Bird Records For Thorne Moors 1993
Compiled by Peter C. Roworth and Janet M. Roworth
The following names are taken from the ‘British Birds’ List of English Names of Western Palearctic Birds, 1993, British Birds Ltd.
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
A single bird was seen and heard calling on 14th and 26th April from Mill Drain Marsh. Birds were heard "whinneying" from the Paraffin Works cuttings on various dates from 7th March until 31st May. Single birds also seen on Bell’s Pond and Inkle Moor Pond. Last date was 29th August when a single bird was seen on Paraffin Mill Drain.
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Two flying over Southern Canals on 11th April, one flew up from Paraffin Ponds on 12th April. Two disturbed off flooded area near English Nature sheds on 13th November.
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
Sightings, usually of single birds, from the main boundary drains, particularly Thorne Waste Drain and Bell’s Pond area. Also recorded from Elmhirst Pump, Woodpecker Corner, Paraffin Ponds and the flooded area S of the Southern Canals.
Mute Swan Cygnus olor
Two were flying S over ‘Middle Moor’ on 13th May.
Tundra Swan C. columbianus
Two flew off Bell’s Pond going S, and seven flew W low over the Southern Canals, both sightings on 6th November.
Whooper Swan C. cygnus
Three were seen on an area of open water between the limestone road and the Green Belt on 15th November. The birds appeared nervous and flew off calling, heading S.
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus
Flocks of geese are occasionally seen during the winter months. Sightings include 50+ seen flying over Bell’s Pond on 2nd January, c.180 flying E over the Southern Canals on 8th January, 55 seen over the Paraffin Ponds on 8th February and 130 flying NW over the moors on 9th March. Towards the end of the year 90 were seen on 10th October, 80 on 14th November and 112 on 6th December.
Greylag Goose A. anser
A single feral bird was seen at the Paraffin Ponds on 15th April. The bird had nested but when checked on the 30th April the eggs had been eaten by Carrion Crows.
Canada Goose Branta canadensis
One female and two males seen at the Paraffin Ponds on 2nd May. Groups of nine and 18 were seen flying over this area on 29th May. Five seen flying over Mill Drain Marsh on 10th October.
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
A single bird seen flying W over ‘Middle Moor’ on 25th December.
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope
Six were seen on the flooded area of ‘Middle Moor’ on 29th January. A pair was on the Paraffin Ponds on 5th February. Eleven (five males and six females) birds were flushed from ‘Middle Moor’ Marsh on 18th October. One female was seen in the same area on 31st October, together with three females on the Paraffin Ponds.
Common Teal A. crecca
Regularly seen throughout the year. Early in the year groups of around 50 were seen on the Paraffin Ponds and 20-40 in the flooded area of ‘Middle Moor’. A Eurasian Sparrowhawk was observed taking a female there on 7th March. During the breeding season pairs were flushed from many of the main drains and flooded areas including Pony Bridge Marsh, the Southern Canals, Bell’s Pond, ‘Middle Moor’, Paraffin Ponds, the Receptor Ditch, the New Cut, Southern Boundary Drain and Swinefleet Warping Drain. Adults with young were seen on the Southern Boundary Drain on 19th June, on Mill Drain Marsh on 12th July and on the New Cut Drain and S of the Southern Canals on 15th August. An estimated 18 pairs bred on the moors. In the autumn numbers built up with around 300 seen flighting over ‘Middle Moor’ in late October. Hard frosts in early December reduced the numbers but groups of 30+ were seen again later in the month.
Mallard A. platyrhynchos
Observed throughout the year. Groups of around 40 birds were seen on the flooded areas of ‘Middle Moor’ and on the Paraffin Ponds in February and March. A white feral duck was regularly seen with these flocks at this time. During the breeding season pairs or small groups were disturbed from all the main drains and flooded areas in the S half of the moors. An estimated 12 pairs bred on the moors. A pair with nine young was seen on Mill Drain Marsh on 26th April and a female with six young was seen on Thorne Waste Drain on 9th and 16th May. By early October numbers had built up to around 250 birds in the Mill Drain Marsh area and 60 at the Paraffin Ponds. The hard weather in early December drove most of the ducks away, but around 50 were seen in the ‘Middle Moor’ area and 30 at the Paraffin Ponds on 25th December.
Pintail A. acuta
One male was seen on ‘Middle Moor’ on 31st October.
Northern Shoveler A. clypeata
One male was seen at the Paraffin Ponds on 15th April. Six were flushed from Mill Drain Marsh on 22nd September. Fourteen were seen at the Paraffin Ponds on 23rd October, two females on 6th November and one male on 6th December.
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
A maximum of four birds seen on the Paraffin Ponds during April and May. A pair was also flushed from the Southern Boundary Drain during this time.
Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
One adult was seen over ‘Middle Moor’ in early March. One female seen displaying over the W boundary before flying NW on 3rd May. Two ‘cream crowns’ seen hunting over Pony Bridge Marsh on 21st August. One seen over the moors on 31st August and three adults reported over Mill Drain Marsh at the end of August. One male over Mill Drain Marsh on 6th September, and on 11th September two immature birds were seen S of the Southern Canals and one adult male over Pony Bridge Wood.
Hen Harrier C. cyaneus
Winter sightings include one female over Pony Bridge Marsh on 4th January and one female over the Southern Canals on 8th January, two females on 9th, 14th and 19th January. One male and one female were also seen on 11th and 17th January. One male was seen W of the Southern Canals on 15th February and one juvenile male was seen hunting over Pony Bridge Marsh on 28th February. On 25th March one female was seen over ‘Middle Moor’ where it swooped at some Meadow Pipits but failed to take any. One female was hunting over the flooded area near the English Nature’s shed on 2nd November and one male was quartering over the moors E of the Southern Canals on 29th December.
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
Sightings, usually of single birds, throughout the year, with a maximum of four birds at roost at Bell’s Pond on 25th January and 5th February. One male observed on 29th January appeared to be wearing jesses. One female was seen feeding on recently killed female Teal at ‘Middle Moor’ on 7th March. One male was seen with prey over ‘Middle Moor’ on 18th July, one male was seen chasing Greenfinches at roost at Bell’s Pond on 15th November. A male was seen carrying a Blackbird over the Canal Tow Path on 16th November. Breeding was suspected on Crowle Moors and in the Elmhirst area.
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
One was seen to come off the Southern Canals and fly towards Pony Bridge Wood on 15th September.
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
One or two birds regularly seen over the moors. A pair was seen displaying over the Southern Canals on 30th April. An adult was seen flying with prey up to the pit tip winding gear on 8th May, and breeding was also suspected in the Will Pits area. A maximum of four birds seen over the Southern Canals on 21st August.
Merlin F. columbarius
There were occasional sightings during the winter months, one was over Pony Bridge Wood on 3rd January. A male was over the Southern Canals and later over Pony Bridge Marsh on 4th January and a juvenile female was over Southern Canals on 9th January. One was over ‘Middle Moor’ and a female was at the Paraffin Ponds on 17th January, a female was flying N of Mill Drain on 16th February. A juvenile female was flying near Limberlost peat stack on 3rd October, and one was chasing Meadow Pipit at Shoulder of Mutton on 7th November. One was flying over Moorends towards the moors on 29th November and one male flying over Paraffin Ponds on 6th December.
Hobby F. subbuteo
12th May 1 adult hawking dragonflies over the Southern Canals
18th May 1 S of Southern Canals
19th May 1 male W of Pony Bridge Marsh
04th June 1 perched near Canal 6
02nd July 1 over the New Cut Drain
04th July 2 adults and a juvenile over Southern Canals and ‘Middle Moor’
06th July 2 adults and a juvenile over Southern Canals and ‘Middle Moor’
07th July 2 adults and a juvenile over Southern Canals and ‘Middle Moor’
11th July 2
12th July 2
13th July 1
24th July 1
29th July 1
30th July 1
01st August 1 adult on feeding over the Southern Canals,
21st August 2 adults and one second-year bird over the Reserve
29th August 2 in the ‘Middle Moor’/Reserve area
31st August 1 ‘Middle Moor’/Reserve area
09th September 1
12th September 1
Peregrine Falcon F. peregrinus
03rd January 1 male attempted to take a Wood Pigeon from a flock over Mill Drain
15th September 1 juvenile female seen from pit tip
24th September 1 male on NW edge of moors
03rd October 1 juvenile female attempted to take a duck over the flooded area near the English Nature shed
10th October 1 adult male and one juvenile female in combat over Mill Drain Marsh
17th October 1 juvenile chasing Teal over ‘Middle Moor’
11th November 1 juvenile over ‘Middle Moor’
Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
Observed throughout the year, mainly along the disused tramways and tracks, but also seen on Inkle Moor, ‘Middle Moor’ and Pony Bridge Marsh. An estimate of 11 breeding pairs.
Grey Partridge Perdix perdix
Observed in small numbers throughout the year, with a maximum nine near Mill Drain on 29th December. Grey Partridges seem to favour the edges of the moor with sightings in the Paraffin Ponds area, and also on Goole Moor and along the limestone road. An estimate of five breeding pairs.
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
Observed over a wide area of the moors, throughout the year. Most sightings were of single birds. A total of 27 were seen on the moors on 2nd May and 23 on 17th October. Numbers are kept artificially high because of stock released on the moors and in the surrounding area.
Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
One heard calling from the flooded area S of the Southern Canals on 26th April and 19th June, and one thought to be heard calling on ‘Middle Moor’ on 31st October.
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Recorded throughout the year from the main watercourses at Elmhirst Pump, Bell’s Pond, the Paraffin Ponds and from the Swinefleet Warping Drain. Other sightings were from Angle Drain, ‘Middle Moor’, Mill Drain Marsh, Pony Bridge Marsh and the Receptor Ditch. Birds seen on nests at Bell’s Pond, the flooded NW corner of Pony Bridge Marsh and a small pond on the edge of Will Pits, and juvenile birds seen on Mill Drain Marsh. A maximum number of nine birds seen on 29th August.
Common Coot Fulica atra
Regularly observed at the Paraffin Ponds where five-plus were seen on 15th April. Breeding proven at the Paraffin Ponds. One on ‘Middle Moor’ on 6th June, and one on Inkle Moor Pond on 29th August.
Great Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
One calling and flying over ‘Middle Moor’ on 3rd May. Single birds seen on Thorne colliery spoil heap on several dates between 10th April and 29th May. An adult with three young was seen there on one and 12th June.
European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria
Eleven flying over ‘Middle Moor’ and 18 over Pony Bridge Marsh on 4th January, two disturbed from the flooded area N of Pony Bridge Marsh on 17th January, one calling from Pony Bridge Marsh on 3rd February, and one calling from the Paraffin Ponds on 23rd October.
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Records were from the winter months, when flocks were seen flying over the moors, with 27 over Pony Bridge Marsh on 3rd January, 60+ over the same area on 3rd February. There were 250 seen from the Pit Top on 6th November, 31 over Will Pits and 2000+ over Pony Bridge Marsh on 7th November, and 500 disturbed off fields near Inkle Moor on 15th November. Displaying birds were seen over ‘Middle Moor’ on 2nd and 24th April, and over a flooded area S of Will Pits on 11th April, 3rd and 7th May, where a pair with young was seen at the end of May. Two adults and three juveniles were at Mill Drain Marsh on 18th July. (An adult with young was also seen on Thorne colliery yard on 1st May.)
Ruff Philomachus pugnax
Three flushed from Mill Drain Marsh on 12th September.
Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
One at Bell’s Pond on 1st April, one flushed from old peat workings on ‘Middle Moor’ on 22nd October and one seen on 31st October.
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
Recorded throughout the year. Winter counts at the Paraffin Ponds included 18+ on 8th February, 10 on 14th February, eight-plus on 23rd October and six-plus on 6th November. Birds regularly flushed from Mill Drain marsh, ‘Middle Moor’ and the Canal Tow Path. Twelve individuals were observed during the point count breeding bird survey.
Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
Two roding in Elmhirst area on 19th June. Single birds flushed from edge of Will Pits on 14th November, from Pony Bridge Marsh on 16th November and from Elmhirst tram on 16th December.
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
Eight were flying W over the moors on 18th August.
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
Five were flying W over Pony Bridge Marsh on 2nd August. Six were flying SW over Woodpecker Corner on 18th August.
Eurasian Curlew N. arquata
There were sightings of maximum of four birds during March to May from ‘Middle Moor’, Mill Drain Marsh, Green Belt area and over Southern Canals. Two pairs suspected breeding.
Common Redshank Tringa totanus
One was calling from ‘Middle Moor’ on 30th April.
Green Sandpiper T. ochropus
Single birds at Mill Drain Marsh on 4th August and 6th September. One flying W from Bell’s Pond on 1st September, two seen on ‘Middle Moor’ on 5th September and one on ‘Middle Moor’ on 9th September.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
Two were at Mill Drain Marsh on 4th August.
Little Gull Larus minutus
A reported sighting of a juvenile at Mill Drain Marsh on 27th June, details forwarded to Doncaster and District Ornithological Society records committee for consideration.
Black-headed Gull L. ridibundus
Occasionally observed during the winter months. There was a maximum of 85 flying NE over the moors, on 7th November. Breeding colony at Mill Drain Marsh built up to 300 adults by the middle of June. An estimated 100 pairs bred. Few sightings from the former breeding location at the Paraffin Ponds, 10 adults recorded there on 3rd May.
Common Gull L. canus
Sightings were occasional throughout the year. Twelve with Lesser Black-backed Gulls over Alders on 17th January, 10 over W edge of moors on 28th February, eight on 29th August and 13 flying W over moors on 20th December.
Lesser Black-backed Gull L. fuscus
There were sightings throughout the year of single birds or small groups flying over the moors. Maximum counts were 30+ flying W on 24th July and 25+ flying W on 9th August.
Herring Gull L. argentatus
There were occasional sightings of single birds or small groups flying over the moors, maximum 17+ on 6th November.
Great Black-backed Gull L. marinus
Occasional sightings of single birds or small groups throughout the year, maximum 10+ flying W on 25th January and 14 on 25th December.
Stock Dove Columba oenas
Occasionally observed on the edge of the moors, a maximum of five near Inkle Moor on 5th February and three displaying near Bell’s Pond on 7th March.
Wood Pigeon C. palumbus
Observed throughout the year, generally in and around the woodland edge of the moors. Eighteen birds recorded from the point count breeding bird survey. Depending on the locality of food source from adjacent arable fields, winter roost numbers can be impressive, a maximum of 2000+ birds were seen flighting into Pony Bridge Wood on 17th February.
Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
Occasionally seen near Bell’s Pond and Inkle Moor, an uncommon bird not normally associated with the moors.
Turtle Dove S. turtur
First heard calling near Inkle Moor on 30th April. Occasionally seen and heard during the summer months from the edge of the moors, breeding suspected near Bell’s Pond and in Will Pits.
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
A bird was heard calling on the W edge of the moors near Thorne colliery on 13th March, an exceptionally early date. Birds regularly heard on the moors from 17th April. A maximum of seven adults recorded on 31st May. Last sighting one adult near Bell’s Pond on 20th June.
Common Cuckoo - Rufous form
The female rufous form was observed on Pony Bridge Marsh on 15th May. The bird was observed perched on a dead birch stump from a distance of 25 yards. The rich brown coloration, heavy barring on the back and black/brown barring of tail with broad band of white at the tip was very noticeable. As the bird flew off, the lightly barred chest and pale yellow legs were observed.
Barn Owl Tyto alba
One hunting along the Warping Drain near Top Moor Farm on 14th May.
Little Owl Athene noctua
One was calling near Bell’s Pond on 19th June.
Tawny Owl Strix aluco
Breeding was proven in Will Pits and Pony Bridge Wood, where young have been heard and seen.
Long-eared Owl Asio otus
Breeding suspected on the edge of Crowle Moors with adults regularly seen hunting along the Warping Drain during the middle of May. Breeding proven in woodland near Woodpecker Corner where young were heard calling at the end of June.
Short-eared Owl A. flammeus
Only three sightings of this bird reported. One was being mobbed by Meadow Pipits near Elmhirst tram on 21st March, one disturbed from Green Belt area on 2nd May, and one flushed from Pony Bridge Marsh on 27th September.
European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus
First heard churring on 20th May near Thousand Acre Drain. A total of 40 churring males were recorded on the moors during June and early July. Last recorded on 20th August when three churring males were heard in Pony Bridge Marsh.
Common Swift Apus apus
Three birds were seen flying over Southern Canals on 6th May. Observed in small numbers during the summer months flying over the old peat workings in search of food. Numbers built up to c.100 on 9th August. Last seen on 29th August with two birds flying over Mill Drain Marsh.
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
A bird was disturbed from a perch alongside the Warping Drain, near the Fire Tower on 20th July.
Green Woodpecker Picus viridis
A pair breeds in woodland near Woodpecker Corner.
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
Adult birds observed in woodland around the edge of the moors. Breeding suspected near Woodpecker Corner, Bell’s Pond and in Will Pits. A pair was seen displaying and calling in Will Pits on 4th April, and in woodland near Bell’s Pond on 30th April.
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker D. minor
A female was seen in Will Pits on 14th February and 3rd May, and heard drumming there on 6th May.
Sky Lark Alauda arvensis
Sightings throughout the year were mainly from the W edge of the moors and the ‘Middle Moor’ area. Birds were heard in full song in the Inkle Moor/Paraffin Pond area on 8th February and over ‘Middle Moor’ on 30th March. 39 birds recorded on the point count breeding bird survey. Small movement of birds observed in October with 23 seen on 3rd, 30 flying WNW on 17th, c.70 flying W on 18th and 200+ also on 18th.
Sand Martin Riparia riparia
One was flying W at Bell’s Pond on 6th May, one over ‘Middle Moor’ on 4th July and 20+ flying S on 24th July.
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
First sighting on 14th April with one at the Drop Ponds near Inkle Moor. Small groups seen flying over the moors throughout the summer. Autumn numbers include 60+ over the Southern Canals on 21st August, c.70 on 29th August, 28 over Bell’s Pond on 12th September and 40+ there on 15th September. Last sighting of two juveniles over Pony Bridge Marsh on 18th October.
House Martin Delichon urbica
Single birds or small groups seen over the moors on 6th, 9th, 12th and 31st May, 29th August, 9th and 15thh September.
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
First sighting on 24th April with three near the SE boundary. Regularly heard singing from the old peat cuttings to the S and E of the Southern Canals, and 41 birds recorded on the point count breeding bird survey. Last record for a single bird near Angle Drain on 18th July.
Meadow Pipit A. pratensis
Observed throughout the year amongst the more open, abandoned peat workings to the E of the Southern Canals. Several pairs displaying on 2nd April, and during the breeding survey 47 birds were recorded. Numbers built up during the autumn months when there was quite an influx of birds. Fifty birds were seen around Mill Drain Marsh on 5th September; one recorder noted "good numbers on ‘Middle Moor’, all in small groups". In excess of 200 were seen, on passage with Sky Larks on 18th October and one bird was seen being attacked by a Merlin to the W of Will Pits on 7th November.
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
Several sightings throughout the year, most records were generally in early summer and early autumn. Singles were seen on 24th April, 2nd, 6th, 12th, 23rd and 31st May, 6th June and 4th July. Seven were seen on the moors on 29th August.
Grey Wagtail M. cinerea
One was flying over Inkle Moor on 5th March.
Pied Wagtail M. alba
Occasional sightings of single birds in spring, summer and autumn. Two immature birds were seen on Goole Moors on 31st May.
Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
Observed throughout the year over the vegetated area of the moors. 15 birds recorded on the point count breeding bird survey. On 22nd November 64 birds were recorded throughout the moors.
Hedge Accentor Prunella modularis
Observed throughout the year from the areas of woodland and tall scrub. A maximum of 10 recorded on the moors on 31st October.
Robin Erithacus rubecula
Single birds infrequently seen throughout the year. Seventeen birds were recorded on the point count breeding bird survey. Twenty-one birds were seen in the southern area of the moors on 3rd October and a count of 28 on the moors on 31st October.
Rufous Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos
First recorded male singing in Pony Bridge Wood. Eleven singing males recorded holding territory in the woodland areas including Will Pits, Pony Bridge Wood, Casson’s Garden, Bell’s Pond, Elmhirst area, Inkle Moor and the Green Belt. First and last dates were 11th April and ?
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
Summer visitor first recorded on the Southern Canals on 24th April, where 10 pairs held territory. Although the bird breeds throughout the old peat workings on the moors, the Southern Canals still remains a stronghold for the species. Last recorded on 15th August.
Common Stonechat S. torquata
This bird appears to be a regular winter visitor, with infrequent sightings mainly from ‘Middle Moor’ and Pony Bridge Marsh. Four (two males and two females) were seen on 10th October at the W end of Mill Drain and three were seen on Pony Bridge Marsh on 6th November.
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
Occasionally seen on passage. One near Mill Drain on 29th March, three near Shoulder of Mutton on 12th April, one on Goole Moors on 23rd May, one on 29th August, one on Goole Fields on 1st September and three to the W of Will Pits on 9th September.
Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus
One male flying E on 4th April and three disturbed near Woodpecker Corner on 24th April.
Blackbird T. merula
Observed throughout the year from the areas of woodland and tall scrub. Fifty were seen flying to roost at Bell’s Pond on 2nd January. Seven birds recorded on the point count breeding bird survey. A maximum of 21 birds recorded on the moors on 31st October.
Fieldfare T. pilaris
Large numbers of birds observed coming to roost during October and November. October sightings include c.400 roosting in willow scrub along the Canal Tow Path on 17th, 200+ roosting at Bell’s Pond on 21st and 500 over Pony Bridge Marsh on 31st. A total of 900 were seen at various roosts also on 31st October, where the recorder observed 110 birds landing on bare peat on a flooded milling field and drinking from the pools of water. The first week of November saw several thousand birds flighting to roost amongst the scrub and woodland edge on the moors, the maximum was 5000+ on the 6th.
Song Thrush T. philomelos
This is an uncommon bird. All records, generally of single birds, were from the W edge of the moors except for a single bird seen in Will Pits on 14th February. One was in full song near the Paraffin Ponds on 7th March. Two unusually high numbers were recorded in October when 14 and 19 birds were seen on the 17th and 31st; the observer noticed that "some of these behaved like immigrant birds".
Redwing T. iliacus
Recorded during the winter usually in small groups flighting to roost. Seven flew over Pony Bridge Marsh on 3rd October. Maximum numbers coincided with the high Fieldfare numbers during the end of October and early November. One hundred and sixty were seen flying over Pony Bridge Marsh on 18th October and later in the month on 21st 500+ were observed going to roost into scrub near Bell’s Pond. On 7th November 250 flew over Crowle Moors.
Mistle Thrush T. viscivorus
One was near Inkle Moor on 23rd May and two adults with three juveniles near Woodpecker Corner on 31st May.
Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia
First heard singing on the W edge of the moors near Inkle Moor on 15th April. One calling in the SE corner of Pony Bridge Marsh and another bird calling at the same time in scrub near Pony Bridge on 29th April. July records were of birds singing near Bell’s Pond, Inkle Moor and the W end of the Rhododendron path. The last area was also the site for the last record on 1st August. First and last dates were
Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
First heard on 28th April near Inkle Moor and the last sighting was of a bird near the ‘brick bridge’ on 18th July. The stronghold for this bird is on the W edge of the moors and all records were from Inkle Moor, Paraffin Ponds and Bell’s Pond except for a single bird heard on the W edge of Crowle Moors on 27th June. First and last dates were
Reed Warbler A. scirpaceus
First observed on 26th April near Inkle Moor and the last record was for single birds at Bell’s Pond and the Canal Tow Path on 9th July. The favourite haunt for this bird is again on the W fringes of the moors at Inkle Moor, Paraffin Ponds and Bell’s Pond. A pair has held territory for several years near the N end of Canal 3 on the Southern Canals. First and last dates were
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
Few sightings the first of which was recorded at near Inkle Moor. Two were singing near Bell’s Pond on 1st May and one in Will Pits 3rd May. Last heard on 12th July. First and last dates were 26th April
Common Whitethroat S. communis
First heard along the W edge of the moors between Inkle Moor and Bell’s Pond when seven birds were recorded on 22nd April. This warbler is widely distributed throughout the southern half of the moors amongst the old peat workings and woodland edge. On the point count breeding survey 64 birds were recorded. Last observed on 29th August with one bird at Inkle Moor, two at the Paraffin Ponds and two at Mill Drain Marsh. First and last dates were
Garden Warbler S. borin
Infrequently observed throughout the moors. First heard near Inkle Moor on 30th April. A maximum of eight birds were recorded on the moors on 23rd May, last sighting was of a bird in Will Pits on 27th June. First and last dates were
Blackcap S. atricapilla
Five birds were heard near Inkle Moor on 22nd April. This species is thinly distributed on the moors, generally amongst the thicker scrub and woodland pockets. Eleven birds were heard on the moors on 31st May and the last record was of a bird singing at the Rhododendron path on 18th July. First and last dates were
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
First heard on singing near Inkle Moor. Widely distributed in scrub and woodland around the edge of the moors, regular sites include Inkle Moor, Bell’s Pond, Rhododendron path, Green Belt, Elmhirst tram, Limberlost tram, Pony Bridge Wood and Will Pits. A maximum of 10 birds was seen on 11th April, last record one near Bell’s Pond. First and last dates were 1st April and 23rd October.
Willow Warbler P. trochilus
Common throughout the old scrub covered peat workings. First recorded on 10th April near Bell’s Pond and last seen on 29th August with two birds at Inkle Moor. On the breeding survey 74 birds were observed. First and last dates were
Goldcrest Regulus regulus
Most observations occur during the spring and winter months, usually of birds mixed in with roving tits and finches. One was heard in song near Bell’s Pond on 7th March, four in a mixed titmice flock on 3rd October on ‘Middle Moor’. High overall counts include 20 on 23rd October, 19 on 31st October and 21 on 7th November.
Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus
A female was observed in a mixture of young birch and reeds to the E of Thousand Acre Drain, on 29th December. It allowed the observer (SH) to approach within six metres before calling and flying off and landing some 60 metres away in more scrub. The last record for this bird on the moors was one ‘pinging’ in a reed bed near Bell’s Pond on 17th June 1987.
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
Usually observed throughout the winter foraging for food amongst scrub and along woodland edges, generally in the company of other tits and finches. Occurs infrequently during the rest of the year. Maximum counts for the moors include 26 on 4th January, 17 on 7th March, 26 on 7th October, 61 on 7th November and 36 on 28th December. Single flocks of note were 11 near Elmhirst Tram on 7th March, 14 near Pony Bridge Wood on 7th October and 27 in Will Pits on 7th November. A family party was seen on the W edge of the moors on 31st May.
Willow Tit Parus montanus
Recorded throughout the year, generally in small numbers and during the autumn and winter months usually associated with other titmice and finches. Eight were recorded on the moors on 7th March, 12 on 17th October, eight on 7th November and 11 on 6th December.
Coal Tit P. ater
Occasionally observed during the winter period. One in mixed tit flock on 29th January, one on 7th March, two on 23rd October and one on 2nd November.
Blue Tit P. caeruleus
Observed throughout the year amongst the scrub and woodland areas of the old peat workings. Breeds in small numbers. Birds seen during the rest of the year are usually associated with similar species. High counts include 13 on 7th March, 13 on 31st October, 15 on 6th November and 13 on 6th December.
Great Tit P. major
Recorded throughout the year in small groups or single birds amongst scrub or woodland. Four were seen together along the Canal Tow Path on 14th November and five in a group on ‘Middle Moor’ on 18th October; maximum counts were 12 on 2nd May, 20 on 9th September and 10 on 6th November.
Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
One seen in Will Pits on 14th February and one observed in the southern area of Crowle Moors on 7th March.
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
Observed most months, particularly around the wooded edges of the moors, but occasionally seen flying over the moors. One observed mobbing a sleeping Tawny Owl in Will Pits on 7th March, three flying across ‘Middle Moor’ on 12th July and six recorded on the moors on 10th October.
Magpie Pica pica
Frequent sightings throughout the year, particularly around the W and S edges of the moors. Twenty-five were seen roosting in scrub near Bell’s Pond on 11th February, 12 were observed mobbing a male Eurasian Sparrowhawk across Inkle Moor on 29th August and a single bird seen mobbing a Common Kestrel across ‘Middle Moor’ on 3rd October.
Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula
Two sightings of single birds flying over Inkle Moor on 7th March and 23rd May.
Rook C. frugilegus
One flying W over the Paraffin Ponds on 23rd October and 43 disturbed from peat milling fields on Goole Moors on 7th November.
Carrion Crow C. corone
Recorded throughout the year, generally in singles or small groups. High counts include nine on 17th January, 70 on 3rd February, 10 on 4th April, 40 on 2nd May, 47 on 17th October and 55 on 28th November.
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
Infrequently observed. Sightings include two flying W over Shoulder of Mutton on 7th January, three disturbed from the Canal Tow Path on 4th July, 38 flying NW on 17th October, 1000 flighting to roost at Green Belt on 31st October and 130 flying W over Pony Bridge Marsh on 8th November.
Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
Occurs in small numbers throughout the year, six were recorded on the point count breeding bird survey. Winter groups include 20 near Inkle Moor on 26th February, seven on 14th March and 70 recorded throughout the moors on 31st October. On 7th November seven were seen at Will Pits, a flock of 123 in the SE corner of the moors and 50+ at Woodpecker Corner.
Brambling F. montifringilla
At least two birds seen in a mixed flock of 14 finches near the footpath entrance to the moors on 10th October, and one with flock of 50+ Chaffinches at Woodpecker Corner on 7th November.
Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
Infrequently observed during the summer months, but numbers build up in the winter to reach several hundred at roosting sites. Counts at Bell’s Pond include 200+ on 14th January, 70+ on 17th February, 200+ on 15th November and 400+ on 20th December. Other winter sightings were 65 in Pony Bridge Wood on 7th November, 30 near the Paraffin Ponds on 6th December.
Goldfinch C. carduelis
Occasionally seen in small groups, mainly during the winter months. Two in Will Pits on 7th March, 12 near Paraffin Ponds on 29th August, 16 at Pony Bridge Marsh on 3rd October and one flying over the moors on 6th December.
Siskin C. spinus
There were several winter sightings, which include two at Limberlost Wood on 14th February. Two were near Inkle Moor on 6th November, two at Will Pits on 7th November, one near Bell’s Pond on 22nd November. One was near Elmhirst Wood on 28th November, one was at Woodpecker Corner on 4th December and one was at Pony Bridge Wood on 20th December.
Linnet C. cannabina
Observed throughout the year, 41 were recorded on the point count breeding bird survey. Winter counts include 36 near Elmhirst Tram on 7th March, 15 to the NW of Will Pits on 19th September and 15 at Bell’s Pond on 5th December.
Common Redpoll C. flammea
Nine S of Will Pits on 17th January, 12 near Elmhirst Tram on 28th March, three over Southern Canals on 16th June, a flock of 200 finches which were "mostly Common Redpoll" and three feeding amongst birch near Elmhirst Tram on 21st December. A maximum of 23 birds was recorded on the moors on 31st October.
Common Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
Single birds or small groups observed throughout the year, generally at Inkle Moor, Bell’s Pond, the Canal Tow Path, Pony Bridge Wood and Will Pits. A maximum of seven was recorded on the moors on 31st May.
Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
Occasionally seen during the winter months, but regularly observed during the summer. Breeds amongst the old peat workings where 60 were recorded on the point count breeding bird survey.
Reed Bunting E. schoeniclus
Infrequently recorded during the winter but numbers increase from spring onwards. Breeds amongst the old peat workings. Forty-eight were recorded on the point count breeding bird survey. An unusual sighting was a flock of 24 birds amongst birch scrub on ‘Middle Moor’ on 22nd November.
List of Observers
Ian Edwards, Trevor Edwards, Steve Hiner, Martin Limbert, Bill H. Priestley, Colin Rook, Janet M. Roworth, Peter C. Roworth, Tony Thewliss, Bryan P. Wainwright.
Peter and Janet Roworth
Thorne Moors NNR