Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Ferry Moor Lake

A quick wander during my lunch half hour produced;male Pochard, 4 Teal, 8 Tufted Duck, 8 Common Gull,
numerous Black-headed Gulls, Mallard, Canada Geese, Mute Swans,
Moorhens, Coots but very few passerines except a lone Redwing.



at the Old Moor Visitor Centre, starting 7.15pm. Mike Richardson with his popular 'Wildlife Miscellany' telling us what he was up to last year in a way that only Mike can! All welcome

Wintersett Res

The Taiga Bean Goose was still on the park lake first thing but quickly departed (presumably to feed in fields) . The Greenland White-front is with a couple of Pink-feet, Greylags and Canada Geese in the fields around the country park and the drake American Wigeon is on the lake. Black-necked Grebe and 2 drake Smew still on the top res. A adult Kittiwake went west at 10.03 and 4 Dunlin went through.

Monday, 30 January 2012

'Taiga' Bean Goose at Wintersett

After some research the Wintersett Bean Goose looks a very good Taiga as can be seen from the photos below. Taiga is the rarer of the two Bean Goose forms that are seen in Yorkshire with the other form - Tundra being far more regular and this is also the case in the Barnsley area. The true status of the forms from 'the past' is a bit hazy (they were simply Beans in the good old days) but it seems Taigas were likely on three previous ocassions;- Bretton Park in 1980, nine birds on Whitley Common in 1987/88 and Wath Ings in 1990.

Bean missed by rushing about!

Wintersett strikes again with a single Bean Goose (Taiga) being found with Greylags in the CP fields. Later the bird joined the local geese on the CP lake where it started to feed on the south bank although it was very wary at all times. Several birders walked straight past it despite me waving, and made their way to the fields instead which resulted in them dipping!

The goose displays characteristics of the Taiga race A. f. fabalis including the extensive orange on bill, large size (Greylag size) and a seemingly longer neck and bill and therefore is most likely to be the mentioned race.(see images below)

Other birds included 2 pinkfeet and American Wigeon on the CP and drake Smew and Black-necked Grebe still on Wintersett.

Bean Goose Anglers CP. All photos Carl Dixon

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Wilthorpe Marsh

Stu Green reports 4 Jack Snipe again in the marsh and a Water Pipit at the nearby Low Baurgh sewage farm.

Wintersett Res

The American Wigeon is still on the country park lake along with 474 Wigeon and 58 Teal. The Black-necked Grebe and 2 drake Smews are on the Top Res. The evening gull roost was split between the two lakes with most of the large gulls on the park lake and the small gulls on the Top Res; only 42 GBBGulls means the exodus has probably began already but there has been a influx of LBBGulls with at least 30 present. Herring Gull 870 and a 'probable' Herring x Glaucous hybrid, a strange looking first-year bird that had features of both these species.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

From the Moors

Very little to report from up here today;- Common Buzzard and Raven being the best. A couple of hours were spent looking for Black Grouse at Ewden but no sign, it really is looking like they are in trouble here, a gamekeeper has allegedly said there is only a single male left around this area!

Whoopers & White-fronts

Ingbirchworth Res.
3 Whooper Swans and 1 juvenile White-fronted Goose with 70+ Greylag Geese.


The American Wigeon is still in situ on the CP and has now paired up with a female Wigeon (Eurasian)! The drake Smew and Black-necked grebe were still present on Wintersett top res along with 54+ Goldeneye.
Other notable birds included Shelduck north, Peregrine and 3 Buzzard
American Wigeon. Carl Dixon


Colour ringed Little Egret, 2 Green Sands on Flash. Flock of 31 Skylarks in field between Flash and Wombwell Ings.

Saturday 28th January.

Female Peregrine Falcon hunting Feral Pigeons over the steelworks.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Old Moor - 26th January

Sightings yesterday included Bittern, Little Egret, Cettis Warbler, Peregrine, 25 Goosander and 6 Golden Plover at Old Moor. Little Owl and 2 Green Sandpipers at Broomhill. Finally 3 Corn Buntings at Adwick. I will post todays sightings later.


Most wildfowl is still present;-American Wigeon on the country park lake, Drake Smew and Black-necked Grebe on the Top Res. (pager news).

Thursday, 26 January 2012

Thursday 26th January

More Hall Reservoir
77 Mallard, 2 female Teal and 1 female Gadwall (scarce bird on moorland reservoirs).

Broomhead Reservoir
4 Goosanders. Gull roost - 2352 Black-headed Gulls, 41 Common Gulls, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 411 Herring Gulls and 318 Great Black-backed Gulls.

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Old Moor - 25th January

Sightings today included Bittern and Little Egret on reedbeds, 5 Goldeneye on mere and Shelduck on main marsh. Also 2 Pintail, Green Sandpiper and 3 Redshank. Finally a further 2 Green Sandpipers on Broomhill.

Local News today

Wintersett;- American Wigeon,Blk-necked Grebe and Smew all still present.
Old Moor;- Bittern and lots of wildfowl still present
Adwick;- 9 Corn Buntings and good numbers of Yellowhammers.

Wintersett 25th Jan

This afternoon I saw BN Grebe and one drake Smew (doesn't mean other one wasn't there).Didn't see Iceland Gull but see comment above.

Monday, 23 January 2012

Wilthorpe Marsh

Four Jack Snipe were seen here yesterday which makes this site currently the best place to see this species in Barnsley.

More from the Res

Wintersett again;- as mentioned earlier today the Yank Wigeon, 'Greenland' White-front, Black-necked Grebe and 2 drake Smew are all present, and the gull roost produced a second-winter Iceland Gull but a different bird to the one seen last night, tonights bird was a very white one whereas yesterdays was a dark one.

Old Moor - 23rd January

Sightings today included Little Egret on Mere, bird is colour ringed, probably same bird as seen in November but to be confirmed. 3 drake Pintail, 2 Goldeneye with another 4 on Broomhill and Green Sandpiper. Other news, 7 Corn Buntings at Adwick.

Old Moor - 22nd January

Paid a late evening visit to the reedbeds, weather very, very windy and temperature of +8c, although it felt colder than last week when it was -3c. Thought we would be struggling to see any Bitterns in flight because of the winds and that was the case although managed to see one (just) in reeds opposite Bittern Hide for a few seconds. The Cettis Warbler sang briefly at 4.40, a Buzzard flew over and just 1 Water Rail was heard calling. Other birds reported during day included Green Sandpiper, 2 Goldeneye and Goosanders on mere. 2 drake Pintail on the Wader Scrape and Shelduck and Little Egret on the main marsh.

Old Moor - January 22nd

Stainborough CP 23/1/12

On and above country park this afternoon ~
about 100 each Lapwing and Golden Plover repeatedly disturbed by a Common Buzzard.
Location for those who know the area ~ field between Menagerie Wood and Walker's Pond.

Winter set Wonderland

The magic of Winterset still continues during the midwinter months.The cracked ice plumage of the drake smew must be on every Birdwatchers list,along with a variety of other spectacular birds on this ice free water. Two drake smews and a Black-necked Grebe on the top res. American Wigeon and Greenland White-fronted Goose' on the country park

Adwick Washlands

This morning Grey Partridge 16, still lots of Yellow and Reed Buntings c100, Corn Bunting 7, Tree Sparrow 3, Linnet 120, Skylark 30, Fieldfare 50, Green Woodpecker 1,  -
Ken F

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Wintersett Res

Excellent birding here again, confirmed by the number of visiting birders over the weekend. The American Wigeon and 'Greenland' White-front continue their residence on the country park lake, both drake Smews and the Black-necked Grebe are on the Top Res and the gull roost in the evening produced a second-winter Iceland Gull, 215 GBBGulls and 950 Herring Gulls.

Edderthorpe Flash
In violently windy conditions this morning the main birds were 3 Shelduck, 25 Shoveler, 30 Wigeon and 4 Goosanders.

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Old Moor - 21st January

Highlights today, 2 drake Pintail on the mere where 50 Goosanders roosted. 2 more drake Pintail and a female Goldeneye on the wader scrape. A Peregrine hunted over the main marsh and a Little Egret remained on Bolton Ings where it has been all week. Finally a Little Owl and a Green Sandpiper on Broomhill. An unconfirmed report of a male Hen Harrier on the main marsh remained just that, unconfirmed.

Saturday 21st January.

Ingbirchworth Reservoir
An adult Yellow-legged Gull - Mick Cunningham.

Wintersett Res

The good run of birds here continues;- the American Wigeon and 'Greenland' White-front are still on the country park, whilst on the Top Res are 2 drake Smews and Black-necked Grebe (the grebe was found yesterday). There are also a couple of Pink-feet amongst the goose flock, a couple of Woodcock were flushed from near the country park, and the gull roost held 156 GBBGulls and 730 Herring Gulls.

Saturday 21st January

Barn Owl near motorway at 01:20hrs,

Friday, 20 January 2012

Old Moor - 20th January

More news and more birds today. Bittern, Cettis Warbler, 3 Pintail, 40 Goosander, 2 Goldeneye, Shelduck, 2 Redshank and Peregrine. Also a Short Eared Owl at Adwick.

Thursday 19th Jan

Wintersett Res
The drake American Wigeon and 'Greenland' White-front are still on the Country Park and have been joined by a redhead Smew. The drake Smew is on the Top Res.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Old Moor - 19th January

Even less news today, only reports being drake Pintail and a pair of Goldeneye.

Thursday 19th January

A report of 2 Waxwings in the garden centre car park this morning.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Old Moor - 18th January

Few reports today and no news of Bitterns tonight. Highlights Little Egret and Pintail on Bolton Ings, Peregrine, Barn Owl, 3 Goldeneye, 16 Goosander and another Pintail on Old Moor. A lot milder today and nearly all ice gone.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012


Old Moor Area: Lots of waterfowl on the Mere including four Pintail (three drakes). No less than three Bitterns  dropped in to roost at the Reedbeds tonight and apparently one was still on Bolton Ings yesterday.The Cetti's Warbler also showed well tonight in the bushes near the bridge. A Little Owl was again at Broomhill Flash.

No sign of Rough-leg to 2.15

Tuesday 17th January

c40 Redwings with Mistle Thrushes (11) and Fieldfares (c100).
+ 9 Grey Squirrels feeding on beechmast & one Brown Hare.

Agden- Rough Legged Buzzard

No sign of RLBuzzard mid-morning Monday although pager reports bird seen early afternoon. Common Buzzard seen with missing primary feathers from right wing.

Monday, 16 January 2012

Peregrine over Top Res at Wintersett mid afternoon.


Old Moor update: Cetti's still at Reedbeds. Stonechat reported at back of Broomhill Flash.

Pager News: Rough-leg reported over Hurkling Stones at 1.40pm.

Monday 16th January continued.......

Adwick Washlands
Cormorant 3, Grey Partridge 17, Peregrine 1, Corn Bunting 1,
50+ each of Yellow and Reed Bunting, Tree Sparrow 2,
Linnet c160, Skylark 10, Fieldfare 50, Redwing 30, Bullfinch 6.
Ken Found

No sign of RL Buzzard at Agden 11.00-11.30 am
but Common Buzzard with primary feathers missing on right wing.
Richard Popplewell

Monday 16th January

Broadstones Reservoir
34 Mallard, 173 Golden Plovers and c50 Common Gulls

Ingbirchworth Common
40 Lapwings and c150 Starlings.

Ingbirchworth Reservoir
1 juv White-fronted Goose, 78 Grey Lag Geese, 149 Canada Geese, 50 Mallard and 3 Wigeon.

200+ Rooks.


Yesterdays duck counts from Old Moor area as promised: Teal 612, Gadwall, 398,  Wigeon 739, Pochard 49, Goosander 52.

And today's news so far: Little Egret flew over about mid-day + appeared to land at Old Moor.

Houghton Washland

Nice peregrine hunting over Houghton Washland this morning. It left down stream going towards Broomhill.

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Wildfowl count day

Wintersett Res
The 'Greenland' White-front and American Wigeon are both still in residence on the park lake. Counts of note include;- Wigeon469, Gadwall 174, Pintail 1, Goldeneye 69, Goosander 53. Pink-footed Geese were heading north-west during the day and totalled 726. Of the gulls; a adult Iceland Gull was on the country park lake for a short while just before mid day before heading off northwards, and the roost held- GBBGull 140, LBBGull 2, Herring Gull 1085, Common Gull 1000, Black-headed Gull 7000.
Edderthorpe Flash
with minus 4 degree temperatures the flash is 95% frozen. there are still plenty of wildfowl around though;- Mallard 185, Teal 140, Wigeon 54, Shoveler 15 being the best. A skein of 350 Pink-feet went north-west at 09.20. The Tawny Owl is still in residence where the long-eareds should be.

Stone me!

A trip to Dukes Road this afternoon but no sign of the Rough-legged Buzzard although viewing conditions were not ideal being rather murky and with a head to match. We spent the afternoon viewing from Hurkling Stones. Red Grouse were extremely numerous and a final count came up with…….. shed-loads! A couple of Ravens flew south at about 15.10, mirroring yesterdays birds, albeit a little earlier and one would suspect they were the same birds moving off the moorlands to roost. A Goshawk also slipped off the moors later on (presumably to roost) and although this bird was probably outside the area it was still viewable from the border. Also on the moors a single male Black Grouse had been observed feeding in Silver Birch at Ewden Heights. 

At Old Moor, two Bitterns showed well tonight roosting up at the top of the reeds at the Reedbeds where the Cetti’s also gave a couple of bursts of song. I am still waiting for the final duck counts to fly in but will hopefully add these soon as there seemed to be a lot of birds.

Whoopers on the move

13 Whooper Swans west at Stocksbridge at 0945hrs.
Also large movement of Pink-feet seen from Whitwell Moor between 0920-0953 with movements west to north-west of c120, c100, c400, c250,  c100, 26 and c100 (per Dave Woodriff - SBSG).

More from the Old Moor and Moor........

Sightings at Old Moor yesterday included a 'cream crown' Marsh Harrier passing northwest, Buzzard, Peregrine, Oystercatcher, over 300 Pink-feet through, and at least six Water Rail + a Woodcock at the Reedbeds at dusk + Cetti's still.

On the moors, the Rough-legged Buzzard was seen over Broomhead Moor and then flew south over Dukes Road at 15.10 and two Ravens flew over at 4pm (Stu Green). A brief search for the Jebb Lane shrike produced nothing.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

More from the Moors

Wortley Top Forge produced minus 5 degrees temperatures and;- 2 Dippers, 6 Nuthatch and 3 Bramblings amongst the Chaffinches.
Dukes Road area;- 2 Ravens and a Common Buzzard. The pager reported the Rough-legged Buzzard was seen again just outside our area at Agden but a Sheffield birder (Andy Deighton) who had been there most of the afternoon never saw it.
Ewden Height (across the valley from Stone Circle);- 3 Common Buzzards and a ringtail Hen Harrier were over the moor much of the afternoon and a surprise was a Merlin which flew by.
Broomhead;- the woods here were lively with 50+ Coal Tits, a few Crossbills and plenty of Siskin and Lesser Redpolls. A couple of Ravens flew over as dusk approached and the gull roost held 330 GBBGulls, 3 LBBGulls and 400 herring Gulls. A bird crop in fields above the res held 80 Linnets and 80 Chaffinches.
WintersettRes;-The American Wigeon and 'Greenland' White-front are still on the country park lake, 320 Pink-feet flew north-west and a Peregrine was over the park lake in the morning.

Saturday 14th January

Langsett Reservoir
31 Teal & 52 Mallard

Upprt Midhope
c150 Fieldfare

Midhope Reservoir
9 Teal & 4 Mallard

Underbank Reservoir
43 Mallard & 5 drake Tufted Ducks.

Friday, 13 January 2012


BROOMHILL FLASH, Canada 350, Grey lag 8, Tufted 10, Goldeneye pr, Teal 30, Mallard 2, Wigeon 36, Gadwall 14, Pochard 1, Tufted 45, Lapwing 102, Golden Plover 1 + 80 north, Coot 45, Moorhen 5, Stock Dove 6, RL Part 4, Grey Part 23, Skylark 1. (Just in case anyone else thought the only birds at BH on wednesday were 5 Skylarks and 6 Grey Parts.)
From Dukes Rd this afternoon... Two sightings of Goshawk, Common Buzzard, S E Owl, Kestrel 2, Male Stonechat. No definate sightings of RLBuzzard though a very distant buzzard sp being mobbed looked interesting.
Ewden... Goshawk, Comm Buzzard, Kestrel, Pink feet 17 NW (15:30), Fieldfare 400

(White-front, Ingbirchworth, Oystercatcher Broadstones. per JIM)

Pretty much Rossi and co!

Bittern and Cetti's Warbler still at Reedbeds. 42 Goosanders roosted tonight. Other sightings included three Shelduck, Pintail and three Green Sandpipers.

Meanwhile, the Rough-legged Buzzard was well looked for this afternoon near Dukes Road but was not seen, although observers should be aware there is a pale Common Buzzard in the area.

Wintersett Res

Pager news for today;- 'Greenland' White-front and American Wigeon still on the Country Park lake and the drake Smew still on the Top res.

Friday 13th January

At least 8 Corn Buntings were on Adwick Washlands this afternoon, 3 of which were singing. This is now a very scarce bird in the Barnsley area. Also there were a few Fielfares, Yellowhammers, Reed Bunts and Grey Partridge. The Linnets had dropped to 15+ but the first thing I saw was a local flying a small falcon so the flush factor was quite high.

Thursday, 12 January 2012


Old Moor - Bittern and Cetti's still at Reedbeds, two drake Pintail Mere + Oystercatcher.

Pager: Wintersett - Drake American Wigeon and drake Smew still. NNEW 'Greenland Whitefront'.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012


The Rough-legged  Buzzard was seen again this afternoon at Dukes Road over Hurkling Edge. At least 300 Linnets were at Adwick Washlands.

Pager News: Great Grey Shrike still Green Acre Pond, Smew and 'Greenland White-front' still at Wintersett but no sign of Yankee Wigeon.
c250 Pinkfeet went NW over Old Moor at 13:55. Redshank on Wader Scrape, Oystercatcher on Mere and drake Pintail still present, as was the tame Kingfisher. 5 Skylarks at back of Broomhill Flash and 6 Grey Partridges dashing about as if its spring.

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Old Moor Wetlands Area Bird Report 2010

The Old Moor Wetlands Area Bird Report 2010 is now on sale at the Old Moor Visitor Center for £3.99. Please be aware that only a limited number have been printed this time so to avoid disappointment you should purchase a copy quickly.

Update: Old Moor, Cetti's still at Reedbeds + Peregrine.
Great Grey Shrike still near Green Acre Pond late afternoon.
American Wigeon, 'Greenland White-front' and drake Smew all still at Wintersett.

Grey Shrike and a Grey Goose

The Great Grey Shrike performed well this morning at Green Acre pond, with crossbill, 2 buzzard, 24 yellowhammer and c.100 pinkfeet (West), also seen in the area.

Not much up on the moors today and no sign of the Bean Geese at Ingbirchworth, though the juv Whitefront was present on the reservoir with the Greylags.

Tuesday morning

Bittern, Bolton Ings, darke Pintail and Oystercatcher Old Moor, Little Owl Broomhill Flash.

Monday, 9 January 2012

More from moors

The four Bean Geese were still in the usual place today, but no sign of the White-front. The second-winter Med' Gull roosted again at Broomhead Res. Of interest a distant 'buzzard' with a white tail was seen was seen from the shooting lodge at Ewden on New Years Day. Could this have been the Rough-leg? The observer did tell me of this a while back but I had completely forgot until reminded.

Early Spring?

c80 Rooks in the rookery at Wentworth with several repairing old nests and some starting new ones.


American Wigeon, 'Greenland Whitefront' and drake Smew still at Wintersett. Peregrine Broomhill Flash. Old Moor - late afternoon. Cetti's singing at Reedbeds and 8+ Water Rails there, 59 Goosanders roosted (max so far) Barn Owl and Tawny Owl. The only news we have in so far on yesterdays Rough-legged Buzzard seen on the area boundary, is that it was looked for by a couple of visiting birders this morning, but not seen. Meanwhile, Andy Deighton has kindly provided us with the following series of photos of the bird taken yesterday.

Rough-legged Buzzard - Andy Deighton

Rough-legged Buzzard - Andy Deighton

Rough-legged Buzzard - Andy Deighton

Rough-legged Buzzard - Andy Deighton

Monday 9th Jan

Only news in so far today, Great Grey Shrike still off Jebb Lane by Green Acre Pond and at Old Moor drake Pintail at Wath Ings.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

One of the two Whooper Swans present at Ingbirchworth yesterday - Nick Mallinson


The all Yorkshire birdrace took place today with 2 teams competing from the Barnsley area. Both teams reported a excellant days birding and amassed totals of 92 and 84. Highlights from the day included;- American Wigeon, 'Greenland' White-front, Smew at Wintersett, Great Grey Shrike at High Hoyland behind the church, Bean Geese at Ingbirchworth, 470 Pink-feet heading north-west in 5 skeins over Ewden, Raven at Ewden, Crossbills at Broomhead, Bittern and Barn Owl at Old Moor and the final bird- Little Owl at Broomhill. Bad 'misses' included;- LBBGull, Grey Wag (only seen by 2 people in the team), Redshank, Dunlin, Green Sand, Woodcock, with Stonechat and Cettis Warbler also deciding to stay hidden. Over a hundred species were recorded in the Barnsley area today but will a single team ever manage to see that magical number in a winter birdrace?? Maybe next year!

Rough-l in the Barnsley Area

A juvenile Rough-legged Buzzard was seen this afternoon on the border of the Barnsley area. Although it spent time over Agden Lodge (out of our area) I am assured by the observers that it would be viewable from Dukes Road (the boundary) and may  stray over anyway, thus mirroring the male Montagu's Harrier that many of us saw some years ago.

Meanwhile, another goose extravaganza in the Old Moor area today with around 600 Pink-feet passing through including a flock of more than 250 which dropped into the field at Broomhill before being seen of by a Peregrine. Other sightings at Old Moor included Cetti's (singing), Bittern, five Buzzards and a drake Pintail. Meanwhile, the Little Owl was in Broomhill Park at dusk.

The four 'Tundra Bean Geese' remain at Broadstones.

Pager news - American Wigeon and 'Greenland White-front' still at Wintersett.

From goose fest to gull fest

Wintersett Area
An incredible gull roost tonight on the res with c.400 GBB Gull, c. 1500 Herring Gull! and a 1st winter Med Gull. All attention was on the large gulls tonight, therefore no estimates for Common and Black-headed gulls were made, though numbers were probably the same as previous nights. With all these gulls, surely a white-winger will make an appearance soon!

The drake Smew was on the top res today and the Greenland White-front and American Wigeon were still present on Anglers.

Bean there!

The four Bean Geese are still at Ingbirchworth in field by Broadstone Road. They seem to favour the dip in the field which means they are hidden for much of the time but if you are patient they eventually show well.
Bonus was about 120 Pink-feet flying over Ingbirchworth.

Sunday 8th January

Midhope Reservoir
14 Teal and a pair of Grey Lag Geese.

Underbank Reservoir
5 drake Tufted Ducks and a redhead Goosander getting a load of stick from the Black-headed Gulls.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

A windy afternoon on the moors. 40 Golden Plovers down on Barnside Moor, rather unseasonal! Two Ravens displaying up top end of Ewden Valley along with a Common Buzzard. A second winter Med Gull along with c2500 BH Gulls in the roost on Broomhead Res.

Old Moor goose fest

A flock of 144 Pink-footed Geese dropped in at Old Moor this afternoon in the company of a single juvenile Bean Goose. Unfortunately they departed prior to dusk, heading off over Wombwell Ings where it is possible some of them dropped in. Another two skeins of Pinks (21 & 50) also passed over. The Cetti's Warbler was still at the Reedbeds.

The four 'Tundra Beans' were still in the Broadstones area late afternoon and the American Wigeon was again reported from Wintersett.

Beans and wind . . .

Rather breezy today, though a good day birding was had.

Anglers CP
The Greenland Whitefront and American Wigeon are still present on Anglers. An adult med gull was present in the roost and c. 80 pinkfeet flew NW.

Old Moor
On the way back to Old Moor after seeing the Bean geese at Ingbirchworth (lifer for me!), we received a text informing us of a single Bean Goose on the mere.
Upon arrival 50+ pinkfeet flew west, with an additional 145+ feeding on the centre bank along with the single Bean. They left west at dusk and around 1/4 of the flock dropped low over Broomhill.

The Cetti's was seen early morning on the reedbeds and two Dunlin were on the mere. Goosanders built up to 40 in the roost which are always fantastic to watch in the fading light.

Saturday 7th January

Ingbirchworth Common
4 Tundra Bean Geese, 23 Pink footed Geese west and 1 Merlin
+ Weasel carrying prey (vole sp).

Ingbirchworth Reservoir
2 adult Whooper Swans and 43 Mallards.

c100 Rooks.

Friday, 6 January 2012


Adult, probably male, Peregrine upsetting BH Gulls on Broomhill early afternoon,

Have a Gander at these

'Tundra Bean Geese', at  Broadstones today - Dave Pennington
'Tundra Bean Goose', at  Broadstones today - Dave Pennington

Update for birdracers...........

For all the rival teams doing the Michael Clegg Memorial Birdace on Sunday, I checked the Reedbeds tonight at Old Moor and saw very little of note. For those not doing it however, both the Bittern and Cetti's Warbler were present at dusk. Also seen were Water Rail, Green Sand, Great S Woodpecker and 20+ Goosanders. A large skein of geese passing through were thought to be Pink-feet.

The Great Grey Shrike was relocated this afternoon, seen from the public footpath in a hedgerow one field down  from High Hoyland Church.

More details on Beans: The four 'Tundra' birds are at Broadstones, east of the Reservoir on Broadstones Road - SE202067, just in West Yorkshire.

Nearby, the first-winter White-front was on Broadstones Res. and c120 Pink-feet passed over as well as several hundred Lapwings.

Pager News: Yank Wigeon still at Wintersett, 'Greenland White-front Anglers, Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, Haw Park.

Friday 6th January

mixed flock of c200 Starlings and 350+ Fielfasre.

Castle Dam
102 Canada Geese (leaving little room for anything else).

Bean and NOT gone

Stop press: 4 Beans still late pm. Current viewing gen as before but continue past building to off-set crossroads, turn right (towards Broadstones) past field with black bales and view from next gateway on right. Look carefully, as they really are getting under the walls!

Bean back?

Four 'Tundra Bean Geese' were again reported from Ingbirchworth this morning. Take the road that runs along side the reservoir, past the inlet and as you start to climb up the hill you will pass a converted barn type building. About 100 yds further up where it levels out a bit, look in fields to your right. Apparently they are difficult to see, so you may need to spend some time in the area.

The Great Grey Shrike at Haigh was looked for again this morning but not seen. It was also well looked for Wednesday morning, but again no sign. Has it really gone?

A few Waxwings are reaching places not far from the Barnsley area so it has to be well worth looking.

Coming soon? One of two Waxwings in Sheffield yesterday - Keith Pickering.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Flood Warning


Hope the linky works.
AND.......hope the floods has an influence on the state of play in the valley.

same as.......

Not too much to report again from Old Moor today, although the Peregrine continued to make frequent raids over the Mere. A Common Buzzard also passed through.

Pager News - American Wigeon and 'Greenland White-front' still at Wintersett.

Tuesday, 3 January 2012


This coming Thursday 7.15pm at the Old Moor Visitor Centre. Geoff Carr is going to inform us of whats been happening recently on the south-west moors in 'The Dark Peak'. Everyone is welcome.

Wet n' windy

Not surprisingly not much news from the Old Moor area today in adverse weather conditions. Three Goldeneye were at Broomhill Flash this morning whilst reports from Old Moor included a healthy count of c500 Wigeon and 200 Gadwall.

gull roost update

The second-winter Med' Gull again roosted at Broomhead Res last night. Plenty of Crossbills were also seen in the area. Also, there was an unconfirmed report of a Great Grey Shrike recently somewhere along Ewden Beck between the green bridge and the hairpin bend.

Monday, 2 January 2012


News from a site which is not normally covered by most Barnsley birders but is in the recording area and was covered during the recent breeding bird survey. RSPB are currently working on the management of this potentially excellent area. Ken Foundation reports for today - Not many species this morning, but lots of birds especially buntings. Common Buzzard 2, Grey Partridge 5, Corn Bunting 3 (1 singing), Reed Bunting c50, Yellow Bunting c40, Linnet c100, Goldfinch 40, Greenfinch 8, Bullfinch 2, Skylark 11, Tree Sparrow 2, Kingfisher 1, Fieldfare ,80, Redwing 20.

Gulls galore

Broomhead Res
The gull roost here pre-dawn held 270 GBBGulls which is a big surprise considering Sheffield birders have been saying how poor it is (or maybe that is a poor count to them). Crossbills were also conspicuous with 5 sightings of 11 birds in the first hour. A mixed flock of 100 Siskins (mainly) and a few Lesser Redpolls also here but the Moor tops were bitterly cold.
Wintersett Res
The gulls here tonight;- GBBGull 359, LBBGull 3, Herring Gull 908, Common Gull 2000, and Black-headed Gull 8000.

Once Bittern...........

A single Bittern, which as far as I know had not been seen all day at Old Moor, roosted on the Reedbeds as per usual. It appeared to fly in from the reeds in front of the Bittern hide............

The Great Grey Shrike at Jebb Lane was still showing mid-afternoon.
White-Fronted Goose Royd Moor Res

still a juv on the water at Royd Moor today. This at least is a genuine goose sighting, unlike a lot of the dodgy stuff pumped out by pager services whose 'news' is about as reliable as the News of the World's!

Happy New Year!

Monday 2nd January

More Hall Filter Station
1 male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker in a mixed tit flock.

More Hall Reservoir
4 Cormorants and 3 drake Goosanders.

More has Beans?

News on the pager of of a Bean Goose at Wintersett but I just spoke to one of the regulars who is on site currently and all they can find is a Pink-foot, so you can guess what he's thinking. He may be a sceptic, but I doubt it! Meanwhile, year listers (oops, sorry!) will be pleased to know both the American Wigeon (below) and 'Greenland White-front' are still present.

Drake American Wigeon, Anglers CP - Chris Harris. Still there today for the year listers!


Morning visit to Old Moor, clear and sunny yet surprisingly not a Pink-foot skein by mid-day. At least the raptors were up, Peregrine (taking a Moorhen), Buzzard and a couple of Sparrowhawks. Otherwise, pretty much the norm, the best being the Cetti's heard calling at the Reedbeds.

Meanwhile, the Great Grey Shrike remains off Jebb Lane and the immature White-front is still with Greylags this morning on the west side of Royd Moor Reservoir.

Sunday, 1 January 2012


A good start to the year with lingering rarities American Wigeon and 'Greenland' White-front still present. 71 Goosanders in the evening was a good count as were 250 GBBGulls and 850 Herring Gulls. A 'Mealy' Redpoll was amongst a small flock of Lesser Redpolls and a Barn Owl left its box in Wintersett village at dusk.
3 Shelduck and 5 Goosanders were the few things of note.

Old Moor Reedbeds - New Years Day

Paid a late afternoon visit to the Old Moor Reedbeds for Bittern and was rewarded with 2 birds. First one flew in at 4.05 and landed in tall reeds to left of Bittern Hide. Second one flew in from Reedbed Hide direction at 4.25 and flew around for about 5 minutes before dropping into reeds to left of Reedbed Hide. This is the first time I have seen a Bittern behave like this, could it be a new bird? Also seen was 1 Water Rail with several more heard, 12 Shoveler from Reedbed Hide and a few Goosanders flying over to roost on the Mere.

Bolton Ings - New Years Day

An early morning visit produced the following:- Grey Heron 5, Mute Swan 13, Canada Goose 33, Grey Lag Goose 2, Cormorant 8, Mallard 24, Gadwall 22, Teal 7, Shoveler 20, Pochard 7, Tufted Duck 34, Goosander 13, Goldeneye 2 females, Coot 248, Moorhen 13, Buzzard 1, Sparrowhawk 2+, Kestrel 1, Lapwing 169, Green Sandpiper 2, Black Headed Gull 180, Common Gull 46, LBB Gull 1, Herring Gull 1, Green Woodpecker 2. Highlights being a Buzzard over early on before rain set in and 7 sightings of Sparrowhawk including 2 together and 1 catching a Blackbird. With other observers seeing Peregrine and Merlin today a good start to the year with 5 species of raptor. Finally a Fox was a road casualty in the layby on the Dearne Valley Parkway.

Recent photos from the Ingbirchworth Area

The following excellent photos were all taken by Huddersfield birder Nick Mallinson who has been kind enough to share them with us - Thanks Nick.

This immature White-fronted Goose was photographed at Royd Moor on 27th December. It is thought it could possibly be one of two juveniles that were first seen at Ingbirchworth several weeks ago. Note that the bird is beginning to develop a white blaze.

The Snow Bunting below was photographed in very wet conditions in a sheep field at Spicer House Lane near Ingbirchworth on 26th November 2011. No doubt a few Barnsley birders will be drooling over this!

Shrike continues to perform

The Great Grey Shrike off Jebb Lane - both photos Ron Marshall
The Great Grey Shrike was still showing mid-afternoon off Jebb Lane. A single Jack Snipe remains at Wilthorpe Marsh.

Sunday 1st January

Broomhead Reservoir
2 drake Goosanders, 121 Mallard, 4 Teal, c200 Siskins and c20 Lesser Redpolls (the latter two species in larches in the SW corner)

Old Moor

A morning visit revealed a mass of waterfowl particularly on the Mere with at least 385 Wigeon, 360 Teal, 200 Gadwall, 51 Greylags and a couple each of Shelduck and Goldeneye. No wonder the Peregrine continued to make frequent raids. A Buzzard was over Bolton Ings, but far more interesting was a Merlin seen at both Broomhill and Old Moor.

Two Bitterns were seen at the Reedbeds tonight when at least six Water Rails were calling. The Cetti's Warbler was not reported today but was apparently seen on friday.

BBSG 2011 Records

Can birders please get their 2011 records to me as soon as possible. You can email them to me at cawthrow@aol.com. Please use the species order that is in the latest report, that is starting with Mute Swan and finishing with Buntings. Thanks. The 2010 report is nearly done (probably some time in January).
1st January 2012
The Shrike was showing well today just by the pond. It appeared to catch a shrew. Can all Barnsley birders try and get their 2010 records to me as soon as possible please, you can email them to me at cawthrow@aol.com . Please use the order as in the last report, that is starting with Mute Swan and finishing with Buntings. The people who have compiled the latest BOU order may know about DNA (National Dyslexia Association) but they obviously do not understand evolution or how it works - how can Vireos and Yank Warblers be two of the most distant families with Shrikes, Orioles and Crows (and most other passerines) between them?


if anyone has any photos they would like me to use in the Weekender Nature column, please send them to monogyna@yahoo.com and I will try to use them.

And we're off!

Great Grey Shrike still near Haigh, off Jebb Lane beside Green Acre Pond this morning.