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Bird Records For Thorne Moors 1990

Compiled by Peter C. Roworth and Janet M. Roworth

Northern Gannet Morus bassanus
One immature was flying SW over NNR on 20th October, a new species for Thorne Moors (SH, BPW).

Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
One was flying NW over NNR on 15th October.

Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Occasionally seen flying over moors. Three were near Bell’s Pond on 15th July.

Mute Swan Cygnus olor
Four flew SE on 3rd May. Four were flying W on 26th May.

Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus
Two were flying over moors on 16th December.

Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus 
On 23rd February c.130 flew N. Eighty flew NW over moors on 9th March.

Common Teal Anas crecca 
Observed most months. Breed in small numbers, 12 pairs recorded. Numbers build up during autumn, maximum was 130 flushed from New Cut Drain on 25th September, but fall off to only a few during the winter months.

Mallard A. platyrhynchos
Two pairs recorded breeding. Birds occasionally flushed from drains during winter months, six near Angle Dyke Drain on 12th November.


Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
05th January       1 male over NNR
02nd February     1 female over NNR
04th April            1 male near Cottage Dyke
11th September    2 flying SW over NNR
14th October        1 female over NNR, mobbed by corvids
29th October        1 female over NNR
31st October        1 male hunting low over NNR at dusk
12th November     1 female over ‘Middle Moor’
21st November     1 female near Nightjar Corner


Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
A large unidentified raptor was disturbed along the E boundary of the NNR. Similar to a large female Sparrowhawk, but the flight was too slow and heavy. There was possibly a Goshawk on 22nd October.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk A. nisus
Singles observed infrequently, generally hunting over areas of old peat workings. A pair proved breeding at Woodpecker Corner.

Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus 
Observed most months. Pair displaying over NNR on 1st May.

Merlin F. columbarius 
Infrequently seen hunting over Moors. One female was near ‘Middle Moor’ on 5th November. One male perching on small bush along roadside leading to Peat Works from Crowle on 19th December. One female flushed near Pony Bridge Wood on 10th November.

Hobby F. subbuteo
Fewer sightings compared with previous year. One male feeding over ‘Middle Moor’, late evening 6th May. Adult flying S of ‘Middle Moor’ 26th May. One male was in fast flight into Will Pits on 1st July.

Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
One pair recorded breeding. Fourteen were sighted on 5th November near Elmhurst Pump.

Grey Partridge Perdix perdix 
One pair recorded breeding. Small groups of adults and young observed most days during the autumn. Maximum was ?? on 7th November, W of Pony Bridge.

Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
Recorded most months, breeds on edge of moors. Stock may be released.

Water Rail Rallus aquaticus 
One was calling near Shoulder of Mutton area on 13th May.

Moorhen Gallinula chloropus   
One was on Southern Boundary Drain on 4th April. Three pairs recorded breeding. Five adults and six young observed on moors on 3rd July.

Common Coot Fulica atra
Occasionally observed on edge of moors, near drain sides.

Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus
An adult bird flew E over Cottage Dyke 17th June (PCR, DR) and was also seen independently by another group of birdwatchers (GS, JR and RW). First record for Thorne Moors.

Great Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula 
Two flushed from flooded area near Thorne colliery on 9th March.

Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Two pairs bred in old peat workings to the S of the NNR. Twelve flew SW on 16th June.

Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus 
One flushed near N boundary of NNR on 2nd February.

Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago 
Two pairs bred on NNR, drumming first heard on 4th April. Singles occasionally flushed from old wet peat workings during autumn and winter months. Maximum was five in a group on 11th January. 

Woodcock Scolopax rusticola 
Breeds in suitable edge scrub/woodland. Singles observed throughout winter months.

Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus 
One flew SW over NNR on 7th August.

Eurasian Curlew N. arquata 
One was calling over NNR on 17th-19th April.

Common Redshank Tringa totanus 
One was flying E on 13th May.

Green Sandpiper T. ochropus
One flushed from Thorne Waste Drain on 1st July. One flew SW, near Cottage Dyke on 15th July.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
Small breeding colony at Paraffin Works. There were twenty adults and 10 juveniles on 24th July. Occasionally observed flying over moors. Three on 30th August, flying SE.

Common Gull L. canus 
Five were flying SE, on 1st February.

Lesser Black-backed Gull L. fuscus 
Infrequent sightings over moors, two were flying NW on 2nd August.

Herring Gull L. argentatus
Twenty-two, flying W on 23rd February.

Great Black-backed Gull L. marinus
Four, flying W on 19th June.

Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus        
Common, seen throughout the year; breeds in surrounding woodland. Twenty-four in birch scrub on NNR on 12th March.

Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur
Eight pairs recorded breeding in birch scrub and warp woodland.

Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus  
Regularly observed and heard during the summer months. Two were calling on 3rd April.

Tawny Owl Strix aluco
More often heard than seen. Breeds in the more mature woodland surrounding the moors.

Long-eared Owl Asio otus
One flushed in Will Pits on 26th May.

Short-eared Owl A. flammeus 
Singles usually observed late evening during the winter months, hunting over recent peat workings. One was regularly seen near Mill Drain to the north of the NNR in December.

European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus 
Thirty-five churring males recorded on the moors. There were three churring on Crowle Moors 31st May. One juvenile flushed from the path along the N boundary of the NNR on 25th September.

Common Swift Apus apus
Regularly observed feeding over the moors during the summer. There was c.200 feeding over NNR on 10th June. Two were flying SW over NNR on 18th August.


Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis 
One observed flying along Thorne Waste Drain, near Woodpecker Corner on 2nd November.

Green Woodpecker Picus viridis 
Singles usually observed on old birch stumps. A pair bred in woodland on the SE edge of the moors.

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
One pair recorded breeding.

Sky Lark Alauda arvensis 
Infrequently observed flying over the moors. Twenty flew in a SE direction over NNR on 9th October.

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica 
Common, feeding over moors during the summer months. Two were flying SW near the Warping Drain on 22nd October.

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
Fifteen pairs recorded breeding in open scrub. One was in song on NNR on 3rd April.

Meadow Pipit A. pratensis
Observed most months. Fifteen pairs bred. Small movement of birds flying SE, with Sky Larks on 9th October.

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
One male was near Elmhirst Pump on 3rd July.

Pied Wagtail M. alba
Infrequently observed. Two flew over NNR on 9th March. Two pairs recorded breeding.

Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
A common resident with 54 pairs recorded breeding.

Hedge Accentor Prunella modularis 
Occasionally observed on the edge of the moors. Five pairs bred.

Robin Erithacus rubecula
Thirty-one pairs were recorded breeding in mainly scrub areas of old peat workings. One was in song on 6th February.

Rufous Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos 
Three males were singing in Will Pits on 6th May. Thirteen pairs bred in suitable dense woodland.

Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
One female flushed from N boundary of NNR on 25th July.

Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
Regularly observed on NNR during summer. Eighteen pairs bred (10 on NNR) on moors. Five males were singing on NNR on 1st May.

Common Stonechat S. torquata 
Two males and two females were near Nightjar Corner, and one male and one female near Pony Bridge on 5th November. One male was near ‘Middle Moor’ on 12th November.

Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
One male was near ‘Middle Moor’ on 24th March. One female and two males were near Angle Drain on 15th April. One female was near NNR on 8th October.

Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus 
One male flying over Bell’s Pond on 27th October.

Blackbird T. merula 
Infrequently observed and there were 10 pairs recorded breeding.

Fieldfare T. pilaris 
Several groups flying W over moors on 9th October.

Song Thrush T. philomelos 
One pair recorded breeding. Very occasionally observed on the edge of moor.

Redwing Turdus iliacus 
Small groups were flying W with Fieldfares over the moors on 9th October.

Mistle Thrush T. viscivorus 
Infrequently observed. Breeding suspected in Will Pits.

Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia 
Singles heard ‘reeling’ in scrub habitat during summer evenings. Two pairs bred.

Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Six pairs bred in areas of common reed on the Moor.

Reed Warbler A. scirpaceus
Four pairs bred.

Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
Singles occasionally recorded as on 13th May, when one was near the NNR.

Common Whitethroat S. communis 
A common summer visitor with 45 pairs recorded breeding.

Garden Warbler S. borin
Five pairs recorded breeding.

Blackcap S. atricapilla 
Thirteen pairs recorded breeding.

Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
Ten pairs recorded breeding. Singing near Bell’s Pond on 25th March.

Willow Warbler P. trochilus
A very common species, breeding in all suitable areas of scrub and bracken in areas of old peat cuttings. There were 101 pairs recorded. Singing heard on NNR on 17th April.

Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Observed most autumn and winter months usually mixed with tits and finches. Maximum was five roosting in Phragmites on 29th October. 

Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata 
Infrequently observed during the summer. Two pairs recorded breeding.

Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus
One male flushed from reeds Bell’s Pond on 25th October.

Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
One pair recorded breeding. Usually observed during the autumn and winter as a mixed flock of other tits and finches. Ten in birch scrub near NNR on 12th November.

Willow Tit Parus montanus 
Occasionally seen and heard. Five pairs recorded breeding.

Blue Tit P. caeruleus 
Seen most months. Eight pairs recorded breeding.

Great Tit P. major
Two pairs recorded breeding. Occasionally observed with other tits during the winter.

Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
One was calling Will Pits on 26th May.

Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
Singles occasionally observed, generally disturbed from birch scrub and developing woodland on the edge of the Moor.

Magpie Pica pica
There were infrequent sightings throughout the year. One was near W boundary of NNR on 16th October. A roving group of 18 birds observed near Elmhirst Pump on 5th November.

Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula
Small numbers occasionally feeding with other corvids on open areas of the moors.

Rook C. frugilegus
Numbers of up to 90 birds observed roosting in Will Pits during the autumn.

Carrion Crow C. corone
Often seen foraging over open areas of peat, particularly ‘Middle Moor’. Groups of c.100 recorded during the autumn.

Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris 
Occasionally observed in small groups flying over moors. There were 17 near Swinefleet Warping Drain on 10th November.

Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Fifteen pairs recorded breeding and observed most months. Maximum winter flock of 15 birds noted on 10th November near Woodpecker Corner.

Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
There were 30 roosting in rhododendrons on NNR on 2nd February.

Goldfinch C. carduelis 
Occasional sightings of single birds throughout the year, with a group of 23 young and adults, feeding off thistle heads near Warping Drain on 21st December.

Linnet C. cannabina 
Four pairs recorded breeding, occasionally seen in small groups flying over the moors. There were 16 roosting in rhododendrons on 5th January.

Common Redpoll C. flammea           
Observed most months. Five pairs recorded breeding. There were 90 feeding in birch trees Crowle Moors on 29th December.

Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
Pair of juveniles observed in Will Pits on 16th June (CF, AS). Five flew E near Elmhirst Pump on 3rd July.

Common Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula 
Occasionally seen and heard throughout the year. Three pairs recorded breeding.

Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
Regularly observed throughout moors during the summer. Twenty-eight pairs recorded breeding.

Reed Bunting E. schoeniclus
Frequents scrub areas of birch on old peat workings. There were 39 pairs recorded breeding.


List of observers

Clive Featherstone, Adrian Handley, Steve Hiner, Martin Limbert, Bill H. Priestley, J. Rogan, D. Robinson, Janet M. Roworth, Peter C. Roworth, Adrian Scutt, G. Silver, Bryan P. Wainwright, R. Welburne, Eric Wright.