Bird Records For Thorne Moors 1997
Compiled by Bryan P. Wainwright
English and scientific names, and sequence of birds, follows the List of Birds of the Western Palearctic (British Birds Ltd, 1997).
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Single birds from early February at Paraffin Cuttings, and at Will Pits Scrape from late March. Two at Will Pits Scrape on 29th March, one from either the adjacent stretch of Swinefleet Warping Drain or to the east on 30th, one Inkle Moor Pond on 12th April, when also two more at Paraffin Cuttings. Present till 2nd July at Will Pits Scrape, with two adults and two juveniles. Still present at Paraffin Cuttings, with one on 1st July, 28th August and finally 10th October.
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Birds flew over the Moors on few dates: one 12th January flying WSW, four W on 6th April. In September one juvenile E on 5th, three N and one W on 6th, one N on 7th and two SE on 21st. Lastly one went SW on 30th November.
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Seen every month, but generally less in breeding season. There are usually one or two birds, but sometimes more, with maxima of five on 14th June and at least four on 10th October.
Mute Swan Cygnus olor
Three immatures flew over 'Middle Moor' and landed at the Shoulder O' Mutton on 4th January. Two immatures flew off Will Pits Scrape and landed again on flooded workings on 23rd February, one immature passed over Pony Bridge Marsh on 26th, and on 2nd March two immatures came in high from N dropped lower at Will Pits Scrape before going SE. One flew S on 6th June, an immature flew W on 31st August, and one flew S on 13th September.
Tundra Swan C. columbianus
On 21st November two adults and one juvenile flew in from NW and landed on water west of Shoulder O' Mutton, and after a fifteen minute rest flew off continuing E (WHP).
Whooper Swan C. cygnus
First recorded on 1st February when one adult and one immature were going SE over Goole Fields. Five were recorded on 23rd, 26th, 28th, 29th (including one juvenile). and 31st October, and 2nd and 13th November, all going to or coming from the flooded workings north of Fisons' Road. Often seen resting there and also seen feeding in stubble fields at Rainsbutt Farm. New birds swelled the numbers to 13 on 6th and 11 on 7th November, but numbers dropped to five on 13th, but 11 again on 30th. The last were two going S over Thorne Colliery early on 25th December.
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus
First records on 26th February when three skeins of 25, 65 and 120 birds were seen. On 1st March, 80 birds were seen down in fields north-west of the Moors and later 30, that were possibly from this group, were seen flying over the Alder Thicket. On 2nd March, 30 went low W, and on 31st 22 came S circled over the colliery area, then returned NW. Three skeins (90, 80, 60) went high SE on 10th November, 40 came low and appeared to land near the Shoulder O' Mutton on 19th; on 23rd November 16 went over the Paraffin Cuttings and across the Moors, circling over the flooded workings before continuing on their original path. On 30th November five skeins (48, 200, 120, 50, 13) totalling c.431 birds went E; and 25 were seen going S on 21st December.
Greylag Goose A. anser
Mostly overfly the Moors but do on occasions land. Counts of single figures on fifteen dates inclusive between 16th February and 19th October, with a maximum of nine birds (seven from Paraffin Cuttings) flying around the Moors on 23rd March.
Canada Goose Branta canadensis
In June three on 1st; on 6th 18 flew E and four others were down on the flooded workings north of Fisons' Road; finally one was present at Will Pits Scrape on 8th.
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
A good increase in both numbers and sightings, all from the flooded workings. Many records of mainly single figure counts, and virtually all from 9th February till 21st July, when two immatures were seen with two adults. Highest counts were in mid-March through May, with 10 birds or over on seven dates, the highest were 21 on 30th April and 11 on 4th May. There were fewer in June and July, and the next records were not until 19th and 30th November, when one was present. In December, on 7th a single, six mobile birds on 25th, and another single on 28th.
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope
Most records were from flooded areas. On 25th January a pair was flushed from flooded workings across from Mill Drain Marsh and the next day there was an additional female. Up to 12 birds were present on 9th March; then on 19th and 20th May there was a pair present; and on 26th August two males and one female flew over the Moors W. On 21st December, 15 birds with at least two males were with a large group of Mallard and Common Teal; four birds (one male) were present on 25th, and two were still present on 26th and 28th.
Gadwall A. strepera
Another good increase in the early part of the year, when between one and three birds were commonly encountered at the flooded workings. On 4th March three birds were present, one female and two males. Sightings continued till 11th May, when a pair was present at Mill Drain Marsh. December saw two on 21st and 28th, probably a pair.
Common Teal A. crecca
At the start of the year numbers were good with mild weather leaving open water. Through spring, pairs became secretive or else bred away from the Moors, but birds had returned in force by August with young boosting numbers. Four young were seen on 29th June on 'Middle Moor'. However as young birds dispersed numbers fell, with few records for July. Numbers through the later part of the year varied as different roost sites were used according to weather, but as winter drew on numbers increased substantially to the year's end.
Maximum monthly counts were: January 90, February 75, March 72, April 30, May 22, June 15, July 40, August 150, September 38, October 33, November 85, December 125.
Mallard A. platyrhynchos
Numbers were very variable and dropped in January in freezing weather. As birds paired numbers fluctuated and dropped often to zero as most birds bred elsewhere, and any resident birds became secretive. No young were seen, but later in the year numbers grew to 190 and stayed high for the rest of the year.
Maximum monthly counts were: January 80, February 87, March 33, April 12, May 21, June 25, July 33, August 190, September 80, October 70, November 100, December 160.
Pintail A. acuta
First seen on 31st January when a pair was disturbed from the flooded workings. On 9th February a female with a lone Mallard circled 'Middle Moor' before going W, and on 15th February an immature male came in and landed at Will Pits Scrape. Later, on 31st August a group of eight birds (including at least two males) circled the Moors for some time before going off E, and hours later a party of 18 did the same and were chased briefly by an adult male Peregrine Falcon (BPW, RJS).
Northern Shoveler A. clypeata
Recorded on eleven dates, all from flooded workings near the Shoulder O' Mutton. The first was a male on 9th March, then two males on 21st March and 1st April. Four other records in April (all of a pair ) occurred from 19th to 22nd. Three birds were at the flooded workings on 13th July, then a female on 10th August, a lone bird on 13th September and a female on 21st December.
Common Pochard Aythya ferina
A lone female was seen to fly over the Moors on 2nd March going SW high and fast against a gale force wind (BPW, ML).
Tufted Duck A. fuligula
On 1st January a flock of 17 males flew E. Others were seen at the Paraffin Cuttings in February, with two males and one female on 9th, a pair on 15th, four on 16th, and three on 26th. Seen regulaly in March: numbers reached seven at the Paraffin Cuttings on 13th. However, the highest count came on 27th April, with eight at Will Pits Scrape and two over the flooded workings. There were no more sightings from the Paraffin Cuttings area, but the species remained on flooded workings near the Shoulder O' Mutton, with up to two pairs seen throughout May and one pair up to 20th June.
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
One male on 1st January going NW over the colliery area (ML), and another male NNW over Pony Bridge Marsh on 23rd November (ML).
Smew Mergellus albellus
At 1pm on 12th January two males came from SW of the colliery and flew in a big circle over the observer (BPW) at Green Belt. They flew directly overhead and carried on in a WNW direction. Three males were seen later the same day at Southfield Reservoirs, and it is interesting to note that three male Smew had recently been present at Thorpe Marsh Nature Reserve, with many other inland records over this period. This is a first record for Thorne Moors.
Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
On 13th April at midday a single male was on flooded workings west of the Shoulder O' Mutton (RJS, PCR, JMR). This is a first record for Thorne Moors.
Goosander M. merganser
A single record of three females flying low SE over the Paraffin Cuttings and Will Pits Scrape on 19th January (BPW).
Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
One male was present at the Paraffin Cuttings on 28th March (BPW, WHP, ML), and was still there on 30th (SH).
Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
A drop in records this year, apparently as birds chose not to wander from Blacktoft Sands RSPB reserve as much as they did in 1996.
25th May 1 cream-crown Will Pits Scrape and high over Green Belt
05th August 1 female hunting road near Will Pits landed briefly after being mobbed by Carrion Crows and Northern Lapwings
10th August 1 cream-crown Will Pits Scrape
12th August 1 immature Shoulder O' Mutton
17th August 2, 1 cream-crown, 1 all dark immature Shoulder O' Mutton
26th August 1 immature Mill Drain Marsh
28th August 2- 1 immature Shoulder O' Mutton, 1 female Crowle Moor
30th August 1 cream-crown Middle Moor
31st August 1 immature Mill Drain Marsh
04th September 1 immature Shoulder O' Mutton
05th September 2 cream-crowns Shoulder O' Mutton and Mill Drain Marsh
06th September 1 cream-crown Mill Drain Marsh
07th September 1 cream-crown at Shoulder O' Mutton mobbed by Hobby, also other areas
12th September 2 cream-crowns Mill Drain Marsh
13th September 1 cream-crown north of Fisons' Road
14th September 2 cream-crown Rawcliffe Moor and Mill Drain Marsh where flushed a female Eurasian Sparrowhawk after repeated landings, later mobbed by large flock of Meadow Pipits (RJS)
05th October 1 immature going W mobbed by Carrion Crow
12th October 1 cream-crown Canals to Elmhirst
Hen Harrier C. cyaneus
An increase in the number of sightings on last year, but with sometimes distant views determining individuals not easy.
01st January 2- 1 male Will Pits Scrape, 1 female colliery area.
04th January 1 ringtail along Southern Canals to Angle Drain and 'Middle Moor’ where it flushed a Short-eared Owl
26th January 1 female Mill Drain Marsh
09th February 1 male to roost Mill Drain Marsh
15th February 1 female landed Shoulder O' Mutton, later flying over floods
23rd February 1 female Goole Moor mobbed by Carrion Crows
01st March 1 female 'Middle Moor', Pony Bridge
02nd March 1 male Pony Bridge Marsh
06th March 1 male flooded workings near Paraffin Cuttings
09th March 1 male Mill Drain Marsh
13th March 1 adult male Durham's Garden and Canals
16th March 1 male Woodpecker Corner
17th March 1 ringtail Pony Bridge Marsh
23rd March 1 male Will Pits going west
29th March 2- 1 male floods and Mill Drain Marsh, 1 female Green Belt
30th March 1 adult male Canals and later Pony Bridge Marsh
06th April 1 male Pony Bridge Marsh
13th April 1 female mobbed by Carrion Crow Goole Moor
21st April 1 female Shoulder O' Mutton
27th April 1 adult male going to Shoulder O' Mutton
01st June 1 male (1st- or 2nd-summer) Mill Drain Marsh
20th June 1 ringtail W towards Thorne Colliery soaring but then descending and going N
17th October 1 female flying over 'Middle Moor' to Goole Fields
08th November 1 adult male Pony Bridge Marsh to Will Pits Scrape mobbed by Carrion Crows at dusk
12th November 1 ringtail Woodpecker Corner Tram
23rd November 1 male Canals to Angle Drain to roost
Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
On 15th March a female came from Crowle Moor and flew into Will Pits (BPW, WHP). On 8th April a male flew from Will Pits early morning circled then went SW (PCR, KB). On 24th May a male flew with slow heavy wingbeats in the colliery area as if about to display (STH, LR, BRG, DM). All records subject to acceptance by the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union Ornithological Section Reports Committee.
Eurasian Sparrowhawk A. nisus
Mostly single birds seen throughout the year, though none were recorded in July. Four birds were seen on 26th February; two birds were infrequently seen, and three birds were seen only on 12th October and 8th November. Occasionally mobbed by Carrion Crows as on 6th April over Pony Bridge Marsh, and sometimes seen in pursuit; one female unsuccessfully chased Meadow Pipits at the Shoulder O' Mutton on 21st September.
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
One was seen soaring over Casson's Garden on 13th February (JGH), and one was soaring over 'Middle Moor' on 6th March (JGH). One was mobbed by Carrion Crows over Woodpecker Corner on 12th September, it then flew along the drain towards Elmhirst (WHP).
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Observed every month; mostly one or two birds were seen but in spring this often reached three or, as on 29th March, five. On 30th four birds were in the air at once, with a similar number on 7th September, 12th and 28th October. Common Lizards Lacerta vivipara, are recorded as prey for Common Kestrels on Thorne Moors, with possibly a lack of Field Voles Microtus agrestis, in the interior. A male was seen to carry a Common Lizard over Pony Bridge Marsh on 9th May.
Merlin F. columbarius
01st January 1 'Middle Moor' to Mill Drain Marsh
10th February 1 male W near Mill Drain
09th March 1 male flying and perched at flooded workings
29th March 1 adult male Shoulder O' Mutton
30th March 1 male east of Shoulder O' Mutton perched and flying
31st March 1 male east of Shoulder O' Mutton
01st April 1 over Will Pits
06th April 1 female flooded workings
19th April 1 female Shoulder O' Mutton perched on peat stack
20th April 1 female flooded workings flushed Grey Plover
04th May 1 female flooded workings
10th May 1 male west of Shoulder O' Mutton perched on peat stack
29th August 1 male west of Shoulder O' Mutton perched on peat stack
06th September 1 male colliery area
31st October 1 immature female fields near colliery
07th November 1 female colliery area to Southern Canals
Hobby F. subbuteo
Breeding suspected but not proven.
03rd May 2+, 1 adult over Mill Drain Marsh, 2 hawking over Rawcliffe Moor
04th May 1 adult flooded workings and 'Middle Moor'
09th May 2 adults
11th May 1 Rawcliffe Moor
15th May 2+, 2 Rawcliffe Moor, 1 male hawking Northern Canals
28th May 1 high over Rawcliffe Moor
01st June 1 Rawcliffe Moor
17th June 1 'Middle Moor'
01st July 1 Rawcliffe Moor
13th July 2 adults hawking north of road, and later seen together on nest, and fending off a Carrion Crow there, breeding suspected but not proven (RJS)
18th July 1 adult Northern Canals
19th July up to 6, but distant, over NNR
20th July 2 hawking over NNR
22nd July 2 hawking over NNR
31st July 2 hawking over NNR
02nd August 5, 1 adult, 2 immatures and 2 others still hawking over Southern Canals 9.30pm
03rd August 3, 2 adults, 1 immature Northern Canals and floods
07thAugust 1 adult Southern Canals
12th August 1 Southern Canals
17th August 1 Southern Canals
26th August 2, 1 immature 'Middle Moor', 1 adult Will Pits
31st August 2 adults flooded workings
02nd September 2 hawking over Rawcliffe Moor
05th September 3, 1 adult, 1 immature and 1 other Will Pits and Pony Bridge Wood
07th September 3, 2 adults, 1 immature Will Pits and in colliery area
12th September 2, 1 adult Shoulder O' Mutton 1 immature Will Pits
13th September 1 hawking at Will Pits
18th September 1 hawking at Will Pits
21st September 1 adult hawking at Will Pits
Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus
04th January 1 female Limberlost Tram to Pony Bridge Wood
15th February 1 female Goole Moor
23rd February 1 immature male near Paraffin Cuttings
26th February 1 male Shoulder O' Mutton
01st March 2, 1 immature female Shoulder O' Mutton chasing ducks, 1 adult male Pony Bridge
16th March 1 adult female Paraffin Cuttings area to Shoulder O' Mutton
23rd March 1 adult male Shoulder O' Mutton then chasing Wood Pigeons over Goole Moor
28th March 1 female north of Fisons' Road
29th March 1 female west of Shoulder O' Mutton
30th March 1 female Goole Fields to Goole Moor
31st March 1 immature over colliery area
01st April 1 Shoulder O' Mutton
05th April 1 immature
06th April 1 adult male flushed west of Shoulder O' Mutton
13th April 1 female chasing Common Teal near Shoulder O' Mutton
19th April 1 female near Shoulder O' Mutton
20th April 1 female Shoulder O' Mutton
30th August 1 Rawcliffe Moor
31st August 1 adult male flew up directly at a Mute Swan before having a change of mind and gliding back down at Paraffin Cuttings, and later seen chasing 18 Pintails
07th September 2, 1 immature female seen to kill a pigeon over flooded workings, 1 male Shoulder O' Mutton
12th September 1 immature female being mobbed by two Marsh Harriers and a third unidentified harrier Mill Drain Marsh
14th September 1 female down west of Shoulder O' Mutton
04th October 1 female over Fisons' Road
05th October 2, 1 female along Fisons' Road near Green Belt attacking obscured victim on ground before giving up and landing a short distance away on bare peat. One male Will Pits Scrape
10th October 1 female Shoulder O' Mutton
12th October 1 male colliery area and Southern Canals
18th October 1 male S over colliery area
28th October 1 adult male Shoulder O' Mutton
29th October 1 immature New Cut Drain
31st October 1 adult male Shoulder O' Mutton
09th November 2, 1 adult male 1 sub-adult female. The female followed the male's every move north of Shoulder O' Mutton, the male called frequently and performed four or fivemock, short but steep, dives on the female. The female returned the dive once. They headed off over Goole Moor and fields where they flushed a large flock of gulls, European Golden Plovers and Northern Lapwings
07th December 1 male Paraffin Cuttings
13th December 1 immature Shoulder O' Mutton
21st December 1 Will Pits
28th December 1 Will Pits Scrape
Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
Less frequently seen than last year, with smaller coveys. All single figure counts, the best of which were eight on 1st January, 29th March and 21st December and nine 23rd February. The Shoulder O' Mutton and moor edges were the favoured places.
Grey Partridge Perdix perdix
Recorded throughout the year, and three young were observed on 3rd August with two adults. Higher counts from favoured areas included 16 Shoulder O' Mutton on 1st January, 18 on Inkle Moor on 31st August, and 16 there on 9th November. The highest count was 30 at Shoulder O' Mutton and 18 at Durham's Garden, both on 28th October.
Common Quail Coturnix coturnix
One was calling from fields near the edge of Rawcliffe Moor on 15th and 17th May (PB). A bird was heard calling at 10 pm on the eastern edge of Crowle Moor on 23rd May (PCR). A bird flew over the observer (PB) in fields near the edge of Rawcliffe Moor on 25th May.
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
Numbers not often over ten, exceptions were 1st January with 60, 9th February 23, and 6th April 24, up to 38 in October, 38 on 23rd November and 27 on 26th December. On 19th May one was observed at flooded workings north of Fisons' Road, and seen walking in the water (ML).
Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
06th April1 calling Green Belt
13th September 1 calling Shoulder O' Mutton area
02nd November 1 calling Will Pits Scrape
09th November 1 calling Will Pits Scrape
23rd November 1 calling Crowle Moor
26th December 1 near Elmhirst Tram
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Two double-figure counts, of 11 on northern edge of Goole Moor near Top Moor Farm on 5th January, and 14 on 23rd November, but nine were seen on 27th April and 5th October. Otherwise, seven to eight were occasionally recorded.
Common Coot Fulica atra
No records past 10th May, and no evidence of breeding. Only one record of two, on 23rd March. Localities were Inkle Moor Pond, Paraffin Cuttings, Will Pits Scrape. New localities were used less regularly, these were Shoulder O' Mutton flooded workings, one on 10th May; and one on 1st March on the Northern end of Crowle Moor.
Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
All records came from flooded workings near Shoulder O' Mutton, one on 20th and 27th April and two on 30th, one on 12th May and three on 15th May.
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Virtually all records from flooded workings north of Fisons' Road, but with some from Green Belt Scrape and a few from Will Pits Scrape. No more than four before young hatched except five on 27th April. A nest with two eggs was seen on 3rd May at flooded workings. Subsequently six birds were seen on 10th and five on 17th May, seven were seen on 6th June (three young) with seven on 29th June and 26th July and five on 3rd August. First and last dates were 1st April - 12th August.
Great Ringed Plover C. hiaticula
An unprecedented year for this species on the Moors. Numbers stayed low, with one or two until the end of March, then gradually built through April, with numbers fluctuating daily with passage from one to 17. Numbers swelled through May, increasing sporadically to 45+ on 21st May at the flooded workings near the Shoulder O' Mutton. However the average through May was about 12. On 1st June, 47 came off flooded workings near Blackwater Dyke to the flooded workings north of Fisons' Road, but then few sightings through the rest of June and July, with eight birds on 6th June the best count. Through August, numbers were again very erratic with between one and 21 as passage got underway, and built up through September, with up to 70 on 12th at Shoulder O' Mutton flooded workings (WHP); the next highest being 26 in the same area on 14th. There were two on 5th October, and the last date was of a single. First and last dates were 16th February - 22nd November.
Dotterel C. morinellus
One record on 3rd May of four birds (at least two females) flying NW of Fisons' Road towards Paraffin Cuttings (RJS, WHP), also on 3rd May, seven were seen in fields near Rawcliffe Moor (PB). In the same fields 10 were seen on 11th May (PB).
European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria
Singles on 4th and 12th January; in March 11+ circled then went E on 9th, and 26+ overflew Goole Fields on 13th. Fourteen went NNW on 6th April. Other spring records were of single figures only. August and September saw only singles noted, with similar low numbers in October except 5th when a flock of 120+ flew over with Northern Lapwings. Occasional single figure counts continued into November, with some landing at flooded workings, often with Northern Lapwings; on 21st a flock of 80+ passed S, and 40 went S on 30th. Two hundred came over Woodpecker Corner on 25th December.
Grey Plover P. squatarola
One on flooded workings near Shoulder O' Mutton on 19th January, then one (heard only) on 23rd March. Two winter plumaged birds were seen at flooded workings north of Fisons' Road on 1st and 6th April, with one on 20th and two on 27th April. One to two birds were seen often in May in the same area and Green Belt Scrape, and towards the end of May two were at the Shoulder O' Mutton, by which time they were in full summer plumage (21st). Only one autumn record, of one on 17th October disturbed from the west end of Shearburn & Pitts Drain. Finally, two were seen on flooded workings on 21st December.
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Only four records for January, 14 down at flooded workings at Shoulder O' Mutton on 23rd, was bettered by 40 W on 25th. Numbers rose to 70 in February, with a drop in March, April and May as birds returned to their breeding areas (maximum 20). Eggs were seen near Shoulder O' Mutton on 27th April, and by 4th May there were two nests with four eggs at the same place. Two young were seen there on 17th and 19th and three on 20th May; two juveniles were seen with two adults at Will Pits Scrape on 31st May. Six juveniles were seen with five adults on Goole Moor, at the eastern end of Blackwater Dyke, on 1st June. Four juveniles were with one adult at Shoulder O' Mutton on 22nd June. July saw 150 down on flooded workings on 13th, 98 on 19th, and 150 again on 21st and 100 in four groups on 31st. Numbers rose again in August with up to 70 being recorded on several dates and 210+ on 3rd. Fewer were seen in September and October, with an exception being 200+ over on 5th October and more in fields. By November big flocks from nearby fields flew over to give high counts, such as 200 on 21st and 400+ going W on 23rd. December's maximum was 115 on 21st.
Red Knot Calidris canutus
On 1st March two birds flew across the Moors going SE from Paraffin Cuttings area (WHP, BPW). This is a first record for Thorne Moors.
Sanderling C. alba
A bird coming into summer plumage was seen on flooded workings north of Fisons' Road on 4th and 5th of May, and on 20th there were three birds there, two in summer and one still in winter plumage. Only two were present the next day, but on 22nd three birds in identical plumage to 20th were present. By 26th May there was only one present, in full summer plumage.
Little Stint C. minuta
Usually only singles through May on flooded workings north of Fisons' Road as on 4th, 5th, 9th, 10th, 17th and 18th. However on 31st five birds were present together. On 1st June eight were present at flooded workings (RJS), and on 4th four were present in the same place.
Temminck's Stint C. temminckii
A single bird was found on flooded workings north of Fisons' Road on 29th August, and was heard to give its trilling call (WHP). It was still present next day but took some finding in persistent rain (WHP, BPW). A first record for Thorne Moors pending acceptance by the YNU.
Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea
The flooded workings west of Shoulder O' Mutton held one immature bird with Dunlin and Great Ringed Plover on 4th September (BPW, WHP). It was seen again the next day and probably the same bird in the same place was seen on 12th (WHP). This is the second record for Thorne Moors, the first record was on 23rd August 1970, when two were present at the Shoulder O' Mutton.
Dunlin C. alpina
The first record concerned four birds on floodwater on Goole Moor north of Will Pits on 15th February; they flew off W. There were no more records till 1st March, when one was seen at flooded workings north of Fisons' Road. All subsequent records came from there and Green Belt Scrape. Through the rest of March and April the maximum was seven, but in May maxima were 30 on 3rd and 4th and 26 on 5th, though numbers were often lower. Few were seen in June with only three on 1st, and in July 11 were seen on 31st. For August there were 21 on 9th and 10th and 15 on 29th. September saw single figure totals again except 20+ on 12th and 11 on 14th. There was one October record of four on 26th, and November had singles on 1st and 21st. There were further singles on 21st and 25th December.
Ruff Philomachus pugnax
All records from flooded workings north of Fisons' Road. First seen on 6th April when there were two; on 7th there were four, and two on 12th. On 15th May a male in full summer plumage and a female were seen; on 17th, 18th, 20th and 21st May a male in full summer plumage was present, and on 31st a female was recorded. The only July record was of one bird on 31st. Two or three were often present in August and the month saw a maximum of at least eight on 12th, with also six on 17th and 31st. There was a maximum in September of up to 13, on 12th, and four other dates in the month with up to seven.
Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
One was flushed from a marshy area just south of the Paraffin Cuttings on 9th March, and again with 16 Common Snipe on 16th. Also in March one was flushed from flooded workings near Paraffin Cuttings on 30th. One was flushed from Bell's Pond on 10th October, and lastly again at the flooded workings on 21st December a single bird was flushed.
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Recorded every month except July. Nearly all counts were less than five, though a few counts of passage birds were in double figures. The only double-figure spring count was of 16 on 16th March. Ten on 7th August was a prelude to up to 62 (30 in one flock) on 9th, with 25 on 10th, 35 on 12th and 42 on 17th August. Single figures were logged up to the end of the year.
Chipping or drumming Common Snipe were heard on several dates from 30th March at Will Pits Scrape, and a drumming bird was heard on 9th May over Swinefleet Warping Drain. One was chipping at the Canals on 11th May, another drumming on 26th over Swinefleet Warping Drain and on 31st May another at northern end of Crowle Moor.
Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
All records of single birds unless otherwise stated. In Will Pits on 1st January, at Casson's Garden and Pony Bridge Marsh on 13th February, at Southern Canals on 2nd March, with one there and another at Woodpecker Corner on 10th, three Casson's Gardens roding 20th April, and one at Green Belt on 13th. At Will Pits recorded in March (five on 21st, one on 23rd) and April (four dates), three of these latter dates being of roding birds. Roding birds were recorded on many dates in May, as in Will Pits on 8th and again there and near Will Pits Scrape and Crowle Moor on 9th, in Will Pits and at Will Pits Scrape on 12th, Pony Bridge Marsh on 15th and two there on 19th, Crowle Moor on 23rd, two on 29th at Will Pits Scrape, and two at Will Pits on 31st. Four dates in those areas, - some of roding birds - in June. No records for July, August or September. One on 29th October at Elmhirst, then three November records, and four scattered records of single birds in December.
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
An adult in summer plumage was seen to fly off from the flooded workings and go S on 21st April, and on 27th six came from NNW and circled the flooded workings before landing, five showing signs of summer plumage. Seven birds came in from the S over the flooded workings but continued E on 21st May, and on 6th June a single flew E over the flooded workings.
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
The first bird went E on 27th April, a single bird was on the flooded workings before flying off W calling on 21st May, four went S on 29th June and one came from NW and landed at flooded workings before carrying on W on 13th July.
Eurasian Curlew N. arquata
Four went N and landed briefly at Paraffin Cuttings before resuming N on 1st January. Most records, of one or two birds, but occasionally three, were seen in spring until the end of May. On 5th May one was observed mobbing a Carrion Crow over the flooded workings. One or two birds were seen up to 3rd July, but with no more till September when two on 4th and one on 21st.
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
On 12th September a single bird in winter plumage was on the flooded workings beyond Shearburn & Pitts Drain. It was sometimes heard calling and was also quite flighty at times (WHP). It was still present the next day (WHP, BPW).
Common Redshank T. totanus
Between one and four birds, occasionally more, from 15th February till 22nd June. Bred this year on flooded workings, with display first seen there on 21st April. Territorial display was seen with wing-shivering at Will Pits Scrape on 1st June. One juvenile was seen with two adults at floods west of Shoulder O' Mutton on 22nd June (PCR,JMR),the first comfirmed breeding since modern recording began in 1966. Passage was strongest in early May, with 18-21 down at the flooded workings on 1st and eight on 3rd and 12 on 5th. From then, there were only between one and four, except for six on 26th July, and lastly one on 7th November. All records from flooded workings and Will Pits Scrape, except two from Green Belt Scrape.
Common Greenshank T. nebularia
In April, one at Bell's Pond on 20th and 21st, and three on the flooded workings on 26th, with another on the floods on 27th and 29th. The flooded workings and the Green Belt Scrape were favoured areas in May, with a maximum of one at Green Belt Scrape and three at the Shoulder O' Mutton on 3rd. In August there were nine on the flooded workings on 9th and 10th, and ten on 12th and 17th. September saw one or two until the last record of a single on 21st.
Green Sandpiper T. ochropus
First seen on 21st June at Will Pits Scrape, again on 22nd, with three on 28th and two on 29th. Mostly one or two birds were seen through July and August, except five on flooded workings on 10th August and three at Bell's Pond on 30th August. September and October birds were very mobile between the flooded workings of Mill Drain, Green Belt Scrape, Bell's Pond, Western Boundary Drain, and Thorne Waste Drain at Woodpecker Corner. On 18th October two were at Will Pits Scrape, and one was there on 31st.
Wood Sandpiper T. glareola
A single bird was at the flooded workings north of Fisons' Road on 8th June (ML).
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
All records except one were from the flooded workings north of Fisons' Road. Singles were recorded on eight dates from 19th July to 6th September, plus two on 30th August, one at Bell's Pond.
Turnstone Arenaria interpres
On 3rd and 4th May two were present at the flooded workings, with three there on 21st and four on 22nd. Another three records - all in September - were from the same floods: one on 12th and two on 13th, 14th.
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
A 1st-winter was seen on 10th April, calling over Mill Drain Marsh and circling with Black-headed Gulls (BPW). Possibly the same bird, also a 1st-winter, was seen flying around and down with 30 Black-headed Gulls at the flooded workings on 12th April (WHP, RTP, RJS). Only previous Thorne Moors record was of an adult in 1994.
Little Gull L. minutus
A 2nd-summer gull was seen associating with Black-headed Gulls, flying and down at the flooded workings on 10th April (BPW, WHP).
Black-headed Gull L. ridibundus
No attempt to breed was observed. Gulls were present from 1st January when 50 were seen, with 200 at the month end. In February, up to 137 (going NE on the evening of 2nd) were counted, but numbers dropped sharply through March, April and most of May, with counts of no more than 60. Towards the end of May still less than 100 were coming to roost on the flooded workings. Birds were occasional in June and seemingly absent in July, and no more than 30 seen in August and six in September. Later maxima were 61 in October and 200 on the evening of 30th November going NE, with only single numbers in December.
Common Gull L. canus
Never recorded in high numbers and infrequent down on the flooded workings. When not seen on the Moors could still often be found on peripheral fields and around the colliery. High counts were 50 on 5th January, and 73 on 7th September. Very few were seen from the end of April to August. Up to 30 were seen in November (2nd), then numbers stayed low to the yearend.
Lesser Black-backed Gull L. fuscus
This species was recorded earlier and later this year, and was regular at flooded workings with birds not only resting through the day but also roosting there. There was one on 26th January, and singles on two dates in February, and four on 9th March. In April few birds were seen, but in May numbers built up to 500 on 31st, then dropped through June and July, with single figures normal. Numbers recovered in August with 300 on 9th. The September peak was 140 on 4th, October saw a maximum of 200 (12th), then numbers gradually fell, with 11 as a maximum in November (9th).
On 9th March four birds were down on flooded workings when two races could be clearly discerned. Three were L.f. graellsii, the other one showed characters of one of the darker-backed races L.f. intermedius/fuscus. Also present were Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls (BPW).
Herring Gull L. argentatus
The year started with 700 large gulls overflying the Moors in January on 1st and 5th, and of those identified c.300 were Herring. Numbers remained high but did not exceed this until 15th February, when 520 were resting at the flooded workings prior to going to roost. The March maximum was 54 on 23rd, and mostly single figures in April, but numbers recovered in May with 200 on 31st. From June to October birds were largely absent, and this continued till end October when there were 200. November numbers reached over 500 and they used the flooded workings often and roosted there in numbers. Over 700 were counted on 25th December going SW early morning.
Yellow-legged Gull L. cachinnans
One was present on 26th August in the fields between the colliery and Inkle Moor, with close views down to 150m with telescope. There were many other gulls there including one adult Herring, 50 Lesser Black-backed, 30 Black-headed and 10 Common (BPW).
Iceland Gull L. glaucoides
On 12th April an adult-summer bird flew over Bell's Pond and went E over Moors at dawn (RJS). This would be a first record for Thorne Moors, subject to acceptance by the YNU.
Glaucous Gull L. hyperboreus
One adult-summer flew low W at midday on 9th February with eight Herring Gulls over the Paraffin Cuttings in clear sunny conditions (ML, BPW). An adult winter white winged gull possibly this species, came from the direction of the Moors on 27th December in the company of other gulls going W over Moorends (CR).
Great Black-backed Gull L. marinus
Not usually seen in large numbers: 61 were seen on 5th January; a maximum of 200 was seen early morning on 30th November going SW over the colliery. Virtually all other counts were in single figures, with odd counts up to 20. Birds were more inclined to rest down at the flooded workings rather than fly straight over, and some did occasionally roost. Not seen in July.
Common Tern Sterna hirundo
All records in May. One flew E over the flooded workings on 10th, and on 17th two were feeding over the floods with a Black Tern before being joined by a third; two remained till 4pm before departing, the other remaining with the Black Tern. The next day possibly the same bird was present. One was circling over Will Pits Scrape on 19th, and on 25th one flew E along the western edge of the Moors.
Black Tern Chlidonias niger
Three were feeding over the flooded workings north of Fisons' Road on 3rd May, frequently landing on a favoured log (BPW, WHP, RJS). Also one on 17th May in the same place, and in the company of three Common Terns (BPW, WHP). The first records since 1977.
Rock Dove Columba livia
Feral birds are more numerous than Stock Doves, especially on the Moor edges. They are most numerous around the colliery where 50+ are often to be found.
Stock Dove C. oenas
Rarely encountered in large numbers, usually only singly or in pairs. However, exceptions were ten in fields near the Paraffin Cuttings on 26th April, and near Elmhirst, 24 on 5th October and 15 on 23rd November.
Wood Pigeon C. palumbus
Larger counts are usually due to harsh weather movements swelling the resident population. In January numbers were around 1000+ but in February reached 2000+, as on 16th in fields at Inkle Moor. With easing weather, numbers plummeted to 60 or less through March, with no high counts until late November, when on 30th counts reached 2000+ as groups of a few hundred at a time passed high directly S at dawn.
Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
The only regular area was Top Moor Farm, where one or two birds were resident, and perhaps bred.
Turtle Dove S. turtur
May had four on 17th and eight on 18th, with four again on 25th. Six were seen on 1st June and five on 8th. One or two were frequent in wooded areas such as in the colliery area and at Will Pits. Other areas included Mill Drain and the Shoulder O' Mutton. First and last dates were 2nd May - 14th September.
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
Regularly recorded with eight being the highest count on 11th, 18th and 25th May, the last one being mobbed by a Meadow Pipit. First and last dates were 27th April - 29th June, on the latter date two being seen, one immature at 'Middle Moor' and another bird elsewhere.
Barn Owl Tyto alba
At dusk at Top Moor Farm on 9th and 23rd February single birds, and regular between here and Swinefleet Mill through March, and occasionally through April; also two on 29th May and one on 8th June. One was also reported occasionally by members of the public along the Thorne - Goole railway, around the colliery buildings, and Johnny Moor Long Lane, and this was confirmed at the latter on the night of 6th December.
Little Owl Athene noctua
Only one record, on 5th July at the colliery tip (SH).
Tawny Owl Strix aluco
All records of single birds. Heard calling at Will Pits at night on 5th January, 8th, 19th, 22nd, 24th and 27th April, and 8th May. Calling on Crowle Moor on 23rd April, and Will Pits and another on Crowle Moor on 26th. Crowle Moor again on 29th, and perched in Will Pits on 1st
June, with other records there and from Crowle Moor on 4th June, and from 'Middle Moor' on 5th July. Observed flying along the public footpath near the colliery just after dark on 9th August, and on 29th flushed at Paraffin Cuttings. Lastly calling near the colliery on 23rd November.
Long-eared Owl Asio otus
There was one hunting over fields near Crowle Moor on the evening of 13th June (PCR). There were two juveniles calling on Crowle Moor on 24th June (PCR). An adult and juvenile were on the north end of Crowle Moor on 29th June (PB).
Short-eared Owl A. flammeus
A Hen Harrier flushed one from Angle Drain, which then flew high over 'Middle Moor' on 4th January (BPW).
European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus
First heard at Pony Bridge Marsh. Fourteen males and three females were counted on 2nd August, and on 9th last date a female or immature was flushed from a track at Green Belt. Results of the annual survey suggested 32 males holding territory. First and last dates were 15th May - 9th August.
Common Swift Apus apus
Returned later this year but also left later, numbers very variable, often depending on whether the few hundred birds from Moorends chose to feed over the Moors or not. High counts on 17th May of 400-500, 250 on 29th June and 200+ feeding on 31st July. First and last dates were 4th May - 14th September.
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
The first record was from Inkle Moor Pond on 1st March. All the six other records were from Bell's Pond up to 31st October.
Green Woodpecker Picus viridis
Seen every month, one or two, sometimes three, in the favoured areas of the colliery, Woodpecker Corner, Will Pits and Pony Bridge Wood, but also seen at Angle Drain and Elmhirst.
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
Recorded in all months except July, with daily maxima three in May, September and November. Young heard on 25th May on Goole Moor. Favoured areas were the woodlands as for Green Woodpecker, but additional areas were the Alder Thicket, Goole Moor, Crowle Moor and 'Middle Moor'.
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker D. minor
Only one record of a female in Will Pits on 23rd November, low in a shrubby willow with a Blue Tit (BPW).
Sky lark Alauda arvensis
Small flocks totalled 54 going S on 1st January and this number was not bettered, though 28 went E on 12th. May saw a high of 22 (4th), and 50 were counted on 18th October. Most counts however were in single figures and breeding males numbered no more than eight.
Sand Martin Delichon urbica
Lower numbers this year, the highest spring count being of 50+ over flooded workings on 5th May. In August, 300+ on 29th with 120 going E on 31st. The last record was of a single bird. First and last dates were 1st April - 21st September.
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
The first was a single bird low over Bell's Pond. In April, there were 40 on 22nd and 65 over Paraffin Cuttings on 26th. Then 100 over flooded workings on 5th May and 60 over Pony Bridge Marsh on 9th. Mid-summer counts of single figures were bettered on 26th August as 52 moved S, with 86 on 31st. September saw from one (13th) to 65 (21st), most moving S. Only occasional in October. First and last dates were 30th March - 18th October.
House Martin Delichon urbica
Not seen in large numbers until relatively late in the year. The first sighting of three was at Will Pits Scrape on 22nd April, and double figures were reached in May, with 30 on 10th, 16 on 11th and 25 on 22nd. On 12th September, 270+ were noted moving W, and this passage continued on the following two days with 113+ on 13th and 422+ on 14th, most moving W, but also SW or S. The last large count of the year was 47 on 21st going S. First and last dates were 22nd April - 21st September.
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
A poor year for this declining species, all records are listed. A maximum of nine breeding males.
26th April 1 at Paraffin Cuttings
27th April singles at Paraffin Cuttings and Southern Canals
03rd May 1 at Green Belt
05th May 1 at Green Belt
09th May 4 at Southern Canals
10th May 1 at Woodpecker Corner
18th May singles at Angle Drain and Mill Drain Marsh
19th May 1 at NNR
20th May 1 at Green Belt
25th May 1 at Snaith & Cowick Moor
31st May singles at Rawcliffe Moor and elsewhere
08th June 1 Crowle Moor
29th June 2 at Angle Drain
03rd July 1 over Pony Bridge Marsh
Meadow Pipit A. pratensis
In the first half of the year, the maximum count was 50 on 23rd March, with no other counts over 30. Best autumn counts came from Shoulder O' Mutton Tram and bare areas of adjacent flooded workings in September. These were 173 on 7th and 200 on 12th, then a year high of passage birds moving W, SW or even S of 533+ on 14th. Even by 21st September numbers were still high, with 162 on that date, before movement eased and numbers fell to 60 and below. Maximum for November was 60 on 7th, and for December, 19 on 26th, both at Shoulder O' Mutton Tram.
Rock Pipit A. petrosus
An adult winter bird was found at Green Belt Scrape, giving its single note call, on 1st March (BPW, WHP), it was still present the next day (BPW, ML, PCR, JMR). This is a first record for Thorne Moors.
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
Virtually all single figure counts except in August, when there were ten on 10th, 70+ on 12th and 20+ on 17th. The only other notable count was of 15+ on 12th September. The flooded workings were the favoured places. First and last dates were 12th April - 21st September.
Grey Wagtail M. cinerea
The only record was one over Pony Bridge Marsh going N on 22nd June and this was the first summer occurrence.
Pied Wagtail M. alba
Recorded every month, but most double-figure counts were not obtained until September. The best counts up to that month were 13 on 23rd March and 20 on 17th August. On 5th September there were 50, decreasing to 37 on 7th, followed by 44 on 13th. The larger September counts were mostly associated with Moorends Recreation Ground. On 30th November 39 birds were on the Moors, including 32 together on the Shoulder O' Mutton Tram and the other seven together on Rawcliffe Moor. Also 13 on 13th December.
On 20th April, a 'White' Wagtail M.a. alba was seen at Will Pits Scrape (ML).
Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
On 1st January 37 were counted, and this was not exceeded until 23rd March when 41 were recorded, with 31 on 28th March. There were many counts over 40 on a wide spread of dates from October onwards, with 72 on 23rd November the highest, and 59 on 14th December the monthly maximum in the latter month.
Hedge Accentor Prunella modularis
Not generally encountered in numbers over 10, but 12 were seen on 12th October and 2nd November and 13 on 14th December.
Robin Erithacus rubecula
Mostly single numbers but there were 23 on 26th February, and 25 on 23rd March and 18th May. No other large counts until 38 on 5th and 29 on 12th October, and 29 on 2nd November.
Rufous Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos
The highest day count was five on 9th May, with two in the colliery area and three in Will Pits. Other areas were Green Belt, Inkle Moor, Goole Moor, Elmhirst Wood and Pony Bridge Wood. At the latter there were three on 18th May. It should be noted that in some areas Rufous Nightingales were only recorded once and birds may be mobile in the early weeks. However this year was still better than average, with up to 12 males holding territory. First and last dates were 22nd April - 1st June.
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica Listed by the Rare Breeding Birds Panel.
Two male ‘White-spotted’ Bluethroats L.c. cyanecula appeared on Thorne Moors again at Pony Bridge Marsh on 6th April and remained holding territories until 22nd June, but no breeding took place due to an absence of females (ML, BPW, PCR, JMR et. al.). A full account appears in Bluethroats at Thorne: an Observational Diary (ML & PCR).
Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
One record of a single male on Rawcliffe Moor on 27th April (PB).
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
A maximum of nine seen on 29th June, three in the Shearburn & Pitts drain area, four along Fisons' Road and two on 'Middle Moor'; of these at least two were immatures. Five immatures and another bird were seen on 17th August. No other counts were over five, and other areas were Mill Drain, Paraffin Cuttings area, Green Belt, Pony Bridge Marsh and the Canals. First and last dates were 27th April - 31st August.
Common Stonechat S. torquata
Sightings of overwintering birds were one pair at Mill Drain Marsh on 2nd November, one male at the Shoulder O' Mutton on 22nd November, 13th and 21st December, and a pair at Angle Drain just off Middle Moor Tram on 25th December.
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
The first was a male at the colliery buildings and this was a favoured area, together with the flooded workings. Most were single birds, occasionally more, with maxima of four on 6th April and 1st May, 14 on 27th April, and five on the colliery spoil heap on 9th May. First and last dates were 22nd March - 4th October.
Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus
Sightings were of single males at the top of a small birch on the side of the colliery tip on 10th April (BPW, WHP), and at Green Belt on 20th April (RJS).
Blackbird T. merula
Good numbers of Blackbirds with other thrushes in January saw counts peak at 41 on 1st. Then mostly single numbers from February till the end of October (20 on 31st). Counts were higher in November, with 28 on 9th; a large roost on Inkle Moor regulaly held up to 26 from 23rd November, on which date the moorland total was 38. In addition there were four counts in December from the Moors generally that were over 30, with 38 on 14th as the maximum.
Fieldfare T. pilaris
Most counts were around 100 or lower, but some reached several hundreds. Exceptional counts were over 500, and this was only achieved in November, on 2nd (700), 7th (800) and 8th (1000+). Last and first dates were 27th April - 12th October.
Song Thrush T. philomelos
Seen only in single figures, with four on 9th March and 23rd November being the maximum. Otherwise infrequently observed almost throughout the year, with very few records during the breeding season and none at all in July. The colliery area and Will Pits were the main areas, but also rarely seen at Paraffin Cuttings and Pony Bridge Wood.
Redwing T. iliacus
Very low numbers this year, with only two significant counts: 130 W on 12th October; and on 28th October, 200+ were seen in the colliery area and Will Pits. In general these were the favoured areas. Last and first dates were 6th April - 4th October. A bird with a deformed and sharply curved bill, double the normal length (the upper mandible almost forming a semicircular curve) was seen at Bell's Pond on 31st October (WHP) and 8th November (BPW).
Mistle Thrush T. viscivorus
Two birds at Red House Farm on 23rd February, two at Elmhirst pump-house regularly, and two there and also two on bare peat west of Will Pits on 15th March. Maximum count was obtained on 27th July when 11 were seen at Rawcliffe Moor, on 8th November there were five over fields in the colliery area, and 6th December (five from the colliery to Green Belt). Higher counts of resident birds at the recreation ground and colliery buildings could reach eight.
Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia
Numbers were well down on last year's exceptional breeding season and single birds were normal, but there were a few records of two birds, with three recorded on 27th April and four on 31st May. Areas were the colliery, Mill Drain, Northern and Southern Canals, Swinefleet Warping Drain, Pony Bridge Marsh, Angle Drain and Paraffin Cuttings, and this would give an approximate total of nine males. First and last dates were 12th April - 3rd August.
Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Usually no more than four birds, but six were recorded on 4th May, with two each in the colliery area, Paraffin Cuttings area and Inkle Moor. This was only bettered on 20th May when eight were recorded in the colliery area and at the Southern Canals. Other regular areas were Swinefleet Warping Drain and Shoulder O' Mutton, with few records from elsewhere. First and last dates were 26th April - 17th August.
Reed Warbler A. scirpaceus
Never more than five recorded, as on 4th May when one was at Green Belt and four on Inkle Moor. On 10th May four were located, with a similar number on 19th, and again four (all at Bell's Pond) on 20th May. Other areas were Swinefleet Warping Drain (two), Mill Drain Marsh and Will Pits Scrape, giving a possible maximum of 13. First and last dates were 26th April - 21st September.
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
Well down on last year with four records of singles in the colliery area and one record from Inkle Moor on 19th July. First and last dates were 20th May - 13th September.
Common Whitethroat S. communis
A big drop this year with 10 to 20 a common count. The high counts, all in May, were 35 on 11th, 40 on 18th and 34 on 25th. First and last dates were 20th April - 21st September.
Garden Warbler S. borin
This species was often to be seen around Bell's Pond, Will Pits, and less so from Paraffin Cuttings, Inkle Moor and Southern Canals. Counts were usually five or less, but eight were recorded on 4th May, with 20 on 18th and 14 on 25th May. First and last dates were 4th May - 13th September.
Blackcap S. atricapilla
Only two records of double figures: 16 on 18th May and 11 on 25th May. Records were obtained from the colliery area, Will Pits and occasionally Paraffin Cuttings and Woodpecker Corner. First and last dates were 8th April - 14th September.
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Best numbers were in March with 10 on 15th, 11 on 23rd and 16 on 31st. Other double-figure counts were 13 on 10th April, 12 on 18th May and 10+ on 5th September. First and last dates were 11th March - 4th October.
Willow Warbler P. trochilus
No full counts this year and numbers were generally lower; 25 or less was normal, however 40+ were counted on 10th April, 35 were recorded on 19th May. First and last dates were 1st April - 21st September.
Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Mostly one or two, occasionally up to six or more, and two counts over 20: 25+ on 31st October and 22 on 2nd November.
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
Only one summer record of a single bird in Woodpecker Corner on 25th May. The first autumn record was on 5th September, with one in Will Pits, and singles in September on 7th and 12th, both in the colliery area.
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
A common species throughout, probably far commoner than records suggest since they are often difficult to count accurately. Counts around 20 were not uncommon, 25+ were seen on 5th January, 28 on 9th February, 25 on 31st October and, the highest count of the year, 33 on 2nd November.
Willow Tit P. montanus
A frequently seen species, with 10 on 21st September and 12th October, and maxima of 15 on 31st October, followed by 11 on 23rd November.
Coal Tit P. ater
Single birds were recorded in a Scots Pine in Elmhirst Wood on 1st January, in a mixed tit flock in Will Pits on 19th January, and again in Will Pits on 2nd March.
Blue Tit P. caeruleus
Common everywhere, with maxima of 19 on 5th October, 29 on 12th and 23 on 18th.
Great Tit P. major
Less common than Blue or Long-tailed Tit but still regularly seen. Numbers over ten were infrequent, the best being 14 on 5th and 12th October.
Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
Single birds in Will Pits on 5th January and 15th February, and at the Alder Thicket on 26th February.
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
One or two infrequently, but four on 5th October and three on 12th October.
Magpie Pica pica
Seen every month in low numbers but flocks feeding or to roost can number 10 or more, with 14 the maximum, on 5th September.
Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula
One bird followed by a further two that were accompanied by two Rooks, passed over the Paraffin Cuttings on 30th March going NE. The Rooks descended into fields and the Eurasian Jackdaws carried on. On 12th September one went NW over Bell's Pond, and three passed NE over Will Pits on 28th December.
Rook C. frugilegus
An average year with four records. Two flew NE over the Paraffin Cuttings with two Eurasian Jackdaws on 30th March, but then landed in peripheral fields. Two went NNW over Pony Bridge Marsh on 13th April, and one flew NW over Bell's Pond on 12th September. Lastly, one passed ESE, before flying NW later, over the Canals on 12th October.
Carrion Crow C. corone
High counts usually of birds coming in to roost peaked at 150+ on 9th and 23rd February. No other counts exceeded 100 until 2nd November, when there were 180 flighting to roost at Pony Bridge Marsh. Most counts however were below 30. Breeding was confirmed when a nest with young was seen on Goole Moor on 25th May. October saw some high counts with 75 on 5th and 90 on 12th, and then 100 were seen again on 7th December.
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Small numbers infrequently seen flying over the Moors often going to or dispersing from roosts outside the breeding season. Scarcely seen during the breeding season itself. The only high counts were 310 mainly S, but also W, on 18th October, 700+ feeding at Goole Fields on 28th October, 100+ on 2nd November, 2000-3000 across Goole Moor and Goole Fields to roost at Blacktoft Sands on 8th November, and 500 across Goole Moor going E on 23rd November. Infrequently lands on the Moors but one was flushed at Green Belt after apparently roosting with Fieldfares on 7th December.
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Only seen around the colliery buildings, as on 3rd May when two were there.
Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Often to be found feeding in numbers on farm waste at Elmhirst with 55 there on 12th January. Other high counts were at roost sites, of which there are several on the Moors. These included one at Pony Bridge Wood where 60 were seen on 9th February and another in the colliery area where 42 were counted on 14th December.
Brambling F. montifringilla
Only seen on three dates. The first was 23rd March when a male and a female were seen in the Alder Thicket. Next, five passed overhead on 18th October, and lastly one was on the northern edge of Goole Moor on 2nd November.
Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
Mostly seen in the colliery area where there is a roost, but numbers this year were very low compared with recent years. The only counts above 20 were 40+ on 16th March, 108 on 7th December, and 55 on 14th. All were associated with the roost.
Goldfinch C. carduelis
Frequently seen in single figures. Highest counts were 60+ (30 at Elmhirst with another 30 on Shoulder O' Mutton Tram and a single on Crowle Moor) on 2nd November, and 50 on 23rd November. Flocks in peripheral habitats are often larger, and at the colliery and recreation ground on 4th October there was 100+.
Siskin C. spinus
Main areas were the colliery area, Will Pits, Alder Thicket, Shoulder O' Mutton and Pony Bridge Marsh, but numbers were generally low with double figure counts rare. The only ones were 25+ in total at Bells and Will Pits on 5th September, 16 in total next day at the colliery area and the Shoulder O' Mutton, 20 at the Alder Thicket on 23rd November and 12 there on 7th December.
Linnet C. cannabina
Occasionally seen in small numbers over the Moors, with larger flocks in peripheral fields, maximum 200 on 4th October near the colliery. A roving flock of 40-50 could be found along or north of Fisons' Road. The colliery area also occasionally turned up similar numbers, but more often there were just a few birds in the Greenfinch and Common Chaffinch roosts, maximum 55 on 21st December.
Twite C. flavirostris
Seen along Fisons’ Road at Mill Drain Marsh, sometimes with Linnets. First seen on 1st April when six were perched on the Blue Bridge rail and also on road (SH, BPW, WHP). One on 6th April, then two on 10th, 12th, 19th, 20th and 21st (ML, BPW, RJS). There were four on both 22nd (PCR) and 4th May (SH).
Common Redpoll C. flammea
Best places to see this species were the colliery area, Will Pits, Shoulder O' Mutton and flooded workings. Numbers nearly always 20 or less, with only a few records exceeding this, the best of which were 40 on 26th February, 50+ on 23rd March, 40+ on 6th and 27th April, with the year's highest of 63 on 21st December.
Common Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
Seen in all wooded areas, with the colliery area and Will Pits being the best. Only single figure counts except for 1st January (25), 5th January (15), 15th February (12), 21st November (10) and 26th December (17).
Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
All single figure counts except in March with 11 on 9th and 10 on 13th. Often found in larger numbers in winter around the recreation ground and colliery. Birds in the breeding season numbered no more than nine on 15th and 23rd March, and there were nine on 14th December.
Reed Bunting E. schoeniclus
Mostly single figure counts, but around ten dates had 10 or more, the best count being 23 on 9th March. On 10th May a female was accidently disturbed from a nest with five eggs in the Southern Canals during the breeding bird census.
Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra
One was heard to call near Woodpecker Corner on 23rd March (SW). Another was recorded near the recreation ground on 1st April (SH).
Category D and Escaped Species.
Cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus
One over Casson's Marsh and Will Pits on 26th December (ML).
List of Observers:
Richard Atterby, Peter Baxter, Kevin Bull, Clive Featherstone, Bob R. Gajdus, Steve Hiner, Steve T. Holliday, John Hitchcock, Dave Hunton, Jim Johnson, Martin Limbert, Helen R. Kirk, Dee McKeown, W. H. Priestley, Ray T. Priestley, Les Robson, Colin Rook, Janet M. Roworth, Peter C. Roworth, Richard J. Sprakes, Bryan P. Wainwright, Steve Warrilow, Rob Watson.
Thanks to Martin Limbert for help and advice in compiling this report. To Peter and Janet Roworth for proof reading, and to Peter for arranging the production of the report by his colleagues John Prince and John Wilson. Also to Jonathan Wainwright for help with some of the computer work.