Bird Records For Thorne Moors 1987

No report was originally written for this year, the following has been constructed by Bryan P. Wainwright (2003) from, most notably Limbert, (1990) A Supplement to Thorne Moors Birds and Man. Nature Conservancy Council: Wakefield. Additional records came from other sources. Some fairly common species that were present however, went unrecorded.

English and scientific names, and sequence of birds, follows the List of Birds of the Western Palearctic (British Birds Ltd, 1997). The RSPB species of conservation concern cannot be used retrospectively, and so has not been used. Exceptional records such as earliest dates refer to the period up to 1987 only.


Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Six were recorded on 29th July.

Swan spp. Cygnus 
In November seven unidentified swans were noted on 8th and nine on 13th.

Mute Swan C. olor
An immature was found dead at Inkle Moor Pond on 23rd February.

Tundra Swan C. columbianus
Two flew over the colliery on 25th January. 

Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus 
Two skeins were noted and were likely to have been this species (no dates). 

Greylag Goose Anser anser 
Two records, the first was of 25 on 1st June, the next was of c.28, on 4th September, and were probably this species.

Canada Goose Branta canadensis
A skein of 25+ flew over the moors (no date). 

Wigeon Anas Penelope
One was seen on 5th November.

Common Teal A. crecca 
Resident, c.120 were seen on 2nd November. 

Mallard A. platyrhynchos
Resident. Three young were observed with a female at Thorne Waste Drain on 6th July.

Pintail A. acuta
A male landed at Mill Drain Marsh on 1st November.

Shoveler A. clypeata
A pair was noted from April until 24th May.

Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
A pair was noted from 17th April until 31st May.

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. For example with Marsh Harrier; recorded as a female by one observer or a cream-crown by another, therefore with the following records this is taken into account and only the minimum number of birds per day is taken. Totals are the minimum possible numbers, calculated for all areas, plumages and observers for that day. All are adult birds, unless otherwise stated. Some birds are not aged and sexed due to distance or poor views.

Marsh Harrier Circus cyaneus 
Two (probably cream-crowns) were seen on 29th April.

Hen Harrier C. cyaneus 
A female flew south from Will Pits on 5th December.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus       
No more than three pairs bred and the maximum outside the breeding season was no more than four.

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus 
Eight plus on 26th July included six at a wood along Thorne Waste Drain.

Merlin F. columbarius 
Up to three were seen flying to roost in January. A single was seen on 24th August.

Hobby F. subbuteo
This species was reported from 27th June to 7th September, with a maximum of four (one immature) on 29th July and 4th August.

Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus
An adult and an immature were seen on 27th August, and an immature was also seen on 13th and 27th September, 1st and 8th November. Two unaged birds were seen on 6th November. 

Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
Counts of up to 35 were occasionally reached between September and February, but the highest count was of 76, in several coveys in severe weather along a field edge at the south-west end of the moors, on 15th January.

Grey Partridge Perdix perdix 
There were five south of Will Pits on 5th December for example.

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus

Moorhen Gallinula chloropus   

Common Coot Fulica atra
Resident, not as common as Moorhen.

Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
Two were flushed from a pool at Thorne colliery on 3rd April.

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius 
One or two recorded this year, from Thorne colliery, the first being on 3rd April.

Great Ringed Plover C. hiaticula 
Regularly seen at the Thorne colliery, with one or two present from 18th April until 21st June. 

Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus 
Breeding took place at the flooded workings.

Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
The first passage bird for the month of January was recorded on 2nd.

Redshank Tringa totanus
Seen at the Paraffin Cuttings on 29th March. Up to five birds, including two pairs, were noted at flooded peat workings, with mating and attempted mating seen on 17th April and display flight observed a couple of days later. 

Common Greenshank T. nebularia
A good year; in August there were three on 13th, eight on 15th and two on 16th and 24th.

Green Sandpiper T. ochropus
One was seen at Cottage Dike on 5th December.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
At the Paraffin Cuttings totals of adults reached c.550 on 4th May and chicks were seen from 24th May. At flooded peat at the Shoulder o’ Mutton a count of c.100 on 17th April then dropped for the rest of the month and were variable through May, the maximum for the latter being c.25 on 29th. There was no evidence of even attempted breeding at the Shoulder o’ Mutton, with the last two being seen there on 26th July.

Lesser Black-backed Gull L. fuscus 
Infrequently seen.

Herring Gull L. argentatus 
Infrequently seen, one flew over Collis’s Tram on 6th July for example.

Great Black-backed Gull L. marinus
A count of 18 on 5th December was followed with three on 25th.

Common Tern Sterna hirundo
A single flew overhead on 1st August.

Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus 
The highest count was of c.1300 on 8th February.

Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
The earliest ever occurred on 19th April. 

Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
Three were seen on 8th November.

European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus 
Counts revealed c.45 churring males.     

Green Woodpecker Picus viridis 

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker D. minor
Several records came from Will Pits. The first was of two in flight on 25th January, followed by a single in flight on 23rd February. On 5th March and 1st November singles were seen, the latter calling and circling before dropping into a tree. On 8th November one was foraging amongst branches. 

Sky Lark Alauda arvensis 

Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
The highest counts were c.20 on 15th January, then up to 35 in April.

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
A single was overhead on 4th September and 23rd October.

Pied Wagtail M. alba
A single 'White' Wagtail M.a. alba was observed on 22nd April.

Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus
Two were observed in a bush at Bell’s Pond on 15th January.

Wren Troglodytes troglodytes

Hedge Accentor Prunella modularis 

Robin Erithacus rubecula

Rufous Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos 
Fifteen males were recorded as holding territories, an all time maximum. The first was on the earliest ever date of 19th April. A single sang from a hedgerow at Inkle Moor, this year.
Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus
A male flew over the colliery area on 21st April.

Blackbird T. merula 

Fieldfare T. pilaris 
In November, counts, of mostly roosts, reached c.1000 as on 14th.

Song Thrush T. philomelos 

Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia
Three were present in the colliery area on 21st April and eight were counted on 23rd April.

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
The earliest ever was recorded on 19th April.

Reed Warbler A. scirpaceus
A single recorded on 21st April equalled the earliest ever, in 1985 and earlier years.

Whitethroat Sylvia communis
A maximum of 55 were counted on 25th May.

Garden Warbler S. borin
Eight were counted on 4th May.

Blackcap S. atricapilla
Fifteen were counted on 4th May.

Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
At least two were present, one in the colliery area and one at the Rhododendron Path, on 21st April. Late records of (probably Common Chiffchaffs) singles came on 2nd and 23rd October. 

Willow Warbler P. trochilus
At least three were present by 21st April.

Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Sixteen plus were counted on 1st November.

Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus
One was heard ‘pinging’ in a colliery area reedbed on 17th June.

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus

Willow Tit Parus montanus 

Blue Tit P. caeruleus 
Resident, 43 were noted on 23rd February.

Great Tit P. major

Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
A single was at Will Pits on 13th and 15th March and 8th November. 

Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor 
Single was seen on 17th November.

Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius

Magpie Pica pica
Resident, 20-21 were counted, on 7th November. 

Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula
One flew over on 13th March, followed by four on 2nd October and one on 29th October.

Rook C. frugilegus
Singles flew over the moors on 29th March and 21st April.

Carrion Crow C. corone

Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
A dawn roost at a reedbed on Inkle Moor in November held c.88 birds on 8th, with 22 there on 22nd. This is the first roost recorded in a reedbed.

Tree Sparrow Passer montanus

Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs

Greenfinch Carduelis chloris

Goldfinch C. carduelis 

Siskin C. spinus
Two passed overhead on 27th September.

Linnet C. cannabina 
Resident, 170+ were counted on 13th September.

Common Redpoll C. flammea
Resident, c.150+ were counted on 11th October, the largest count of the year by far.

Common Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula 
Resident, seven were recorded at Will Pits on 5th December.

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
Resident, nine were counted on 25th December.

Reed Bunting E. schoeniclus 


List of Observers 1984-1989


R. Armstrong, C. Auld, H. Avery, David Beaumont, M. Betts, R. Bridson, A. Craig, Trevor A. Ede, Brian C. Eversham, A.R. Farrar, Clive Featherstone, G. Featherstone, R.A. Frost, Adrian Handley, Steve Hiner, John Hornbuckle, David Hursthouse, T. Isherwood, M.F. Jackson, Steve L. James, Martin Limbert, Alan Marshall, Claud Marshall, R.A. Marshall, T.M. Melling, Andrew Middleton, D. Page, William H. Priestley, S. Reed, Colin Rook, Peter C. Roworth, Adrian Scutt, C. Straw, P. Sutton, W.A. Taylor, N. Thoresby, Bryan P. Wainwright, Colin Wall, Terry J. Wells, K. Whiteley, D. Wozencroft, John Wozencroft.