Yeah I’m Up To Date!

Here’s the last few short birding trips all crammed together to make a single blog. Following this I will attempt to keep up to date with things a little more regularity.
20th February
A day at Fairburn Ings with Ken and Jim, we had a gentle ramble from the Visitor Centre around the Riverside trail to the Village and back. It’s a long time since I did that walk and boy has it been upgraded, I’d got my walking boots on and was expecting to get covered in crap, I could have worn dancing pumps the paths were so clean.

Pickup Pool feeders did the job, a nice female brambling onto the year list along with a few other tits and finches. The Kingfisher Screen was today a complete washout, naff all there. At some point on the walk we got goldcrest but my addled brain cells cannot remember where, but it’s on the Yorkshire list for the year. There were the usual suspects on the lake, and I reckon we saw them all, except a smew that had been around that morning.

The new blind on Cut Lane does the job, you can see the Cut but as it hasn’t got any walls it shouldn’t attract the local scrotes and their cigarette lighters. Rather than walk the road back to the Visitor Centre we retraced our steps, pausing only to admire a nuthatch coming down to the feeders by the centre. Oh and Jim just had to get that long lens of his working on a gadwall that was on the pond dipping pool. After a brief peruse of the contents of the shop we made the decision to try the Lin Dyke end of the reserve, this proved less interesting than the riverside walk, so we didn’t hang around long. Next stop Swillington Ings and fingers crossed for some white-winged gull action. We got our selves ensconced in the hide and waited ‘n’ watched for things to develop. Not really much to report other than a flyby kingfisher, several gulls of the wrong sort and a few curlews that miraculously turned into a dozen birds although none of us could recollect them flying in. Dusk and the increasing cold forced us to leave the hide at the end of a good day out.

27th February
Adel Dams – late afternoon. I’d had enough of real life, organising a Conference Day might be interesting to some people but it bores the pants off me. As soon as I could I drove over to the reserve with camera in tow this time. Had a couple of hours sat in the Feeder Hide. Had a few good sightings, 9 Mandarin duck,

nuthatch calling, oystercatchers calling overhead and a wren feeding in the rushes by the pool. However the best of the day was a male kingfisher that took up station for a few minutes by the hide, long enough for me to get my best ever shot of one of these gorgeous little birds.

I also added a mammal to my site list as I had the great good fortune to watch a field vole coming to the spillage under the feeders. I took several pictures of this wee beastie, none of which actually came out, everyone was devoid of the mammal, the speed of the thing!

3rd March
Adel Dams – this time morning. The visit being to enable my wife Sheila to see the kingfisher, thankfully we got a fleeting glimpse as the bird zoomed in and then away. All the usual suspects on the feeders, including nuthatch. I had the sparrowhawk as it swooped through above the feeders.
As Sheila wanted to stretch her legs a bit we walked the path around the reserve, which turned out to be just the thing to do, as not far from end of the circuit I heard a tinkling song/call and saw some small birds dropping to the ground in amongst the trees. Getting the bins on them gave me another year tick, lesser redpolls, a flock of roughly a dozen birds. Alternating between feeding in the alders and coming down to drink in the many pools in this area. Sadly they were too far away for them to register on my camera and not having the scope with me meant no digiscoping. Got to employ a man I reckon, get him to carry all my gear and hand me the appropriate optics at any given time.
There were redpolls here honest!
There was a YWT volunteer on the reserve that morning and she was very excited about the redpolls, may have been a few years since they had been reported there. Hey I might even get my name in the report!

10th March
Swillington Ings – morning.
Best bird was the marsh harrier, did have a couple of buzzards displaying over the hill but the cold was bone numbing. If I had know at the time I’d have hiked off down to the Eastern end of St Aidan’s as a kittiwake was there. So with this I’m now bang up to date.


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