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Latest Bird News 24th December 2001
Updated 26th December 2006


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GREAT CRESTED GREBE Max. of 2 birds during the late winter period at Langold Lake. Hard weather resulted in no birds in late Jan. Up to 2 birds in late winter and March, at Langold Lake. 3 birds at Brown Bailey's in April. Breeding confirmed At Langold Lake, with at least well grown juv. noted in late July. 4 birds from early September, with a bird still sat on a nest! Still 2 birds at the end of November

LITTLE GREBE Occasional birds at Langold Lake. Also at Brown Bailey's. Bird present throughout until early September. 2 at Lindrick Dale, with a singleton at Firbeck Hall YWT also in late September

CORMORANT Several groups of up to 3 birds have been noted flying through the square in late March/ April. 3 birds were over Axle Lane in early August, with 5 in late August. A group record of 13 birds W over NAPT on the 9th

GREY HERON Feeding birds regularly at Roche Abbey and Firbeck Hall YWT Reserve. Also regular at Axle Lane. Regular birds loafing at Firbeck Hall YWT

WHITE STORK A singleton was recorded at Roche Abbey in mid-May. This being one of the Harewood House collection birds, that undertook a trip that saw it turn up at several locations in Yorkshire and North Notts

MUTE SWAN Birds appear to be commuting between Langold Lake & Carlton Lake. Just a couple of adults at Langold, Carlton, & Brown Bailey's. Birds appear to have left SK58. Pairs have returned to both Langold Lake and Brown Bailey's in late March. Nesting birds at Langold Lake and Brown Bailey's. 2 adult birds at Langold Lake in early September. A couple of family parties around the Shireoaks area in late September

WHOOPER SWAN 15 over Axle Lane in late March. An excellent family party of 4 immatures and 2 adults spent half an hour in the fields at Axle Lane on 7th November, before flying off NE.

PINK-FOOTED GOOSE A few birds moving SE during December and January. High pressure saw several skeins of up to 200 birds, mainly returning NW to Scotland and beyond between February and March. 70 over Axle Lane on 12th October were the first of the autumn. Late October-December saw several small skeins SE, the biggest 120

GREYLAG GOOSE Singles often amongst the resident Canada Goose population at Firbeck. 6 birds at the Hewitt Arms pond. Singletons still present at Lingodell & Hewitt Arms-Shireoaks in the autumn/ late winter period. Several individuals at Firbeck Hall YWT, Shireoaks and occasionally Lingodell. 40 birds S over Axle Lane in late October-be sure to check those Pink-feet!

CANADA GOOSE present in the grounds all year round at Firbeck Hall YWT-a successful breeding season resulted in a count of 308 on 16th September

BAR-HEADED GOOSE A singleton has taken up residence at Firbeck Hall YWT

SHELDUCK 2 birds at Hodsock in early April. Max of 7 birds in late April. A pair with circa 10 juv. were observed at Hodsock in early June. This the first breeding record within SK58

GADWALL The autumn was poor, with just single figure counts. The late winter period produced just 1 bird at Langold Lake in late December. Max of 8 birds at Brand's Farm Pond. circa 4 birds at Langold Lake in early March. A few birds remain at Tommy Flockton's Marsh in early May, at least 2 pairs-will they stay and breed?. Indeed they did. One pair-possibly 2 were seen with ducklings at Tommy Flockton's Marsh, this the first successful breeding attempt by this species since the groups inception. The late winter period has produced just a single at Brand's Farm Pond in early September. circa 7 birds at Tommy Flockton's Marsh in late October, very few around this year.

WIGEON A single male again at Brand's Farm Pond in the early winter period, with a further male at Tommy Flockton's Marsh in mid-November, the first of the late winter period

MALLARD A max. of 46 in late Jan at Langold Lake, a good count. Ducklings typically recorded in late March. A quiet summer entailed. 40+ birds in early September at Langold Lake. Quite a few along the Chesterfield Canal between Shireoaks and Old Spring Wood, circa 40 birds

TEAL Low numbers in the autumn and late winter period at Roche Abbey. Max. of 22 in mid-January. Birds are thin on the ground in April/ May as they prove elusive whilst nesting. 3 birds at Roche Abbey in early September. 33 at Roche Abbey on 16th September, although numbers fluctuate when shoots take place

POCHARD A few birds at Firbeck Hall YWT in the late winter period

TUFTED DUCK Quite high numbers this winter at Langold Lake, often out numbering Mallard. Modest counts in the early winter period. A quiet summer, numbers beginning to rise in early September

RUDDY DUCK birds are now occurring at all times of year, with records from every season, previously a spring passage bird. Singletons observed during the late spring. No sign of breeding this year. 2 males at Carlton Lake on 9th September

RED KITE an immature wing-tagged bird over Sandbeck in the 3rd week of April. An adult untagged bird at Cuthbright Wood near Loscar on the evening of August 26th. Roosted overnight in the wood and showed very well early next morning, much to the appreciation of the gathered few. Reports of a bird just outside the area at Wales on the 9th September, as yet unconfirmed. What is conceivably was a bird with 2 Buzzard over Firbeck Hall YWT on 16th September

MARSH HARRIER now occurring annually, an immature male N, again over the Sandbeck area. A female flew S over Axle Lane after quartering the fields on the evening of August 2nd

HEN HARRIER Ringtail flew SW from First Lane S. Anston, after quartering fields at 08.00 on 17th November.

SPARROWHAWK several birds displaying vigorously in early April from Kings Wood. The House Martins at Throapham noisily persuade visiting Sparrowhawks to move on! Quite a few juv birds around in early August and September

COMMON BUZZARD fairly quiet so far this year, just single figure counts of 1-4 birds so far. March saw an upsurge in records, max. of 11 birds in the N of the square, with 18 counted in early April-outstanding. Half a dozen birds can be seen daily from Kings Wood. Still low numbers around in late July. A few noisy and very pale juv. birds seen around the Kings Wood area. 6 birds soaring on September 16th

OSPREY singletons through typically in April and May

KESTREL Recorded at Brook Manson buildings-a regular breeding site, just a single juv. bird reared this year. Lots around NAPT and Axle Lane hawking the finch flocks

MERLIN Occasional birds recorded at Axle Lane at the year end. Single female through NAPT in late Jan

HOBBY 2 birds through by June, both in the Firbeck-Kings Wood area, both were fly throughs. Single bird around Kings Wood in early August. A pair reported in the Langold area for 3 weeks in late August early September, an individual observed catching a House Martin! A nice adult through Roche Abbey on September 16th, much to the alarm of the Swallows and House Martins

PEREGRINE A male was seen briefly at Axle Lane in early November, presumably the same bird was observed catching and eating a Wood Pigeon near Grange Farm on 17th November. Has also cropped up at nearby Rother Valley CP

PHEASANT Loads released around Kings Wood in early September -please drive carefully here and slow down, keep a look out for these somewhat stupid birds

WATER RAIL A bird was located at NAPT in early March. A bird turned up here in the late winter period, first seen in November and heard in December. Unfortunately found dead in mid-December. The bird had a lower leg missing, which appeared infected

CORNCRAKE? A brief view of a rail/ crake type bird slinking in to very dense cover at NAPT on September 25th, could only be of this bird, but alas not enough detail was gleaned from the 1 second view to confirm the mystery birds identity. Despite flogging the area for a further hour and a half the bird could be flushed or relocated, further adding to the possibility that it could have been a Corncrake. Perhaps the best bird never to be seen in SK58! We'll put a description in and see what it happens

COOT Modest numbers at Langold Lake during the early winter period. Fairly low numbers in the late winter period (September) at Langold Lake. Slowly building up to below average numbers in late November

OYSTERCATCHER 2 birds had returned to Hodsock by early April, present on and off until the month-end

LITTLE RINGED PLOVER 2 birds returned to a traditional site on April 2nd, although 4 birds were located at a nearby location. Due to continued work no birds have nested at traditional pit sites. Despite this 2 pairs are present, one near Shireoaks, the other to the east of SK58-lets hope they nest successfully. Both pairs were thought to have nested. Passage birds at Kiveton Pit Top in August

RINGED PLOVER A pair had returned to a now traditional site by early April. They remain into June and appear to be nesting. Breeding strongly suspected but not proven by late July

DOTTEREL 2 juv birds briefly at Axle Lane on August 21st, btween 08.15 and 08.30, before flying S

GOLDEN PLOVER 1500 birds were present until late December. Max. of 2000 in Jan, Feb & early March, late March saw 4000 birds present at Axle Lane. By May 2nd just 8 birds remained. All went by Bird Race day on May 4th, although a singleton was recorded on or about the 8th. First returning bird was noted in mid-July. 17 birds present by mid August. 95 by late August. The 8th September produced 500 birds at Axle Lane. 1500 birds there by the end of September. Max. of 2000 by late November

LAPWING small groups were counted, including 200+ near Netherthorpe airfield in late December. Display noted in mid-March, no birds at NAPT this year!. Numbers building up at Axle Lane in August/ September

DUNLIN A singleton in with the Golden Plover at Axle Lane in late March

JACK SNIPE Just a singleton at NAPT with 3 Snipe in late Jan. Possibly same bird here again in mid-March, with a bird here in mid-April. First of the autumn was a singleton at NAPT on 13th October

SNIPE The water table at Dinnington Marsh has risen, creating ideal conditions. Max. count this winter-12 birds so far, with a regular 1-4 birds at NAPT. Just a single site held drumming birds, although several sites are inaccessible due to F+M restrictions. None at Dinnington Marsh in autumn because of the low water table, however 10 birds were noted at NAPT on 27th September

WOODCOCK 2 birds wintering at Dinnington Marsh, up to late Jan at least, Roding birds noted at Goss Common in mid-March. By early April max. of 6 birds roding over Kings Wood, and nearby Union Wood. Presumed passage bird flushed from a set-a-side at Brands Lane in early September. A bit of an in flux in mid-November with singles at NAPT and flying down the centre of Hard Lane, Kiveton the same day.

BLACK-TAILED GODWIT A singleton through SE over S Anston on August 25th at 07.30, this the first record of this species since the groups formation

CURLEW Singles over Axle Lane and NAPT in early April

REDSHANK 2 birds at Brampton in early March, with a singleton over East Field Lane mid-month. Just a single bird at NAPT in early April. Single over Thrtoapham in mid-August. An unseasonal bird flew calling SW over Langold Lake on 17th November, further singles at Tommy Flockton's Marsh during the period

GREENSHANK 3 birds S over Axle Lane in early August, singles at Kiveton Pit Top and NAPT in late September and October

GREEN SANDPIPER An adult was located at Hodsock in mid-April that remained for about a week. A singleton through Axle Lane in early August was the first of the autumn. Singleton in a flooded field off First Lane on 13th October

BLACK-HEADED GULL High numbers in late August/ early September as birds follow the plough as stubble is ploughed in.

LESSER BLACK-BACKED GULL Going though in modest numbers in December. A few adults N in mid-March, continuing into April. By late June numbers were picking up, with 52 notes over Slade Hills on the 24th. By late July small parties of up to 20 continue to move S-SW throughout the day. As for Black-headed Gull, several dozen birds noted following the plough

GREAT BLACK-BACKED GULL High numbers passing through in late December. 5 birds claimed on bird race day are awaiting acceptance-very, very unusual in spring.

HERRING GULL Very high numbers recorded including 250+ in 2 hours around Chesterfield Canal in the early winter period. A few amongst passage gulls in late August/ early September

COMMON TERN singleton through N.Anston in mid-May. Occasional visitor to Axle Lane ponds during July, max. of 4 birds at Langold Lake during the period

TURTLE DOVE first noted at NAPT in late April-6 here on May 2nd. 6 birds still present calling in late July

CUCKOO a few birds were noted through the square in the 3rd week of April

BARN OWL A singleton was observed for a week in mid-March, around Lingodell. This a square tick for several members. A reintroduction scheme is to take place within the square. The birds were ringed in late July, whilst being prepared for release at locations within SK58. Following release 2 were observed hunting on 14th August, with a singleton reported as hit by a car soon after release DO KEEP AN EYE OUT FOR THESE IN THE AREA, IF YOU SEE ONE THEN PLEASE REPORT IT TO THE GROUP. Singleton reported at Little Stones on Friday 14th September. Singleton apparently regularly recorded around Carlton, we had heard rumours earlier in the year. Although not thought to be one of the released birds

LITTLE OWL Present again at the cross-roads of Common Road, the resident pair noted throughout the year. Noted also at Tinkerhole Dike

LONG-EARED OWL A singleton was located at a traditional location in November. This site produced 3 birds in late February, with a female calling in mid-March. A calling female was also noted to the N of SK58, that held at least 2 calling females on bird race day. Breeding was proven at one location a least with young calling in late June. Several young birds were taken into care in May after the nest was presumably blown out during gales. A bird presumed to be of this species glimpsed late evening on the 26th September at NAPT when it flew from a Hawthorn along Cramfit Brook

Eagle Owl roosting at Firbeck Hall YWT

EAGLE OWL It has became obvious there are 2 of these beasts haunting SK58. One has been around Firbeck Hall YWT since the spring and is surviving very well. At the same time another bird took up residence in N Anston, near Netherthorpe Drive, occurring also on Falcon Way. This bird became a media star with an appearance in a local paper in November Local cats and small dogs be aware. By all accounts the Firbeck bird has become territorial and is defending a territory. It has been known to swoop down and attack passers-by. We heard one chap had his jacket ripped! BEWARE! Both birds were still around at the year-end

SWIFT first recorded in the last week of April-over Axle Lane. Around in very good numbers from mid-May onwards. In early June several hundred were noted passing through Kings Wood area. A welcome recovery following very poor numbers in recent years. It appears to have been an excellent year for Swift and hirundine species this year. Plenty around with 200 at Lingodell, Stone as well as Dinnington Sewage Works in late July. Just a single noted over Throapham on 9th September

KINGFISHER At least 3 birds along the Chesterfield Canal near Turner Wood in the New Year, making it as far up as Kiveton. Breeding confirmed in the North Anston area with at least 2 juv. bird recorded and rung. Birds still present along the Chesterfield Canal to late July and NAPT in September

GREEN WOODPECKER Regular on NAPT and the railway from Dinnington Marsh to Thurcroft. A pair regularly noted near Brook Masons-Dinnington during August

LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER Singleton reported from Firbeck in late December, with regular birds heard in the spring at Thornbury Hill and Kings Wood, that calls regularly up to late September at least

WOODLARK 2 birds flew up from NAPT and went N on bird race day-these the first confirmed records for SK58

SKYLARK Seem to be around in modest numbers-although habitat is disappearing fast, c150 at Axle Lane, rising to 246 in late Jan. Birds soon returned to near normal breeding numbers in late March. Slightly lower numbers at NAPT during the summer/ early autumn. Good numbers moving through in mid-October

SAND MARTIN 1st birds noted in late March, heavy north passage in early April, max. 30+ birds through Brown Bailey's. Interestingly a small colony of circa 20 birds was found in a pile of sand in Kiveton Quarry, these appeared to be feeding young. Brown Bailey's had an excellent year with 82 occupied nests recorded in late June (see chart below-no count in 2000). Normally the first hirundine to leave, singles over Axle Lane on the 22nd and over Brown Bailey's on the 23rd constitute the latest records ever for the group

Sand Martins @ Brown Bailey's

SWALLOW First bird through on April 8th, continue to arrive in small groups. Max count circa at Dinnington Sewage Works in the last week of May. Again around in good number this year. Good numbers in early autumn, although departing in small groups that move through all day long

HOUSE MARTIN again in small numbers, circa 50 birds at Dinnington Sewage Works in the last week of April. Well in by May with high numbers around including 200+ around Dinnington Sewage Works in early June and July, 250 in mid-September, just 20-50 by late September. Singles up to mid-October

TREE PIPIT singles N over Axle Lane in the spring. Single over Axle Lane in early September

MEADOW PIPIT circa 20 at Dinnington Sewage Works in late Jan. By early March 50-100 birds were regularly noted at NAPT. Just half a dozen or so remained to breed. Good numbers moving through in mid to late September, peaking in mid-October

YELLOW WAGTAIL singleton through early in 1st week of April-very early, a few continue to pass through in very small numbers. Several birds around Hodsock in early June. Notable passge in late August/ early September as birds moved through

PIED WAGTAIL plenty c50 around the Brooklands Units and roosting near the Safety Kleen complex. 100 at Dinnington Sewage Works in late Jan, rising to 200+ in mid-March, that had dropped to singletons in late April. Modest numbers at NAPT/ Dinnington Sewage Works in early September

GREY WAGTAIL Max of 4 at Dinnington Sewage Works in early March. Breeding confirmed at Roche Abbey with comical looking juv's recorded in late May. At least 4 birds at Dinnington Sewage Works in late September

WAXWING Thus far just 2 records involving 6 birds over Firbeck in late December, with a singleton over Dinnington on the 31st-More must be around somewhere! Indeed, 11 birds were located at Gateford on 11th Feb, with presumably the same birds recorded the same day at Carlton-in-Lindrick. Very late birds were 8-10 behind Carlton Church in the last week of April, with a singleton still present to May 2nd, which was not flushed by our members, as alleged by an ex-member with an axe to grind!!!

DIPPER A bird was reported to the group in early October, that was eventually tracked down to the Chesterfield Canal mid-month. this the first since 1994 and only the 3rd ever record for the group. A square tick for the two observers that found it! Still present to the end of Feb. This bird must have moved on during the period the canal was closed as a F & M precaution

REDSTART a singleton at NAPT in early May, a now typical record

WHINCHAT just a single record so far, typically at Axle Lane in the last week of April. Max. of 3 birds through this spring, all at Axle Lane. First southward bird was noted on 23rd July this a typical date, few birds through Axle Lane by early September

STONECHAT A male at Axle Lane in late September constitues the first record of the year. Although this was eclipsed by 8 birds that were part of a large movement on the weekend of 13th October. A single male still present in early December

WHEATEAR 4 birds at Grange Farm on the 25th March, 1st of the spring. Circa 16 birds through to date, tailing off in early May with singletons at NAPT and Axle Lane. First birds of the autumn were recorded at Axle Lane from the 9th onwards-20+ birds through to date. Singles at NAPT

REDWING Few noted in the new year. First birds of the autumn arrived on September 23rd, this the groups earliest record. No big numbers around by the end of September, just small groups of around half a dozen birds

SONG THRUSH A bit of an influx in late September with higher numbers noted throughout the square, with 20+ birds over Tinkerhole Dike on 27th September. This preceeding an influx in early October

BLACKBIRD Numbers building up as continental birds arrive with other winter thrushes. High numbers around in mid-October, clearly an influx.

FIELDFARE Modest flocks over Christmas, although c150 around Netherthorpe in December. Very few in the new year. The first autumn bird heard over North Anston on September 26th. Just small numbers moving through up to mid-October

MISTLE THRUSH Post-breeding flocks in evidence with 40+ around Roche Abbey in late August, birds moving through with other thrushes, 13 over Firbeck Hall YWT on September 25th

GRASSHOPPER WARBLER a singleton thus far at Axle Lane in late April, that remained until late May, will probably breed but has typically gone silent. A further bird was heard reeling at Thurcroft Marsh in early May

SEDGE WARBLER a single passage bird in early May so far. At least 1-2 birds at Axle Lane in late May/ early June. Singles through NAPT in late summer

LESSER WHITETHROAT arrived in bulk during late April with a max. of 6 at NAPT in early May. Appear to fairly widespread this year, several heard in Kiveton Quarry-whilst looking at the Sand Martin colony there

COMMON WHITETHROAT arrived fairly early, plenty about in late April. Good numbers around during the summer, quite a few around still by early September

BLACKCAP Just a single record of a singleton overwintering in North Anston. Singleton at Thornbury Hill mid-month that sang briefly. A few more birds around by early April-widely, but thinly spread so far

CHIFFCHAFF 5 birds in song at NAPT on March 24th, have arrived all at once. Plenty by early April. Quiet summer for this species. Moving through in modest numbers in early September. Quite a few around in late September, clearly moving through in number, 5 at NAPT on September 27th

WILLOW WARBLER 1st bird in song at NAPT on April 2nd-the groups earliest ever. Plenty by early May. Modest summer for this species, passge noted in August and early September

SPOTTED FLYCATCHER A fairly poor year, none recorded at Roche Abbey, aleast 1 pair in Anston Stones Wood. Breeding confirmed in Carlton Church yard

PIED FLYCATCHER Yes it's returned, albeit to Kings Wood. A female was recorded on the afternoon of bird race day, that unfortunately was not relocated

MARSH TIT Found in many woodlands, Roche Abbey remains about the best site

TREE SPARROW Continues to decline, the colony at Thwaite House Farm is non-existent, although a Todwick garden held a regular 60 birds in the winter, with smaller pockets dotted around the square. Small groups along First Lane, N Anston

BRAMBLING A few birds returned to Netherthorpe Way, N. Anston during the early winter period. So far a singleton at N. Anston in October, this the first of the late winter period

GOLDFINCH Quite high numbers recorded in early September, typically flocks of 40 birds noted at NAPT

SISKIN Few around this winter, Langold Lake and Roche Abbey remain the best bet for catching up with these. Circa 60 at Langold Lake with 40 at Roche Abbey in late Jan. First bird of the autumn was a singleton through Tinkerhole Dike on August 26th, 6 at Firbeck Hall YWT on September 16th

LINNET A few birds on territory at NAPT in April, circa 30 birds flitting about in late July. 150-200 birds at NAPT in late August

LESSER REDPOLL There appears to have been an influx with 33 over NAPT in late November 2000, with a smattering of records throughout the square. Small influx in mid-October

HAWFINCH A record in November involved a bird in a Woodsetts garden, this the only record during this winter period. 2 records in March from Firbeck and Kings Wood of birds calling/ singing-very few around!!!! 2 cracking birds viewed from the road by Kings Wood on April 8th, with birds here on bird race day (May 4th). A lean year, just 2 birds over Carlton Wood in mid-December

YELLOWHAMMER 61 at Axle Lane in late January. Few birds recorded in the summer. Tinkerhole Dike continues to produce small numbers. A mixed finch/ bunting flock held 60 Yellowhammer in late November. Good numbers around First Lane, S. Anston, circa 100 birds in mid December

CORN BUNTING Axle Lane still holds a few pairs. Axle Lane holds about 6 singing males, early mornings are best though. Max. of 6 birds by April, with circa 6 birds in late July showing well. None there by late September. Small numbers at Axle Lane in November. Max. of 13 along First Lane, again in late November. First Lane is certainly finch/ bunting central!, an impressive 60+ appear to be wintering here.

A group focused on recording the bird life of a single 10km square between Sheffield, Rotherham & Worksop

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