM- About 10 to 15% of the flash has a covering of ice. On the open water were 2 Cormorant, 2 Grey Heron, 21 Mallard, 10 Tufted Duck, 7 Teal, 3 Goldeneye( 2m + 1f ), 2 Pochard, 2 Shoveler, 2 Gadwall, 2 Mute Swan, 1 Wigeon, 4 Common Gull and 1juv  GBB Gull.

Bolton Ings late AM- Eastern pool was ice-free. On the open water were 8 Cormorant, 5 Grey Heron, 1 Great Crested Grebe,  6 Mute Swan+1 juv, 56 Gadwall, 30+ Mallard, 20+ Pochard, 12 Shoveler, 6 Tufted Duck, 5 Goosander ( 4m+1f ), 3 Goldeneye ( 1m+2f ), 2 Wigeon and 9 Common Gull. Also seen were 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Redshank, 2 Jay, 1 Mistle Thrush, 7+ Siskin(on TPT) and a mixed flock of 150+ Redwing (c70%) and Fieldfare(c 30%).

upland & moorland res's

More Hall Reservoir - 1 Canada Goose, 1 drake Mandarin Duck, 75 Mallards, 3 Cormorants, 1 Grey Heron and 2 Moorhens.
Broomhead Reservoir - 3 Tufted Ducks.
Stocksbridge - 1 male Merlin and 1 Little Owl at Whitwell.
Fullshaw - a flock of c100 Fieldfare and c100 Starlings.
Ingbirchworth Reservoir - 73 Canada Geese, 49 Mallards, 4 Tufted Ducks, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Moorhens, 15 Coots and 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker.
Royd Moor Reservoir - 1 Cormorant.

Invasion update

Waxwings Monday: 125 + at Hemmingfield this morning. Then came across another small flock of 7 near the mini roundabout that links Lymesway to Elsecar Road. Finally, at least 26 were still on Springwood Road, Hoyland early afternoon. Some of Chris Harris's photos of the latter flock below.

Gunthwaite Dam

Gunthwaite Dam - both Water Rail and Green Sandpiper still present yesterday (02/02/12) per Dave Pennington

Water Rail at Gunthwaite Dam. photo Dave Pennington