Bird Records For Thorne Moors 1999
Compiled by Bryan P. Wainwright
English and scientific names, and sequence of birds, follow the List of Birds of the WesternPalearctic (British Birds Ltd, 1997).
Birds of conservation concern are marked according to the British Trust for Ornithology’s, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and English Natures grading system. This system uses a Red or an Amber status for those bird species that are known to be declining. Red signifies high concern and Amber signifies medium concern. For this list, species that are non-breeding, or have not recently bred, on Thorne Moors, but are on the Red and Amber lists for elsewhere are noted in brackets.
The highest year total ever of 160 species was recorded this year, however though a few species were just outside the recording area, but they have been included as being relevant to it. Bird records that do not have the area name given are records from the flooded workings.
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
Five were seen on 27th March, with one at the Paraffin Cuttings, two on the flooded workings north of Fisons' Road and two at Will Pits Scrape. On 30th April one was heard from a new area of the flooded workings, north of Shearburn & Pitts Drain. Other new areas were the Yorkshire Triangle opposite Will Pits Scrape, with one on 25th April, and also Green Belt Scrape, with two on 13th May. Little Grebes were seen at Mill Drain Marsh from 7th May. Maximum day count was six, on 1st May, when four were at Green Belt Scrape and two were near the Shoulder o’ Mutton. Four were at Will Pits Scrape and one at Casson’s Marsh on 2nd May. Breeding occurred at Will Pits Scrape, with an adult and chick on 19th May; also two chicks were seen on the flooded workings on 30th July, which were checked for being Black-necked Grebe (BPW). First date was 20th February (one at Paraffin Cuttings), last date was 23rd September (two were present at Will Pits Scrape).
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis (Amber List and listed by the Rare Breeding Birds Panel).
The first was a single adult in full summer plumage at Will Pits Scrape on 8th April (ML). The last sighting at Will Pits Scrape was on 1st May, with birds appearing north of Fisons' Road from 23rd April onwards, however breeding was not proven. Two were seen there regularly from 19th April until 1st June. The last one was seen on 18th July.
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
One flew S on 19th May. One E over the flooded workings on 26th May, one E over the Canals on 29th May and one SW over Inkle Moor on 14th June. On 30th July one flew low over Green Belt. One flew W over Green Belt on 21st August. Three flew N on 29th August. In October, eight flew low S over Will Pits Scrape on 3rd, then on 9th two flew S over the reserve, and one flew SSW over Will Pits Scrape on 17th. Lastly nine (equalling last year’s record count on 29th March), consisting of four adults and five immature birds, were seen to come from the N and headed S on 25th October (WHP).
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Seen all months with two birds being the maximum on several dates, including 2nd January. A juvenile was noted on floods off Elmhirst Tram on 16th August.
White Stork Ciconia ciconia
One appeared over Mill Drain Marsh at 1.05pm on 3rd May. It was at a height of about 40 metres and 100 metres from the observers. It soared W, then came back SE gaining height, before being lost in the sun’s glare (BPW, DW, PS). A new species for Thorne Moors list, subject to acceptance.
Mute Swan Cygnus olor
Two flew over Will Pits to Crowle Moor on 27th March, and three immatures were present at Will Pits Scrape on 2nd May.
Whooper Swan C. cygnus (Amber List)
Four came in low from the E and landed on flooded workings north of Green Belt on 3rd January. Five adults and one juvenile were on the flooded workings north of Green Belt on 9th January. A total of 11 birds, which included three immatures, came from the E over Goole Fields to the flooded workings on 11th January. On 7th February six adults were on ‘Middle Moor’, on a small area of shallow water in dense birch scrub, and on 13th six adults were seen at the flooded workings W of Shoulder o’ Mutton. Later, on 20th February one was in the same area before flying E. Four flew off the flooded workings to Goole Fields on 27th March. Nine were on the flooded workings all day on 28th March, and 14 circled over the W end of the flooded workings on the evening of 1st April but continued N. Next day three were present on the flooded workings. On 18th April 17 apparently all adult birds were at the flooded workings. On 25th October six flew SW over Pony Bridge Marsh. Two went SE on 14th November. On 17th December two adults and an immature were seen at the flooded workings.
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus (Amber List)
In January, 50+ went E then W on 1st, on 2nd 100+ were seen distantly over Goole Fields, on 3rd 108 went E, on 9th 35+ flew over the Paraffin Cuttings and then flew E, and on 24th 74 came from the direction of Thorne Moors over Thorne. Three skeins totalling 460 flew over the Paraffin Cuttings, then flew N, on 20th February. Around 40 went NW over Pony Bridge Wood on 2nd April. Twelve went S on 16th October. In November 15 went E on 14th and 16 flew SW on 21st.
Greylag Goose A. anser Amber List
Two, sometimes four, were frequently encountered on the flooded workings and Will Pits Scrape. Other areas where they were occasionally seen were Casson’s Marsh and Bell’s Pond. Counts of single figures only, maximum four (adults) on several dates. A pair with four goslings was on Will Pits Scrape on 19th June. Six birds were seen on 3rd September.
Canada Goose Branta canadensis
Three flew W over Will Pits Scrape on 23rd April and two were grounded there on 25th April. Two were down on the flooded workings on 29th May. A total of 19 came from E over Will Pits Scrape on 14th June, and landed on the W side of the flooded workings.
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna (Amber List)
Very frequently encountered from 14th March. Virtually all records of grounded birds came from the flooded workings, with a few records from Will Pits Scrape. Mostly single figures, with a maximum of 18 on 31st January. The last was one on 17th October.
Maximum monthly counts were: January 18, February 0, March 6, April 5, May 16, June 3, July 1 juvenile, August 2, September 1, October 11, November 0, December 0.
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope (Amber List)
A pair was at the flooded workings west of Shoulder o’ Mutton on 1st January, and the last two in the first half of the year were at the flooded workings on 19th June, the next being a single bird on 3rd September. By 17th January there were 60 and the Thorne Moors record total was broken when two flocks of 100 and 26 were on the flooded workings on 31st January (RJS). There were 108 on 16th October. In December the best count was on 16th, when there were eight males and 11 females.
Gadwall A. strepera Amber List
Records were from the flooded workings and occasionally Will Pits Scrape. Nine were seen at the former area on 28th March and 8th May (six males and three females on the latter date). Bred this year for the first time, at the flooded workings. A female and 10 unfledged young were seen on 4th June, reduced to 9 juveniles by 9th June (PCR).
Maximum monthly counts were: January 14, February 12, March 11, April 6, May 9, June 1 adult and 10 juveniles, July 2, August 1, September 7, October 0, November 6, December 14.
Common Teal A. crecca Amber List
A noticeable decline in monthly maxima, compared to recent years. Generally seen in flocks on the flooded workings outside the breeding season, and less obvious there in summer, when they generally dispersed to breed in small numbers over the southern half of the Moors. They could be found throughout the year, in small numbers at Collis's Tram, Will Pits Scrape and Casson's Marsh. In summer they were not seen at a previously favoured site, the Paraffin Cuttings. A brood of young were seen with a female at the flooded workings W of Shoulder o’ Mutton, on 8th May. Highest count was on 12th December, when 100 were at the flooded workings and 80 were at Casson’s Marsh.
Maximum monthly counts were: January 150, February 80, March 80+, April 20, May 14, June 50, July 10, August 91, September 130, October 130, November 130, December 180+.
Mallard A. platyrhynchos
The flooded workings north of Fisons' Road were the main areas. Casson's Marsh regularly held double figures throughout the year, as did the Paraffin Cuttings but here only in winter. On 18th April a Red Fox was seen carrying a Mallard’s egg along a path at Green Belt. The Mallard pair was close by and the female was giving constant quick short distress quacks as she watched the Red Fox. There were 40+ adults with juveniles on 2nd May at Casson's Marsh and Will Pits Scrape. There was a female with eight young at Mill Drain Marsh on 23rd May. One female and seven juveniles were at the flooded workings on 17th June, and a further two juveniles in the W edge dyke. Three broods were seen on 29th June: one female and nine juveniles at Will Pits Scrape, one female and seven juveniles, and one female and six juveniles both at the flooded workings. Other breeding records were obtained but are not listed.
Maximum monthly counts were: January 400, February 130, March c.200, April 21, May 65, June 79, July 23+adults some with young, August 430+, September 500, October 549, November 250+, December 367+.
Pintail A. acuta (Amber List)
A single male was on the flooded workings W of the Shoulder o’ Mutton on 9th January. A pair was at the flooded workings on 29th March. A female was at the Shoulder o’ Mutton floods on 11th September. Two males were flushed from the Paraffin Cuttings, to which they returned later, on 12th September. Two females flew to Pony Bridge Marsh on 16th October. Three males were flushed with Mallards on 23rd October and a female was seen on 31st October.
Garganey A. querquedula (Amber List)
Three records, of the same male on 2nd (PB), 9th (RJS) and 10th May (BPW) on the flooded workings N of Fisons' Road.
Northern Shoveler A. clypeata Amber List
More than double the number of recorded dates this year than last. Most were at the flooded workings or at Will Pits Scrape. Nesting confirmed for the third time since modern recording began in 1966, following single breeding pairs in 1970 and 1976. Bred at Will Pits Scrape, with a female and eight juveniles there on 23rd July (PCR, JMR). A new Thorne Moors record of 40 was set on 12th September at Will Pits Scrape (RJS, ML, BPW).
Monthly maximum counts were: January 3, February 0, March 3, April 5, May 9, June 10, July 1, August 21, September 40, October 1 female, November 0, December 1.
Common Pochard Aythya ferina (Amber List)
Ten were seen on 31st January at Will Pits Scrape (RJS). A male was present at Will Pits Scrape on 19th June and was observed to dive for food. Singles or a pair was noted here on a number of dates until the last, a male on 17th September. Four, including at least three males, flew over the flooded workings on 5th September.
Tufted Duck A. fuligula
Bred again at the flooded workings, where a female with two unfledged young were seen on 29th June (KC), 23rd July (WHP) and three young there on 18th July (PCR). The maximum was 12 on 8th May. Monthly maximum counts were: January 4, February 7, March 8, April 10, May 12, June 9, July 1 female + 3 juveniles, August 3, September 1, October 2, November 1, December 1 female.
Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula (Amber List)
On 3rd January three immature/female birds flew W. A pair was seen at Will Pits Scrape on 31st October, the female noted diving on one occasion (RJS). There was a female on Green Belt Scrape on 24th December; it was very flighty and when flushed a second time headed NW in the direction of Southfield Reservoirs (BPW).
Goosander Mergus merganser
A single female was at the flooded workings W of Shoulder o’ Mutton on 9th January (WHP).
Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
A single male was at Will Pits Scrape on 3rd and 4th April and 10th, 12th, 15th, 23rd and 27th May (displaying on 27th May) was on the flooded workings. There were two males at the flooded workings on 14th June, with one male again on 19th and two males there on 26th June, then a pair at Will Pits Scrape on 29th June. Two males and a female were at Will Pits Scrape on 4th, July and two males there, on 23rd July.
Birds of prey
Sites given for raptors are general. Usually only the first area of observation is stated, except where sites were very far apart. Totals are the minimum possible numbers, calculated for all areas, plumages and observers for that day. Adult birds, unless otherwise stated.
European Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus (Amber List)
A male appeared to come off bare peat on Goole Moor at 2.54pm on 22nd August. The bird headed slowly W then E, gliding with few flaps before being mobbed by two Marsh Harriers, then continuing W (RJS). If accepted this will be the second moorland record, following one on 29th May 1986.
Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus (Red List)
14th March 1 female at the flooded workings
27th March 1 cream-crown low over Mill Drain, gaining height over flooded workings as mobbed by immature male Peregrine Falcon
28th March 1 male Will Pits Scrape
29th March 1 male Will Pits Scrape
03rd April 2, a female over N half of the Moors and 1 cream-crown over the S half of the moors
11th April 1 immature male S over Will Pits
17th April 1 male Goole Moor
18th April 2, 1 male mobbed by Northern Lapwings, and 1 female
19th April 1 male Will Pits Scrape
25th April 1 male landed twice at Will Pits Scrape and flew over 'Middle Moor'
27th April 1 female Moors generally
02nd May 1 female Will Pits Scrape to Medge Hall
03rd May 1 cream-crown over Crowle Moor
05th May 1 female Will Pits Scrape
07th May 1 Southern Canals
13th May 1 cream-crown soaring high over the colliery area
15th May 1 cream-crown over Will Pits Scrape
17th May 1 cream-crown over the flooded workings mobbed by Black-headed Gulls
18th May 1 female landed repeatedly in Soft-rush at the flooded workings
19th May 1 female over the flooded workings mobbed by Black-headed Gulls
21st May 2, 1 female, 1 cream-crown over the flooded workings
22nd May 1 female (very white-headed) unusually killed a Moorhen and flew off with it at the flooded workings (PB)
23rd May 2, 1 male Shoulder o' Mutton, later carrying prey and 1 female Mill Drain Marsh
26th May 1 male landed twice at Mill Drain
27th May 1 cream-crown Will Pits Scrape
29th May 1 male Shoulder o' Mutton and Southern Canals
30th May 1 cream-crown in moult, Will Pits Scrape
31st May 1 female Mill Drain area
04th June 1 female Will Pits Scrape
05th June 1 female (very white-headed)
14th June 2, 1 male and 1 female Mill Drain Marsh
17th June 1 cream-crown distant over Crowle Moor
18th June 2, 1 male flooded workings to Will Pits Scrape and 1 cream-crown distantly over Goole Fields
19th June 1 cream-crown to land Will Pits Scrape
20th June 2, 1 male high over Will Pits, 1 female Will Pits Scrape
21st June 1 Woodpecker Corner
23rd June 1 female at the Paraffin Cuttings
25th June 1 female flushed Mill Drain Marsh then east
26th June 2, 1 cream-crown 'Middle Moor', 1 female flooded workings
29th June 1 female Will Pits Scrape to 'Middle Moor'
04th July 2, 1 male flooded workings and 1 female
11th July 1 cream-crown 'Middle Moor'
13th July 1 female
17th July 1 male Mill Drain
18th July 1 Casson’s Marsh
23rd July 2, 1 female over Crowle Moor, 1 male Shoulder o' Mutton and Southern Canals
25th July 1 male flooded workings
27th July 1 male Goole Moor
30th July 1 cream-crown Goole Moor
07th August 1 female in moult
08th August 1 cream-crown Pony Bridge Marsh, Will Pits Scrape
10th August 1 female flooded workings
11th August 2, 1 a cream-crown Will Pits Scrape
12th August 2, 1 female Mill Drain Marsh and 1 juvenile
14th August 2, 1 cream-crown and 1 male both Goole Moor
15th August 3, 1 immature male flooded workings, 2 cream-crowns, 1 flooded workings and 1 Mill Drain Marsh
16th August 2, 1 immature mobbed by a Eurasian Sparrowhawk at Woodpecker Corner; and 1 cream-crown
19th August 1 female
20th August 1 female Green Belt
21st August 2, 1 immature, 1 female mobbed by a Northern Lapwing
22nd August 2+ cream-crowns, 2 mobbed a European Honey-buzzard. Later two seen locking talons in the air, possibly in a food pass
23rd August 3, 1 immature, 2 females. One was high over 'Middle Moor' with a Common Buzzard
24th August 2, 1 cream-crown 'Middle Moor' and 1 male over Will Pits
27th August 1 immature Shoulder o’ Mutton
28th August 3,1 immature Blackwater Dyke and 2 females
29th August 2+ cream-crowns- 1 mobbed a Common Buzzard over Goole Fields/Moor
30th August 1 cream-crown Shoulder o’ Mutton
01st September 4, 1 immature and 3 females
03rd September 2,1 female, 1 immature
04th September 5, 1 male very high over Crowle Moor and two immatures, 2 females
05th September 4 cream-crowns, 1 mobbing a Peregrine Falcon at the flooded workings
06th September 3- 2 cream-crowns 'Middle Moor', 1 female flooded workings.
08th September 3 immatures together at the flooded workings
10th September 1 immature Shoulder o’ Mutton
11th September 4, 3 immatures together Mill Drain Marsh, 1 female mobbed by a Peregrine Falcon at Shoulder o’ Mutton
12th September 3, 2 immatures together and a cream-crown
13th September 1 cream-crown Shoulder o’ Mutton
18th September 2 cream-crowns
20th September 1 female diving at prey on Crowle Moor
23rd September 3, 2 cream-crowns and 1 immature Shoulder o’ Mutton
24th September 1 female 'Middle Moor'
22nd September 1 female perched at Will Pits Scrape
24th September 1 female Will Pits Scrape
25th September 2, 1 cream-crown; and 1 female Elmhirst
02nd October 1 female Will Pits Scrape
03rd October 1 cream-crown Will Pits Scrape
Hen Harrier C. cyaneus (Red List)
03rd January 1 female Goole Moor mobbed by Carrion Crows
08th January 1 ringtail Pony Bridge Wood
17th January 2, 1 female Will Pits, 1 male Pony Bridge Marsh
20th January1 ringtail Moors generally
23rd January 1 ringtail colliery area
26th January 1 ringtail colliery area
20th February 1 male Northern Goole Moor
14th March 1 ringtail flooded workings
20th March 1 ringtail N half of Moors
21st March 1 ringtail Pony Bridge Marsh
22nd March 1 female Mill Drain Marsh
27th March 1 ringtail Green Belt
28th March 1 female mobbed by Peregrine Falcon, Green Belt
30th March 1 male Shoulder o’ Mutton
03rd April 1 ringtail S half of Moors
04th April 1 ringtail Pony Bridge Marsh
18th April 1 female ‘Middle Moor’
06th October 1 female Southern Canals
16th October 1 male Shoulder o’ Mutton
17th October 1 ringtail Paraffin Cuttings
23rd October 2, 1 male Will Pits, 1 female Southern Canals
24th October 2, 1 male Angle Drain, 1 female in the colliery area
25th October 1 female Southern Canals
07th November 1 male Crowle Moor
27th November 1 female Crowle Moor to Will Pits.
28th November 1 ringtail Green Belt
29th November 1 ‘Middle Moor’
12th December 1 female ‘Middle Moor’
17th December 2, 1 male Limberlost mobbed by Eurasian Sparrowhawk. 1 ringtail ‘Middle Moor’
19th December 1 female flooded workings
20th December 1 female ‘Middle Moor’
24th December 1 female flooded workings
26th December 1 ringtail flooded workings
29th December 1 ringtail Pony Bridge Marsh
31st December 1 female flooded workings
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Singles seen throughout the Moors, infrequently observed pursuing prey. Two birds were seen to display at Green Belt on 27th March, they both then soared over to Will Pits. On 23rd April a male killed one of four waders that had just landed at flooded workings S of Fisons' Road and E of Mill Drain Marsh. The victim was either a Great or Little Ringed Plover or a Dunlin. Active display was again observed on 4th April, when a male was seen performing ‘swoops’ over Will Pits (PCR). A male was seen carrying prey in the Canals area on 11th July. A female Eurasian Sparrowhawk was mobbed by a Hobby, but then stooped at it on 14th August. A female Eurasian Sparrowhawk was mobbed by a Marsh Harrier at the W side of the Moors on 16th August. Maximum was seven on 26th October (two males and five females) and this is a new Thorne Moors maximum (WHP). Bred S of Rhododendron Path, with a sitting bird seen in a birch on 19th May, and 4 nearly fledged young were seen at this nest on 7th July. Bred at Northern Goole Moor where a male, female and young seen several times throughout the season.
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
A pale immature was low over Pony Bridge Wood on 27th March, soaring gradually SE (BPW). Another even paler bird (very similar to Rough-legged Buzzard B. lagopus) was distant over 'Middle Moor' on 23rd April, and may have also been an immature, it departed S (BPW). A dark bird was seen over Crowle Moor, where it was noted to hover briefly, on 22nd August. It was mobbed by two Carrion Crows and later mobbed by a Hobby (RJS). A dark bird was again seen on 23rd August over ‘Middle Moor’ with a Marsh Harrier (BPW). A dark plumaged Common Buzzard was seen over Will Pits on 27th August (RJS, WHP). Possibly the same dark bird as on 22nd and 23rd August was seen again on 29th August, over Will Pits. As it soared to Goole Fields it was at times mobbed by two Hobbies and a creamcrown Marsh Harrier, before drifting off E (RJS). A dark plumaged Common Buzzard was seen the day before (28th August) over Pony Bridge Wood towards Elmhirst (WHP).
Osprey Pandion haliaetus (Red List)
One came low and flew slowly S over the eastern side of Green Belt Scrape on 24th September, at 2.30pm. As it reached halfway along the scrape, it turned away from the observer (100m away) and headed off E. Being low it was quickly lost behind the trees (BPW).
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus Amber List
At least two pairs frequent the Moors, one based around the colliery area, the other pair from Goole Fields where they bred in a nest box in a tree. A female was observed incubating at the Goole Fields site on 22nd May and three young flew on 4th July (PB). Frequently seen flying with Hobbies in the summer months, hawking for insects in the same manner. Five were seen at once on 29th August. Four were seen at once on 2nd May and 11th July.
Red-footed Falcon F. vespertinus
A first summer male was found on 12th June, at Mill Drain Marsh (PJWS, LNS, LD, JW). The following day it was still present flying with Hobbies and Common Kestrels. As evening came it spent more time perched, last seen as it flew off E (JW, LDJ, PG, RJS, BPW, NCD, DJP). The British Birds Rarities Committee has accepted the record, and this is the second record of this species for Thorne Moors, following a female on 25th May 1989.
Merlin F. columbarius (Red List)
28th March1 female perched Shoulder o’ Mutton
03rd April 1 female chased a Sky Lark over the flooded workings for 10 minutes, but was unsuccessful
23rd April 1 female killed a passerine at Green BeltScrape, and when flushed went to a stump on the flooded workings to finish eating it
24th April 1 female over the flooded workings
30th April 1 female over the flooded workings
10th May 1 female low over the flooded workings
12th May 1 female low over flooded workings going N
21st August 1 female near Crowle Moor
03rd September 1 female over flooded workings going to Rawcliffe Moor
12th September 1 female flooded workings
10th October 1 female Goole Moor
23rd October 1 female bare ground between Will Pits and the flooded workings
31st October 1 male Jone’s Cable to colliery area
21st November 1 female at the flooded workings
19th December 1 female at the flooded workings
Hobby F. subbuteo
Returned on a later date and remained longer than last year. Several observers had five or six birds flying at once, 5 equalling the three previous occasions (in 1983, 1995 and 1997) for Thorne Moors, with six only being attained previously on 19th July 1997. Seven on 13th July is a new Thorne Moors maximum. Breeding was again proven and three young were fledged.
02nd May 1 'Middle Moor'
03rd May 1+: 1 Southern Canals, 1 'Middle Moor' and 1 Will Pits
05th May 4 together (1 displaying) at Angle Drain, with 2 Common Kestrels
07th May 2 'Middle Moor'
08th May 1 Southern Canals
09th May 2 'Middle Moor'
16th May 3 over Mill Drain Marsh
17th May 1 Southern Canals with a Common Kestrel
19th May 3+ Canals and 'Middle Moor'. One ate a Pied Wagtail at Goole Fields and a second year bird was close by (JJ). Copulation was observed at 9.32 p.m. in a tree, the birds remained perched afterwards, successful breeding later occurred here (PB)
20th May 1 Pony Bridge Marsh
23rd May 1 flooded workings/Goole Moor area
27th May 2 Rawcliffe Moor
29th May 3+ moors generally
31st May 3 'Middle Moor'
06th June 1 flooded workings
10th June 2, 1 giving prolonged high-speed display, including dives and rolls at Rawcliffe Moor (FO, SO)
13th June 2 Canals and Mill Drain Marsh with a Red-footed Falcon. 1 was observed at the copulation site
14th June 1 at the flooded workings
15th June 1 Mill Drain Marsh
16th June 2 'Middle Moor'
17th June 1 high over S half of the moors
18th June 5 together (PH)
19th June 3, 2 displaying over S half of the moors
20th June 5, 4 adults and one first-summer Mill Drain Marsh (RJS)
21st June 2 observed in a food pass and then at the copulation site (PB)
23rd June 3 over Southern Canals
24th June 6 together (PH)
25th June 1 over Mill Drain Marsh
26th June 2 Crowle Moor and 'Middle Moor'. One bird observed at the copulation site, also a bird was observed to eat a passerine nearby
29th June 3
30th June Hobbies heard only near the copulation site
04th July 1 between Will Pits and the flooded workings. 2 near the copulation site
07th July 1 Pony Bridge Marsh
10th July 1 moors generally. A Hobby appeared from the suspected nest tree and picked a plucked bird from the feet of a second Hobby on the ground and took this to a different tree. It remained in this tree for 50 minutes, before returning to the suspected nest tree and out of sight. Later four Magpies caused a commotion here and a Hobby flew low around them. A Common Kestrel appeared near the Hobbies nest site and was stooped at by a Hobby (PB)
11th July 5 together 'Middle Moor' with 4 Common Kestrels.2 earlier at Woodpecker Corner, they harassed a Carrion Crow and chased a Stock Dove (RJS)
13th July 7 over Canals area (RA)
15th July 1 Rawcliffe Moor
17th July 5 'Middle Moor' (BP, FO). A Hobby heard from the suspected nest tree
18th July 1 at the flooded workings
23rd July 4 Moors generally.
27th July 3 juveniles covered in greyish down were observed at the copulation site, from a distance by telescope, the (presumed) female was perched above. The female bird took food from the (presumed) male on the ground and fed the young, before returning to its mate, and then back to its perch above the nest. Later the male joined the female on the perch and their slight size differences could be seen and the female was the more dull coloured (PB)
30th July 3
31st July 2 adults and 3 juveniles. The female received food from the male and fed it to the young while the male perched close by. Feeding took 17 minutes after which time the female left the nest with the male on guard. The young were covered in white down (PB)
06th August 1 moors generally
07th August 2 Mill Drain Marsh, 1 perched
11th August 1 'Middle Moor'
12th August 2 Mill Drain Marsh to Crowle Moor
14th August 2 adults and 3 juveniles. Activity around the nest as two young flew, the other exercising its wings. An adult plucked a bird on the ground and placed it at the nest and left. At 1.55 p.m. both adults called as a Marsh Harrier passed by. Later as a Eurasian Sparrowhawk passed over, one adult returned to the nest the other flew up to intercept the Eurasian Sparrowhawk as it circled closer to the nest. The Hobby stooped on the Eurasian Sparrowhawk and the latter then left (PB)
15th August 3 moors generally, 1 a first-summer, 1 a juvenile
16th August 2. The last juvenile had left the nest. The male passed food to the female at the nest and the female took this food to some nearby bushes to feed the excitedly calling young (PB)
18th August 1
20th August 1 over Rhododendron Path
21st August 4 including young, Goole and Rawcliffe Moor. 2 young hobbies near nest site and flying around, two adults (male and female) engaged in talon locking in apparent aggression before separating in different directions.
22nd August 1 mobbed a Common Buzzard
23rd August 5, 3 juveniles (BPW) and 2 adults (KC)
24th August 2
27th August 2 Will Pits
28th August 3 flooded workings. 2 young Hobbies in the area of the nest site
29th August 2 mobbing a Common Buzzard over Goole Moor/flooded workings area
30th August 1 flooded workings
01st September 1
03rd September 2 (1 juvenile) moors generally
04th September 2
05th September 2+
10th September 3 moors generally
12th September 1
13th September 1
15th September 1 flooded workings
17th September 3, 2 immatures and one unaged bird in the Crowle Moor area
18th September 1 moors generally
23rd September 1 juvenile Will Pits Scrape
Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus (Amber List)
For the first time, seen every month of the year.
01st January 1 female Angle Drain to Will Pits
03rd January 1 female flooded workings
07th February1 flooded workings
20th February 2 females, 1 had a Wood Pigeon as prey near Blackwater Dyke and the other had smaller prey item, which it took from here towards the Paraffin Cuttings
21st February 1 male flooded workings chasing ducks
14th March 2 females- 1 chasing and stooping at a Wood Pigeon at the flooded workings; the second appeared to be an immature bird. 1 in the same area was seen to carry prey later
22nd March 1 female flooded workings
27th March 1 immature male mobbed by a cream-crown Marsh Harrier at flooded workings
28th March 2, 1 immature female at the flooded workings struck a Mallard but it got away, then it mobbed a female Hen Harrier. 2 later Blackwater Dyke
02nd April 1 probably male high over flooded workings
03rd April 1 female high over the flooded workings
04th April 3, 1 female, 1 immature female at the flooded workings, later mobbed a Common Kestrel. 1 male stooped at a Wood Pigeon at the flooded workings
05th May 1 second-year male at the flooded workings, attacked a Common Teal unsuccessfully, then went to Goole Moor where it climbed and soared
07th May 1 second-year male soaring high over the flooded workings
15th May 1 female ‘Middle Moor’
16th May 1 immature at the flooded workings
18th May 1 second-year male chased feral Rock Doves, later killed a young Common Coot at the flooded workings and left carrying it off W
19th May 1 second-year male soaring up and stooping at the flooded workings
20th May 1 female Mill Drain, later 1 was seen carrying a young Moorhen at Elmhirst Tram
22nd May1 female flushed at Blackwater Dyke and flew N
23rd May1 Goole Moor
29th May 1 second-year male at the flooded workings
31st May 1 (second-year?) male Mill Drain Marsh and at the flooded workings, seen to stoop
05th June 1 second-year male at the flooded workings, left S
06th June 1 Southern Canals
17th June 1 second-year male high N over the flooded workings, in moult on outer primaries and tail which had the two central feathers missing (BPW)
04th July 1 flooded workings (PB)
17th July 1 flushed at Goole Moor. Latest date in mid-summer ever (PB)
23rd August 1 female
27th August 1 female mobbed by a Hobby and 2 Common Kestrels at Will Pits
28th August 1 female attacked a flying Hobby at Shoulder o’ Mutton
29th August 3, 1 female flushed Northern Lapwings at the flooded workings, 1 immature female attacked a Hobby then a Ringed Plover, both without success. 1 juvenile tried attacking waders
01st September 1
03rd September 2, 1 female, 1 second-year male
05th September 1 juvenile male mobbed by 2 cream-crown Marsh Harriers at flooded workings
06th September 2, 1 female and a juvenile at the flooded workings
08th September 1 female
10th September 1 male Shoulder o’ Mutton
11th September 2, 1 male mobbed a female Marsh Harrier, 1 female same area
12th September 1 immature female attacked Rock Dove without success
13th September 2, 1 immature male in the colliery area, 1 immature female at the flooded workings
17th September 2
18th September 2, 1 male, 1 female together Shoulder o’ Mutton
23rd September 1 female down Shoulder o’ Mutton
02nd October 1 juvenile at the flooded workings
03rd October 2, 1 male, 1 immature male N part of moors
05th October 1 distantly perched on peat of Goole Moor
10th October 3, 1 female, 2 immature females mobbing each other and a Merlin, but also mobbed by 32 Meadow Pipits W of Will Pits
16th October 3, 1 male, 2 immature females Will Pits
17th October 2, 1 male, 1 immature male at the flooded workings
23rd October 2, 1 male, 1 immature female, the female chased Northern Lapwings at Goole Moor
24th October 1 immature female
21st November 1 flooded workings
28th November 2- 1 immature male, 1 female at the flooded workings
26th December 1 Goole Moor
Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
Very few records, maximum was 13 on 3rd October.
Grey Partridge Perdix perdix Red List
A drop in the number of records. The maximum was on 3rd January when eight were present at Shoulder o' Mutton Tram. A nest containing 14 eggs was found on the colliery spoil heap on 27th May.
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
Highest count was of 44 on 19th December, with many other double figure counts. Birds are reared and released all around these moors.
Water Rail Rallus aquaticus Amber List
All records. Breeding seems to have been attempted at least, in the Limberlost area.
21st March 6 calling, 3 Pony Bridge Marsh, 2 'Middle Moor' and 1 Pony Bridge Tram
27th March 3 calling Pony Bridge Marsh
28th March 1 calling Pony Bridge Marsh
29th March 2, 1 calling Pony Bridge Marsh and 1 Angle Drain
30th March 3 calling Pony Bridge Marsh
03rd April 1 calling Pony Bridge Marsh
11th April 1 calling Pony Bridge Marsh
18th April 1 calling Pony Bridge Marsh
19th April 1 seen ‘Middle Moor’, which flew a short distance before landing in Soft-rush
02nd May 2 calling, 1 Pony Bridge Tram and 1 Will Pits Scrape
05th June 2 giving territorial ‘song’ at night at Limberlost Tram
14th June 1 Canals towpath junction
19th June 1 calling Pony Bridge Marsh
21st June 1 calling Mill Drain Marsh
17th July 1 calling Pony Bridge Marsh
18th July 1 calling Mill Drain Marsh
12th August 1 calling Mill Drain Marsh
11th August 1 possibly calling at the flooded workings
05th September 1 calling Will Pits Scrape
10th September 1 calling Green Belt
12th September 2 calling, 1 Angle Drain, 1 Mill Drain Marsh
03rd October 2 calling, 1 Will Pits Scrape, 1 W of Will Pits Scrape
23rd October 2 calling, 1 Paraffin Cuttings and 1 Shoulder o' Mutton Tram
14th November 1 calling near Whaley Balk
16th December 2, 1 flushed by dog at entrance bridge, 1 calling Southern Canals
26th December 2 calling, 1 Will Pits Scrape, 1 Western edge of the moors
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Counts of 20 or more were rare, with 24 on 14th March, 20 on 2nd May and 21 on 19th December. Double figure counts were regular.
Common Coot Fulica atra
The highest numbers were at the flooded workings north of Fisons’ Road, with 15 on 10th May. Other areas’ maxima were four at Will Pits Scrape, three at Inkle Moor Pond, one at flooded workings north of Shearburn & Pitts Drain, ten at flooded workings W of Shoulder o’ Mutton, two at Mill Drain dyke and two at Green Belt Scrape. The earliest date in the year ever for a Common Coot to return to the Moors was 20th January, when singles were present at both Inkle Moor Pond and the Paraffin Cuttings (WHP).
Common Crane Grus grus (Amber List)
On 5th May, two adults were heading W over the field between Inkle Moor and the colliery area. They flew low at about 10 metres, and then turned directly N over Inkle Moor, and continued at this height and direction until lost in the distance (BPW). If accepted this will be the fourth record of this species for Thorne Moors, but the only record to involve more than one bird.
Generally waders are found at the flooded workings N of Fisons’ Road, unless otherwise stated.
Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus (Amber List)
Records are mainly of single birds as on 14th March. On 18th April two were down, and on 24th April three flew over the flooded workings. There were singles on 1st and 20th May; there were two on 16th May at Green Belt Scrape, and at the flooded workings on 29th May. One returned later and landed, but did not stay long before flying E. A single bird on 6th June. On 25th June, one flew towards the colliery and a single flew to Will Pits Scrape on 29th June. Another single was down on 23rd July and a single flew over on 30th July. One flew E on 7th August.
Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta (Amber List)
Two calling adults flew W over the flooded workings on 19th May, they circled over Green Belt, returning low over the flooded workings, as if to land, but apparently carried on (WHP, BPW).
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
Records came from the flooded workings north of Fisons' Road, and from the colliery spoil heap where they bred. One was displaying at Green Belt Scrape on 1st May. Two birds were seen on the colliery spoil heap on 19th May (with a Great Ringed Plover). A nest containing four eggs was seen on the spoil heap on 1st June, the young hatched by 15th. There were singles at the same place on 17th, 18th and 29th June, with one at the flooded workings on the latter date also. On 25th July two juveniles were seen on the flooded workings. Also bred at Rawcliffe Moor where one adult and one (one or two day old) chick were seen on 6th June, and two adults (and a third adult nearby) and two chicks were seen on 26th June. First and last dates were 2nd April-11th August.
Great Ringed Plover C. hiaticula Amber List
Seen at the flooded workings N and S of Fisons' Road, and at the colliery area. On 3rd April two were present on the colliery spoil heap. On 28th May there were 15 at the flooded workings (and 12 the following day) in three groups, but there were no further records until return passage began. On 11th August there were six. Numbers peaked on 23rd and 24th August at 13, but there were 12 on 27th August and 12th September. No attempts at breeding were observed. First and last dates were 23rd March-6th October.
Dotterel C. morinellus (Amber List)
There was one record of a bird seen and calling on bare peat NE of Will Pits Scrape, on 27th April (RA, FO).
European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria (Amber List)
Not many records in the first half of the year, though 100 went S on 1st January, 200 flew over the Shoulder o’ Mutton on 17th January and 56 went N on 27th March. One flew over the flooded workings on 23rd July, but records of birds landing there were restricted to one on 6th August. In the latter part of the year, birds were occasionally seen flying over the Moors to peripheral fields, where they were often present.
Grey Plover P. squatarola (Amber List)
Singles flew over on 24th April, 1st and 8th May. Two were present on 10th May, one in full summer plumage, the other attaining summer plumage. A male landed on 2nd August and two were down on 6th August before flying E. One was down on 18th and 23rd September. Two flew E on 16th October and a winter plumaged bird was down on 17th before flying high NE. One flew over the Canals area calling on 16th December.
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus Amber List
A total of around four pairs bred, at the flooded workings and at Will Pits Scrape. Three tiny unfledged chicks were seen at the flooded workings and at Will Pits Scrape on 27th May, and next day one was seen at the W end of the flooded workings and two chicks were seen there the following day. A flock of 64 flew SSE from Goole Moor on 25th June, 46 were seen down on 18th July and 250+ were down before flying S, on 6th August.
Maximum monthly counts were: January 40, February 200+, March 21, April 8, May 11, June 26, July 50, August 600+, September 156+, October 35, November 1, December 160.
Red Knot Calidris canutus (Amber List)
Eight birds seen briefly at dusk on 18 August were thought to be this species, and next day six, definitely this species, were present in the same place (KC). Two were present in the same area on 20th August, one in almost full summer plumage (KC).
Little Stint C. minuta
Two were present at the flooded workings north of Fisons' Road on 15th May, and one was present with Great Ringed Plovers on 19th May. Two were present on 23rd and 27th August, one on 28th and two on 30th.
Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea
All records were in August. One adult was present with 12 juveniles on 21st, which constitutes a record count for Thorne Moors (RJS). Two were seen on 22nd and three the following day, two were present on 29th and the last record was of five on 30th August.
Dunlin C. alpina (Amber List)
Spring passage began with one on 20th February, peaking at 25 on 8th May. Mid-summer records were eight on 11th July, four down on 23rd, five on 25th and one over on 30th July. There were three on 6th and four on 11th August, peaking at 18 on 20th. In October there were up to 20 on 9th and 15 on 16th, and the last record of the year was on 23rd, when three were present.
Ruff Philomachus pugnax (Amber List)
The first were three on 11th April, and there were two females on 17th. Four (three males and a female) present on 10th July, two birds on 26th and one male on 30th July. In August there were six on 19th and 20th, seven on 21st, nine plus on 22nd, six on 23rd, three on 27th, four on 28th and then two on 29th. There were also nine on 3rd September, but other records did not exceed three birds. The last two birds were on 16th October.
Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus (Amber List)
The only records were of single birds at Will Pits Scrape on 26th October, and one flushed three times along the edge of Will Pits Scrape on 21st November.
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago Amber List
Recorded regularly in small numbers throughout the Moors. In the first half of the year the maximum was five on 18th April. There were 18+ on 6th August, 17 on 11th August, and 12 on 29th August, 13th September and 17th October. The highest count though was on 10th September with 20+.
Woodcock Scolopax rusticola Amber List
A single bird was at the Paraffin Cuttings on 13th February. A roding bird was at Will Pits Scrape on 5th April, and on 9th April two were at Will Pits, with one each at Crowle Moor and Pony Bridge Marsh. On 14th April one was seen at Collis’s Tram. At Will Pits there were two roding birds on 23rd April, with three there on 6th May. A single roding bird was at Pony Bridge Marsh on 12th May and one was disturbed off Fisons’ Road at Will Pits on 9th June. Maximum was five on 21st November. Two were at Will Pits on 5th December, and singles there on both 17th and 19th December, one was also seen on the W boundary of the Moors on 17th. One was seen at Mill Drain on 29th December.
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa (Red List)
On 24th April a new Thorne Moors record count was set, when 70 birds were seen wheeling over the main Black-headed Gull colony at the flooded workings. They eventually landed there and remained for a couple of hours, before becoming restless and doing a series of short wheeling flights. They then left NNW (BPW). One was present there on 20th May. Five flew W over Green Belt on 16th August.
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus (Amber List)
Single birds only on 19th and 20th May, at the flooded workings, a single flew from Northern Goole Moor calling on 10th July and a single on 1st August.
Eurasian Curlew N. arquata Amber List
Single figures mainly, the exceptions being 10+ on 21st August and 17 on 27th August. There were 14 on 4th September and 12 on 11th September.
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
A calling bird in winter plumage was seen on 7th August (RJS), and one was flushed on 18th August, which then flew off W (KC).
Common Redshank T. totanus Amber List
Display involving a grounded bird exaggeratedly lifting its wings while calling excitedly to another, was observed at the flooded workings S of Fisons' Road, on 11th April. Song flight was observed on the same date at ‘Middle Moor’. Two pairs were again displaying S of Fisons' Road on 23rd and three birds on 24th April, followed by a single pair displaying there the next day. A pair was observed displaying here in May also. Double figure counts were 10 on 17th April and 19 on 11th July.
Common Greenshank T. nebularia (Amber List)
Few spring records: one was at Green Belt on 1st May, with a further single at the flooded working on 8th May. Numbers did not exceed two until 16th and 18th August, when there were three. There were also three on 1st, 4th and 5th September. Maximum was five plus on 3rd September. The last was on 3rd October.
Green Sandpiper T. ochropus
There were six on 6th August and two plus at the flooded workings and one at Will Pits Scrape on 11th August; there were still two at the flooded workings the following day. Three went S on 18th August and there were four on 27th August. Other records were of one or two birds. The year’s maximum was seven flushed from N of Green Belt on 4th September.
Wood Sandpiper T. glareola (Amber List)
Two were observed in the Soft-rush at the edge of Will Pits Scrape on 8th August (PCR, JMR).
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
One was present on 20th May and one on 11th July. Two, one flying S, the other down, were present on 15th and two on 16th August, and a single on 29th and two present 30th August.
Turnstone Arenaria interpres (Amber List)
At the flooded workings in May, there were three on 8th, eight on 19th which eventually left NE, one on 22nd and one on 29th.
Landed gulls were only ever found at the flooded workings north of Fisons’ Road, unless otherwise stated. This is also the area where gulls roosted. Gulls were only counted casually this year, they did not receive any methodical roost counts as they did last year and therefore the counts are not as consistent. Dead birds, whether they were killed by predators or died by other means, were sometimes eaten. Carrion Crows and Red Foxes Vulpes vulpes were the only predators noted eating dead gulls, however American Mink Mustela vison was recorded on the Moors this year (on 1st January at Will Pits) so the possibility they may also be active should not be ruled out
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus (Amber List)
An adult-winter bird was flying around the flooded workings in the company of Black-headed Gulls, on 19th February (CR). A bird in second-summer plumage flew in from the E on 19th May, and landed at the main Black-headed Gull colony at the flooded workings north of Fisons' Road. It later left (WHP, BPW).
Black-headed Gull L. ridibundus
Bred at the flooded workings, with many more successful pairs compared to last year’s poor number. On 17th June, there were 33 flying juveniles with 400 adults, and this had increased to 40+ flying juveniles with 600 adults by 10th July. Evidence of dead birds, which had been killed by or scavenged by predators, was seen on 16th August, when an almost eaten adult was found. Another similar bird was found on 11th September. Monthly maxima were:
January 300, February 100+, March 300+, April 950, May 645, June 700+, July 600 adults 40 juveniles, August 600+, September 4, October 200, November 250, December 25.
Common Gull L. canus (Amber List)
As usual, fairly scarce in the Moors interior and could more readily be found on peripheral fields and around the colliery. This species is the least common of the frequent gull species on Thorne Moors. Monthly maxima were:
January 6, February 10, March 4, April 3+, May 1, June 1, July 2, August 3, September 0, October 4, November 7, December 15.
Lesser Black-backed Gull L. fuscus (Amber List)
The commonest species in summer (May-September). A sick bird unable to fly or walk was found on 11th August and another in a similar state and gulping for air on 3rd September. On the latter date and also on 11th single dead and eaten birds were also found. Monthly maxima were:
January 0, February 0, March 6, April 70, May 500, June 150, July 1500, August 2000, September 300+, October 18, November 2, December 0.
Herring Gull L. argentatus (Amber List)
The commonest gull overall on Thorne Moors. Monthly maxima were:
January 1500, February 250+, March 80+, April 40+, May 55, June 1+, July 3, August 50, September 36, October 70+, November 14, December 865.
Yellow-legged Gull L. cachinnans
Records are of L. c. michahellis only. An adult was down on 6th August (WHP). A very sick adult in autumn moult was found on 11th August, it had no signs of injury but was paralysed from the head down. It was photographed next day. A Lesser Black-backed Gull with the same symptoms was found at the same time, and both were taken to the RSPCA at Bawtry, but they could not be saved (BPW, ML). One, possibly two, adults were again with mainly Lesser Black-backed Gulls, but also other species, on 23rd August (BPW, ML).
Iceland Gull L. glaucoides
An adult-winter plumaged bird came in and landed at the flooded workings N of Green Belt on the evening of 7th January. Also present were 200 Herring, two Great Black-backed and a few Black-headed Gulls (BPW). The Iceland Gull flew with the rest when flushed by another person. The third record for Thorne Moors.
Great Black-backed Gull L. marinus
Monthly maxima were:
January 100, February 100, March 10, April 20+, May 17, June 20, July 20+, August 5, September 24, October 50, November 8, December 83.
Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
An adult-winter plumaged bird went NE with other gulls on 7th January (RJS). Two adults were at the E end of the flooded workings N of Shearburn & Pitts Drain on 20th May. They flew from the water there and stayed with Black-headed Gulls, one then left E, while the other remained on the flood water near the Black-headed Gull colony (WHP, BPW).
Common Tern S. hirundo
Singles were present at the flooded workings on 10th, 15th, 22nd (two) and 23rd May and 20th June.
Black Tern Chlidonias niger
The only record was of a juvenile at the flooded workings north of Fisons' Road on 18th August, where it remained until after dark (KC).
Rock Dove Columba livia
This species is not as frequent as formerly either over the moors or in peripheral areas such as the colliery. Maximum count was one on 30th April.
Stock Dove C. oenas Amber List
Generally to be seen on the W side of the Moors, particularly in and around the colliery area. Totals of 24 were seen in that area on 20th March and 40 on 16th October. At the other side of the Moors, to the NE, flocks are also to be found, with 21 in fields there on 19th December.
Wood Pigeon C. palumbus
Where recorded, monthly maxima were:
January 700+, February 23, March 100+, April single figures, May single figures, June single figures, July single figures, August single figures, September 11, October 500+, November 60, December 200.
Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
Recorded in small numbers at many areas around the Moors, wherever people live. These are places such as Top Moor Farm and Inkle Moor bridge (five on 2nd January) but only four records were W of the railway around the Paraffin Cuttings and Inkle Moor areas. The maximum at the latter was three on 1st January and on 7th and 13th February. There are only two records of single birds actually on or over the peat moor. On 9th April one flew S over Pony Bridge Marsh and landed in Pony Bridge Wood, apparently to roost. The other record was of a bird flying very low NE over bare peat W of Will Pits on 17th June.
Turtle Dove S. turtur Red List
Seen at wooded areas of the moors, but also seen flying across open areas. On return passage odd birds could be found resting, drinking and preening in the open at the flooded workings, as on 3rd September. A pair was seen mating on a dead tree branch in the colliery area on 6th May, and birds were seen displaying on 19th June at Elmhirst Wood. Four were seen on 19th May, with three at Green Belt and one at Will Pits. First and last dates were 30th April-5th September.
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
The Canals area was a good area to see this species with six plus there on 19th May, though birds could be found throughout the Moors. Maximum was eight on 2nd May.
First and last dates were 18th April-10th September.
Barn Owl Tyto alba (Amber List)
Probably the same pair or family of Barn Owls was involved in the following sightings. A hunting bird was observed on the night of 5th June, flying E from the Paraffin area (SH). Infrequently seen from Johnny Moor Long road quartering in fields towards the railway and the Moor edge, as a single bird was doing on 19th December (BPW). Occasionally seen at Moorfields Farm and adjacent St. Helena Farm.
Little Owl Athene noctua
This generally common species is infrequent in the Moors area. One was flushed from birches alongside Blackwater Dyke just NW of Will Pits on 17th October (ML). Resident at Moorfields Farm with up to three seen there.
Tawny Owl Strix aluco
The most widely encountered owl on the Moors, found in any well wooded area on the Moor edge. Records were between 19th May (a daytime call in the colliery area) and 25th October (one calling, Green Belt) so mostly during the breeding season. No more than two birds were recorded in a day, though the distribution of records suggests territories at the Yorkshire Triangle, Limberlost Tram, Will Pits, the colliery area and Casson's Garden. One carried prey (vole) at the Canal Tow Path on 19th July.
Long-eared Owl Asio otus
An early record was of a bird flying over Pony Bridge Marsh on an unspecified date in March and two further records came from arable fields in that area on 6th and 12th May. A juvenile was heard calling from the N entrance to the Lincolnshire Naturalist’s Trust’s Reserve on Crowle Moor on 6th August.
On 25th May a pair were seen perched and hunting in the colliery area, two young were heard close by at dusk. The breeding pair at the colliery was frequently sighted, with an adult seen carrying prey to its hidden calling young on 24th May. Young were heard here from that time on, and two were seen perched with another two heard in the nearby bushes and a nearby adult bird (hunting and perched) on 31st May. A bird was heard near Angle Drain on 6th June. An adult was again seen hunting over the field near the colliery on 13th June. On 16th June an adult and three or four juveniles were seen in the same location. Three were present and photographed on 23rd June (DP). On the nights of 5th June and 10th July a juvenile was heard here. On 7th June two were seen flying and calling at Jones’ Cable. Then on 10th July, three juveniles were heard at the Eastern Boundary of the Southern Canals, one of which was seen as it flew across the tram.
Short-eared Owl A. flammeus (Amber List)
On 14th March one was hunting fields to the NE of the Moors. A hunting bird was seen over Pony Bridge Marsh on 4th April (PG). On 15th April one was flushed at Pony Bridge Marsh (ML). On 18th April one flew over Fisons’ Road at Mill Drain Marsh (ML).
European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus Red List
A total of 128 man-hours was used for surveys on the nights of 3rd-10th June and 5th June, 5th-8th July, and 10th July. This revealed a total of 35 males, which is down on last year’s very good total but is an average count. As last year, a bird was observed feeding in the area of Moorends allotments, on 8th June. First and last dates were 12th May (the earliest ever, PCR, JMR) and 28th July.
Common Swift Apus apus
A large influx of Common Swifts was noted on 11th May, when numbers had risen from 27+ the day before to 340+. Movements were noted when summer showers came; 400+ birds completely left the N half of the moors on 12th May, to avoid a shower. Similarly on 19th May, when c.300 had completely departed the Moors by 1pm, and none returned until two were observed arriving at 5.15pm (though the threatening storm did not happen). Maximum was 525+ on 19th May. First and last dates were 1st May-22nd August.
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis (Amber List)
All records were from Bell's Pond or adjoining drains, in autumn. Single birds were here on these dates: 15th August, 3rd and 5th September, 10th and 26th October and 20th December.
Green Woodpecker Picus viridis Amber List
Records from wooded areas, especially the colliery. The maximum count was three here on many dates. A juvenile was seen with an adult bird at Woodpecker Corner on 7th July.
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
'Drumming' was only heard from one of two birds seen in Will Pits on 4th April. Observed every month, the maximum being three on 2nd May and 16th October (in Will Pits). Bred at Northern Goole Moor, with adults seen bringing food to a nest hole there on the following dates: 29th May (one adult), 6th June (two adults), 26th June (a juvenile and a female near the nest hole) 12th and 26th August; 28th September and 6th October (a female roosted in the nest hole).
Sky Lark Alauda arvensis Red List
A female Merlin chased one on 3rd April, at the flooded workings. Largest number was 25 on 30th May, until autumn passage, when 90+ were noted resting along the Shoulder o' Mutton Tram on 16th October and 50+ were recorded next day, though no pattern was noticed in their movements. Seventy two moved S on 23rd October, and 51 moved S on 21st December, presumably because of the onset of freezing weather.
Sand Martin Riparia riparia (Amber List)
Spring passage was poor, with no large numbers. Autumn passage produced larger counts in August only. On 8th, 120+ were at Will Pits Scrape, with 90 there and at the flooded workings on 11th. There were 100 on the following day (12th) and c.120 on 15th, with 174+ next day coming in from the E over Will Pits Scrape and then continuing SW. A large count, following the first frost of autumn, came on 21st August when a roost of an estimated 2000 birds was perched on every piece of vegetation at Will Pits Scrape (PB). This is a new maximum count for Thorne Moors. The last count of note was of 40+ in the same area on 22nd. First and last dates were 3rd April-18th September.
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica (Amber List)
The highest count for the first half of the year was 64 (in 11 small groups) on 24th April. With return passage came higher counts, with 75 S over the flooded workings on 29th August. In September, the only high counts were 40+ S on 23rd and 50+ S the next day (in small groups). First and last dates were 4th April-3rd October.
House Martin Delichon urbica
There were c.30 over the W end of the flooded workings on 17th May. On 13th September 34 went W, and the year's maximum count was 49+ S in small groups on 24th September. On 2nd October 26 were noted and 31+ the next day. First and last dates were 27th April-3rd October.
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
All records (virtually all of singing males) are listed for this declining species. A maximum of eight possible pairs.
27th April 3, 1 Will Pits, 2 near Woodpecker Corner
29th April 3
02nd May 2, 1 Limberlost Tram and 1 Elmhirst Tram
05th May 1 Limberlost Tram
07th May 1 near Mill Drain Marsh
15th May 1 in the colliery area
19th May 1 in the colliery area
20th May 1 in the colliery area
21st May 1 in the Paraffin area
26th May nest with six young that fledged successfully near Woodpecker Corner.
30th May 4 males and a 5th bird carrying food, all at Crowle Moor
31st May 1 heard
05th June 2 Crowle Moor
23rd June1 Will Pits
24th June 3 Crowle Moor
Meadow Pipit A. pratensis
Single figure winter resident numbers grew as passage birds moved through. On 27th March, 23 were already on the Moors as a further 17 passed through NNE, and a further six passed straight through the following day. Numbers were higher in autumn, with 74 on 12th September. Large counts were often from the Shoulder o' Mutton Tram and adjacent flooded workings; 35+ birds roosted, bathed and preened there on 18th September. Around 40 moved S on 12th September and 31 the following day, then on 25th 49+ moved S or E. Birds nested along the W end of the Shoulder o' Mutton Tram, with one carrying food there on 5th May. One chased a Common Cuckoo, at the flooded workings on 10th May. Highest count was c.100 grounded birds south of the Shoulder o’ Mutton Tram on 3rd October, where they were targeted unsuccessfully by a Eurasian Sparrowhawk. A similar number (99) were seen on 14th November at the flooded workings.
Rock Pipit A. petrosus
The second record ever for Thorne Moors involved three birds feeding and calling at the Shoulder o’ Mutton on 16th October (WHP). Later the same day in the same area one was seen and heard in flight (BPW).
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
All records came from the flooded workings. The only spring double figure count was of 11 on 24th April. There was a count of 10 on 6th August at the Shoulder o’ Mutton. Higher counts followed, with 13+ on 24th August, 31 on 30th August, 12 on 5th September and 19 on 11th September. First and last dates were 17th April-18th September.
Grey Wagtail M. cinerea
One flew SW over the Bell’s Pond area calling on 12th September.
Pied Wagtail M. alba
Highest count in the first half of the year was 11 on 14th March. There were 25 on 18th July. Combined counts with birds at Moorends Recreation Ground or at the colliery were 29 (five on Moors) on 16th August and 39 (six on Moors) on 18th September. The only other high counts were 23 on 21st August and 20+ on 9th October (both at the flooded workings). Nests were found at the Shoulder o’ Mutton and Blackwater Dyke. Juvenile birds were noted from 14th June (three).
Two 'White' Wagtails M.a. alba were seen on 17th April.
Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Highest count was over two days (but in mutually different areas): 34 on both 20th and 21st December, which equals 68. Other high counts were 44 on 27th March, 27 males on 5th May and 31 on 4th July.
Hedge Accentor Prunella modularis Amber List
The only double figure counts were 13 on 27th March and 10 on 3rd October.
Robin Erithacus rubecula
Highest counts included 27 on 27th March and 18+ on 26th October.
Rufous Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos Amber List
Seven was the highest day count, on 3rd May, with one in the colliery area, one at Green Belt, three at Will Pits, one Crowle Moor and one at Elmhirst Wood. Area maxima were: Will Pits (three), Yorkshire Triangle (one), Colliery area and Green Belt (three), near Pony Bridge Wood (one), Elmhirst Wood (one) and Limberlost and Cassons' rhododendrons (two). This gives 11 males holding territory. A bird was seen carrying food for young on 28th May and a nest containing two fledged young was found 30cm up in Rhododendrons on 31st May. The family was still present on the last date, when the male gave a brief warble. First and last dates were 23rd April-8th June.
Bluethroat Luscinia svecica
For the fourth year in succession ‘White-spotted’ Bluethroats L.c. cyanecula appeared on Thorne Moors. A lone male was present at Pony Bridge Marsh from 30th March until 1st April only (ML, PCR). A full account appears in Bluethroats at Thorne: an Observational Diary (ML & PCR).
Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
The only record again came from Rawcliffe Moor, with a female/immature there on 21st August (PB).
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
Records probably refer to no more than three or four pairs this year. The main area was along Fisons’ Road and at ‘Middle Moor’. The maximum day count before any juveniles were seen was five on 31st May. Juveniles were seen from 19th June when two were on ‘Middle Moor’. On 26th June, two males were seen with five juveniles on the flooded workings across from Green Belt, with four more juveniles seen at ‘Middle Moor’. On 29th June there were three juveniles and three adults along Fisons’ Road, and four juveniles with a pair of adults along ‘Middle Moor’ Tram. On 26th May a nest with seven eggs was found, and by 8th June had seven fully-fledged young. On 1st June two more nests were found, one with six eggs the other with five young (both were later successful). A pair was present at Northern Goole Moor on a few dates, but breeding not proven there. First and last dates were 30th April-6th August.
Common Stonechat S. torquata (Amber list)
The main areas were the Shoulder o' Mutton, along Fisons' Road and the Canals area. Mostly only one or two birds were seen, the exceptions being three on four dates. On 11th January, a male and two female near the Shoulder o' Mutton. There were also three on 23rd January and 23rd October (on both occasions one male and two females at the Shoulder o' Mutton) and three females on 31st October, along Fisons’ Road. Last and first dates were 20th February a pair at the Shoulder o' Mutton and 16th October a female in the same place.
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
Records were from the flooded workings and the colliery spoil heap. On 27th March, two males and a female were at the flooded workings and a male was on the colliery spoil heap, plus one which flew over Pony Bridge Marsh. This was the maximum number until 17th April when there were five males and two females (three males Shoulder o’ Mutton and the rest on the colliery spoil heap). First and last dates were 27th March-3rd October.
Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus (Amber list)
The earliest ever was a male seen perched on Goole Moor, on 2nd April, but when it flew it was soon lost in the misty conditions (PB). A male flew over the colliery scrub to the spoil heap on 1st (WHP) and 5th May (CW).
Blackbird T. merula Amber list
Double figure counts included 15 on 1st January and 2nd May, but then no higher counts until October when there were 20+ on 3rd, 18 on 17th and 20+ on 26th. There were 25 on 19th December, 26 next day and 22 on 26th.
Fieldfare T. pilaris (Amber list)
Generally low figures, c. 900 on 26th October in the colliery area, being the best count. Monthly maxima were:
January 48, February 350, March 91, April 1, October 900, November 356, December 30+. Last and first dates were 2nd April-3rd October.
Song Thrush T. philomelos Red list
Most records came from Will Pits, with two males there regularly, and a maximum of six on 19th May; six were also recorded on 17th October. Other areas were the colliery area, Inkle Moor and the Paraffin area.
Redwing T. iliacus (Amber list)
A very poor year, few records were received and numbers were lower. Highest count for first half of year was five. In the latter part of the year notable counts were 250 on 16th October and 300 the next day. Last and first dates were 20th February-5th October.
Mistle Thrush T. viscivorus
Four juveniles were at the colliery buildings on 14th June. Records not from the colliery or recreation grounds were: one at Inkle Moor on 7th February, two over Mill Drain Marsh and back again on 27th May, and two at Inkle Moor on 23rd October. Also there was a record on 30th June of two adults with four juveniles on Goole Moor. Highest numbers of passage birds came from Crowle Moor, with 17 there on 29th August and 38 on 4th September, the latter record being a maximum for Thorne Moors (PB). Otherwise autumn maximum was six (at the colliery yard) on 23rd September and 9th October.
Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia Amber list
Maximum number was four, with three in the colliery area and one at Mill Drain on 5th June. The number of locations where male birds were heard would suggest a maximum of 11 males present. Area maxima were: S end Crowle Moor (one), colliery (three), Mill Drain/Marsh (two), Pony Bridge Marsh (one), Will Pits/Scrape (one), Shoulder o' Mutton (one), Collis’s Tram (one) and Green Belt (one). First and last dates were 11th April-18th July.
Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Males mainly heard. Fifteen were recorded on 19th May and this was the maximum. The number of locations where male birds were heard would suggest a possible maximum of 25 males present: Green Belt (three), colliery area (five), Rhododendron Path (three), Mill Drain/Marsh (one), Canals (one), W edge of the Moors (one), Inkle Moor Pond (two), ‘Middle Moor’ (seven), the flooded workings north of Fisons’ Road (one) and Will Pits Scrape (one). Nests were found in the colliery area on 5th June (with six well grown young) and another nest there on 8th June had three fledged young. First and last dates were 18th April-12th September.
Reed Warbler A. scirpaceus
Males mainly heard. Ten were recorded on 4th July. Area maxima were: colliery area (seven), Canals (six), Green Belt (six), W edge of the Moors (four) Swinefleet Warping Drain (one) and Inkle Moor (three). This gives a possible maximum of 27 males. On 23rd June young were being fed at the Rhododendron path. First and last dates were 17th April, the earliest ever –3rd September.
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
The first was at Green Belt on 25th April. One singing male was at Casson’s Marsh on 2nd May and in the colliery area from 5th May. One singing male at Mill Drain from 11th May, but two there, on 19th June. A singing bird was heard once from Inkle Moor on 5th May and similarly from the Shoulder o’ Mutton area on 19th May. Last date was 12th September. On the latter date two males were observed eating elderberries in the colliery area (note this was the only date with two males in this area, only one held territory).
Common Whitethroat S. communis
Counts rarely reached 10 or more, but there were 24 on 29th April, 32 on 2nd May, 17 on 5th May, 20 on 30th May, 15 on 4th July and 14 on 18th July. Two nests were found in the colliery area and both were successful; the first was found on 19th May. The second was seen on 15th June and had four fledged young. A laying bird, already having laid two eggs, was found at its nest in the Mill Drain area on 1st June. First and last dates were 24th April and 12th September, the latter involving two in the colliery area and one at Will Pits.
Garden Warbler S. borin
A maximum of eight on 19th May, all in Will Pits. Usually males heard, area maxima were: colliery area (one), Green Belt (one), Crowle Moor (one), Will Pits (four), Inkle Moor (one), Angle Drain (one), Paraffin area (one), Elmhirst (one), Rhododendron path (one), Rawcliffe Moor (three) and Southern Canals (one). This gives a possible maximum of 16 males. Of three males in the colliery area on 24th August, two were observed eating elderberries (note this was the only date with three males in this area, only one held territory). A nest found S of the Rhododendron pathhad four eggs on 28th May and three young were reared. First and last dates were 2nd May-13th September.
Blackcap S. atricapilla
Highest counts were 26 on 25th April, which is a new record count for Thorne Moors (BPW), and 18 on 5th May. Area maxima were: colliery area (three), Green Belt (one), Will Pits (16), Woodpecker Corner (one), Pony Bridge Wood (five), Inkle Moor (two), Northern Goole Moor (two) and the Paraffin area (one). This gives a possible maximum (excluding Crowle Moor) of 31 males holding territory. Three juveniles were seen on a colliery footpath, with an adult male and female, on 18th July. The first ones on 27th March (one at Elmhirst and one at Limberlost Wood) are the earliest ever record for Thorne Moors (JGH), and the last date was 3rd October (two males in the colliery area).
Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix
One very active adult bird was found at 8.15am on 15th August in trees and bushes on the SE edge of the colliery spoil heap (RJS). This is the fourth record for Thorne Moors.
Common Chiffchaff P. collybita
Usually males heard. Highest number was 10 on 11th April. Area maxima were: Will Pits (five), colliery area (six), Pony Bridge Wood (one), Green Belt (three), Rhododendron path (one), Inkle Moor (six). Fledged young were being fed in the colliery area on 31st May. This gives a possible maximum of 22 males holding territory. First and last dates were 17th March-17th October.
Willow Warbler P. trochilus
The commonest warbler on Thorne Moors, however there were no full counts, but one count on 29th April covered about a third of the Moors with a total of 86 singing males. A count of a different part of the Moors (N of Blackwater Dyke) a few days earlier on 24th April produced 22. The next highest count was 32 on 5th May. A nest was being constructed on 27th April (no site given) and on 31st May had six fledged young. On 1st June a pair of frenzied Willow Warblers were observed in the Northern Canals area, it was soon discovered that their behaviour was due to an Adder Vipera berus entering their nest in a tussock. The Adder devoured all the young chicks (RB). First and last dates were 1st April and 23rd September (one Green Belt).
Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Single figure counts only, except 20 on 26th October around Will Pits and the colliery. Last and first dates were 27th March-11th September.
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata (Red list)
There was only one spring record, of one bird at Woodpecker Corner on 19th May. Return passage produced single birds on the edge of the colliery spoil heap on 15th, 16th and 24th August. One was near Will Pits on 21st August, with another four at Northern Goole Moor. One was on Crowle Moor on 29th August and two were at Bell’s Pond on 3rd September.
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
Highest counts were 47 on 1st January, 41+ on 3rd October, 50+ on 26th October and 45 on 21st November. Mostly only single figures.
Willow Tit P. montanus Amber list
This is a steadily declining species, with fewer sightings and lower numbers for three or four years in succession. The maxima were six plus on 29th August and 23rd September and eight on 26th December. Bred near Bell’s Pond, where a sitting female was observed being fed by its mate on 5th May, and the young of this pair were being fed on 19th and 20th May.
Coal Tit P. ater
There were of two calling birds in the Yorkshire Triangle opposite Will Pits Scrape, on 4th November (FO). The other two records were from Collis’s Tram, which involved two on 31st May and one on 27th June.
Blue Tit P. caeruleus
Best count was 18 on 1st January. Few other counts were over ten.
Great Tit P. major
There were 11 on 14th March and this was the only double figure count.
Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
One was at Inkle Moor on 7th February and singles were at Will Pits on 21st November and 19th December.
Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus (Amber list)
On 15th June a immature male was seen in flight in the Southern Canals area, at about 8.00pm. It alighted in a birch where it watched a Common Cuckoo above, but it flew off as someone else approached (RB). A new species for Thorne Moors, subject to acceptance.
Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor
One was seen late morning at Inkle Moor meadows on 1st January, perched in a hawthorn hedge (RJS). In the late morning of 23rd October a (probable) male was found in birch scrub just W of ‘Middle Moor’ Tram and N of Angle Drain. The shrike did on one occasion fly across the tram to the scrub on the E. It was a warm day and the bird was feeding in characteristic manner on flying insects (Craneflies Tipulae). It also flew to the ground and caught beetles, but may also have caught other insects and tried to flush passerines. At one time it bathed and preened in some shallow water (RA, BPW).
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
Seen at the colliery area and W edge of the Moors to Woodpecker Corner mainly, with five the maximum on 13th July, and with four on 11th July. Four were also seen at Pony Bridge Marsh on 15th May. Three were recorded on 2nd May and 3rd October only.
Magpie Pica pica
The maxima were 21 on 15th August and 20+ on 26th October.
Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula
For this species as with Rook, there has been an increase in numbers of birds and their frequency. A single went SW over Pony Bridge Marsh on 28th March and 2nd April. One flew S over Shoulder o’ Mutton on 1st and 20th May. Eight flew E over Will Pits on 22nd August. Two flew over Will Pits on 12th September, and one flew N over the colliery area on 23rd September. In October, two flew W towards ‘Middle Moor’ on 2nd, one was recorded on 6th, on 9th one flew E over Shoulder o’ Mutton, one flew E over the colliery area on 17th, one flew E calling on 23rd, lastly two flew N over Jones’ Cable on 31st.
Rook C. frugilegus
On 31st January an unprecedented 84 went high NE over the Shoulder o’ Mutton. On 27th March two flew NE over Pony Bridge Wood. On 11th August the Thorne Moors record was broken again with 125 near Red House Farm (ML, BPW). In October, two flew over Rawcliffe Moor on 3rd, in the colliery area 18 flew W and one E on 6th, on 10th 35 flew N over S edge of the Moors, and on 16th 2 flew over the colliery going W.
Carrion Crow C. corone
There were 120 at Pony Bridge Marsh on 17th January and c.160 on 3rd October. On 25th April one flew along Elmhirst Tram carrying an egg. Eggshells were seen along this tram, they included eggs from the following species: Mallard, Wood Pigeon and Mistle Thrush. Probably a few pairs bred on the Moor; on 26th June 4 young were seen in a nest on Northern Goole Moor.
Monthly maxima were: January 120, February 38, March 50, April 30, May 69, June 23, July 38, August 61, September 52, October c.160, November 23, December 43.
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris (Amber List)
Present mainly at the colliery and at the flooded workings. Monthly maxima were: January 0, February 300+, March 1, April 22+, May 2, June 53, July 8, August 18, September 150+, Octoberc.6,500 (going E at dusk on 31st October), November 189+, December 4.
House Sparrow Passer domesticus
Most records were from the colliery area. Two flew E over the colliery towards the Moors on 6th May (BPW), two (a pair) were present in the same place on 16th and 31st May, and one was present again in the same place on 19th May. One male flew from Jones’ Cable to Woodpecker Corner on 5th September (RJS).
Tree Sparrow P. montanus
A pair bred at St. Helena Farm, with a maximum of five birds seen (PB).
Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
The largest counts came from a colliery roost. On 3rd January there were 21, and 15 on 17th January, which is well down on the same time last year. A pair were nesting in the colliery area on 26th May and had four young. Monthly maxima were: January 21, February 1+, March 17, April 7, May 23, June 4, July 1, August 14+, September 11, October 30, November 3, December 12.
Brambling F. montifringilla (Amber list)
Four records: two were feeding with Common Chaffinches at Casson’s Garden on 17th March. One flew over Will Pits Scrape on 17th October, one flew over Green Belt calling on 25th October, and one flew over Will Pits Scrape on 19th December.
Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
The highest counts concerned the mixed roosts in the colliery area, but numbers for this species were also well down on that time last year. The best was 80+ on 20th March. Monthly maxima were: January 40+, February 0, March 80+, April 1+, May 12, June 2, July 1+, August 20+, September 24, October 2+, November 7, December 50.
Goldfinch C. carduelis (Amber list)
Frequently present in the colliery area, in small numbers, but also elsewhere. Monthly maxima were: January 11, February 3, March 6, April 3, May 2, June 3, July 6, August 24, September 40+, October 40+, November 16, December 12.
Siskin C. spinus
In August, one flew over Crowle Moor on 6th and one was in Will Pits on 29th. In September at Will Pits, 25+ were there (with odd individuals flying over elsewhere) on 12th, two were there on 23rd and five were there on 24th. In October, one was at Will Pits on 9th and 10th and three were there, with another two at Woodpecker Corner, on 26th. On 16th December six were feeding at the Alder Woods, and on 20th December c.30 were there.
Linnet C. cannabina Red list
Along Fisons’ Road or at the flooded workings, small flocks were often encountered, with 12 there on 24th April. A nest was found in the Mill Drain area on 1st June. Monthly maxima were: January 1, February 5, March 10, April 15, May 23, June 10, July 20, August 23, September 50+, October 43, November 0, December 6.
Twite C. flavirostris (Red list)
On 25th October one flew across Fisons’ Road to the flooded workings calling (WHP).
Common Redpoll C. flammea
Numbers of this species have crashed, with a single bird on 1st January at Shoulder o’ Mutton, and at the colliery area on 1st May. On 5th May, one was at Pony Bridge Marsh, with another in the colliery area. A single was at Green Belt on 19th May, and one flew over Green Belt on 28th May. Monthly maxima were: January 1+, February 0, March 0, April 3, May 1, June 0, July 2, August 0, September 0, October 110, November 15, December 35. Summer records were a single on 1st, 2nd, 5th, 8th, 19th and 28th May, and two on 8th July.
Common Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula Red list
Highest number was 10 on 26th October (colliery area and Will Pits) and 12th December, when there were five in the colliery area and five at Will Pits; nine on 9th January and 20th February. Seven or eight were seen on a number of dates in these areas. Other areas were Inkle Moor, the Rhododendron path, the Canals towpath, around the colliery area and Green Belt Tram. Breeding took place at Inkle Moor, where two nests were found on 17th May, containing five and six eggs respectively. These were later found to have been successful. A second brood was found in one of the nests, on 7th June. Monthly maxima were: January 9, February 9+, March 8, April 4, May 3, June 2, July 1, August 4, September 4+, October 10, November 4, December 10.
Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
Single figure counts mainly, but exceptionally high numbers were seen in cornfields near Inkle Moor on 7th (70+) and 13th February (40+). 12 were seen together on 14th March. Eight were seen, mostly at Pony Bridge Marsh on 3rd May. One or two were often seen around the colliery. Monthly maxima were: January 37, February 70+, March 12, April 8, May 5, June 9, July 4, August 7, September 4, October 9, November 3, December 1.
Reed Bunting E. schoeniclus Red list
Following a breeding survey by Andrew Brown in 1998 a second survey was done in 1999. As many as 80 to 100 individuals were recorded on the census this year, (although day counts were obviously lower) showing the importance of Thorne Moors for this declining species.
A total of 27 were seen on 27th March in the Will Pits Scrape, Pony Bridge Marsh area, and 30 were recorded on the following day. There were 16 on 27th May, and 15 on 3rd April, ten of which were at Pony Bridge Marsh. On 30th March 14 males were seen together at Shearburn & Pitts Drain. Monthly maxima were: January 12, February 15+, March 30, April 15+, May 27, June 32, July 14+, August 15+, September 15+, October 55, November 7, December 9.
[Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
The following record, though from Goole Fields and just beyond the recording area, is relevant to this sites avifaunal record. Two were feeding on barley mixed in with straw that had been placed in the bottom of a newly dug out pond at Moorfield’s Farm on 7th March (PB).]
[Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra (Red list)
The following records, though from Goole Fields and just beyond the recording area, are relevant to this sites avifaunal record. On 2nd April 15 were present NW of the Moors. One was the (singing) resident male of a pair and the other birds were just passing through. The resident pair in this area was seen on 24th April and three were seen there on 15th May (PB). One at Swinefleet Mill on 10th June (SO, FO).]
List of Observers
Richard Atterby, Peter Baxter, Robert Broch, Andrew Brown, Karl Charters, Nick C. Dawtrey, Lance J. Degnan, Clive Featherstone, Philip Gibson, Steve Hiner, John G. Hitchcock, Jim Johnson, Martin Limbert, Mark Mainwaring, Frank Oates, Stanley Oates, David Parlett, D.J. Prest, William H. Priestley, Janet M. Roworth, Peter C. Roworth, Adrian Scutt, P.J.W. Smith, Richard J. Sprakes, Peter Storey, L.N. Sutton, Bryan P. Wainwright, Colin Wall, Dr David Walsh, Michael Walsh, Richard Ward, A. Warmby, Steve Warrillow, Rob Watson, Dave Woodhouse, John Wozencroft, A. Zabukas.
Thanks to Martin Limbert for help and advice in compiling this report, and also to Peter Roworth for proof-reading and printing the report.