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SUMMARY OF BIRD RECORDS FOR THORNE MOORS 2017

Bryan P. Wainwright

Out of 10198 records there were 159 species (which includes White Wagtail and Common Redpoll). The breeding status after name if present and any records broken refers to Thorne Moors site only. The breeding bird survey only covered about half of the moors (and missed much woodland) so the figures from it (given in brackets) can be taken as a minimum, the total males given is the maximum count from any of the 3 surveys, if the actual number of breeding pairs was known this is given instead; for instance with Shelduck, where 2 pairs were observed but it is known only 1 bred.

Mute Swan

Only 9 records the maximum being 4 on 2 dates.

Whooper Swan

Forty was the maximum was on 22nd March.

Pink-footed Goose

Remained until 12th May and returned 15th September. Maxima were 1290 in the first half of the year and around 5000 on 7th November.

White-fronted Goose (European)

An adult Greenland White-fronted Goose A.a. flavirostris on 30th November left with Pinks, the first record of this race and 12th site record overall.

Greylag Goose (domestic)

Generally between 100 and 300, maximum was 550 on 28th August. (Maximum pairs 15).

Canada Goose

Very few counts over 100, the maximum being 260 on 23rd September. (Maximum pairs 1).

Barnacle Goose

Four came from river S then turned E over Goole Moor on 22nd May.

Brent Goose

A Dark-bellied SSW at 08.30 over W side with 6 Pink-feet on 27th September is 3rd record for Thorne Moors (TL).

Shelduck rare breeder

On 27th May a single adult was wiith 9 small unfledged young Crowle North Marsh, so bred again, for third time. (Breeding pairs 1).

Wigeon

Maximum was 24 on 24th January.

Gadwall rare breeder

Maximum was 39 on 2nd February. (Maximum pairs 7).

Teal rare breeder

Numbers lower this year; maximum was 450 on 10th September. Not much evidence of breeding.(Maximum pairs 14).

Mallard scarce breeder

Numbers lower this year; maximum was 334 on 30th December. Bred in small numbers. (Maximum pairs 32).

Pintail

Few records, usually of 2 birds but up to 8 as on 10th September.

Garganey rare breeder

Just 2 records of a single male in April and May.

Shoveler rare breeder

Lower numbers this year and 32 being the maximum on 3rd September. (Maximum pairs 15).

Pochard

Up to 6 present as on 3rd March, the maximum.

Tufted Duck rare breeder

Again fewer numbers the maximum being 30 on 16th March. (Maximum pairs 2).

Scaup

A juvenile was at Goole Fields Reservoir on 29th October, the fifth record for Thorne Moors (TL).

Common Scoter

On 6th July, 23 were together in a raft on Woodside floods in afternoon of 06th July, fifteenth record.

Goldeneye

Records of single male at Will Pits Scrape were infrequent, the first record of the year however was a female type.

Goosander

On 21st March, 22 was the maximum.

Red-legged Partridge

Only 3 records of 1 or 2 birds.

Grey Partridge uncommon/rare breeder BAP

One or 2 pairs were sometimes seen at Priory Farm. Maximum adults was 9 and young were seen with up to 10 chicks.

Pheasant

Released birds sometimes results in high counts, such as 140 on 27th September. (Maximum pairs 6).

Cormorant

Usually 1 to 3 birds and infrequently lands at areas such as Will Pits Scrape.

Bittern rare breeder? BAP

About 6 records, mainly of booming birds but with 1 sighting over Warp Farm towards Moorends on 9th April (JD).

Little Egret

Increasing in records and numbers, a new maximum was 5 together on 23rd November (TL).

Great White Egret

Three records of single bird on 25th July, 15th and 17th November; eighth to 11th records for site.

Grey Heron

Three together were recorded on 2 dates but the maximum was 6 together on 1st September.

Little Grebe rare breeder

Four or 5 pairs perhaps around site. 4 was the highest day count on several dates. (Maximum pairs 1 but as indicated probably more).

Great Crested Grebe

Few records of single bird at Will Pits Scrape.

Black-necked Grebe rare breeder >1% UK

Apparently 2 pairs, 1 pair proven to have bred at the Paraffin floods; they however got no further than the egg stage, when their easy to see nest was predated. There was 1 sighting at Will Pits Scrape which may represent a second more secretive pair.

Red Kite

Seven records ninth to fifteenth site record.

Marsh Harrier rare breeder >1% UK

Nine were seen on several occasions; 22nd and 23rd and 29th April and equals the moors maximum. Maybe 5 pairs bred and in total 3 juveniles appear to have survived from 1 or possibly 2 pairs.

Hen Harrier

Often just 1 lone male, though 2 males were seen on 2 January dates. Three were seen (2 males and a female) on 2nd February.

Montagu's Harrier

A second calender year male was spotted over fields just W of Top House Farm, which it passed over and continued over the crossings and over Inkle Flatts and toward the Canals, where the second observer alerted by a phone call was lucky to add it to his site list (BPW, SH).

Goshawk

One was seen displaying high over Green Belt on 11th February (MW, JK).

Sparrowhawk

Generally 1 or 2 birds, very rarely three, a poor year. (Maximum pairs 1).

Buzzard

Up to 8 have been seen up together on 16th March and 10th May. (Maximum pairs 1 from survey probably too low as woodlands were not well covered).

Water Rail

Only 1 day count reaching 10, on 13th March. (Maximum pairs 4).

Moorhen

Day counts reached the maximum of 9 on 12th March. (Maximum pairs 5).

Coot

Up to 17 adults counted and bred. (Maximum pairs 2).

Crane rare breeder >1% UK

By 7th April, it was confirmed that for the first time 3 pairs were breeding. From these 6 chicks, only 1 chick from the Thorne pair fledged.

Oystercatcher

Four records all of single bird except 1 record of two.

Grey Plover

Three records of single bird on 6th and 9th May and 30th October.

Golden Plover

Flocks on Goole Fields reached around a thousand on several dates, most other records came from this core flock.

Ringed Plover rare breeder

Of the relatively few records, 5 was the maximum on 18th July.

Little ringed Plover

Maybe 2 pairs present and may have attempted breeding, but no evidence.

Lapwing rare breeder BirdLife VUN in EU BAP

Typical counts never reached a hundred in the first half of the year and 200 been a good count from then on, the best being 400 on 21st October. Around 9 pairs bred but no chicks survived.

Whimbrel

Just 3 records the first of 2 birds on 7th May then 2 records of singles.

Curlew rare breeder BAP

Present spring and summer but no evidence of breeding. Maximum was 4 in mid-April.

Black-tailed Godwit

Four records on 4 dates of 16, four, 6 and 11.

Ruff

Over 20 records of between 1 and 3 birds.

Dunlin

Few records of small numbers, maximum being 6 on 18th July.

Green Sandpiper

Probably under-counted, the maximum day count was six.

Greenshank

Four together on 3 dates is the maximum count.

Wood Sandpiper

One or 2 seen mid-May to mid-August.

Redshank rare breeder

One of the commonest waders, 9 was the maximum on 18th May. Some display was noted but any breeding attempts must have failed.

Jack Snipe

Seen singly in colder months. Probably more about than the 11 records suggests.

Woodcock rare breeder

Mainly seen in colder months with European influx, but a few pairs breed and a nest was found with 4 eggs after being accidentally disturbed at Casson’s on 13th July. (Maximum pairs 2).

Snipe rare breeder

Good numbers throughout the year, with day counts of 36 and 37 later in the year. Quite a few pairs bred, maybe 10 to 15 pairs and young were seen.

Black Tern

A juvenile at W side floods 06.40 from N to Green Belt floods where landed for a while then departed was the only record.

Common Tern

Only 2 records of 1 and then 2 birds.

Arctic Tern

Only 2 May records of 1 and then 4 birds.

Little Tern

An adult was heading W over Goole Moor then turned 90’ SSE over Shoulder o’ Mutton on 16th June (second record for Thorne Moors) (BPW).

Black-headed Gull LC but declining/scarce breeder

Around a thousand were present at ploughings on Swinefleet and Reedness fields on 6th October. Up to 700 were seen at the colony (the next highest being 500) which was this year at the Paraffin floods next to the S bend on Fisons’ Road. Around 150 pairs bred but the colony was devastated by predators with probably less than 10 chicks fledged. These came both with feather and fur and Marsh Harriers in particular were seen on regular raids with a chick seen to be taken on 9th June.

Mediterranean Gull

Three records of adult birds, the second record of 2 birds the others of singles.

Common Gull

Some good late summer counts came from the fields to the NE of the moors with 80 being a very good count on 22nd August.

Caspian Gull

Eight records all of single birds except 2 on 22nd August.

Lesser Black-backed Gull

Now the commonest large gull with 2 counts over 700 in the latter part of the year.

Yellow-legged Gull

Seen in increasing numbers with a few low double figure counts the best being a new maximum was of 37 on 22nd August. Does sometimes roost on moors.

Herring Gull

A much declined species, mostly not seen in double figures and there was only 1 triple figure count of 500 on 27th October on the move, many of which did roost that evening.

Great Black-backed Gull

Again seen in rather low numbers, the best being only 80 on 27th October.

Little Gull

A first-summer was at the Paraffin floods on 18th May (BPW et. al.).

Feral Pigeon

No return of records but seen in small numbers around the moors.

Stock Dove LC/scarce breeder

Counts of 10 or more were very rare. (Maximum pairs 3).

Woodpigeon

Not many high counts the best being only 500. (Maximum pairs 17+).

Collared Dove

Seen in small numbers at the fringes of the moors.

Turtle Dove scarce breeder BirdLife VUN in EU BAP

First return was 9th May, last was 19th September. Between 6 and 10 males were recorded on breeding bird survey routes, but a more in depth look for this species is usually done and this revealed probably 16 males holding territory.

Cuckoo rare breeder BAP

Five and 6 were the highest counts, the last record was a juvenile on 14th September. (Maximum pairs 11).

Barn Owl rare breeder

Seems to be doing reasonably well with several well used nests sites known, maybe 3 pairs around site.

Little Owl

Two pairs were present close to the moors, with a pair in Creyke’s ruin and 1 at Priory Farm.

Tawny Owl

Very few records but about 3 pairs known.

Long-eared Owl

Five records of this secretive owl, from widely scattered areas, possibly 3 pairs. Young were heard on 2nd June at the S end.

Short-eared Owl

Remained until May with fewer numbers and less sightings than recently. All records were of single birds except 1 of 2 on 14th April. Last was 12th May and return was 27th July.

Nightjar uncommon breeder >1% UK BAP

The first was on 23rd May? The breeding Nightjar survey revealed ? males holding territory.

Swift

Counts only reached 300 4 times the highest being c.1000 on 8th May. The next highest count was 700, then 2 at 300. First return was 23rd April, last was 12th September.

Kingfisher

Possibly 7 records of single bird, either at the colliery, Paraffin or Swinefleet Warping Drain area.

Green Woodpecker rare breeder

A thankfully increase and possibly 1 maybe 2 pairs bred, perhaps on Crowle Moor opposite Will Pits and maybe colliery area.(Maximum pairs 2 or 3).

Great Spotted Woodpecker

Up to 4 sighted and 1 or 2 pairs bred.

Kestrel rare breeder

Six seen at once on 3 dates and bred somewhere in the area, maybe 1 pair bred on site.

Red-footed Falcon

A male reported on 03rd May (RM, RS) was not re-seen unless the bird on 14th was the same bird (BPW, RS et al.). Only 1 bird was seen up to 20th May and then 2 were regarded as present on 21st (DH, RS, JW). The 22nd was the last sighting.

Merlin

All records were of just 1 bird in the colder months except 2 juveniles on 22nd August.

Hobby

Double figure counts were not uncommon, with higher numbers before and after breeding as birds came to feed as they moved through. Highest count was 26 on 3rd July. Breeding pairs within the immediate vicinity of the moors were at least 1 pair probably two.

Peregrine

A much reduced number of records of usually 1 occasionally 2 and once 3 birds (on 3rd April). Juveniles were recorded suggesting breeding nearby.

Magpie

Counts as high as 39 at a roost around the colliery area was the maximum on 4th November. (Maximum pairs 1 on survey, but obviously more in non-survey areas).

Jay

Five sometimes seen and 6 seen on 25th August. (Maximum pairs 4).

Jackdaw

More likely seen passing over the moors, maximum was 10 leaving a Will Pits roost with Rooks on 21st November.

Rook

As for Jackdaw, likely most seen on fields adjacent to the moors. Maximum was 270 leaving a Will Pits roost with Jackdaws on 21st November, showing that the Rooks from the fields will roost on the moors out of the breeding season. Crows also roosted that day in nearby dead trees at Crowle North Marsh with 80 present.

Carrion Crow

Counts of 40 were not uncommon and 80 was the maximum on 1st August and 21st November. (Maximum pairs 12+).

Goldcrest

Up to 12 seen on 2 dates.

Blue Tit

Few double figure counts the maximum being 14. (Maximum pairs 3+).

Great Tit

There were only 2 double figure counts; the maximum was 19 on 12th March. (Maximum pairs 10+).

Coal Tit

One to 3 regularly seen.

Willow Tit rare breeder BAP

One to 3 regularly seen with occasionally 4 or the maximum 5 on 30th September in areas favouring willows. Maybe 2 or 3 pairs breed.

Bearded Tit

One or a pair had been seen in a certain area since 18th May and on 23rd June a juvenile was seen in the same place which is strong indication of breeding having taken place and this is a new breeding species for site. In October 8 were seen on 10th.

Woodlark scarce breeder BAP

One on Crowle Moor on 28th May.

Skylark scarce breeder BAP

Single figures of resident birds was boosted from the second half of September, with 44 being the maximum on 30th. (Maximum pairs 1, more adjacent fields).

Sand Martin

First 3 was on 19th March with numbers building to 400 by 16th April. Larger counts came with post breeding gatherings 800 on 14th August. Last was 26th October.

Swallow rare breeder

First was 7th April, spring counts were never more than 200. Larger counts came with post breeding gatherings 300 on 15th September.

House Martin

First was 12th April, there was 1 spring and 1 post breeding counts at 200. Larger counts came with post breeding gatherings 300 on 15th September

Cetti's Warbler possible

Present from the start of the year and recorded nearly every month, as many as 4 males appeared present (13th June), but there was no proof of breeding.

Long-tailed Tit

Very occasional counts of 30 was topped by 65 on 26th October. (Maximum pairs 13+).

Chiffchaff

Present from 1st January with first migrants from 12th March until the last on 21st November. Maximum was 35 on 11th April and the breeding bird survey revealed at least 36 males.

An oddly singing bird, at times sounding like Iberian Chiffchaff was found on W side Goole Moor Tram (BPW, WHP, MW, JW, DH) which responded immediately to Iberian Chiffchaff playback, but not to Common Chiffchaff. We were not convinced it was not a hybrid.

Willow Warbler LC but declining/fairly common breeder

Arrived on 31st March and latest was on 22nd September. Maximum day count was of 70 on 13th April and the breeding bird survey revealed at least 106 males.

Blackcap

Earliest was on 31st March and latest was on 15th October. Maximum day count was of 24 on 4th July and the breeding bird survey revealed at least 43 males.

Garden Warbler

The first was on 18th April and last on 19th September. Maximum day count of males was 15 on 2nd May and the breeding bird survey revealed at least 16 males.

Lesser Whitethroat

From 12 records the only breeding area may have been in the colliery area. Other records were scattered of passage birds. The breeding bird survey revealed 1 male.

Whitethroat LC but declining/uncommon breeder

The first was on 14th April and last on 23rd September. Maximum day count of males was 34 on 11th May. The breeding bird survey revealed 37 males.

Grasshopper Warbler scarce breeder BAP

The first was on 7th April (earliest ever, BPW) and last on 6th August. Maximum day count of males was 7 on 20th April. The breeding bird survey revealed 7 males.

Sedge Warbler

The first was on 13th April and last on 31st August. Maximum day count of males was 28 on 20th April. The breeding bird survey revealed 22 males.

Reed Warbler

The first was on 18th April and last on 19th September. Maximum day count of males was 12 on 27th July. The breeding bird survey revealed 29 males.

Treecreeper

One or 2 nearly all months. The breeding bird survey revealed 1 male.

Wren

Recorded all months maximum 51 on 5th February. (Maximum pairs 98+).

Starling rare breeder BAP

Counts of over a thousand were infrequent with the maximum roost being 2000 on 15th January.

Blackbird

Recorded all months maximum 60 on 26th November. (Maximum pairs 12).

Fieldfare

Last date was 28th March and first return date was 12th October. Maximum was 500 on 14th November.

Song Thrush LC but declining/rare breeder BAP

Recorded all months except September, maximum was 8 on 2 dates. (Maximum pairs 11).

Redwing

Last date was 20th March first return date was 12th October. Maximum was only 125 on 17th November.

Mistle Thrush LC but declining/rare breeder

Recorded most months maximum was 10 together on 12th August in the colliery area.

Spotted Flycatcher rare breeder? BAP

Though present, there was not this year any evidence of breeding. First date was 4th July and last date was 2nd September.

Robin

Recorded all months maximum 25 on 4th February. (Maximum pairs 28).

Redstart

Only 2 August records with the first being a male on 15th and the other being a pair on 25th.

Whinchat rare and lost breeder

Four August records the best being 2 juveniles on 22nd.

Stonechat

Sixteen and even 21 can be seen in a day as on 14th June. Maybe 8 pairs bred with fledged young often encountered.

Wheatear

The first was on 31st March and last on 20th October. Maximum was 5 on 12th April.

Dunnock scarce breeder BAP

Recorded nearly all months maximum 6 on 15th October. (Maximum pairs 2+).

House Sparrow

Only recorded from peripheral areas, with the highest numbers around Creyke’s Sidings, maximum there being 40 there post breeding.

Tree Sparrow rare breeder BAP

Recorded all months from several areas, mainly Creyke’s Sidings, Swinefleet gate and Crowle Moor S end. Maximum was 14 at Creyke’s and 35 at Crowle.

Yellow Wagtail scarce breeder BAP

First was on 12th April last was 15th September, maximum was 9 on 1st August.

Grey Wagtail

A new record maximum of 3 were seen on 2st February (LR). The only other record was 18th August.

White Wagtail (alba)

One on 25th April 13th and 14th May and another on 7th July.

Pied Wagtail (yarrellii)

Recorded all months, maximum was 24 on 15th November.

Tree Pipit rare breeder BAP

The first were 2 males were singing with a female with 1 at Lonesome Pine area on 10th May the very late record of 1 on 5th October was the latest ever (TL). (Maximum pairs 2).

Meadow Pipit uncommon breeder BirdLife NT in EU

Recorded all months, maximum post breeding counts were 3 counts of 90 or more the best being 97 on 17th September. (Maximum pairs 18).

Water Pipit

What may have been the same bird as last year reappeared in the same area on 14th November and is the third record for Thorne Moors (WHP, GF).

Chaffinch

Recorded all months the best being 135 on 12th November from the colliery roost. (Maximum pairs 35).

Brambling

More often caught just off site at Top House Farm, maximum 3 on 19th November.

Greenfinch

Possibly slowly recovering in numbers with double figure counts more regular now, highest being 33 on 19th December.

Goldfinch

Recorded all months, maximum at Crowle side was 70 on 29th January and at W side 120 at Inkle Flatts on 30th August. (Maximum pairs 2).

Siskin

Few records generally in the colder months of the year, maximum was 12 on 8th November.

Linnet scarce breeder BAP

Recorded all months, maximum was 200 on 3rd October. (Maximum pairs 11).

Lesser Redpoll LC but declining/rare breeder BAP

Not recorded in summer, maximum was 200 on 21st January.

Common Redpoll (Mealy)

The only records were: on Goole Moor 20 were seen on 20th January. One was seen on 4th March.

Common Crossbill

The only record; 2 flew over Green Belt on 7th March.

Bullfinch uncommon declining/rare breeder BAP

A flock of 17 at Will Pits was on 17th November was only bettered by 18 at Pony Bridge Wood on 16th January.

Yellowhammer scarce breeder BAP

Recorded all months the only double figure count being 10 on 11th September. (Maximum pairs 17).

Reed Bunting LC/uncommon breeder BAP

Recorded all months, maximum was on 20th October when 60 were counted. (Maximum pairs 60).

Corn Bunting

Uncommon on adjacent farmland where up to 37 were seen on 25th January.

OBSERVERS 2017: Rob Adams, Steve Bamford, Bev Baxter, David Blackham, Nigel Bur, Janet Canning, Harry Cocking, Richard Collis, Lance Degnan, John Durrant, Gary Featherstone, Catherine Hawksworth, Pat Heath, Janet Heath, James Hinchliffe, Sam Hiner, Steve Hiner, Peter Hinks, Alan Hobson, Janet Jackson, Tom Jackson, Andrew Johnson, Peter Kendall, Jason King, Helen Kirk, Charles Lee, Phil Lee, Tom Lowe, Alan Marshall, Ryan McClarance, Don McQuade, Ron Moat, Steve Musson, Mark Outhwaite, Irvin Payne, Bill Priestley, Debbie Rigby, Chris Robinson, Lukas Rowe, Lucy Ryan, Adrian Scutt, David Slack, Brian Smith, Mark Smith, Richard Smith, Jim Snowden, Richard Sprakes, Barry Thompson, Bryan P Wainwright, Martin Warne, Rob Watson, John Wozencroft, John Wrampling.