Thorne Moors Bird Report 2003
Compiled by Bryan P. Wainwright
English and scientific names, and sequence of birds, follow the List of Birds of the Western Palearctic (British Birds Ltd, 1997)
Swan spp. Cygnus
A pair of distant swans that flew from the colliery area to the flooded workings on 3rd April, were probably Mutes. The pair was sighted again over the colliery area the following day. Six wintering swans were present north of Shearburn & Pitts Drain from 25th November to 8th December, mainly on Goole Moor and Goole Fields, and were considered to be Whooper Swans, though this was not confirmed. A single bird that flew in to the Paraffin Cuttings on 18th December, was probably a Mute Swan.
Mute Swan C. olor (Amber list)
A pair landed at the Shoulder o Mutton on 9th March and three were noted at Will Pits Scrape on 30th March. A single was present on 15th April, an adult flew north west on 17th, and on 23rd April, one was at Rawcliffe Moor. Four flew south along Swinefleet Warping Drain on 16th June. Two again passed south, over Will Pits, on 18th November.
Whooper Swan C. cygnus (Amber list)
On 14th March, 19 were present on the flooded workings with three Tundra Swans. This rose to 26 on 22nd March.
Tundra Swan C. columbianus (Amber list)
On 14th March three were present on the flooded workings with 19 Whooper Swans (SH).
Goose spp. Anser
Around 65 very distant geese passed west on 27th November, calls could not be heard.
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus (Amber list)
On 28th February 46 calling geese passed north from over the colliery area. A party of 33 were resting at the flooded workings on 4th October, and on 11th October a skein of 150+ headed north over the Canals area. A single was present on the flooded workings with five Canada Geese and around 80+ Greylags on 9th November. On 5th December 150+ flew over Goole Moor.
Greylag Goose A. anser Amber list
Two adults with two unfledged young were present at the flooded workings on 15th May, and three young were present at the same area on 16th July. On 5th August, there were four adults with four young at the same area.
Monthly maxima were: January 66, February 6, March 26, April 13, May 13, June 12, July 10, August 80+, September 120, October 100+, November 120, December 120+.
Canada Goose Branta canadensis
Monthly maxima were: January 5, February nc, March 22, April 2, May nc, June 21, July 5, August 24, September nc, October 110+, November 5, December nc.
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna (Amber list)
Monthly maxima were: January 1, February 6, March 10, April 12-14, May 32, June 13, July nc, August nc, September nc, October 1, November nc, December 1.
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope (Amber list)
Seen mainly in January and February, with odd records in most other months, maximum was 165 on 1st January.
Gadwall A. strepera Amber list
Monthly maxima were: January 2, February 15, March 10, April 21, May 3, June 2, July nc, August nc, September nc, October nc, November nc, December 3.
Eurasian Teal A. crecca Amber list
Monthly maxima were: January 130, February 100+, March 80+, April c.65, May 29, June 6, Julyc.20, August 244, September 121, October 70+, November 40, December 60+.
Mallard A. platyrhynchos
Ducklings were observed at both Will Pits Scrape and the flooded workings on 27th April. A female was seen with seven young on 1st June along Shoulder o Mutton Tram.
Monthly maxima were: January 200+, February 300+, March 30, April 12, May 38, June 17, July nc, August 200+, September nc, October c.200, November c.200, December 150+.
Northern Pintail A. acuta (Amber list)
A male was seen at the flooded workings on 1st January, and two males were seen at Will Pits Scrape on 3rd January. Three female types were present on 14th September and four birds were present on 17th October, both records at the flooded workings.
Northern Shoveler A. clypeata Amber list
A new all time maximum was set on 14th September, when 79 were present at Will Pits Scrape (RJS).
Monthly maxima were: January 11, February 6, March 39, April 34, May 13, June 12, July nc, August 48, September 79, October 20, November nc, December nc.
Common Pochard Aythya ferina (Amber list)
A male was present with Tufted Ducks at Will Pits Scrape on 3rd January and a male was at the same location on 16th February. A female was at the flooded workings on 9th March.
Tufted Duck A. fuligula
Monthly maxima were: January 8, February 4, March 11, April 12, May 2, June 3, July nc, August nc, September nc, October nc, November nc, December nc.
Goosander Mergus merganser
Five female/immatures were flushed from flooded workings north-west of Will Pits on 3rd January and flew south-east. Later the same day four passed high overhead travelling east, one of which was a male. A male was present at Will Pits Scrape on 19th January.
Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
Seen mainly at Will Pits Scrape or the flooded workings. Maximum was 10 on 15th September at Will Pits Scrape (FO, BP). First and last dates were 16th March and 17th October.
Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
Maximum of 14 was on 22nd September and 26th November.
Monthly maxima were: January nc, February 12, March 2, April 4, May 4, June 4, July nc, August nc, September 14, October 5, November 14, December 3.
Grey Partridge Perdix perdix Red list
Maximum of 12 was on 8th December, near Scotts disused mill. At Bank Top two adults were with their 12 newly hatched chicks on 21st July.
Monthly maxima were: January nc, February 2, March 2, April 2, May 2, June 1, July 2 and 12 unfledged young, August nc, September 10, October 8, November 10, December 12.
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
Maximum was c.30 on 16th February and 3rd October.
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
First and last dates were 9th March at the Paraffin Cuttings and 20th September at the flooded workings. Maximum was four on 16th March, with two present at the flooded workings and two at Will Pits Scrape.
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
An immature bird was seen on the flooded workings on 20th (BH) and 21st July (BPW), on the latter date it flew towards Will Pits Scrape.
Black-necked Grebe P. nigricollis Amber list
The first was noted on 19th March, two had returned by 30th March and three were present from 4th April. By 19th April there were three, the last one was on 5th June.
Northern Gannet Sula bassana (Amber list)
An observer (RW) who was standing on the observation stack at the eastern part of the flooded workings saw a juvenile Northern Gannet come in very low over his head from the north-east at 13.30 on 10th October, before it turned and headed off low north-west over Goole Moor. What was undoubtedly the same juvenile must then have turned back to its original heading of south-west as it flew low over Fisons Road at Creykes towards the Paraffin area at 14.00, and continued on that heading till out of sight. This is the third moorland record (BPW, SP).
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo (Amber list)
All records came from the flooded workings, the first being of one going east over the flooded workings on 12th April and two heading east on 17th April. In May, one flew over on 8th and three came east over the western edge of the moors before heading off high north-west on 21st; three were seen later the same day over the northern edge of the moors before heading east. Three flew east on 1st June, with a further three going over west on 23rd August. Three birds, which may have flown off the water at the flooded workings, were flying north on 27th October.
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Usually encountered singly, with records of two being uncommon. Two were seen going north over Green Belt on 26th May and a further two were noted heading east over the flooded workings on 11th 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. A comma between records of the same date means separate records. Depending on views, the same bird of prey may be recorded differently by different observers. Totals are the minimum possible numbers, calculated for all areas, plumages and observers for that day. For example with Marsh Harrier, which may be recorded as a female by one observer and as a cream-crown by another, is counted as one bird, therefore only the minimum possible number of birds per day is assumed. All are adult birds, unless otherwise stated. Some birds remain not aged and/or sexed due to distance or poor views.
Eurasian Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus (Amber list)
There were 74 records, a good increase on last year; arrival was earlier than last year, and they remained to the years end.
24th February 2, 1 male and 1 female flooded workings
08th March 1 female flooded workings
12th March 1 adult female flooded workings
14th March 1 female
07th April 1 cream-crown Mill Drain
14th April 1 cream-crown flooded workings
28th April 2, 1 immature male and 1 adult female flooded workings
29th April 1 female Mill Drain Marsh
30th April 1 immature male flood workings
01st May 2, 1 male, 1 adult female
03rd May 1 female flooded workings
06th May 1 female Paraffin
07th May 1 female Paraffin
09th May 2, 1 male, 1 female
10th May 2, 1 male Mill Drain Marsh
12th May 1 cream-crown Middle Moor
16th May 1 cream-crown Mill Drain
19th May 1
21st May 1 female flooded workings
22nd May 1 male flooded workings
25th May 1 cream-crown flooded workings
26th May 1 cream-crown Shoulder o' Mutton Tram
28th May 1 male Pony Bridge Tram Marsh
01st June 1 cream-crown fields west of Creykes
02nd June 1 male flooded workings
25th June 1 second-year male Goole Moor
25th July 1 juvenile flooded workings
03rd August 1 cream-crown flooded workings
04th August 1 juvenile flooded workings
05th August 1 juvenile flooded workings
10th August 1 cream-crown flooded workings
11th August 1 juvenile flooded workings
13th August 1 female
14th August 1 adult male flooded workings
15th August 1 juvenile flooded workings
18th August 2, 1 juvenile and 1 male flooded workings
19th August 1 juvenile flooded workings
21st August 2 Pony Bridge Marsh
22nd August 1 juvenile flooded workings
23rd August 1 female flooded workings
25th August 1 brown bird Canals
27th August 3, 2 cream-crowns flooded workings, 1 female Pony Bridge Marsh
29th August 2, 1 cream-crown Will Pits, 1 male flooded workings
31st August 3 cream-crowns including a female flooded workings
01st September 1 juvenile and a cream-crown flooded workings
02nd September 1 juvenile flooded workings
03rd September 2, 1 adult male and 1 juvenile flooded workings
04th September 2, 1 juvenile and 1 female flooded workings
05th September 2 both cream-crowns mobbed by Eurasian Sparrowhawk at Bank Top
09th September 1 juvenile flooded workings
11th September 2 cream-crowns Canals area
12th September 2-3, 1 cream-crown Paraffin and 2 cream-crowns Will Pits Scrape
14th September 1 cream-crown generally
15th September 3, 1 cream-crown flooded workings, 2 unaged
23rd September 1 Canals area
24th September 1 cream-crown Goole Moor
25th September 2, 1 juvenile cream-crown and 1 female flooded workings
27th September 2, 1 cream-crown Pony Bridge Marsh mobbed by Carrion Crows and a Common Kestrel, 1 female Southern Canals
30th September 1 juvenile flooded workings
11th October 1 flooded workings mobbed by 20 Carrion Crows
13th October 2, 1 female 1 second-year male flooded workings
14th October 1 cream-crown Canals area
15th October 1 cream-crown Pony Bridge Marsh
16th October 1 cream-crown flooded workings
17th October 2, 1 adult female and a juvenile flooded workings
21st October 1
09th November 1 cream-crown Will Pits
23rd November 1 cream-crown flooded workings
27th November 3 immature cream-crowns flooded workings
30th November 1 cream-crown flooded workings
14th December 1 cream-crown flooded workings
18th December 1 immature cream-crown Paraffin
27th December 1 immature cream-crown over flooded workings
28th December 1 brown bird flooded workings
Hen Harrier C. cyaneus (Red list)
There were 36 records, a good increase on last year; they remained later in the year and returned earlier than last year.
01st January 1 ringtail Shoulder o Mutton Tram to Alder Woods
03rd January 1 female north of Shoulder o Mutton Tram
05th January 1 ringtail Southern Canals
08th January 1 adult female off ground Mill Drain Marsh
12th January 2-3 ringtails from roost at English Natures field at Whaley Balk, 1 ringtail Swinefleet Warping Drain
19th January 2, 1 male and 1 female Pony Bridge Marsh
22nd January 1 female from roost English Natures field at Whaley Balk along Inkle Moor
28th January 1 female Creykes
01st February 1 female Southern Canals
02nd February 1 ringtail Elmhirst Tram
04th February 1 from south along colliery area to English Natures field, possibly a second distant bird
05th February 1 immature female quartering Middle Moor and Pony Bridge Marsh
08th February 1 female Creykes
10th February 1 female Bank Top,
16th February 1 ringtail Will Pits Scrape
28th February 2, 1 ringtail Green Belt and Paraffin and a male elsewhere
09th March 2 ringtails flooded workings
13th March 1 female flooded workings
24th March 1 ringtail Mill Drain
27th March 1 female flooded workings
02nd April 1 ringtail Goole Moor north of Will Pits
03rd April 2 females Canals area
04th April 1 ringtail
05th April 1 female Canals area
12th May 1 ringtail Middle Moor
04th October 1 ringtail Southern Canals
07th October 1 female Canals area
22nd October 1 female Canals area
21st October 1 female from ground over Paraffin
14th November 1 female Canals area
16th November 1 ringtail Goole Moor
23rd November 1 ringtail Mill Drain
24th November 1 female harrying Common Pheasants at flooded workings opposite blue bridge
25th November 1 female landed Mill Drain near blue bridge
14th December 1 female Paraffin area
16th December 2, 1 male and 1 female Middle Moor
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
A male was flushed from the ground clutching a live male Blackbird, near the Paraffin area on 13th October, the Sparrowhawk released its grateful prey as the observer approached and it flew off. Breeding was noted at the northern end of Crowle Moor.
Monthly maxima were: January 2, February 2, March 1, April 2, May 1, June 1, July 1, August 2, September 2, October 3, November 2, December 1.
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
27th August 1 came from Crowle Moor and landed in a tree at Will Pits Scrape close to English Natures shed, but was so harassed by Carrion Crows it flew off northwards (RW)
27th September 1 over Southern Canals to Woodpecker Wood mobbed by 2 Common Kestrels (RJS, WHP)
28th September 1 (BH)
03rd October 1 over flooded workings mobbed by a Carrion Crow
09th October 1 from blue bridge going south (BH)
10th October 1 from Shoulder o Mutton to Will Pits (RW)
27th September 1 Southern Canals (RH)
30th November 1 from Mill Drain Marsh to Will Pits Scrape (RW)
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus Amber list
Recorded every month. Maximum was five in the air together on 11th April.
Monthly maxima were: January 2, February 3, March 4, April 5, May 4, June 3, July 1, August 2, September 3, October 2, November nc, December 2.
Merlin F. columbarius (Amber list)
04th January 1 Will Pits
04th February 1 Will Pits
27th August 1 female flooded workings, trailing a cream-crown Marsh Harrier for flushed prey (RJS)
16th September 1 Goole Moor
10th October 1 male Mill Drain Marsh
30th November 1 male Middle Moor
05th December 1 female west end of the flooded workings
Eurasian Hobby F. subbuteo
There were 37 records, a few more than last year, they arrived on the same date as last year and remained later. There were few sightings of juveniles this year. Best viewing is from the observation platform, or from Fisons Road looking north over the flooded workings.
28th April 1 Mill Drain
30th April 2 Rawcliffe Moor
13th May 1 Middle Moor
15th May 2 Yorkshire Triangle
19th May 1 Pony Bridge Tram
24th May 2 western edge of moors
29th May 2 Middle Moor
01st June 1 Middle Moor
04th June 1 Middle Moor
11th June 1 Middle Moor
14th June 2 Canals
20th June 1 over west end of flooded workings
24th June 5
27th June 5, Southern Canals and Middle Moor, 2 were talon grappling
11th July 2 Crowle Moor
21st July 2 Yorkshire Triangle
23rd July 1 adult Middle Moor
24th July 1 Yorkshire Triangle
27th July 2, 1 Yorkshire Triangle, 1 Shoulder o Mutton
28th July 2 Yorkshire Triangle
29th July 1 Yorkshire Triangle
30th July 1 Yorkshire Triangle
01st August 1 juvenile flooded workings
03rd August 3 Middle Moor
07th August 2 Goole Moor
10th August 1 flooded workings
13th August 1 Shoulder o Mutton Tram
21st August 2, 1 stooped at by Peregrine Falcon
22nd August 1
27th August 3 flooded workings
28th August 1 flooded workings
29th August 1 flooded workings
21st August 2 flooded workings
12th September 1 flooded workings
14th September 2 adults flooded workings
15th September 1 Pony Bridge Marsh
24th September 1 Canal Towpath
Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus (Amber list)
There were 50 records, which is a large increase on last year.
03rd January 1 adult female west side of Will Pits
12th January 1 immature male flooded workings
11th February 1 female combating with a male Eurasian Sparrowhawk over Creykes (SH)
08th March 1 female at flooded workings took Mallard
09th March 1 female flooded workings
02nd April 1 male east of Paraffin area
07th April 1 Goole Moor
08th April 1 Paraffin
09th April 1 male near Paraffin
10th April 1 male Goole Moor
18th April 2, 1 male and 1 female west end flooded workings
06th June 1 male north of Paraffin area
08th June 1 male flooded workings
09th June 1 north of 'S' bend Fisons' Road
13th June 1 immature female near Alder Woods
23rd June 1 immature female Goole Moor Tram
25th June 1 immature female Goole Moor
30th June 1 female west end flooded workings
04th July 1 immature female eating pigeon
07th July 1 immature female Snaith & Cowick Moor
03rd August 1 immature Middle Moor chasing a feral Rock Dove
07th August 1 near adult at west end of flooded workings
13th August 1 immature
21st August 1 stooped at a Eurasian Hobby
22nd August 1 adult male flooded workings
27th August 1 adult male flooded workings
28th August 1 immature flooded workings
29th August 1 adult male flooded workings
31st August 1 female mobbing a male Eurasian Sparrowhawk at flooded workings
01st September 2, 1 adult male flooded workings, 1 juvenile female Creykes
12th September 2, 1 immature female was mobbed on the ground at the flooded workings by a Eurasian Hobby, it then flew off and disturbed a female Eurasian Marsh Harrier from the ground and soared with it, with the Eurasian Hobby above, also 1 male in the same area (RW)
14th September 1 male flooded workings
24th September 1 female Paraffin area
25th September 1 juvenile Goole Moor
30th September 1 small immature male Goole Moor Tram
05th October 1 immature female flooded workings
11th October 1 Paraffin
14th October 1 flooded workings
15th October 1 immature male Will Pits Scrape
17th October 1 juvenile flooded workings
21st October 1
22nd October 1 juvenile female flooded workings
19th November 2, 1 adult male and 1 juvenile female over flooded workings north of Green Belt
27th November 1 male
28th November 1 male near Paraffin
30th November 3, 1 immature female flew at a male Merlin on the ground west of Will Pits, the Merlin flew off towards Middle Moor. Moments later 2 different Peregrine Falcons flew fast and calling into Will Pits Scrape, before splitting up (RW)
03rd December 1 juvenile male Goole Moor
14th December 2, 1 adult male and 1 immature female, former chasing Mallards at flooded workings
15th December 2, 1 adult male and 1 immature female Goole Moor
27th December 1 adult female flew from Goole Moor to Rawcliffe Moor, then perched on peat
Water Rail Rallus aquaticus Amber list
Widely recorded throughout the moors, usually singly, maximum number was three on 12th January, with one heard at Will Pits Scrape and two seen separately along Middle Moor Tram at the junction at Pony Bridge Marsh.
Common Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
A common and widespread species, with the highest count being 30+ on 6th February.
Monthly maxima were: January 1, February 30+, March 13, April 13, May 7, June 3, July 5, August 2, September 4, October , November nc, December 6.
Common Coot Fulica atra
There were no records for the period outside end of March to end of July. Maximum count was 10 at Will Pits Scrape on 27th April.
Generally waders are found at the flooded workings north of Fisons Road, unless otherwise stated.
Eurasian Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus (Amber list)
Occasional single birds are seen as on 25th February, 12th April, 9th May, 26th May and 16th June. Two were seen on 25th May and a party of eight were seen at the flooded workings on 9th August, before taking off east (WHP).
Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus (Red list)
On 24th July, at 12.40, BPW was at work driving a tractor along a route immediately south of Goole Moor Tram, and had reached a point directly north of the Shoulder o’ Mutton. Something ran on the dusty peat ahead and to the left of the tractor, and then flew up 3-4m from the ground and headed left at right angles to the observer. After stopping the tractor, the area where the bird had landed was viewed, this was around 150m away in pioneer Heather Calluna vulgaris (c.10cm tall), but there was no further sign as the bird had presumably crouched and frozen. BPW was certain that it was a Stone-curlew and phoned out news to several people at the time. The area was searched later after work with optics but the bird could not be relocated.
English Natures staff were asked for permission to release the news to the bird information services (the procedure we have to follow upon finding a rare bird), I also phoned local birders and told my work colleagues. I was informed that I must not release news to the general public, only local birders, and that there would be serious consequences if I did. The reason given for withholding the news was because Scott’s used the area in question for running large machinery about the moor (as I was doing) and this not only created a great deal of dust, but could pose health and safety risks if large crowds gathered.
On 27th July, at 13.00, RJS phoned BPW, to say he had re-located the Stone-curlew in the original area and had seen it as close as a few metres! BPW and AM then joined RJS and got excellent views as it fed along the water’s edge, sometimes running plover-like and at times becoming motionless for some minutes, sometimes squatting but always alert. After around 45 minutes KB arrived and viewed its head as it again rested crouched behind a small rise. Observations continued a while longer before we all departed, no one else was expected or did turn up, despite our continued attempts to contact local birders.
The last observation of the bird was by ML on the evening of 28th July, in the original area. It was last seen by him to fly low across the county boundary (Blackwater Dike) from Goole Moor, East Yorkshire to Thorne Moors, South Yorkshire and out of sight, it was not possible to tell if it landed.
The bird was a colour-ringed juvenile, with a red plastic ring on the left leg and green ring above orange on the right leg; the bird was almost certainly ringed in East Anglia by the RSPB (awaiting confirmation from the RSPB Stone-curlew Project Officer). This is the second site record following an observation of an adult bird on 17th June 1990. A description has been submitted to the Yorkshire Naturalists' Union Ornithological Section Reports Committee.
Little Plover Charadrius dubius
Records came from the flooded workings north of Fisons Road and the colliery spoil mounds. Breeding took place in an area of flooded workings south of Fisons Road, where a nest with four eggs was located on 20th June. Subsequent sightings followed and included an adult on the road giving an injured wing display on 17th July, which strongly suggested the first chick had hatched (BPW). A single chick was seen with an adult on 22nd and 23rd July (SG). First and last dates were 17th April and 23rd August.
Ringed Plover C. hiaticula Amber list
Sightings were from the flooded workings. Maximum count for spring passage was of 16 on 21st May, counts for autumn passage were lower with six on two dates, 31st August and the last date, which was the only record from Will Pits Scrape. First and last dates were 25th March and 20th September.
European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria
Flocks are often found on fields surrounding the moors, especially those to the south where 250 were located on 12th January. A flock of up to 200 were in fields towards Inkle Moor through most of October. Landed parties at the flooded workings are uncommon, but 20+ were landed there on 23rd November. Otherwise larger counts are restricted to parties over-flying the moors between their feeding fields. Around 150 flew south across the moors on 23rd December.
Grey Plover P. squatarola (Amber list)
A calling bird headed west on 3rd January.
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus Amber list
Maximum count was on 10th August.
Monthly maxima were: January 10, February 48, March 17, April 6, May 10, June 9, July 140+, August 800+, September 60+, October 100+, November nc, December 39.
Little Stint C. minuta
Three on 9th August were followed by one on 3rd September, with a further single on 20th September.
Curlew Sandpiper C. ferruginea
A full summer adult was seen on 3rd August at the flooded workings.
Dunlin C. alpina (Amber list)
Passage in spring and autumn was in low numbers with few counts in double figures; the years maximum was 20 on 22nd August.
Monthly maxima were: January nc, February nc, March 2, April 10+, May 2, June nc, July 8, August 20, September 7, October 17, November 1, December 3.
Ruff Philomachus pugnax (Amber List)
All but the last record was in August, with eight on 9th, two on 14th and seven on 22nd and 23rd. Lastly two were at the flooded workings on 14th September.
Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus (Amber list)
A single was at the west end of the Shoulder o Mutton Tram on 10th October. One was along Goole Moor Tram on 20th October. Two were found by a small pool of water on Goole Moor, and were very approachable, on 2nd and 3rd December. One was along Canal 6 at the Eastern Boundary Tram on 28th December.
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago Amber list
A displaying bird was observed at the Southern Canals on 5th April. Five were heard drumming from the observation platform on 14th June.
Monthly maxima were: January 18, February 2, March 5, April 3, May 3, June 1, July 1, August 11, September 4, October 6, November 3, December 3.
Eurasian Woodcock Scolopax rusticola Amber list
Sometimes seen before dawn in wooded areas, as along Fisons Road through Will Pits on 12th January (two), 2nd (four), 3rd (two) and 12th April (one). Also seen in other areas as at Crowle Moor with one on 23rd February, and along Elmhirst Tram with one on 14th December.
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa (Red list)
On 9th May 12 were observed at the flooded workings with 50 seen later flying south from the colliery spoil mounds. A single was seen on 1st June. A flock of 13 flew around widely on 28th July. At the flooded workings poor views of eight were seen as they flew south on 29th July and two were seen there on 9th August. Finally 36 were in the same area on 23rd August.
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus (Amber list)
One was flushed from the west end of the flooded workings on 27th April and one flew north-west on 3rd August.
Eurasian Curlew N. arquata Amber list
Spring passage was very light with no more than two on any date, commencing with a single at the flooded workings on 9th March. Two pairs attempted breeding north-west of the Shoulder o Mutton; and four were seen there on 13th April, with at least one pair successful. An adult and young were seen on 3rd and 4th June, and two other adults were seen elsewhere. Autumn passage was also light with generally singles seen as on 9th August, and the maximum was four north on 27th August.
Common Redshank Tringa totanus Amber list
Single figures observed throughout the year, no signs of attempts to breed were noted, except for two giving display on 21st May and display flights on 28th April.
Common Greenshank T. nebularia
Spring records provided low counts, with the first being of three on 17th April. Return passage commenced with two on 28th July, and the last record was a single on 24th September. Maximum was eight on 10th August.
Lesser Yellowlegs T. flavipes
Found by Jon OMally, Julie Blake, Martin Stoakes and Karl Stoakes at around 17.00 on the evening of 27th April, on a large shallow flooded area immediately north of Fisons Road near Green Belt. WHP, BPW and KB and at least 10 other birders observed it at 18.15, with two Common Greenshanks and one Common Redshank, it was watched on the ground, in flight and was heard to call. The bird remained until dark on this first date (RJS).
On 28th April, the bird was present in the place it was originally found. The bird flew off twice in an 11 hour observation, once at 13.00 with three Common Greenshanks, returning unobserved, and again at 13.50 high north-north-west, returning unobserved. It remained the rest of the day and was photographed by John Harriman.
On 29th and 30th April and 1st May it was observed in the same original area and last sighting was on 2nd May, when a single Wood Sandpiper was also present. At least 300 visitors were counted over these days. This is an addition to the Thorne Moors species list. Descriptions have been sent to BBRC and await a decision.
Green Sandpiper T. ochropus (Amber list)
There was a single bird in the first half of the year, on 17th and 18th April. There were a few more records from July onwards, with mainly singles encountered. Maximum was five on 28th July, with three at Green Belt Scrape and two at the flooded workings. Singles were seen into winter.
Wood Sandpiper T. glareola (Amber List)
Two were observed at the west end of the flooded workings on 30th April, with a single present in the same area on 2nd May. Autumn passage provided a single at the flooded workings towards the west end of the Shoulder o Mutton Tram on 12th September, and a single nearby on 23rd October.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
A few records of single birds were obtained on 29th April, 3rd, 4th, 6th, 9th and 22nd August.
Except for Black-headed Gulls, 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, though many gulls would land, bathe, preen and drink before continuing to a different roost site, which was often north-east towards the River Humber. Other gulls did not stop at all and just over-flew to/from other roost sites. This was more often the case in mornings when gulls had departed their roosts and were eager to reach feeding grounds. Counts of gulls were not made systematically.
Little Gull Larus minutus
A first-summer with pinkish underside was with Black-headed Gulls at their colony at the flooded workings immediately north of Fisons Road on 21st May. A second paler first-summer bird was later seen at the same place (RJS).
Black-headed Gull L. ridibundus (Amber list)
There were three main colonies this year, and conservative counts of sitting birds were taken in May. This put breeding numbers at 400 pairs at Will Pits Scrape, 408 pairs at the flooded workings north of Shearburn & Pitts Drain, and 80 pairs at the flooded workings north of Fisons Road. This gives a total of 888 pairs, which is well down on last years record count of 1400 pairs, but nevertheless the second highest ever breeding count. The first chicks were noted on 21st May, when one was present at Will Pits Scrape. Roost counts outside the breeding season were few, the best being 139 to roost on 4th January.
Monthly maxima were: January 139, February 108, March 470, April 1017, May 1776, Junec.1776, July nc, August nc, September nc, October 100+, November 7, December 6.
Two visits were made to ring young this year and 365 pulli were ringed at Thorne (PB).
Of birds ringed in previous years the following account and records are given. Four young were ringed as pulli (nestlings), the first two were also colour ringed (red darvic ring, white letters). Using colour ringing we have had three sightings involving two birds both of which were wintering in the Gloucester area. The last two birds were metal ringed only, but the same observer managed to read the metal ring numbers for both birds. These were the first to Eire. Note the rapid movement made by EG89896.
EG81189, 15/06/2002 Thorne Moors, South Yorkshire, Red 2J77, 20/03/2003 Slimbridge, Gloucester 278 days, 233 km
EG81199, 15/06/2002 Thorne Moors, South Yorkshire, Red 2J86, 17/12/2003 Gloucester Landfill, Gloucester 185 days, 218 km, 02/01/2003 Gloucester Landfill, Gloucester 210 days, 218 km
EG81011, 02/06/2001 Thorne Moors, South Yorkshire, 26/11/2003 Galway, Galway, Eire 907 days, 542 km
EG89896 31/05/2003 Thorne Moors, South Yorkshire 22/09/2003 Galway, Galway, Eire 114 days, 542 km
Mew Gull L. canus (Amber list)
Often observed over-flying the moors, or on marginal fields between Whaley Balk and Inkle Moor. Records of landed birds from the peat moors are infrequent and only single-figure day counts were obtained.
Monthly maxima were: January 6, February 1, March 4, April 1, May nc, June nc, July nc, August 1, September nc, October nc, November 1, December 8.
Lesser Black-backed Gull L. fuscus (Amber list)
The commonest species of gull in summer (May-September) and regularly roosts on the moors. Observed roosting on the moors from late June onwards, the years highest count was from a roost at the west end of the flooded workings on 7th July.
Monthly maxima were: January nc, February nc, March 2+, April 85+, May 300, June 200, July 600, August nc, September 400, October nc, November nc, December nc.
Herring Gull L. argentatus (Amber list)
Generally the commonest non-breeding species and regularly roosts on the moors. The years highest counts were associated with roosts. Some unseasonably high counts, as in May, are associated with large movements of gulls from wintering areas to breeding areas, these late stragglers are often immature non-breeders. The years highest count on 22nd January was of birds coming in to roost on the moors.
Monthly maxima were: January 1168, February 123, March 10, April 40, May 600, June nc, July nc, August nc, September 30, October 10, November 137, December 70.
Great Black-backed Gull L. marinus
Again unseasonably high counts can be due to large movements of gulls from wintering areas to breeding areas, often involving immature birds. Other large movements can be caused by large changes in the weather, particularly with regard to wind strength and direction. The years highest count was a conservative count from an early predawn roost at the west end of the flooded workings on 23rd May, when c.600 Herring gulls were also present.
Monthly maxima were: January 129, February 23, March 2, April 130, May 150, June nc, July nc, August nc, September 1, October 3, November 12, December 29.
Common Tern S. hirundo
A single flew north-east over Green Belt at 8.00 on 1st June; this was followed by a party of 10 heading east over the flooded workings 20 minutes later.
Rock Dove Columba livia
Feral birds were present year round in small numbers. At the colliery 11 were present on 26th January.
Stock Dove C. oenas Amber list
Generally small numbers counted at the west side of the moors, maximum was 30+ on 3rd October.
Common Wood Pigeon C. palumbus
Highest count was on 14th November.
Monthly maxima were: January 570, February 120, March 30, April 3, May 23, June 15, July nc, August nc, September nc, October nc, November 600+, December nc.
Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
Small numbers were sometimes seen at Top Moor Farm, the colliery road-bridge and Jones Cable. Records from the peat moors were two on the ground at Scotts shed, Bank Top, on 8th May. Two flew west on 3rd October. A leucistic bird was seen at Jones Cable on 10th August (RJS).
European Turtle Dove S. turtur Red list
Maximum was four on 28th July. Area maxima were: Canals (three), Will Pits (two), colliery area (including south-western edge) (three), Elmhirst Wood (one), Rawcliffe Moor (one), Green Belt (one), Goole Moor (one), Cassons (one), west of Pony Bridge Wood (comp. 66) (one), Alder Woods (one), Canal Towpath (one) and (east end) Jones Cable (one). This gives a possible maximum ofc.17 males present. First and last dates were 1st May and 1st September.
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus (Amber list)
Not as common this year as last with four being the maximum. First and last dates were 25th April and 4th June.
Barn Owl Tyto alba (Amber list)
A series of records between Bank Top to Red House Farm and towards Crowle started with a single at the ruins of Scotts disused mill. One was at Bank Top on 8th April, one was at Red House Farm on 11th April. There were three further sightings all of single birds between Red House Farm and the fields towards Crowle on 13th and 15th October and 10th November.
Little Owl Athene noctua
Seen between Bank Top to Red House Farm, with another station on the west side of the moors at Top House Farm. At the former site all records were of single birds on 17th April, 13th, 15th, 21st, 29th and 30th October. At the latter site near Creykes singles were observed on 29th May, 1st and 4th June and 30th October, on the 4th June the owl had a mouse spp. in its talons. On 7th July, four were seen at Top House Farm.
Tawny Owl Strix aluco
One or two adults were heard from the colliery area, Will Pits, Elmhirst Wood, Rawcliffe Moor, Green Belt, Goole Moor, Paraffin area, Woodpecker Wood, Cassons and Yorkshire Triangle. Breeding took place in Will Pits.
Long-eared Owl Asio otus
Again records were received from a wide variety of areas, with one observed quartering the southern end of Snaith & Cowick Moor (around the S bend of Fisons Road) on 8th April. One was flushed from a tree on the edge of Goole Moor in the early part of the year and again on 10th and 18th April. Possibly the same bird or pair was observed in the same area on 2nd May, and on 30th May the first young were heard, in the Canals area. One was observed from the observation platform on 14th June. In winter, on 5th November, one was seen before dawn flying along a ditch at Red House Farm.
Short-eared Owl A. flammeus (Amber list)
On the evening of 19th January one was seen over fields east of Crowle Moor (SH).
European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus Red list
Surveys were conducted on nights between the end of May to the first week of June and from the second week of July to the second/third week of July. This revealed a total of 29 males, which is the same number as last year (BPW et al.). First and last dates were 16th May and 30th August.
Common Swift Apus apus
Highest counts were on 1st May and 25th July. First and last dates were 27th April and 29th August
Monthly maxima were: April 280, May c.300, June 1, July c.300, August c.60, September 20+.
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis (Amber list)
One was present at the Western Boundary Drain in the colliery area on 5th January, and on 1st February one flew from Jones Cable west over the Newfield Estate, Moorends. One was at the railway delves at the colliery road fly-over, Inkle Moor, on 27th August, and possible the same was seen at Whaley Balk on 31st August. Singles were seen at the Paraffin track gate (Durhams Warping Drain) on 18th August and 4th September. A single was seen along the Western Boundary Drain in the colliery area on 15th December.
Green Woodpecker Picus viridis Amber list
The maximum count was four on 12th January and 13th April.
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
Maximum number was three on 5th December. Drumming was heard at Will Pits on 9th March, and young were heard at a location there on 26th May, when a pair of adults was in attendance.
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker D. minor Red list
There were three records of single birds. The first was a male in the colliery footpath willows Salixat 13.00 on 5th January (RW). A single male was at English Natures shed near Will Pits Scrape on 6th and 7th April (SH).
Wood Lark Lullula arborea Red list
Following the successful return of breeding Common Stonechats in 2001, now comes the first confirmed breeding of Wood Lark since 1950. WHP noted singing and displaying birds on 3rd, 4th and 19th April. Other observers also noted the pair on 27th and 28th April (carrying food both dates) (ML) and 4th May when a singing male was present (RJS). The final outcome for any young is not known.
Sky Lark Alauda arvensis Red List
The years maximum count was on 30th September.
Monthly maxima were: January 4, February 18, March 8, April 9, May 4, June 4, July c.7, August nc, September 32, October 20+, November nc, December 6.
Sand Martin Riparia riparia (Amber list)
The years maximum count was on 29th August. First and last dates were 30th March and 1st September.
Monthly maxima were: March 5, April 7, May 1, June 1, July 10, August c.350, September c.150.
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica (Amber list)
Two pairs bred at Scotts shed, Bank Top, with young seen on 2nd and 4th July, on the later date four being present; the other nest appeared to be successful also with at least four young raised. First and last dates were 11th April and 21st October. [Young birds were still present in Moorends until 17th November.]
Monthly maxima were: April 30+, May 15, June 1, July 10+, August 100, September 22, October 15.
House Martin Delichon urbica (Amber list)
The years maximum count was on 29th August. First and last dates were 27th April and 22nd September.
Monthly maxima were: April 8, May 5, June 1, July 1, August 50+, September 8.
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis (Amber list)
All records (virtually all of singing males) are listed for this declining species. There was an estimated five-six pairs, slightly up on last year.
25th April 1 male Crowle Moor
27th April 1 Elmhirst Tram
18th April 1 male Crowle Moor
09th May 2 males Crowle Moor
22nd May Eastern Boundary of Southern Canals
24th May 1 Southern Canals
27th May 1 Southern Canals
28th May 2 Crowle Moor
05th June 1 Pony Bridge Marsh
Meadow Pipit A. pratensis (Amber list)
The years maximum count was on 2nd September.
Monthly maxima were: January 5, February 5, March 18, April 26, May 10+, June 9, July nc, August 50+, September 100+, October nc, November 26, December 8.
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava (Amber list)
Maximum was 30+ on 23rd August. First and last dates were 15th April and 20th September.
Pied Wagtail M. alba
The highest moorland counts were on 13th April and 22nd August. A nest containing four eggs was accidentally destroyed (by work vehicles) at Shearburn & Pitts Drain on 6th June.
Monthly maxima were: January 1, February 2, March 8, April 10, May 6+, June 2, July 6+, August c.10, September 9 (also 20+ Moorends Recreation Ground), October nc, November 1, December 3.
Winter Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Monthly maxima were: January 64, February 13, March 10, April nc, May (88), June (26), July nc, August nc, September nc, October nc, November nc, December 1.
Hedge Accentor Prunella modularis Amber list
Monthly maxima were: January 6, February 1, March 4, April 3, May 4, June 1, July nc, August 3, September 4, October nc, November nc, December 4.
European Robin Erithacus rubecula
Monthly maxima were: January 10, February 6, March 8, April nc, May 21, June 14, July nc, August nc, September nc, October nc, November nc, December 1.
Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos Amber list
Nine singing males held territories, territorial singing was very low this year, and the reasons for this remain unresolved. All but one of the males fell silent shortly after their first arrival, and they were not heard again on any other survey dates. Males were at Will Pits (four), colliery area (one), Green Belt (one), Limberlost Tram (one), Goole Moor (one) and Elmhirst Wood (one). First and last dates were 24th April and 5th June.
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
At least one pair bred along the south side of Fisons Road, with up to six birds seen on the last date. First and last dates were 1st May and 1st September.
Common Stonechat S. torquata (Amber list)
Seen mostly in more open areas such as the flooded workings, Middle Moor, and the Canals area, in summer and winter. A pair was also present at Pony Bridge Marsh during the months of January and October. Maximum was three on several dates. One pair held territory, at Mill Drain/flooded workings, with a juvenile seen there on 1st September, and an immature was seen with a pair of adults on 21st October.
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
Maximum was 10 on 30th April, with two at Goole Moor, three at the S bend on Fisons Road, four at Snaith & Cowick Moor and one on the field track to Creykes. First and last dates were 8th March and 2nd October.
Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus (Red list)
One was seen in flight only over Middle Moor from the observation platform on 9th May.
Common Blackbird T. merula
Monthly maxima were: January 29, February 20, March 9, April 10, May (21), June (3), July 5, August 3, September 4, October 10+, November c.20, December 12.
Fieldfare T. pilaris (Amber list)
Highest counts were associated with roost gatherings, with the maximum on 9th November. Last and first dates were 15th April and 10th August.
Monthly maxima were: January 250, February 72, March 190+, April 100, May nc, June nc, July nc, August 1, September nc, October 500, November 678, December 25+.
Song Thrush T. philomelos Red list
Singing males were present at colliery area (one), Inkle Moor (one), Will Pits (four), Green Belt (one) and Canals (two). This indicates a total of eight pairs present for these areas.
Redwing T. iliacus (Amber list)
Highest counts were associated with roost gatherings, with the maximum on 12th October. Last and first dates were 30th March and 3rd October.
Monthly maxima were: January 52, February 15, March 50, October 68, November 51, December 3.
Mistle Thrush T. viscivorus (Amber list)
Moorland records were: one at Creykes on 16th May, two flying along Fisons Road west of Will Pits on 21st May, one over Cassons on 28th September and two perched at Northern Goole Moor on 20th November. Maximum count was of four at the colliery on 24th May.
The following counts are not census counts and should not be treated as such, they are not all from the same date. They are instead estimates by area from throughout the breeding season. Some counts represent the highest counts of breeding males ever recorded, but they have not been counted using proper census techniques and should be used with caution elsewhere. However, even if some species have been inadvertently over-counted in some areas, for most species large areas of the moors have not been covered at all, so perhaps the estimates are not too far out.
Common Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia Red list
Maximum number was seven, on 9th May. Area maxima were: south-western edge of the moors (two), colliery area (two), Mill Drain Marsh (one), Green Belt (one), Canals (one), Will Pits/Scrape (two), Pony Bridge Marsh (one), Paraffin area (one) and Middle Moor (one). This gives a possible maximum of 12 males present. First and last dates were 18th April and 5th June.
Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
The maximum was 12 on 26th May. Area maxima were: Green Belt (one), colliery area (three), south-western edge of the moors (three), Mill Drain/Marsh (two), Will Pits (three), Will Pits Scrape (two) and Middle Moor (one). This gives a possible maximum of 14 males present. First and last dates were 18th April and 1st September.
Eurasian Reed Warbler A. scirpaceus
A maximum of eight was recorded on 25th May. Area maxima were: colliery area (two), Shoulder o Mutton Tram (one), south-western edge of the moors (five), Paraffin area (one), Southern Canals (seven), Green Belt (three) and Will Pits (two). This gives a possible maximum of 21 males present. First and last dates were 27th April and 2nd September.
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
Area maxima were: Northern Canals (one), Southern Canals (one), colliery area (one), Green Belt (one), Goole Moor (two) and Jones Cable (two). This gives a possible maximum of eight males present. First and last dates were 27th April and 2nd September.
Common Whitethroat S. communis
Found in most areas, the maximum count being 24 on 20th May. Area maxima were: Shoulder o Mutton Tram (one), Pony Bridge Tram (three), colliery (three), Will Pits (five), Will Pits Scrape (two), Goole Moor (two), south-western edge of the moors (nine), Canals (24), Green Belt (two), flooded workings (three), Creykes (one), Colliss Tram (four), Jones Cable (six) and Middle Moor (two). This gives a minimum of 67 (42) males present since many areas had no counts. First and last dates were 3rd April and 20th September.
Garden Warbler S. borin
A maximum of five on 15th May all in Will Pits. Area maxima were: Woodpecker Corner (one), Pony Bridge Tram (one), colliery area (one), Green Belt (one), south-western edge of the moors (one) and Will Pits (seven). This gives a possible maximum of 12 males present. First and last dates were 28th April and 2nd September.
Blackcap S. atricapilla
Highest count was 10+ on 19th April. Area maxima were: colliery area (one), Green Belt (one), Rhododendron Path (three), Will Pits (eight), Canal Towpath (one), Will Pits Scrape (two), Jones Cable (one), Pony Bridge Wood (three), Southern Canals (two), Snaith & Cowick Moor (one), south-western edge of the moors (six). This gives a possible maximum of 29 (19) males present, an all time equal record with 2001. The first and last dates were 5th April and 4th October.
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Highest number was 23 on 13th April. Area maxima were: Will Pits (nine), Middle Moor (one), Creykes (one), colliery area (four), Green Belt (five), Jones Cable (two), Mill Drain (one), Southern Canals (three), Crowle Moor (five), south-western edge of the moors (eight), Pony Bridge Wood (one), Limberlost Wood (five), Paraffin area (three) and Woodpecker Wood (two). This gives a possible maximum of 50 males present, an all time record. First and last dates were 14th March (of two, which were the first arrivals in South Yorkshire and second in Yorkshire BPW) and 14th November.
Willow Warbler P. trochilus Amber list
A widespread species found wherever there are trees or bushes. A count on 19th April that covered the colliery area, the Canals, Will Pits and Will Pits Scrape, estimated 80+ singing males present. Area maxima were: Will Pits (12), Shoulder o Mutton (one), Southern Canals (25), south-western edge of the moors (17), Pony Bridge Wood (10), Pony Bridge Marsh (six), colliery area (four), Rawcliffe Moor (one), Mill Drain (one), Middle Moor (one), Will Pits Scrape (five), Goole Moor (one), Woodpecker Wood (one), Green Belt (three) and Jones Cable (two). This gives a minimum of 85 (64) males present since many areas had no counts. First and last dates were 27th March, the earliest ever (WHP) and 2nd September.
Goldcrest Regulus regulus Amber list
Maximum was c.15 on 17th October. Last and first dates were 30th March and 31st August.
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata (Red list)
A single juvenile was observed along the south-western boundary path of the moors, on 1st September.
Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus (Amber list)
Three were together in Common Reed Phragmites australis at the flooded workings on 15th February (SH).
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
Highest count was of c.50 on 17th October, with several other counts in double figures. A pair was carrying feathers for nest building at Green Belt on 23rd March.
Monthly maxima were: January 36, February 37+, March 8, April 4, May 13, June nc, July nc, August c.20, September 21, October c.50, November 3, December 19.
Willow Tit Parus montanus Red list
Maximum was 10 on 25th August.
Monthly maxima were: January 2, February 5, March 6, April 5, May 4, June 1, July 2, August 10, September 6+, October 3, November 4, December 4.
Coal Tit P. ater
A single was observed at the northern part of Crowle Moor on 15th September. One was present at the Yorkshire Triangle on 23rd November and one was present in the colliery area on 4th October.
Blue Tit P. caeruleus
Maximum count was 28 on 16th February.
Monthly maxima were: January 20, February 28, March 10, April 6, May 5, June 1, July nc, August 4, September 3, October 4, November nc, December 10.
Great Tit P. major
Maximum count was 10+ on 22nd August.
Monthly maxima were: January 9, February 9, March 8, April 6, May 13, June nc, July nc, August 10+, September 6, October nc, November nc, December 5.
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
One or two seen in wooded areas; maximum was four on 18th April.
Monthly maxima were: January 1, February 1, March 2, April 4, May 3 (4), June 2, July 2, August 2, September 2, October 2, November 2, December 2.
Black-billed Magpie Pica pica
Highest counts were associated with roosts, especially in the colliery/Inkle Moor area, as was the highest count of c.25 on 12th September.
Monthly maxima were: January 19, February 8, March 8, April 10+, May 5, June nc, July nc, August 2, September c.25, October c.15, November nc, December 5.
Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula
A single flew east over Jones Cable on 23rd March. Three flew over the Paraffin area in the company of other (silent) corvids, heading south on 17th September. In October: on 11th two flew north over the Canals, and on 17th, 10 flew east over Will Pits Scrape in the company of a Rook and one was also seen flying north over the Canals.
Rook C. frugilegus
A single bird flew over the south-western edge of the moors on 30th March. One flew over the colliery area on 27th April. One flew east over Will Pits Scrape in the company of 10 Eurasian Jackdaws on 17th October.
Carrion Crow C. corone
Highest counts were associated with roosts, especially at Will Pits or the flooded workings. Maximum was 68 on 16th March.
Monthly maxima were: January 10, February 16, March 68, April c.43, May 16, June 1, July nc, August 6, September 22, October 40+, November nc, December 20.
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris (Red list)
Recorded mainly at Jones Cable, the colliery and at the flooded workings. Maximum was 240 on 23rd January, flying from the colliery area over Inkle Moor.
Monthly maxima were: January 240, February 3, March 3, April 11, May 25, June 1, July nc, August 1, September nc, October 200, November 40, December nc.
House Sparrow Passer domesticus (Red list)
No records from the peat moors, but four were at Red House Farm on 12th September. Four were at Jones Cable on 21st May and eight were in the colliery road area on 29th May.
Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Maximum count was of 608 dispersing from a roost in the colliery area on 12th January.
Monthly maxima were: January 608, February 90, March 13, April 21, May 30, June 14, July nc, August nc, September 11, October 32, November 76, December 260+.
Brambling F. montifringilla
At Bells Pond, one flew over calling on 14th October. At Elmhirst Wood one flew overhead on 28th December.
European Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
Maximum count was of 118 dispersing from a roost in the colliery area on 22nd January.
Monthly maxima were: January 118, February 60, March 3, April 2, May 4, June nc, July nc, August 3, September 3, October nc, November 55, December 10+.
European Goldfinch C. carduelis
The years maximum was 70+ at the colliery area on 25th July.
Monthly maxima were: January 3, February 2, March 4, April 6, May 6, June nc, July 70+, August 50+, September 12, October 10+, November nc, December 7.
Eurasian Siskin C. spinus
Mostly encountered at the Alder Woods or south of there towards the Paraffin and colliery area and also at Woodpecker Wood and Will Pits. Two left a roost in the colliery area on 12th January, with other finches. On 20th September, one flew over Bells Pond and on 28th the species was heard overhead at Cassons and two were seen heading south-west. One flew over Green Belt on 4th October and one was near the Paraffin area on 10th.
Common Linnet C. cannabina Red list
Feeding birds were often found anywhere along Fisons Road, or at the flooded workings.Small flocks could be found in setaside at Whaley Balk during the winter months. The years maximum however was c.200 at Inkle Moor on 4th October.
Monthly maxima were: January 2, February 1, March 10, April 24, May 39, June 26, July c.60, August 50+, September c.100, October c.200, November nc, December 28.
Twite C. flavirostris (Red list)
One was seen on 30th March, at the western side of the moors, along the part of Fisons Road that leads north (RJS). Six were present on bare peat at the flooded workings on 9th December (RW).
Lesser Redpoll C. flammea (Amber list)
The years maximum was of 20+ at Will Pits Scrape on 23rd November.
Monthly maxima were: January 6, February nc, March 1, April 6, May nc, June 1, July 1, August 1, September 5, October 16, November 20+, December 1.
Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
A single calling bird was heard as it flew west over the Rhododendron Path on 23rd August (WHP).
Common Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula Red list
The year’s maximum was nine on 16th March.
Monthly maxima were: January 7, February 7, March 9, April 6, May 8 (9), June 1, July nc, August 2, September 5, October 4, November 4, December 4.
[Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis (Amber list)
Two males flew very low east from Moorends towards Thorne Moors, on 2nd February (CR).]
Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella Red list
The highest count of the year was five on 3rd October.
Monthly maxima were: January 2, February 2, March 3, April 2, May (6), June nc, July 2, August 3, September nc, October 5, November 1, December nc.
Reed Bunting E. schoeniclus Red list
Highest count of the year was of 43 on 8th January, 42 of which were together in a colliery area roost at the edge of English Natures setaside field at Whaley Balk.
Monthly maxima were: January 43, February 27, March 21, April (24), May 12, June 11, July nc, August 5, September 8, October nc, November nc, December 9.
Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra (Red list)
A singing male was observed on telephone wires at houses on the edge of Crowle Moor on 9th May.
List of Observers
Richard Atterby, Julie Blake, Philip Bone (PB), Kevin Bull, N.C. Dawtrey, Steve Gee, Martin Limbert, Robert Hall, John Harriman, Brian Hibbard, Steve Hiner, John G. Hitchcock, Peter Hinks, Andy Marshall, John O’Mally, Frank Oates, Stanley Oates, Stuart Parkin, Brian Pepper, Alan Potter, William H. Priestley, Colin Rook, Richard J. Sprakes, Martin Stoakes, Bryan P. Wainwright, Robert Watson, Darren Whittaker.
Thanks to Martin Limbert for help and advice in compiling this Report, and also to English Nature for printing the Report.