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Bird Records For Thorne Moors 1994

Compiled by Peter C. Roworth and Janet M. Roworth

 

The following names are taken from the ‘British Birds’ List of English Names of Western Palearctic Birds, 1993, British Birds Ltd.

 

Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis 

Single birds were seen or heard from the Paraffin Works Cuttings from 6th March to 14th May; a maximum of c.4 birds were reported on 18th March. Other sightings included single birds at Inkle Moor Pond on 30th January, the flooded peat workings to the south of the Southern Boundary Drain on 4th May, Mill Drain Marsh on 6th April and 1st May, ‘Middle Moor’ on 4th and 24th April and Paraffin Works Cuttings on 5th August.

Northern Gannet Morus bassanus
An immature bird flew SE over the moors on 24th October (CF, AH et al.).

 

Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
One flying west on 5th February and four flew NE on 22nd April. Other sightings were of a single bird disturbed from the Paraffin Works Cuttings on 24th September and one flew east over the moors on the following day and one was observed flying over the moors on 12th October.

 

Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris
A bird heard calling in the vicinity of the Southern Canals area late at night on 30th May (WHP).

 

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Observed throughout the year, usually single birds disturbed from the boundary drains. Interesting records include five near Elmhirst Pump on 9th April, five feeding alongside the Swinefleet Warping Drain on 23rd June, four disturbed from Bells Pond on 1st July and four flying in high from the NW and landing on the Moor edge on 7th August.

 

Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
A new species for the moors, with a non breeding adult bird observed on Will Pits Scrape on the eastern side of the moors on the evening of 11th May (JMR, PCR, SH). In the same area two non- breeding adults appeared on the evening of 24th June (JMR, PCR). They remained approximately one hour before flying high in a NW direction; one bird was colour ringed, but details could not be read. Two Spoonbills (one with colour ring) were observed at the nearby RSPB Blacktoft Reserve on 25th June; it is assumed that these birds were the same as those observed at Thorne Moors the day before.


Mute Swan Cygnus olor
A pair was observed on Inkle Moor Pond during early March; on 25th March one of the birds had been found shot and killed. Other records included an immature bird that was flying overhead on 9th October and on the 24th of the same month two birds flying over Mill Drain Marsh.

 

Tundra Swan C. columbianus
One flying south over the moors on 29th October, four adults resting on flooded workings near Shearburn Pits Drain on 1st November and on 6th November one was heard calling in fog, high over the moors.

Whooper Swan C. cygnus 
Four adults and one juvenile were observed at Will Pits Scrape on 5th November.

 

Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus 
Several skeins of geese were reported flying over the Moors. One hundred and thirty flew west and 54 south on 31st January, 200 west on 6th February and 46 north-west on the 8th. October records were of birds all flying east, 45 on the 24, 70 on the 25, 180 on the 27 and 415 (three skeins 75,150,190) on 31st. 20 birds flew low over Woodpecker Corner on 13th November and 35 flew SE on 20th November.

 

Greylag Goose A. anser 
Two flew overhead on 30 January, nine disturbed from Will Pits Scrape on 16th May and from the same area three were seen on 23rd July. One was seen flying NW on 23rd July and a pair was flushed from the Shoulder o’ Mutton on 24th December.

 

Canada Goose Branta canadensis
Two birds were regularly seen over the western half of the moors from 6th March–19th May, it might be assumed that these were the same birds but no proof of breeding was reported. Skeins of geese flying over the moors were 30 NW on 13th May, 52 SW on 4th June, 80 NW on 28th September and 52 W on 2nd October.

 

Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna 
A pair first observed on 22nd March on Will Pits Scrape were frequently recorded up to 10th June; although some display behaviour was noted breeding was not proven. Two pairs were recorded in the same area 12th-17th June and three pairs seen on 20th June. Eight birds flew NE over the moors on 6th September and one flew overhead on 18th December.

 

Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope 
Two were observed at the Paraffin Works Cuttings on 30th January. October sightings included 16 on Mill Drain Marsh on the 1st, c.36 on the Paraffin Works Cuttings on 8th, seven on Mill Drain Marsh on 21st and two on the Paraffin Works Cuttings on 28th. In November eight were disturbed from Will Pits Scrape on 5th, four females were seen over Bell’s Pond on 6th, and 24 were seen near Elmhirst Tram on 13th. Seventeen flew over Mill Drain Marsh on 4th December.

 

Gadwall A. strepera 
A pair was disturbed from flooded peat workings on ‘Middle Moor’ on 22nd, March (PCR). A pair flew SW over ‘Middle Moor’ on 6th November (RJS).

 

Common Teal A. crecca 
Observed throughout the year amongst flooded peat workings and open drains; breeding estimated at 20 pairs. By early March numbers had built up to a total of c.100 but by the end of the month groups had split and pairs of birds were observed, scattered throughout the old peat workings. Displays and territory disputes were observed and several broods of young were seen during May. Numbers of adults flying around the moors during the summer months was c.30 but built up to c.200 in the autumn and then fell to a few birds during December.
Maximum monthly counts were: January 120, February 100, March 100, April 40, May 40, June 30, July 60, August 170, September 225, October 180, November 120, December 90.

 

Mallard A. platyrhynchos
Observed throughout the year; breeding estimated at 12 pairs.
Maximum monthly counts were: January 100, February 85, March 30, April 35, May 35, June 60, July 50, August 120, September 250, October 90, November 260, December 200.

 

Pintail A. acuta 
Two females were observed flying from the Shoulder o’ Mutton area towards Paraffin Works Cuttings on 2nd October, one male flew over ‘Middle Moor’ and seven birds (including two males) were flying over the Shoulder o’ Mutton area on 16th October. Three females were flying over Mill Drain Marsh on 21st October, one female with Mallards flew over Mill Drain Marsh on 4th December and later in the month one male was seen over Pony Bridge Marsh on 17th.

 

Northern Shoveler A. clypeata 
A pair was frequently seen in the ‘Middle Moor’ area 10th April-13th July; some display behaviour was observed but breeding not proven. There was a maximum of five birds seen on ‘Middle Moor’ on 9th October and at the Paraffin Works Cuttings on 25th. A pair was seen at the Shoulder o’ Mutton on 6th November and a single female was reported on Mill Drain Marsh on 18th November.

 

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula 
The maximum was seven birds (four males) observed on the Paraffin Works Cuttings on 16th April. Other records, all in May, include two pairs on the 1st, one pair over ‘Middle Moor’ on 6th, one pair at Will Pits Scrape on 16th and a pair at Bells Pond on 30th. A pair was also seen on 3rd July.
     
Goosander Mergus merganser
A male and female flew north over the moors on 24th September.

 

Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus 
Birds observed flying and hunting over the moors from 1st May-11th December.  The following were recorded.  Totals are minimum estimates.
01st May 1 female flying west
06th May 1 cream-crown over ‘Middle Moor’
08th May 2 or 3, 1 cream-crown over ‘Middle Moor’, 1 immature moulting flying W from Southern Canals, 1 female not-moulting Elmhirst to Mill Drain Marsh.
12th May 2, 2 hunting over ‘Middle Moor’, 2 cream-crown over Mill Drain Marsh
14th May 4, 1 adult male, 2 cream-crown over Mill Drain Marsh, 2 immatures, 1 adult female over central moors, 3 cream-crown including an adult female ‘Middle Moor’
15th May 2, 1 over ‘Middle Moor’, 2 over ‘Middle Moor’/Pony Bridge Marsh
16th May 4, 1 adult male, 1 moulting immature ‘Middle Moor’ to Bell’s Pond, 1 adult male, 3 cream-crowns Woodpecker Corner to Mill Drain Marsh
18th May 2, 1 male, 1 female, 1 adult male, 1 cream-crown Bell’s Pond
19th May 1 immature over Mill Drain Marsh
22nd May 1, 1 immature over Mill Drain Marsh, 1 cream-crown ‘Middle Moor’
24th May 4 flying over moors west of ‘Middle Moor’ Tram
28th May 2, 1 cream-crown over Mill Drain Marsh, 2 females 
29th May 1 adult female west of Southern Canals
30th May 1 cream-crown near Woodpecker Corner
30th May 3 cream-crown ‘Middle Moor’
07th June 1 cream-crown mobbed by Curlew over ‘Middle Moor’
05th June 1 female over moors
10th June 1, 1 immature east of Canal 6, 1 cream-crown over ‘Middle Moor’
12th June 1 cream-crown over moors
20th June 1 cream-crown over ‘Middle Moor’
14th July 1 cream-crown over Mill Drain Marsh
17th July 1, 1 immature ‘Middle Moor’, 1 cream-crown over Mill Drain Marsh
21st August 1 cream-crown over ‘Middle Moor’
26th August 1 moulting cream-crown over ‘Middle Moor’
29th August 1 cream-crown over ‘Middle Moor’
01st September 1 cream-crown over ‘Middle Moor’
05th September 1 cream-crown over ‘Middle Moor’
08th September  2, 1 juvenile cream-crown Woodpecker Corner area, 2 cream-crown over ‘Middle Moor’
11th September  2, 1 immature female, 1 adult male ‘Middle Moor’ flying E, 1 cream-crown ‘Middle Moor’, 1 adult male over Paraffin Works Cuttings
17th September 1 cream-crown over ‘Middle Moors’
18th September  1 second-year female north of Paraffin W Cuttings
21st September  4, 1 male and female, 2 juvenile cream-crown over moors
22nd September 3, 1 adult male, 2 cream-crown over Southern Canals
25th September  2, 1 female, 1 immature ‘Middle Moor’, 1 immature with patchy cream crown Woodpecker Corner
26th September  1 female
01st October 1 female over Mill Drain Marsh
02nd October 1 female ‘Middle Moor’ mobbed by Common Kestrel and corvids
08th October 1 immature cream-crown Shoulder o’ Mutton
09th October 1, 1 seen in fog over Pony Bridge Marsh, 1 immature over Mill Drain Marsh
12th October 1 male over Southern Canals
15th October 1 cream-crown over ‘Middle Moor’
16th October 1 cream-crown well marked seen several times
22nd October 1 immature cream-crown flying west over moors
06th November 1 female
11th November 1 cream-crown Mill Drain Marsh
13th November 1 cream-crown relatively well marked, 1 adult female over Pony Bridge Marsh
25th November 1 immature over ‘Middle Moor’, 1 adult female, 1 immature over Mill Drain Marsh
11th December 1 immature over Mill Drain Marsh, hunting

 

Hen Harrier C. cyaneus
Winter sightings were from 10th January-2nd February and 23rd October-18th December.  There were two records for April and June. The following records were received
10th January 1 adult male quartering along the New Cut Drain
15th January 1 adult male over Mill Drain Marsh
22nd January 1 female over Mill Drain Marsh, 1 male over eastern area of Southern Canals
23rd January 1 male over moors
24th January 1 ringtail Woodpecker Corner
29th January 1 ringtail Bell’s Pond
30th January 1 male Goole Fields near Rawcliffe Moors, 1 second-year male over Southern Canals
06th February 1 ringtail
02nd April 1 male hunting over Pony Bridge Marsh
11th April1 soaring over Fisons’ workshops
17th June 1 female over Pony Bridge Marsh
23rd October 1 ringtail
24th October 1 female over ‘Middle Moor’
25th October 1 male near Woodpecker Corner
29th October 1 male
30th October 1 male
06th November 1 male and 1 ringtail mobbing a Peregrine Falcon
11th November 1 female Southern Canals area
13th November 1 ringtail over Pony Bridge Marsh, 1 male, 1 female over southern half of moors
18th November 1 ringtail over Mill Drain Marsh
20th November 1 male and 1 female over moors
24th November 2 males in Bell’s Pond area
26th November 1 male over Pony Bridge Marsh
27th November 1 male and 1 female
17th December 1 male over Pony Bridge Marsh
18th December 1 male
21st December 1 flew from Crowle Moors towards ‘Middle Moor’

 

Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
Three records were received: On 27th February one female was soaring over Pony Bridge Wood (SH), on 11th July an adult male was at Bell’s Pond (WHP) and on 21st September a juvenile was near Mill Drain Marsh (WHP).

 

Eurasian Sparrowhawk A. nisus
Recorded for every month except June, generally single birds hunting over the old peat workings. The maximum was of four birds observed on the moors on 22nd January, 12th March, 22nd September, 24th October and 25th November. Interesting sightings have included a male mobbed by roosting Greenfinches on 21st March, two birds soaring high with Black-headed Gulls on 8th May, and an unsuccessful attack on a Red-legged Partridge on 26th November.

 

Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
One was reported over the moors on 23rd October (MH). One was over Elmhirst Wood on 13th November (RJS).

 

Rough-legged Buzzard B. lagopus
One was observed on 17th October flying over Mill Drain Marsh, being mobbed by Carrion Crows. It then perched in a small birch tree before flying north over Goole Fields (JMR, PCR). There was one immature on 19th, 20th and 21st October (RJS). A total of three birds were in the air on 23rd October between the Southern Canals and Will Pits (BPW, WHP). Two were seen over the moors on 23rd and 24th October (PCR, BPW). One was seen hovering over Northern Canals on 18th November (SH).

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus 
There were regular sightings throughout the year of one or two adults. Four birds were seen on several occasions in late April and early May with a maximum count of six on 8th May.

 

Merlin F. columbarius 
Single birds observed during the winter months on 1st, 9th (male) and 24th January, 12th March, 16th (female) May, 29th (male) September, 8th (female), 22nd (female), 23rd (male) and 24th October, 13th, 18th (female) and 25th (male) November and 4th, 11th (male) and 25th (male) December.

 

Hobby F. subbuteo 
Totals are minimum estimates. A summer visitor first recorded on 30th April. Other sightings of one or two adults on 1st, 2nd, 5th, 6th, 7th, 12th, 14th, 15th and 26th May, 5th, 17th, 25th and 27th June. On 1st, 5th, 7th, 8th, 13th, 14th, 17th, 24th, 27th, 28th, 30th and 31st July, 15th, 16th, 17th, 21st, 26th and 29th August, and 1st, 4th, 5th, 8th, 11th and 22nd September. Records for three or four birds were on 1st May and 3rd, 9th, 10th and 23rd July. Last sighting was of one adult hawking over the Northern Canals on 8th October.

 

Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus
Occasional sightings including one male on 23rd January and a pair on 31st and one male disturbed from Will Pits Scrape on 28th February. One male was flying high over ‘Middle Moor’ on 5th May, and there was one female on 8th September, following that there was one juvenile on 18th and 24th September over Goole Moor. On 21st September, there was one juvenile and one male. In October, there was a male over Will Pits on 8th, one male over Mill Drain Marsh on 12th, two mobbing a Marsh Harrier over the Canals on 17th, and two juveniles seen over the moors on 23rd and one juvenile on 21st and 24th. One juvenile on 6th, 11th and 13th November, one female in combat with a Common Kestrel over the Southern Canals on 18th November, one juvenile on 3rd December over flooded area near Will Pits, one female on 4th December over Mill Drain Marsh and overhead on 18th December.

 

Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
Observed throughout the year. Winter counts include 10+ seen from the Thorne colliery spoil heap in January, a count of 10 across the moors on 6th February and again on 27th November. Twenty-two were seen on peat workings north of ‘Middle Moor’ on 23rd October. During the breeding season an adult with young was seen on the Warping Drain track near Top Moor Farm, and an adult with nine young was disturbed on the edge of Will Pits Scrape on 28th July. One adult and five young were seen near Limberlost peat stack on 3rd August. A group of eight was observed in the Bell’s Pond area on 29th August, and birds were regularly seen on the peat workings north of ‘Middle Moor’ and at the Paraffin Works Cuttings. On 5th September a total of 21 were seen on the mown grass area to the east of Pony Bridge Marsh and a further eight on Angle Drain track, and 30 seen near Top Moor Farm on 17th September. On 15th October eight were seen on the grass area, 10 on Angle Drain path and six at Limberlost peat stack.

 

Grey Partridge Perdix perdix 
Observed throughout the year with winter counts of 16 on 6th February and 23 on 27th November. During the breeding season pairs were seen at Bell’s Pond, Paraffin Works Cuttings, Middle Moor, Pony Bridge Marsh, Will Pits and the Southern Canals. Late summer counts include 14 at ‘Middle Moor’ on 14th August, 21 at Woodpecker Corner on 29th August and 11 in Pony Bridge Marsh on 25th September.

Common Quail Coturnix coturnix
Birds were heard calling from the Southern Canals on the evening of 30th May (WHP) and again they were heard from the peat stack with the sounds coming from the NE corner of the Southern Canals in the very early hours of 18th June (RJS, BPW).

 

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
Observed over a wide area of the moors throughout the year, with maximum counts of 28 on 9th October and 40+ in November. Numbers are kept artificially high because of stock released on the moors and in the surrounding area.

 

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus 
One heard calling when disturbed from Northern Boundary path on 18th May (BPW, RJS), one heard again from the Northern path on 1st July (SH) and on 24th October (SB). One was calling on 21st September (WHP) and one, possibly two, heard from Mill Drain Marsh on 9th, 22nd and 25th (BPW) and 24th (SB) October and on 4th December (BPW). One at Will Pits on 24th December (RJS) and one also on 24th December (SH).

 

Moorhen Gallinula chloropus 
Regularly observed throughout the year from all the main drains and flooded areas. Adults with young were seen at Mill Drain Marsh, Paraffin Works Cuttings and Will Pits Scrape. The maximum was of 16 on the moors on 9th October.

 

Common Coot Fulica atra
Regularly observed at the Paraffin Works Cuttings where a maximum of three adults and two young were seen on 9th July, and at ‘Middle Moor’ and Mill Drain Marsh where five were seen on 1st, 8th and 30th May and six on 7th May. Other sightings include one at the northern end of Crowle Moors on 15th May and one in Swinefleet Warping Drain on 12th October.

 

Common Crane Grus grus 
One was seen in poor light from Thorne colliery spoil heap flying over the moors on 25th October (ML) and one adult, presumably the same bird, was seen flying over ‘Middle Moor’ and landing near Will Pits Scrape on 6th November (RS, ML). This bird was later seen to fly west and landed on the western edge of the moors.

 

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus 
One was seen flying over Will Pits and landing on Crowle Moors on 12th October (SH).

 

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius 
There were regular sightings at Will Pits Scrape, from 30th April until 24th July. Between one and five birds were regularly seen throughout May and June, with a pair displaying on 7th June. Four adults and one juvenile were observed on 9th July, with a maximum count of 11 birds including juveniles on 11th July and six plus on 23rd July.

 

Great Ringed Plover C. hiaticula 
Single birds seen at Thorne colliery spoil heap on 30th April, 1st and 18th May and 13th July, and two on 8th May. Sightings from the flooded area north of the Rhododendron path included one on 14th May, two seen with Dunlins on 15th May, one on 18th May and eight with Dunlins on 22nd May. Regularly seen at Will Pits Scrape, with the first sighting of a single bird on 28th April and a maximum of 18 feeding in one flock on 15th May. Between one and three birds seen at this ‘scrape’ throughout late May and June with one adult and two juveniles seen on 27th June. On 10th July a nest was found with two eggs and two juveniles, together with two adults on the bare peat surface (JMR and PCR). By the following day a third juvenile was seen and one egg remained. Two adults and two juveniles were last seen there on 17th July. Other sightings included two over Goole Fields on 25th September and one on 16th October.

 

European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria 
There were occasional sightings of birds, usually flying over the moors. Approximately 200 birds were flying overhead on 30th January, 70 plus were on fields near Paraffin Works Cuttings on 5th February and 36 were flying south over Mill Drain Marsh on 27th February. One was at Will Pits Scrape on 3rd May, one was flying west on 12th May, one was present on 29th August, with eight on 11th September and 17 on 25th September. October records were three on 1st, five on 2nd, two on 8th, 13 on 9th, four on 16th and one on 29th. For November: 10 on 6th, nine on 27th, five on 13th and nine on 27th. Lastly 24 were observed in a field near Woodpecker Corner on 24th December.

 

Grey Plover P. squatarola 
One observed feeding at Will Pits Scrape on 14th May, one circling and calling over the Paraffin Works Cuttings on 16th October and one on 18th November flying and calling over Mill Drain Marsh.
 
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Autumn and winter flocks seen flying over the moors include 250+ on 5th February, 100+ on 27th February, c.60 on 29th August, 70+ on 22nd September, 250 on 25th September, 55 on 23rd October, c.380 on 6th November and 40 and 12th on 11th November. From April until early July birds were regularly seen at Will Pits Scrape, where four adults and two young were present on 14th May, and a total of 13 including juveniles was seen on 24th and 27th June.
        
Little Stint Calidris minuta 
This is a new species for the moors. Two birds were seen at Will Pits Scrape on 14th and 15th May (SH, ML, WHP, PCR, BPW).

 

Purple Sandpiper C. maritima
This is another new species for the moors. One was observed at the flooded area west of the Shoulder o’ Mutton on 25th September (SH).

 

Dunlin C. alpina 
Sightings from Will Pits Scrape included four on 13th May, nine on 15th May, one on 24th May, three on 31st May and one on 4th June. Other sightings included nine on the flooded area north of the Rhododendron path, and again on 15th May. Five were in the same area on 22nd May. Single birds were observed flying over on 9th July, 4th August, 21st September and two heard overhead on 6th November.

 

Ruff Philomachus pugnax 
Twenty seen flying east over Will Pits Scrape on 1st May and nine were seen at Mill Drain Marsh on the same day with 14 at Will Pits Scrape on 2nd May. Single birds were seen at the same place on 3rd, 13th, 14th and 18th May, and eight were seen flying north over Crowle Moors on 15th May. One was at Will Pits Scrape on 3rd July.

 

Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus 
One was flushed to the west of Will Pits on 22nd January, one seen at the junction of Angle Drain and ‘Middle Moor’ Tram on 30th January, one at Paraffin Works Cuttings on 8th October and one on 20th November.

 

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 
Recorded throughout the year with a maximum count across the moors of c.26 on 21st August. ‘Drumming’ birds were observed over the Southern Canals and ‘Middle Moor’ on 28th and 30th April, 4th, 18th and 19th May, and 10th, 15th, 17th and 20th June. Birds have also been flushed from the Paraffin Works Cuttings, Pony Bridge Marsh, Mill Drain Marsh and the flooded areas south of the Southern Boundary Drain. Fourteen were recorded on 6th November.

 

Woodcock Scolopax rusticola 
One was at the Paraffin Works Cuttings and one was at Crowle Moors on 30th January. One was at the Rhododendron path on 27th February, and one was in scrub on northern edge of moors on 8th April, with two seen flying over Will Pits in the late evening of 16th April. During May, a single was flushed from Bell’s Pond on 5th and from Swinefleet Warping Drain on 10th and 11th, two were roding over Casson’s and Bell’s Pond on 12th, one was on Crowle Moors 15th and four observed on 19th (two at both Crowle Moors and Pony Bridge Marsh). Two were at Will Pits on 17th and 18th June and single birds on 3rd, 4th, 13th, 26th and 27th November and 24th December. 

 

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa 
One was flying NW over Will Pits Scrape (PCR). No date

 

Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata 
Two birds regularly heard and seen in the southern half of the moors between 4th April and 27th June, breeding suspected but not proven. Other sightings include three birds flying east over Crowle Moors on 27th February, one disturbed from Will Pits Scrape on 28th February, five birds reported on the moors on 2nd May. One was repeatedly mobbing a Marsh Harrier over ‘Middle Moor’ on 7th June.


Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus 
One flying overhead on 28th July (A. Hall)

 

Common Redshank T. totanus 
Up to three birds were regularly seen in the Will Pits Scrape area from 13th May-13th July. Although displaying birds were observed on several occasions in early June, breeding was never proven. Other sightings include single birds on 1st January, 27th March, 24th August, 18th and 29th October and 10th December and eight were flying south on 25th September.

 

Greenshank T. nebularia 
Sightings, mostly of single birds were from Will Pits Scrape, Mill Drain Marsh, ‘Middle Moor’ and the flooded area north of the Rhododendron path, from late April until the end of May, with further records received for various dates in August. Two were seen at Will Pits Scrape on 7th August. 

 

Green Sandpiper T. ochropus
One was calling over ‘Middle Moor’ on 16th April, a single was flushed from ‘Middle Moor’ and Will Pits Scrape on 16th May. One was at Will Pits Scrape on 17th and 27th June. In August there were three in total at Bell’s Pond and Mill Drain Marsh on 4th, one at Paraffin Works Cuttings on 5th, one on 7th, one near ‘Middle Moor’ on 13th. Also in August one was at Thorne Waste Drain on 14th, one at Bell’s Pond on 15th, one at Thorne Waste Drain on 25th, with two on 29th. One was at Bell’s Pond on 21st September, one was flying north on 20th October, one was at ‘Middle Moor’ on 21st October, two on 25th October and one was flying west over Inkle Moor on 25th December.

 

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos 
All sightings came from Will Pits Scrape. One was feeding with Little Stints on 14th May, one on 5th June, one was present on 9th, 10th and 11th July and two on 24th August.

 

Turnstone Arenaria interpres 
Two were feeding on peat ‘islands’ at Will Pits Scrape on 13th May and one on 15th May (SH, JMR, PCR and BPW). 

 

Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus
One juvenile seen flying west over Bell’s Pond on 20th September (WHP) and this is a new species for the moors. 

 

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus 
One adult seen at the Black-headed Gull colony at Mill Drain Marsh on 4th June (WHP) and this is a new species for the moors. 

 

Black-headed Gull L. ridibundus
Regularly observed throughout the year. A colony of 3-400 adults became established at Mill Drain Marsh from late March onwards, with counts in late June peaking at c.600 adults and young in the air and a further 150 young still on the water. Groups of c.30 regularly seen throughout the summer in the evenings on Will Pits Scrape.

 

Common Gull L. canus 
Sightings were infrequent during the year, although numbers of birds flying over can be quite high. These include 80 with Lesser Black-backed Gulls on 2nd January, 50+ over ‘Middle Moor’ on 11th March, 50+ east on 11th May and 25 overhead on 27th November.

 

Lesser Black-backed Gull L. fuscus 
Observations are generally of singles or small groups of gulls flying over during most months of the year; most records were for May. Sightings include eight west on 30th January, 16 over ‘Middle Moor’ on 7th June, a total of 40+ in small groups flying west on 29th August and 12 over on 10th October. Will Pits Scrape regularly attracted small groups of birds including five adults and three immatures, on 22nd May, four birds on 24th June and three on 4th August. Three adults and one immature circled ‘Middle Moor’ on 30th May and two of the adults landed on the surface of bare peat on the northern side of the access road.

 
Herring Gull L. argentatus
Occasionally seen most months flying over the moors in small groups. Interesting observations include 15+ west on 22nd January, three adults and one immature on 1st May one and 27 over Mill Drain Marsh on the 26th, 16 down on flooded peat workings on ‘Middle Moor’ on 13th July and 30+ west on 4th December.

 

Great Black-backed Gull L. marinus
Recorded every month except August, mostly of single or small groups of birds flying over in a westerly or easterly direction. Records include 10 east on 22nd January and 57 west on the 29th, 100+ west on 8th October and 13 west on 18th December. At Will Pits Scrape 42 birds were generally loafing and preening on 24th June and similarly 35 were observed on 17th July. 

 

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
Two flushed from Will Pits Scrape on 24th April (ML).

 

Common / Arctic Tern S. hirundo / paradisaea
Two flew over Will Pits Scrape on 22nd May, five flew over ‘Middle Moor’ on 4th June, one Common Tern at Will Pits Scrape on 24th June and two over the same area on 3rd July.

 

Stock Dove Columba oenas 
Singles or small groups seen throughout the year around the edge of the moors, particularly from Inkle Moor and Bell’s Pond, with a maximum of 19+ along the northern moor edge on 27th November and 50+ feeding in fields adjacent to the northern boundary of the moors on 18th December.

 

Wood Pigeon C. palumbus 
Regularly observed throughout the year. Breeds in small numbers in the woodland edge. Large flocks of up to 2000 birds observed in the winter coming off the surrounding fields.

 

Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
Three were seen near Inkle Moor on 22nd January and 21st September and a single bird was disturbed there on 18th December. Two birds were perching on the Fire Tower near the Warping Drain on 12th June. Although not commonly seen on the moors, birds are frequently observed around the Swinefleet Peat Works and Red House Farm.
 
Turtle Dove S. turtur
Between one and four birds regularly observed during the summer months at Bell’s Pond, and a further one to two birds were seen at Will Pits. First and last dates were 30th April and 21st August.

 

Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
First recorded on 25th April when two birds were seen flying east of the Southern Canals. Up to 11 birds regularly seen throughout May and June over a wide area of the Moors. Last record of one on 24th July.

 

Barn Owl Tyto alba 
Two seen on 25th August at Bell’s Pond where one was mobbed by a young European Nightjar before flying over Thorne colliery spoil heap, and one seen hunting at the Paraffin Works Cuttings at dusk on 27th November.

 

Little Owl Athene noctua
One was heard calling from Crowle Moors on 11th May, two heard calling at Will Pits on 18th June, and one there on 24th June. Two plus were heard calling at Bell’s Pond on four and 25th August and 8th September, and one at Thorne colliery on 25th October.

 

Tawny Owl Strix aluco
Single birds heard calling from Will Pits, Crowle Moors and Pony Bridge Wood on 19th May. Juveniles heard calling from Pony Bridge Wood on 18th June and 1st July, and adults also heard on 18th and 24th June from Will Pits, Crowle Moors and Pony Bridge Wood. 

 

Long-eared Owl Asio otus
One was seen hunting over Bell’s Pond at dusk on 1st January, one was heard from Casson’s on 12th May, one seen hunting along the eastern edge of Will Pits on 24th May. One adult and three juveniles were calling from different points at the NE corner of Will Pits and the NW corner of Crowle Moors on 26th July, and juveniles were again heard in Will Pits on 28th July. The adult was seen at Will Pits on 26th July and on a field ditch-side to the east of the moors on the 28th July. An adult was heard at Woodpecker Corner on 10th June and one was seen on the Southern Canals on 25th and 29th October.

 

Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus 
One was flushed from Pony Bridge Marsh on 27th September and one seen hunting north of the Rhododendron path at dusk on 18th November.

 

European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus 
A total of 33 churring males were recorded on the moors during the survey in June and July. The only daytime record was of one flying near Elmhirst Gate on 17th July. First and last dates were 13th May and 25th August.

 

Common Swift Apus apus
Birds regularly seen feeding over the flooded areas of the moors with exceptionally large numbers of 300+ seen feeding low over the ‘Middle Moor’ area during a spell of damp overcast weather on 22nd, 23rd and 24th May. First record was of a single bird flying east over the moors on 2nd May, the last record of two seen south of the Southern Canals on 19th September.

 

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 
Sightings of single birds at Bell’s Pond on 8th, 20th and 22nd September, and 5th and 18th November, and one seen on the Western Boundary Drain on 9th November.

 

Green Woodpecker Picus viridis 
One or two birds seen throughout the year, usually at Woodpecker Corner or Bell’s Pond where a pair is thought to have held territory. 

 

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
Breeding suspected in Pony Bridge Wood and Woodpecker Corner where drumming has been heard. Four birds were recorded in woodland along the SW edge of the moors on several occasions during April.

 

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker D. minor
There were several sightings throughout the year, one male with Bullfinch flock in Will Pits 22nd January, one in Will Pits on 6th February and 16th April. November records included; one male in bushes near Bell’s Pond on 5th, one male disturbed near the NE corner of the Southern Canals on 10th and 13th, one female was seen on Elmhirst Tram on 20th and on 30th one female flew from scrub near Bell’s Pond towards Woodpecker Corner.

 

Sky Lark Alauda arvensis 
Recorded in all months; the first was heard in song on 28th February over ‘Middle Moor’. The maximum count of birds on the moors was 22 on 4th April. Only signs of October passage were of birds flying over in small groups in a southerly direction reaching a high of c.178 on 24th. 30 flew overhead on 6th November and 17 flew south on 18th December.

 

Sand Martin Riparia riparia 
There were several records of two and three birds amongst other hirundines during May; 15 were feeding over Will Pits Scrape on 24th July. On 3rd August a single flock of c.300 birds were observed in the evening on bare peat and amongst Juncus on Will Pits Scrape (PCR, JMR). They seemed totally disorientated and in a state of confusion, feeding off midges and flying ants and then suddenly they would fly up, circle and land again to continue feeding and chattering. This group was not there next day but ML, WHP had c.60 birds flying over the same area, mainly in a westerly direction; 20 flew over on 7th. On 11th September c.10-20 birds were noticed amongst House Martins and Barn Swallows feeding over the moors. First and last dates were one overhead on 24th April, one over Woodpecker Corner on 20th September.

 

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 
Generally seen feeding in small groups over the old peat workings during the summer months; noticeable counts include 37 feeding over Mill Drain Marsh on 19th May and 50 over ‘Middle Moor’ on 17th July. On 5th August WHP observed c.1500 birds feeding over the Paraffin Works Cuttings and Inkle Moor area up to 21.00 hrs before they flew off in a westerly direction. A mass of birds were seen at ‘Middle Moor’ on 29th August, some landing in bushes with more arriving from the north-east (ML). First and last dates were 23rd April and 26th October.

 

House Martin Delichon urbica
Occasionally seen feeding with other hirundines, maximum eight on 14th May. Between 11th-20th September many birds were observed feeding and flying over flooded peat workings of ‘Middle Moor’. It is difficult to say whether the birds were gradually passing through but a maximum of c.130 was recorded on 11th and c.150 were seen feeding over cuttings to the south of the Southern Canals on 19th. First and last dates were 25th April and 21st September.

 

Richard's Pipit Anthus novaeseelandiae 

This is a new species for the Moors. A single first-year bird was observed on Thorne colliery spoil heap on 25th-28th October (JMc, DB, ML, WHP, BPW).

 

Tree Pipit A. trivialis
Eight were reported in song on 30th April. Twenty-seven birds were recorded during the Point Count Breeding Bird Survey. First and last dates were 26th April and 11th September.

 

Meadow Pipit A. pratensis
Observed throughout the year, generally amongst the more open areas of workings on either side of ‘Middle Moor’ Tram. Spring counts reached a maximum of 40 on 27th March and 30 on 4th April, but during the summer months numbers fell to an average of 15 during May. Autumn numbers gradually built up to the highs of October when a maximum of c.100 birds were recorded on 8th, but by the end of the month numbers had dropped to eight on 29th. Twenty-eight birds were reported for 13th November and four on 24th December. An unusually high count of c.200 “all along Shoulder o’ Mutton Tram, resting" was made on 18th September (BPW).

 

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
All sightings were of two or three birds in the ‘Middle Moor’ to Mill Drain Marsh area, except for the last date of three birds on Thorne colliery spoil heap. Interesting records include five birds feeding on recently disked peat near ‘Middle Moor’ Tram on 2nd May and seven on the moors on 29th August. First and last dates were 24th April and 21st September.

 

Grey Wagtail M. cinerea
All sightings were of single birds on 21st and 22nd September, 8th October and 13th November.

 

Pied Wagtail M. alba
Regularly observed throughout the year, particularly around the edges of the flooded areas of Middle Moor, Mill Drain Marsh and Will Pits Scrape. Juvenile birds were also seen during the summer and a maximum of 15 birds was recorded on 27th November.

 

Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Distributed throughout the scrub and woodland areas of the moors, with maximum counts of 36 on 29th January, 95 on 9th October and 68 on 27th November. Results of the Point Count Breeding Bird Survey showed a count of 54 birds, which was a considerable increase over 15 recorded in 1993.

 

Hedge Accentor Prunella modularis 
Found in the dense scrub and woodland edge of the Moors. Maximum counts include 13 on 1st January, 19 on 9th October and 22 on 27th November.

 

Robin Erithacus rubecula
Observed throughout the year from the scrub and woodland areas of the moors, with maximum counts of 18 on 6th February, 26 on 30th April, 60+ on 9th October and 36 on 27th November.

 

Rufous Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos 
Eight singing males were recorded holding territory in the woodland areas of Will Pits, Pony Bridge Wood, Casson’s, Bell’s Pond and Elmhirst Wood, which was a slight reduction on 1993. First and last dates were 11th April and 18th June.

 

Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
Two birds (male and female) were seen in Thorne colliery yard on 30th October and 5th November (WHP, BPW, RJS, GF et al.).

 

Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
Observed in small numbers from the old peat cuttings of the Southern Canals, the Northern Canals and Pony Bridge Marsh, with 39 recorded on the Breeding Bird Point Count Survey. First and last dates were 28th April and 29th August.

 

Common Stonechat S. torquata 
There were occasional sightings during the winter months include one male and three females on ‘Middle Moor’ on 1st January, two at Pony Bridge Marsh on 9th January, two at Shoulder of Mutton on 22nd and 31st January. There was one female at the Paraffin Works Cuttings on 12th March. In October; one female at Pony Bridge Marsh on 12th, one male at ‘Middle Moor’ on 21st October, one male at Mill Drain and one male and one female at Pony Bridge Marsh on 22nd October, one male and one female on 28th October. Single birds were at Pony Bridge Marsh on 6th, 18th and 27th November and 18th December.

 

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
Occasional sightings during April and May of birds on passage; the maximum count was six males and one female on Goole Fields on 2nd April, with four males and two females on 1st May. One male and one female were also seen there on 29th August.

 

Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus 
One flew from Thorne colliery spoil heap towards Woodpecker Corner on 25th October (GW).

 

Blackbird T. merula 
Observed throughout the year from the scrub and woodland areas of the moors, with maximum winter counts of 25 on 1st January, 22 on 6th February, 15 on 6th March, 13 on 9th October 43 on 27th November and 32 on 24th December. Only three birds recorded from the Point Count Breeding Bird Survey, although this survey does not cover the main woodland areas of Will Pits or Pony Bridge Wood.

 

Fieldfare T. pilaris 
Winter flocks seen flying over or roosting on the moors include 200+ at Bell’s Pond on 8th and 15th January, c.700 with many flying west on 16th October, 120+ roosting on the Southern Canals on 22nd October, 250 flying south on 6th November and c.150 seen on 13th November.

 

Song Thrush T. philomelos 
Occasional sightings, mostly of single birds from Will Pits, Pony Bridge Wood, Bell’s Pond and the Paraffin Works Cuttings, with a maximum count of seven on 9th October.

 

Redwing T. iliacus 
Winter sightings include 120 flying east in flocks of around 20 to roost on the moors on 8th January, c.400 with many passing west on 16th October and 100+ at Bell’s Pond on 26th October.

 

Mistle Thrush T. viscivorus 
Occasionally heard or seen on the edge of the Moors. Single birds have been heard in song on 6th March and 15th May but no reports of breeding. Fifteen were observed in a pasture field near Inkle Moor on 20th September.

 

Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia 
Reeling birds heard along the fen, tall grass communities of the western and eastern fringes of the Moors. There was a maximum of six birds heard between Inkle Moor and Bell’s Pond on 30th April and one recorder noted "several birds in the Warping Drain area during July". Recorders generally noted an increase in activity for this species. First and last dates were 23rd April and 7th August.

 

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
The main area for Sedge Warblers continued to be between Inkle Moor and Bell’s Pond. Twelve birds were recorded there on 30th April. Other records include single sightings during June on the Southern Canals, one in Mill Drain Marsh on 1st May and one in the ‘Middle Moor’ area on 7th May. First and last dates were 24th April and 20th September.

 

Reed Warbler A. scirpaceus
First and last dates, 3rd May and 20th September. The western boundary between Inkle Moor and Bell’s Pond continues to remain the favoured location, where two or three birds were regularly heard during the summer. A pair was seen feeding young near Bell’s Pond on 5th July, and a pair held territory near the northern end of Canal 4 on the Southern Canals.
 
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
There were generally few sightings, with records from Inkle Moor area including five on 30th April, singles from Bell’s Pond during May-July and single sightings from Will Pits on 1st and 15th May. First and last dates were 24th April and 20th September.

 

Common Whitethroat S. communis 
Widespread throughout the southern half of the moors, with numbers reported as "plentiful" during May. A count by SH, ML and BPW on the moors as far north as the dismantled Axholme Joint Railway line gave a total of 89 birds. A total count of 79 birds was recorded on the Point Count Breeding Bird Survey. First and last dates were 24th April and 25th September.

 

Garden Warbler S. borin
Occasionally observed throughout the summer, maximum count of nine birds on 8th May. First and last dates were 1st May and 8th July.

 

Blackcap S. atricapilla 
Widely distributed throughout the moors, generally in areas where there are denser pockets of scrub and undergrowth. Fifteen birds were recorded on 1st May. First and last dates were 7th April and 22nd September.

 

Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Regularly observed and heard amongst the scrub and woodland fringes of the Moors. Usual haunts included Inkle Moor, Bell’s Pond, the Rhododendron Path, Elmhirst and Limberlost Trams, Pony Bridge Wood and Will Pits. A maximum of 17 birds was reported from the moors on 9th April. There were three October sightings all of singles, on 2nd, 14th and 15th. First and last dates were 27th March and 15th October.

 

Willow Warbler P. trochilus
Common throughout the summer, birds were seen or heard almost daily. A maximum count ofc.65 birds was recorded on 30th April and a total of 112 birds were recorded during the Point Count Breeding Bird Survey. The last date of 21st September was a positive sighting, a singlePhylloscopus warbler with pale legs was very briefly seen on 23rd October (BPW). First and last dates were 7th April and 21st September.

 

Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Records were generally from January to March and September to December, of two or three birds mixed in with roving tit and finch flocks. The maximum count was of 33 birds on 12th October included 14 in Will Pits, eight at Woodpecker Corner, one near Bell’s Pond and six on the Southern Canals. There were three sightings of single birds on 3rd, 4th and 6th April.

 

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus 
Generally common throughout the winter and autumn either as independent small flocks or sometimes with other tits and finches, foraging for food amongst the wood or scrub canopy. High total counts include 60 on 1st January, 25 on 6th February, 40+ on 9th October, 50 on 27th November and 28 on 18th December. The maximum was 26 seen in one flock on 9th November in scrub south of Pony Bridge Tram.

 

Willow Tit Parus montanus 
Recorded throughout the year, generally in single figures, although winter and autumn numbers for the moors can reach double figures. Maximum count was 21 on 9th October.

 

Coal Tit P. ater
Single birds occasionally observed during the winter and autumn, although one was seen near Inkle Moor on 2nd April and another bird was reported in Will Pits on 15th May.

 

Blue Tit P. caeruleus 
Recorded in every month amongst scrub and woodland; sightings during the winter and autumn months are generally of birds mixed with other titmice and finches. High counts include c.40 on 1st January, c.110 on 6th February, almost all at Will Pits (ML), 35 on 14th October and 30 on 26th November.

 

Great Tit P. major
Recorded throughout the year. High counts include 14 on 24th January, 13 on 6th March, 15 on 7th April, 14 on 12th October and 10 on 25th November.

 

Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
Infrequently seen in woodland on the edge of the Moors. Sightings, all singles were reported on 22 and 29th January, 5th February, 7th August, 9th, 12th and 23rd October and 24th December.

 

Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
One or two birds occasionally observed during most months flying over the moors; sometimes roving groups can be heard in the woodland fringes. Four were seen on 1st May, a family group was observed along the eastern boundary of the Southern Canals on 4th July and seven birds were seen on the moors on 9th October.

 

Magpie Pica pica
Recorded most months, generally along the western fringes of the moors. High counts includec.20 near Woodpecker Corner on 15th January, c.20 near Inkle Moor on 5th February, 15 on 25th October and 12 on 27th November. Sightings over the moors were four over ‘Middle Moor’ on 22nd January, two on 22nd May, one on 10th June and two on 19th September. One flew over Pony Bridge Marsh on 17th March and one was reported over Mill Drain Marsh on 24th October.

 

Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula
One over the Southern Canals on 30th January, two flying SW near Inkle Moor and two flying over Will Pits on 2nd April, one near Shoulder o’ Mutton on 18th September and one near Woodpecker Corner on 20th, also two were seen flying over Will Pits on 12th October.

 

Rook C. frugilegus
Very occasionally seen over the moors. Sightings include two near Inkle Moor on 2nd April, one near Bell’s Pond on 6th May and one near the Warping Drain on 15th and one over ‘Middle Moor’ on 6th November.

 

Carrion Crow C. corone 
Recorded most months. During the summer months counts are usually of roving small groups of birds but numbers increase in the autumn with birds going to roost in the woodland edge. This is most noticeable as groups of birds gather in the ‘Middle Moor’ area during the evening before flighting to roost in Will Pits. High counts include 200+ on 3rd January, c.100 on 6th February, 46 on 19th May, 80 on 25th August and c.100 on 27th November.
Hooded Crow C.c. cornix
There were two records of a bird seen flying in the ‘Middle Moor’ area on 24th and 26th October (AH, KR) 

 

Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
High counts are generally of birds flighting to roost on the western edge of the moors during the winter or autumn; these include 50+ on 27th February, 250 flew west on 28th October and 250 flew SW on 6th November. Infrequently seen during the summer, including two on 6th May, four over the Southern Canals on 18th June and 10 on 5th July.

 

House Sparrow Passer domesticus
The only records were of two birds seen near Thorne colliery wasteland on 8th and 30th May.

 

Tree Sparrow P. montanus
Two birds were seen near Moorends Recreation Ground on 24th October (LM).

 

Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs 
Recorded throughout the year, but most observations are of flocks of birds flighting to or from a roost. These counts include 150 on 30th January, 60 on 12th March, 60 on 9th October, c.100+ on 13th November and 50 on 24th December.

 

Brambling F. montifringilla 
Three birds were seen on 25th October, two on 24th October and six and 11th November and singles seen on 1st January, 26th October and 5th, 6th and 13th November.

 

Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
Scrub and Phragmites near to Bell’s Pond provide an important area for winter roosts; on 24 January over 1000 birds were counted in one hour as they left a roost (BPW) and on several days in January counts were of several hundred of birds flighting to roost. On 22nd January 200+ were counted flighting to Pony Bridge Wood and on 6th February c.300 were counted going to roost near the Rhododendron Path. Summer records were only of one or two birds occasionally seen throughout the Moors.

 

Goldfinch C. carduelis 
Observed most months, but most frequently during autumn and winter when feeding on thistleCirsium and Teasel Dipsacus fullonum seed heads. The maximum recorded in one flock was 50+ on the edge of birch scrub near the Swinefleet Warping Drain on 5th April. Other interesting observations include 30+ on Thorne colliery spoil heap on 25th August, a flock of c.40 Goldfinches and Siskins was observed in Alders near the Paraffin Works Cuttings on 27th November, and 23 were reported flighting into scrub near the edge of Bell’s Pond on 23rd December.

 

Siskin C. spinus
Occasionally seen in ones or twos during January to February and September to December; most records were during October. Maximum count was nine birds in Will Pits on 8th October. Other records include around six near Bell’s Pond on 15th September; the mixed finch flock of c.40 birds in Alders comprised this species and Goldfinches on 27th November. Two birds were reported in the area of Bell’s Pond on 1st May.

 

Linnet C. cannabina 
Observed throughout the year but, as with the other finches which are regularly observed on the moors, highest counts are for birds in feeding flocks or going to roost during the winter or autumn months. Records include 70+ in fields near Inkle Moor on 18th March, 40 throughout the NW area of the moors on 3rd April, c.100 near Thorne colliery on 29th August, 200+ in fields also near Thorne colliery on 21st September, 32 on 20th November and 18 on 27th November.    

 

Twite C. flavirostris 
Reported sightings were seven feeding near Will Pits Scrape on 27th March (ML), single birds were seen here on 4th (ML) and 6th (BPW) of April. Also in April one flew over the Southern Canals on the 4th (ML) and three were seen amongst birch scrub along the line of the Thousand Acre Drain on the 7th (SH).

 

Common Redpoll C. flammea
Observed in every month. Feeding flocks reached a maximum of c.70 on 4th April, and c.50 were seen over ‘Middle Moor’ on 9th October. Only single birds were recorded during the summer months, eight being the total for the Point Count Breeding Bird Survey.

 

Common Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula 
Single birds or small groups were recorded throughout the year generally in the woodland fringes. A flock of 13 flew overhead at Will Pits on 9th January, 12+ near Inkle Moor on 5th February, nine were counted on the moors on 27th November. 

 

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
One or two birds regularly heard or seen during the summer months amongst scrub in the old peat workings, a total of 38 birds were counted during the Point Count Breeding Bird Survey. Away from the breeding season birds were generally seen in small foraging groups on the edge of the Moors. Thirty were in fields near Thorne colliery spoil heap on 19th February, 32 near Woodpecker Corner on 11th March and 14 on site on 3rd April.

 

Reed Bunting E. schoeniclus 
Observed throughout the year, with numbers building up during the summer. A total of 63 birds were counted during the Point Count Breeding Bird Survey. Interesting records include three birds disturbed roosting in a clump of heather on 8th January, 10 on 27th March and 20 in the Mill Drain Marsh area.

 

Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra 
Three birds were seen in fields between Goole Moor and the dismantled Axholme Joint Railway on 8th May. Although not recorded over the peat, this species is frequently observed during the summer months from the arable fields that surround the Moors.

 

 

List of Observers

S. Berry, Dave Beaumont, Ian Edwards, Trevor Edwards, Clive Featherstone, Gary Featherstone, A. Hall, Adrian Handley, Steve Hiner, Mike Hughill, Martin Limbert, John Mcloughlin, Lee Marshall, Bill H. Priestley, K. Roberts, Colin Rook, George Roworth, Janet M. Roworth, Peter C. Roworth, Richard J. Sprakes, Bryan P. Wainwright, George Wilson.

 


Peter and Janet Roworth 
Site Manager and Voluntary Warden Thorne Moors NNR