Bird Records For Thorne Moors 1988

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 1988 only.


Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
As well as being present at the Paraffin Cuttings, two were also seen on nearby peat workings on 3rd April.

Mute Swan
 Cygnus olor
A single flew over the colliery area on 21st February, and two were seen on 1st June.

Pink-footed Goose
 Anser brachyrhynchus 
One skein of c.357 was noted on 10th January, nine of which may have been flushed from a nearby field. 

Greylag Goose A. anser 
Two were present on several dates at or near the Paraffin Cuttings from around the second week of April to 7th May. On 3rd June, c.60 flew north-west, and on 25th December, 24 flew west. 

Common Shelduck
 Tadorna tadorna
A pair was logged on 15th May.

Common Teal
 Anas crecca 
Resident, 120 were seen on 23rd October. 

 A. platyrhynchos

Pintail A. acuta
Eight flew over Casson’s on 18th December.

Shoveler A. clypeata
One was seen on 15th May.

Common Pochard Aythya ferina 
A male was at the Paraffin Cuttings on 22nd May.

Tufted Duck A. fuligula

At the Paraffin Cuttings records were, two on 24th April, one on 5th May, a pair on 22nd May and a male on 29th June. Further records came from the Shoulder o’ Mutton in May, with a pair there on 15th and a single on 22nd. 

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 
Recorded, but no date/s.

Hen Harrier
 C. cyaneus 
A ringtail was seen over Middle Moor Tram on 23rd October. A male was seen at the same area on 25th 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 
Nested at farm building close to the moors.

Merlin F. columbarius 
A single was seen on 25th August with another single at the Shoulder o’ Mutton on 25th December.

Hobby F. subbuteo
A maximum of two were observed on several dates in August.

Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus
An adult was seen distantly on 10th January.

Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
There was a count of 11, on 20th January.

Grey Partridge Perdix perdix 
There were a maximum of 27 on 10th January. 

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus

Moorhen Gallinula chloropus   

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

Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius 
One to three were recorded this year, from Thorne colliery, the Shoulder o’ Mutton and the Paraffin Cuttings.

Great Ringed Plover
 C. hiaticula 
Regularly seen at the Thorne colliery, where they bred. Other records were of one at the Paraffin Cuttings on 16th July, and one high over Rawcliffe Moor on 21st August. 

European Golden Plover
 Pluvialis apricaria
The first ever record of a bird on peat was on 21st April. One flew over Rawcliffe Moor on 7th May, and was the first confimed record for May.

Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus 
Present, no dates.

Numenius phaeopus 
One was flushed from peat workings on 11th July. 

Redshank Tringa totanus
Seen at peat workings on several dates, with one on 20th March, two in April (with another overhead on 3rd) and two on 2nd May, a single on 6th May and 6th and 15th July. 

Green Sandpiper
 T. ochropus
One flew south-west from Elmhirst Pump on 23rd October.

Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
One was at flooded peat workings next to the Paraffin Cuttings on 11th and 13th July.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
On 28th February, c.50 were flying at the Paraffin Cuttings, the maximum adults there beingc.300 on 22nd May, 40 pairs bred and over 100 were still present by 15th July. Twelve were counted at the Shoulder o’ Mutton on 20th March but there then followed an absence until 24th April, when c.120 were counted, this rising to c.130 by 2nd May. The numbers then decreased and there was no proof of breeding. 

Herring Gull L. argentatus 
Eight were seen on 25th December.

Stock Dove Columba oenas
Fourteen were counted on 10th January.

Wood Pigeon C. palumbus 

Cuckoo Cuculus canorus

European Nightjar
 Caprimulgus europaeus 
A partial counts revealed c.36 churring males.     

Green Woodpecker Picus viridis 

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker D. minor
One flew from a bush at Swinefleet Warping Drain to Will Pits on 10th January.

Sky Lark Alauda arvensis 

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
A late record was of one on 23rd October.

House Martin
 Delichon urbica

Meadow Pipit
 Anthus pratensis
Up to 35 were seen in April with c.60 on 3rd.


Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba
Eleven were counted on 23rd October.

 Troglodytes troglodytes


Hedge Accentor Prunella modularis 


Robin Erithacus rubecula


Rufous Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos 
Fourteen males were recorded as holding territories. A single sang from a hedgerow at Inkle Moor, again this year.

Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
One was seen on 1st June, for example.

Common Stonechat S. torquata
Singles were seen on 10th January, 6th March and 13th November.

Blackbird Turdus merula 
Resident, 20+ were counted on 23rd October.


Fieldfare T. pilaris 
Over 125 were counted on 23rd October.

Song Thrush T. philomelos 

Redwing T. iliacus
Five were logged on on 23rd October.

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus

Reed Warbler 
A. scirpaceus

Whitethroat Sylvia communis

Garden Warbler S. borin
An early record was of one heard on 24th April.

Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
A late record came on 31st October. 

Willow Warbler P. trochilus
One singing at Inkle Moor in early May incorporated elements of Common Chiffchaff in its song.

Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Singles were heard on 20th March and 3rd April. 

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus

Willow Tit Parus montanus 

Blue Tit P. caeruleus 
Resident, c.40 were noted on 24th January.

Great Tit P. major

Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
Singles were present at a wood along Thorne Waste Drain and at Will Pits on 4th March. 

Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor 
A single was seen on 11th December.

Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius


Magpie Pica pica
Resident, 20-21 were counted, on 21st February. 

Eurasian Jackdaw
 Corvus monedula
Breeding Black-headed Gulls harassed two that flew around the Shoulder o’ Mutton on 15th May.

 C. frugilegus
Singles flew over the moors on 12th April and 13th November.

Carrion Crow C. corone
On 10th January, 80 were counted coming to roost near Mill Drain Marsh. A possible hybrid of C.c. corone x C.c. cornix was seen on 31st January.

Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris

Tree Sparrow Passer montanus

Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Counts peaked at 100+ on 7th February.


Greenfinch Carduelis chloris


Goldfinch C. carduelis 


Siskin C. spinus
Records of birds passing overhead came on 18th (three) and 25th September (six plus) and 2nd October (three).

Linnet C. cannabina 

Common Redpoll C. flammea


Common Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula 

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
Resident, 32 were counted on 20th January.


Reed Bunting E. schoeniclus 
Resident, 25 were counted on 23rd October.



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.