THORNE MOORS BIRD REPORT 2010
Compiled by Martin Limbert and Bryan P. Wainwright
1. Recording area. For bird documentation, the Thorne Moors recording area is deliberately interpreted somewhat loosely. It comprises the whole of the peatland, contiguous unfarmed areas, the Thorne Colliery curtilage, and peripheral farmland and drains. The limit to the north is defined as the line of the old Axholme Joint Railway. Otherwise, a field width or so is a practical rule-ofthumb.
2. Place-names. In broad terms, the name Thorne Moors is used to embrace both the peatland and other areas under study. The surviving peat is divided by parish limits, the parish names being Thorne Waste, Snaith & Cowick Moor, Rawcliffe Moor, Goole Moor and Crowle Moor. Thorne Waste (except now the Yorkshire Triangle) lies in South Yorkshire, and the other parishes lie in East Yorkshire, except Crowle Moor and the Yorkshire Triangle, which are in North Lincolnshire. That part of Goole Moor situated north of Rawcliffe Moor is designated as ‘Northern Goole Moor’ for recording purposes. Within the parish framework, numerous place-names are employed for bird recording. Virtually all these names were included on the place-names map issued with the Thorne Moors Vertebrates Report 2005. This is now superseded by a place-names map on the website of the Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum.
3. Current sources of nomenclature and species sequence
• The British Birds list of Western Palearctic Birds, British Birds Ltd. See www.britishbirds.co.uk/bblist.htm (accessed 11th February 2012)
• G.T.D. Wilmore, J. Lunn and J.S. Rodwell (2011) The South Yorkshire Plant Atlas. Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union and Yorkshire & the Humber Ecological Data Trust, no place
4. Descriptions. For nationally rare avian taxa, descriptions and visual evidence should be made available in accordance with the requirements of the British Birds Rarities Committee. At county level, material should be prepared in compliance with the lists issued by the Yorkshire Naturalists’ Union Birds Section Adjudication Panel or the Lincolnshire Bird Club, as appropriate. Advice can be made available upon request.
5. Rare breeding birds. In addition to Natural England, records of rare breeding birds are made available to the county organizations, and via them to the Rare Breeding Birds Panel. Records may also be accessed by bona fide specialist study groups.
6. Daily Counts. In the species accounts that follow, there may be references to “daily counts” and “counts”. It is emphasized that these are not full site counts, but counts made by an individual observer or group on a particular date. It is possible to have more than one count on a single date, when the highest will be used if they cannot be united. The recording area is very large, and site totals are difficult to establish with certainty, except for the scarcer species. However, for some wetland birds, it is possible to visit the most likely places to count these species, thus attaining a relatively accurate moorland total for them. It is acknowledged that such reported daily counts may sometimes be regarded as vague, but they are broadly comparable over a period of years.
7. Recording in 2010. During the year, 149 species of bird, and perhaps two additional races, were acceptably reported from Thorne Moors, as defined. Many of the records were received via the Thorne Moors bird blog (www.birdingsiteguide.com), although a significant number still arrived as paper records. All formats are welcomed.
Two new species were reported in 2010, a Black Swan on 17th April and an Egyptian Goose on 7th August. In addition, there were several site rarities, including Barnacle Goose, Garganey, Little Egret, Red Kite, Golden Eagle (awol), Osprey, Red-footed Falcon, Spotted Crake, Common Crane, Mediterranean Gull, Glaucous Gull, Great Grey Shrike, Waxwing, Common Redpoll and Snow Bunting.
As breeding species, Black-necked Grebe and European Stonechat were notable. So too were 48 European Nightjar territories and 28 male Grasshopper Warblers. Conversely, only a solitary male Common Nightingale was reported; this bird was regarded as unpaired and only heard in the first half of May.
Record counts were obtained for Greylag Goose, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Goosander, Marsh Harrier, Hobby, Common Crane, Yellow-legged Gull, Common Chaffinch and Linnet. However, counts of some additional species were not without significance, as varied as Pink-footed Goose, Woodcock, Stock Dove and Willow Tit.
Mute Swan Cygnus olor. In April, two adults were at Will Pits Scrape from 9th-10th, with singles on 17th/26th at flooded workings on Goole Moor.
Black Swan Cygnus atratus. One at flooded workings on Goole Moor on 17th April, first with a Mute Swan and later with eight Whooper Swans (BS, RJS). A new species for Thorne Moors.
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus. All records were from flooded workings, especially those north of Fisons’ Road. The first were four on 26th January. In April, there were 26 on 4th and eight on 17th. In the later months, there were October records on 17th (eight flew off east) and 20th (11). On 7th November, five+ flew off east, with three (same?) overhead later). Recorded later that month on 20th (two south) and 23rd (three north).
Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus. No records until 27 on 16th September. Other September records were obtained on 18th (38 west), 22nd (50+) and 26th (20). There were some large counts in October, with totals in excess of 300 being 1000+ on 2nd/7th/9th, and c.2500 on the northern part of the moors on 24th. Also, on 14th October there were groups in flight and grounded of c.500, c.600 and c.700, total number uncertain, therefore 700+. Counts in November exceeded 150 on 5th (c.200), 7th (c.300) and 550+ on an unrecorded date. The records marginally extended into December, with four on 3rd.
One purportedly feral Pink-foot was present with Greylags on 18th/20th September.
Greylag Goose Anser anser. In January, there were c.100 on 12th and 44 on 31st. The only February record involved two on 20th. The March counts occasionally reached 14, though with c.40 on 23rd. The highest totals in April were 18+ on 24th, 31 on 26th and 16 next day, with those on 26th including one white bird. The May maximum was 15, including three adults and two broods (five and four) at Will Pits Scrape. Counts in June-July did not exceed five (on 11th June). August counts reached 34 on 2nd/10th, then from later in the month until early October, counts – often from Will Pits Scrape – were much larger. They occasionally reached up to 500+ (on 28th August and 16th September). One thousand+, a moorland record, were estimated on 2nd October, with c.500 on 9th, decreasing to c.200 on 17th and c.70 on 19th. These gatherings sometimes included one white and three partly white birds. The November maximum was a mere six, on 7th, and there were no December records.
Canada Goose Branta canadensis. The first were 17 on 20th February, with four on 1st March. Also recorded during 17th-27th April, maximum five on the first date, plus two on 5th May. In addition, there was one on 26th September and six on 2nd October.
Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis. On 9th October, four were present with Pink-feet on flooded workings near Will Pits. They flew off north-west (WHP).
Egyptian Goose Alopochen aegyptiaca. On 7th August, an adult was with 14 Greylags at the flooded workings north of Fisons’ Road (WHP). A new species for Thorne Moors.
Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna. The first were singles on 1st/23rd March, with records of one-two in April, plus eight on 23rd. During May-July there were occasional singles, and two on 18th June. The only August record was 10 juveniles on 30th. There were September records on 5th (one), 6th (nine) and 20th (one). The only subsequent record was 11 on 20th November.
Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope. Noted in the early months on 28th January (three), 20th February (three), 2nd March (nine), 10th April (three) and 26th April (one). An eclipse male was present on 6th September. There were five on 2nd October, followed by 14+ on 7th. Encountered in November on 7th (four) and 20th (11+).
Gadwall Anas strepera. Up to four in January/March, but with a greater presence in April, most notably 17 on 2nd, 15+ on 24th and 31 (with young) on 26th, the latter a moorland record. Counts May-August reached two occasionally, but in August females were seen at the flooded workings with five fledged young on 2nd and six young on 10th, presumably therefore separate broods.
Eurasian Teal Anas crecca. Monthly maxima were February four, March 70+, April 87, May two, June c.60, July 124, August 180+, September 300+, October 300+, November c.350 (on 7th) and December c.30. Breeding was proved at Will Pits Scrape (a female with a brood of three on 17th May) and Goole Moor (a pair with a brood of four on 12th May). Young birds were also seen on 2nd August.
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos. Monthly maxima were January c.300, February 150+, March c.100, April 30+, May eight, June c.30, July 12, August 182, September 150+, October c.150, November 18 and December 31. A predated nest at Will Pits included remains of the eggs and the female.
Pintail Anas acuta. A female was at the flooded workings on 17th September, followed on 7th November by separate male (Will Pits Scrape) and female (flooded workings).
Garganey Anas querquedula. A male was seen at flooded workings (south of Fisons’ Road and north of Melvyn’s Tram) on 26th May (MP).
Shoveler Anas clypeata. January-February totals did not exceed two, but the March maxima were eight on 26th and 16 on 28th. Counts in April exceeded 10 on 2nd (38) and 26th (58). Subsequent monthly totals reached c.20 in May (on 12th), but during June-October did not exceed 12 (on 6th July). In the final two months, the sole record was of two on 7th November.
Common Pochard Aythya ferina. A male was at flooded workings on 9th March.
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula. The maximum in January-February was three, with up to 14 in March (including five pairs on 16th). April figures reached 18 on 17th and 24+ on 24th, the latter a record total. The May-June maximum was 10 on 5th May and 18th June. Apart from up to four in July to 12th, the only other records were odd singles on 2nd/6th September and 2nd October.
Goosander Mergus merganser. Totals – mostly from Will Pits Scrape – in the early months included two of 21, a record count. These were on 14th February (13 males) and 1st March (10 males). Other February figures included 10 on 9th, with March numbers otherwise reaching 10 on 9th and 11 on 26th. April counts began well, with 15 on 2nd and 18 on 4th, then seven on 8th, decreasing to four on 10th, then six on 11th and three on 15th. Five were present on 21st November.
Grey Partridge Perdix perdix. Encountered on 15 dates, although virtually unreported from midMarch to mid-October. In January, six were in Chadwick’s Field on 4th, with six again, roosting on the Thorne Colliery spoilheap, on 16th. Two were in a field near the Paraffin Works ruin on 16th March. In May, pairs were at the disused Swinefleet Peat Works on 5th and on the colliery spoilheap on 15th. In the latter area there were 10 on 17th October. In a field near the Paraffin Works ruin there were 18 on 1st/10th November, with a further November record of five in Chadwick’s Field on 26th. There were six December records, all from the colliery/Chadwick’s Field area. The number generally increased from five on 3rd/10th to 10 on 23rd.
Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus. The maximum was 50+ on several November dates, the favoured location being Chadwick’s Field. There were also 43 in the field on 23rd December. Bred at Green Belt.
Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo. One headed south on 2nd August. In September, two flew overhead on 6th/18th, plus one south on 23rd. One passed high to the north on 13th November.
Little Egret Egretta garzetta. Three records, from the flooded workings. On 5th July, four flew low to the south. In September, seen on 2nd/16th, when singles both came from the north and diverted to the west (all BPW). The fourth-sixth records for Thorne Moors.
Grey Heron Ardea cinerea. There were two on 18th June and three on 6th July, with other records of singles throughout the year.
Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis. Records in March came from Bell’s Pond and Inkle Moor Pond, with the first being two at Bell’s Pond on 15th. There were singles at Bells’s Pond and Inkle Moor Pond on 16th/18th March, and at Inkle Moor Pond and Will Pits Scrape on both 23rd March and 8th April. Present at Will Pits Scrape and the flooded workings north of Fisons’ Road on 24th April (four+) and 26th May (two+), and on those floods alone on 5th/15th May and 10th July (all singles). At Will Pits Scrape, there was one on 26th April and three on 23rd June, with one at the flooded workings north of Fisons’ Road on 10th July. Named locations in August were Will Pits Scrape (one on 2nd) and the flooded workings north of Fisons’ Road (two on 17th and one on 23rd).
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus. An adult was present at Will Pits Scrape on 27th May, with two at ‘Green Belt floods’ on 11th June. An immature was at Will Pits Scrape on 12th July.
Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis. From this year, records at the flooded workings extended to both north and south of Fisons’ Road. These observations are, however, not differentiated here, but united as the flooded workings. Black-necked Grebes may have been present at Will Pits Scrape on 26th April. However, all certain records were from the flooded workings, where two were recorded 7th May-18th June. At a location to the south of Fisons’ Road, two “small” young were observed with their parents on 2nd June. They were seen subsequently, but on 18th there was only one “well grown” young bird with the adults, but with no further record of juveniles.
Of related interest, a juvenile Black-necked Grebe picked up in Moorends was released at Thorne Delves fishponds. Here it was present 5th-9th August.
Red Kite Milvus milvus. One flew south on 4th April (BSt), and one was seen north of Will Pits on 24th June (RB).
Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus. Recorded in all months, but with only one February record and two December records. Age/sex are given as reported. January records involved immature males on 1st/4th, a second-year male on 12th, and a male on 28th. There was also a male on 20th February. Records resumed in the second half of March, with a male and an immature male on 15th, an immature male on 18th, and a male on 26th-27th/29th. Females/‘creamcrowns’ were seen on 16th/23rd/26th.
On 2nd April there were four-six Marsh Harriers, then two on 4th. These were followed by a male on 9th and single females/‘creamcrowns’ on 10th-11th/13th. On 14th-15th, a pair displayed at Will Pits Scrape, mobbing a Common Buzzard on the first date. There were intermittent records of females/‘creamcrowns’ to the end of the month. There was also a male on 20th/26th-27th. Higher totals were four on 17th, three ‘creamcrowns’ on 24th, and three (including single male and female) on 26th. In May, there were records of one-two females/‘creamcrowns’ in the first half, plus an adult female and two ‘creamcrowns’ on 1st and three ‘creamcrowns’ on 5th. Also a male on 12th/15th. Later May sightings involved 17th (two ‘creamcrowns’) and 26th (an immature male and two females). In June, there were records of single females/‘creamcrowns’ on 2nd/15th/26th, two males on 23rd, and an immature male on 28th. Also four on 11th (including a ‘creamcrown’) and two on 20th.
July began with four on 3rd, including a female and juvenile. There were single male and ‘creamcrown’ on 5th, the former taking a young Black-headed Gull. Next day, the three recorded were an adult male, female and immature. There were further records on 9th (a male), 12th (two), 17th (a ‘creamcrown’ and juvenile), 24th (three, including a female), 30th (a male, three ‘creamcrowns’ and a juvenile) and 31st (two, including a ‘creamcrown’). During August, there were numerous records, beginning with a third-year male and an immature on 2nd. Next day there was a third-year male and juvenile. On 7th there were two adult males and three juveniles. The third-year male and a ‘creamcrown’ were logged on 10th, with up to two ‘creamcrowns’ during 11th-14th, with two juveniles also on 14th. The total on 15th was an immature male, an adult female and two ‘creamcrowns’. There was a male on 16th, a third-year male on 19th, and a male on 27th. In this period there were up to three ‘creamcrowns’. The count on 28th was four (single adult male, adult female, ‘creamcrown’ and juvenile), with the same number on 30th (single adult male, female and two juveniles).
There were at least six on 2nd September: an adult male, two third-year males and three ‘creamcrowns’ together. One ‘creamcrown’ seen separately was mobbed by Carrion Crows over Will Pits. On 3rd, eight flew to roost at ‘Green Belt floods’, a Thorne Moors record count. Until 16th there were up to three ‘creamcrowns’ recorded, with two males on 5th and an adult male on 11th, on which latter date there was also a juvenile. On 18th, there was a third-year male, two ‘creamcrowns’ and a juvenile. The third-year male was seen again on 20th, with a male next day as well. Other records of females/‘creamcrowns’ included two ‘creamcrowns’ on 21st-22nd, on which latter date three soaring Marsh Harriers brought the day count to five. There were single females/‘creamcrowns’ to the end of the month. On 1st October a male and female were logged, with a male, adult female and juvenile next day. A juvenile was also seen on 7th. Subsequent totals of one-three included a male on 8th and an immature male on 27th, plus occasional females and up to two ‘creamcrowns’. However, on 22nd there were single adult male, juvenile male, female and one other.
Records diminished through November. On 2nd, there was a male, two ‘creamcrowns’ and one other. Next day, a male and two ‘creamcrowns’ roosted at flooded workings north of Fisons’ Road. On 5th, an immature male, three ‘creamcrowns’ and a juvenile were reported. The highest count of the month was on 7th, with an adult male, three ‘creamcrowns’ and two juveniles. There were seven subsequent November dates: 8th/11th (single immature males), 12th/19th/26th (single ‘creamcrowns’), 15th (two ‘creamcrowns’) and 20th (an adult male). In December, there was a male and two ‘creamcrowns’ on 6th and a ‘creamcrown’ on 31st.
Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus. Age/sex are given as reported. The first of nine January reports was of two females on 2nd, followed by an adult male on 7th. On 12th, two adult males and a juvenile were pursuing Linnets at Chadwick’s Field, with the juvenile also there during 13th-20th. Males were logged on 28th January and 13th/20th February, with a ‘ringtail’ on 1st/13th March.
An unseasonal male was present on 1st May, with a lone ‘ringtail’ on 30th August. Males were reported on 7th/18th October and 7th November, with ‘ringtail’ records on three November dates (to 14th) and 8th December.
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus. Daily maxima never exceeded two, with reports in most months. However, between 28th April-10th August, there were only records (of singles) on 26th May, 24th June and 6th July. On 19th August a male chased Greenshanks, and on 19th November a female killed a Wood Pigeon.
Common Buzzard Buteo buteo. The sole moors record in January was one on 31st. However, one wintered in the Goole Fields – Swinefleet Common – Moors Farm area, and the same bird may still have been present on 11th April. Singles in March and early April may have been the resident bird, as the records mostly emanated from Goole Moor. In the second half of April, records of singles were eclipsed by two on occasion (mobbed by displaying Marsh Harriers at Will Pits Scrape on 14th), four on 17th and three on 27th. During May-August, one-two observed at intervals (but only on one June date), plus three on 12th July. These included one mobbed by two Carrion Crows on 14th May and another heading south-east on 24th July. Singles were logged in September, except four on 5th (“left singly from Long Meadow hedge”, presumably a post-roost dispersal) and two on 9th. There were two October records, on 11th (one) and 17th (two). The only record in November concerned four high over Will Pits on 7th, and lastly there was one on 23rd December.
Golden Eagle Aquila chrysaetos. A falconer’s bird was over the Goole Fields-Thorne Moors area during 11th-17th October (JJ, CH). On 11th, it landed on Goole Fields.
Osprey Pandion haliaetus. On 8th April, one perched in a prominent birch Betula on Crowle Moor, being first seen at 10.30hrs, and still there at 13.30hrs (RB).
Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus. Daily maxima occasionally reached four+, exceeded by six+ on 17th April and six on 9th September.
Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus. An adult male flew over Shoulder o’ Mutton Tram, heading north-west, on 5th May (PH, PA).
Merlin Falco columbarius. On 12th January, a female/immature was at Chadwick’s Field (attracted to Linnets) and a male was over ‘Middle Moor’. The Chadwick’s Field Linnets drew
Merlins again in January, on 13th (one), 15th (one male) and 20th (one female). A juvenile was on Goole Moor on 30th July, with a male reported on 1st August. In October, single female/immatures were over the flooded workings on 14th/19th. Finally, on 23rd December, reported from Moorends recreation ground and the flooded workings, the latter involving a male.
Hobby Falco subbuteo. There were two from 23rd April, three on 1st May, and other May reports of one-two+, but six on 7th. June began with four on 2nd, then one-two, including two on 18th, followed by 20+ north of Will Pits on 20th (LJD, RJS). Up to two subsequently were succeeded by 20, again north of Will Pits, on 3rd July, “after emerging dragonfly swarm” (SR). These are the highest ever Yorkshire counts. Later July counts included four on 5th-6th/9th, 13 on 6th (BSt) and six on 13th. There were 18+ on 17th, once again north of Will Pits (WHP), nine+ on 24th and eight on 31st. Two on 30th July were described as an adult and juvenile. The numerous August counts never exceeded three+. There were two in early September (to 5th), six on 9th and three+ on 11th. There was then a laggard on 22nd September (RW), concluding an eventful year for this species. There was interaction between Hobbies and Peregrine Falcons on 28th June and 17th July.
Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus. Age/sex are given as reported. Rare before April, with single male and female on 12th January, and then a female on 16th March. Single Peregrines (no details) appeared in April on 4th/10th/23rd, followed by a “small male” with Hobbies on 28th June.
More regular from mid-July to the end of October. On 17th July a female and a juvenile were watched, with the juvenile obtaining a kill on 24th and recorded again on 7th August, on which latter date a male was also present. A female was seen 10th-16th August, and later in the month two were recorded on 19th (two juvenile females) and 28th (a male and juvenile female). In September, there was a male and an immature on 5th, two together (one carrying prey) on 9th, and one on 22nd-23rd. October began with an adult male and female on 2nd, one heading south on 14th, and singles on 17th/27th. There were records on only three remaining dates: 22nd-23rd November (two) and 23rd December (a female).
Water Rail Rallus aquaticus. After one on 1st January, there were singles on three dates in April, two+ on 15th May, one was reported between 14th June-2nd July (Middleton Eco Consultancy), one on 3rd July, and singles on four dates in August-September. The locations were flooded workings/Shoulder o’ Mutton, the Southern Canals/Viewing Platform/’Middle Moor’ area, and (on 17th August) Goole Moor. Finally, one was calling on 2nd November along Western Boundary Drain.
Spotted Crake Porzana porzana. During the annual European Nightjar survey, one was heard on 18th-19th June (Middleton Eco Consultancy). The second Thorne Moors record.
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus. Unrecorded November-December. Maxima from the remaining months reached four, plus four adults and additional young birds on 18th June.
Common Coot Fulica atra. Only recorded in April. One was at Inkle Moor Pond on 4th, one at Will Pits Scrape on 10th, and one (unrecorded location) on 27th.
Common Crane Grus grus. Two were seen regularly from 2nd April-30th August. There were three on 2nd August, one of them heading west. During the year, many of the reports were from the flooded parts of Goole Moor and adjacent Thorne Waste, the latter centred on the Shoulder o’ Mutton area.
Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus. One was at flooded workings on 2nd April.
Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius. In April, the first was one on 17th, followed by one+ on 26th. The next, three juveniles, were not reported until 15th August, then two juveniles on 17th, with other August records including the year’s maximum (six on 19th) and last (two on 23rd). All records were from the flooded workings.
Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula. None appeared until a single on 7th August, with seven on 10th-11th August. This record was followed by many others to the end of September, with counts in excess of 10 on 14th August (14+), 15th August (13), 23rd August (12), 28th August (16), 2nd September (17), 5th September (15) and 6th September (18). There were then one-four to the last (single) on 28th September.
European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria. Until mid-August, the only record was of six north on 17th January. In August, there were birds overhead on 17th (three) and 18th (c.30), plus four transient birds on 8th October. November records commenced with 35 and 20+ over on 20th, followed by 121 in a field near Thorne Colliery on 26th.
Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola. One flew north on 28th September, and one was at the flooded workings along Fisons’ Road on 2nd October.
Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus. Reported in all months except January, with FebruaryMay counts only exceeding 32 (26th April) when c.70 were present on 1st March. During Junelate July, the maximum was c.150 on 23rd June. From late July-mid-August the overall counts were higher. There were c.500 on flooded workings on 26th July and 326 on 30th July. In August to 19th, there were several totals of up to c.200, plus 897 on 1st and c.300 on 7th. The September numbers commenced with 95 on 2nd, but then no more than 15 until c.200 on 30th. This was a shortlived peak, with only 20 on 2nd October. On 20th November there were 100+, and 38 on 26th November, but with no December figures over 11.
West of Will Pits a pair was displaying on 8th March and 11th April. Five pairs were on Rawcliffe Moor-Goole Moor on 23rd March. More specifically near Creyke’s, three pairs were territorial (mobbing a Marsh Harrier on 13th April) until at least 13th May. There was no evidence of breeding success.
Dunlin Calidris alpina. There were only two records in the first half of the year: two on 26th April and one on 12th May. Returning birds appeared in July, with 13 on 12th and eight on 30th, all on Goole Moor. Frequently recorded throughout August-September, usually one-seven, but late August-early September counts reached 20 on 28th August, 15+ on 30th August, 31 on 5th September and 11 next day. Dunlins also appeared in October, on 2nd (four), 7th/9th (singles). The last were singles on 5th/7th November.
Five on 2nd September were possibly C.a. alpina (BPW).
Ruff Philomachus pugnax. Recorded 24th July-18th September, usually singly, occasionally more, maximum five on 23rd August and 11th September. Also four on 2nd October.
Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus. On 27th October, one flushed by a tractor flew a few metres to the side of Shearburn & Pitts Drain.
Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago. Unreported January-February. Subsequently, during March-June, daily maxima occasionally reached four. Later monthly maxima were 10+, 58, 14, five+ and 32, with no December presence. August counts commenced with 30 on 2nd (26 in one flock), 26 on 3rd and 58 on 10th (including a flock of 27), but did not exceed 16 thereafter. In early November, there were singles and then 32 on 7th, the last of the year.
One was ‘drumming’ at Pony Bridge Marsh on 27th April, with four displaying at ‘Middle Moor on 14th May, and one ‘drumming’ near the Viewing Platform on 18th June.
Woodcock Scolopax rusticola. Seen on 1st January (two at the Entrance Bridge), 12th January (one at the Entrance Bridge), 23rd March (one+ at Will Pits and on Goole Moor) and 24th April (one at Will Pits Scrape). On 17th May two were at Will Pits; and during the annual European Nightjar survey, two were reported between 14th June-2nd July (Middleton Eco Consultancy). Towards the close of the year, there were six on Inkle Moor on 12th November, and one was along the Rhododendron Path on 23rd December.
Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa. Present on seven dates at the flooded workings. Although up to 10 were claimed in June, the following (and below) are the only records submitted: two on 23rd and six (which flew off south-east) on 26th. Subsequent dates were 3rd July (nine), 6th July (four), 10th August (one) and 30th August (three flew off south).
Six on 20th June were regarded as L.l. islandica (RJS), presumably a minimal situation.
Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus. There were two spring records: a flock of 12 overhead on 17th April, and one flew from Goole Moor to Rawcliffe Moor on 12th May. There were subsequent singles on 31st July and 2nd August (the latter on Snaith & Cowick Moor).
A distant flock of 15 Whimbrels/Eurasian Curlews on 28th August flew low to the west, and were thought to be Whimbrels.
Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata. Two were on Goole Moor on 23rd June. On 15th August, six came from the east; one landed and the remainder headed north. There were also occasional singles in August to the last on 30th.
Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos. There were singles at flooded workings on 12th May, 3rd/6th/12th/30th July and 22nd/30th August. Also one at Green Belt Scrape on 22nd August.
Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus. After two on 20th June and one on 28th June, there were many reports of one-five to 5th September (three), and a straggler on 16th September. Maxima were eight on 12th July, 13+ on 10th August, eight+ on 17th August and seven a few days later, on 22nd.
Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus. On 5th September, one in summer plumage flew from Green Belt Scrape and landed north of the Shoulder o’ Mutton Tram.
Greenshank Tringa nebularia. The first was one on Goole Moor on 12th July. There were regular records from 24th July-16th September, generally one-four, but six during 16th-23rd August and seven on 28th August. Also one from 7th-10th October.
Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola. Two were at flooded workings on 28th/30th August; on the latter date they were flushed by a Marsh Harrier and departed to the east. Subsequent records were all in September. On 2nd, one was on flooded workings between Thousand Acre Drain and Will Pits. Three were at Green Belt floods on 3rd, having transferred further east at the flooded workings on 5th. Finally there was one at flooded workings along Shoulder o’ Mutton Tram on 16th.
Common Redshank Tringa totanus. Recorded on 15th April (one), 17th April (four), 26th April (three), 7th/26th May (singles), 12th May (eight), 17th May (four), 7th August (one), 2nd/7th/10th November (singles) and 11th November (two).
Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus. Adults occurred on two dates. On 4th April, one was with Black-headed Gulls along Fisons’ Road (BSt). The second flew west on 28th September (BPW).
Common Gull Larus canus. There were few records during April-October, maximum four on 3rd August and 5th September. In January, 39 were mainly about fields near Thorne Colliery on 12th. Other January counts included 28 on 15th and 10 next day. Counts in November peaked at eight on 30th. Common Gulls heading north-east to roost were notable in December, maxima 44 on 10th, 74 on 21st and 59 on 23rd. Also 51, mainly in Chadwick’s Field, on 12th December.
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus. The first identified were three west on 20th February and 11 west on 27th April, with three over on 17th May. Much more frequent June-September, often at the flooded workings, the maximum in June being c.400 roosting on 23rd, with 84 on 9th July on Goole Moor. In August, there were c.115 on 3rd (Thorne Colliery compound) and 104 on 10th (flooded workings). Lesser Black-backs in fields were notable in September on 5th (54) and 17th (c.80). The last certain birds were 20 on 28th September and one on 2nd October.
Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus. A first-winter flew low south-west (with seven Herring Gulls) over ‘Middle Moor’ on 15th January (BPW).
[Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides. On 10th December, a white-winged gull seen over Thorne Colliery was considered to be almost certainly an Iceland Gull, and was provisionally aged as a first-winter bird (BPW)].
Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis. Five came to roost at the flooded workings on 23rd June. They comprised two adults, two second-summers and a first-summer, and formed a record total (BSt). Also from the flooded workings, a second-summer was with Lesser Black-backs on 6th July, a third-winter flew overhead on 17th August, at least one adult landed on 19th August (all BPW), with a further adult on 11th September (WHP). Two adults were in a field near Creyke’s on 17th September with other large gulls (WHP).
On 18th June, one “Herring type” gull was probably a second-year Yellow-legged (BPW), and another “Herring type” was probably a first-year Yellow-legged (BSt).
Herring Gull Larus argentatus. Daily maxima in January/November, mostly involving transient gulls passing overhead, reached 96 on 12th January and 86 on 7th November. December counts of Herring Gulls heading north-east to roost peaked at 403 on 13th, 445 on 15th and 365 on 22nd. Daily maxima February-October did not exceed nine, and the species was unreported April-May.
Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus. The January peak was 42 on 1st, and the maxima in November-December were 49 on 7th November, 61 (heading north-east to roost) on 21st December, and 83 (similarly north-east) two days later. There were no other daily totals during the year above 20+; unreported April-May and virtually so March and June.
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus. The only notable count in the early months was on 17th January, when 94 passed north-east and 58 headed west. On 5th September c.1100 were in Chadwick’s Field (still farmed in 2010), with c.200 in a field east of Bank Top on 19th October.
On 21st December, c.620 flew north-east to a roost.
Territorial birds were seen from 1st March (c.40). On 16th March, there were c.200 on western Goole Moor and c.94 at the flooded workings along Fisons’ Road. At the end of the month, on 29th, there were 100+ at Mill Drain Marsh. In April, counts were obtained at the flooded workings along Fisons’ Road (including Shoulder o’ Mutton) on 21st (70+), 24th (600+) and 26th (50+). There were 400+ on 27th April, including c.300 in a field north of Crowle Moor. Bred at the flooded workings north of Fisons’ Road, with the first young reported on 26th May. On 11th June, c.100 were there “with many unfledged young”; on 18th there were 300+ and again many young birds. On 23rd, c.600 were estimated, including many fledged young. The totals at the colony on 26th/28th June were given as 300+.
A male Marsh Harrier took a young Black-headed Gull on 5th July.
Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea. Six passed overhead near the Viewing Platform on 7th May.
Rock Dove Columba livia. Up to four feral birds were recorded around Thorne Colliery buildings, on 10th August and 3rd/5th September.
Stock Dove Columba oenas. Recorded throughout the year except May, with two counts over 10: 54 on 20th February and 20 on 20th September.
Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus. Monthly maxima peaked in January at Chadwick’s Field, most notably c.2100 on 16th and c.700 next day. Other significant monthly maxima were obtained in January (c.240), February (200+), November (c.325) and December (up to c.800, on 23rd).
Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto. There were two records from Red House Farm, on 26th April (two) and 5th May (also two). On 23rd September, five were at the end of Grange Road in the horse paddock.
Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur. The first was a single bird on 1st May, and the maximum count of ‘purring’males was 11 on 6th July (six along the Rhododendron Path, three at Green Belt, one along the Canal Towpath (Canals) and one along Elmhirst Tram). Males were also recorded from Long Meadow (two), Durham’s Garden (three), Jones’ Cable (one on 8th July), Will Pits Scrape (one) and Will Pits (present). Hatched eggshell was found at Green Belt on 26th July; and a pair bred near Will Pits Scrape, with the young “close to fledging” on 13th July. There were occasional singles in September, plus three on 5th, with the last on 30th.
Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus. The first was on Crowle Moor on 8th April, with the next on 20th. The maximum was six+ on 29th April, with counts in May occasionally reaching five. The last was at Green Belt on 3rd August.
Barn Owl Tyto alba. In January, there were two sightings of single birds in the Swinefleet area: on 8th (Swinefleet Common) and 15th (disused Swinefleet Peat Works). One was over ‘Middle Moor’ on 20th February. In November, one was seen on 7th along Broadbent Gate Road, and one was at Limberlost on 14th.
Little Owl Athene noctua. At the disused Swinefleet Peat Works, singles were observed on 18th April and 6th July. A pair was resident in the Hybrid Black-poplars Populus x canadensis at Moorends recreation ground.
Tawny Owl Strix aluco. Singles were heard on Crowle Moors on 12th January and 18th February. Heard in the “Thorne Colliery area” on 13th January. In April, one called from Will Pits on 9th and one was recorded at Elmhirst on 29th. On 15th May, one was at Will Pits and a juvenile was along the Rhododendron Path. Two were at Will Pits on 17th May. During the annual European Nightjar survey, three pairs of Tawny Owl were reported between 14th June-2nd July (Middleton Eco Consultancy).
Long-eared Owl Asio otus. During the annual European Nightjar survey, four+ pairs of Longeared Owl (all located by juveniles) were reported between 14th June-2nd July (Middleton Eco Consultancy). Also one on 12th May at Will Pits.
European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus. The first was a ‘churring’ male on 17th May. The annual survey revealed 48 territories (Middleton Eco Consultancy). Breeding was confirmed at Green Belt, and here there were four (including two juveniles) on 1st August.
Common Swift Apus apus. The first were four+ on 26th April. Daily totals in May reached c.380 on 7th and 200+ on 26th. There was a maximum of c.300 in June-July (several scattered dates), and the August maxima were c.90 on 3rd and 59 on 28th. In September, there were four on 2nd, two on 3rd, and singles on 6th/11th-12th.
Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis. One was along Thorne Waste Drain (Woodpecker WoodElmhirst) on 20th October. On 26th November, one was seen during snow at the base of the Thorne Colliery spoilheap.
Green Woodpecker Picus viridis. The maximum count was three on 23rd March. Juveniles were seen on 21st July, 10th August (two) and 22nd September.
Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major. At Will Pits, ‘drumming’ was noted on 9th/15th April, and a juvenile was seen on 6th July. On 2nd June, there were two pairs on Crowle Moor, one of them feeding young in a nest hole in a dead birch. Four+ were logged in the Durham’s Garden and Will Pits areas on 2nd October.
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor. A calling and ‘drumming’ bird was at Will Pits on 8th April, and one was at the nearby Natural England depot a few days later, on 13th.
Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor. In January, one on 12th moved from Mill Drain to the Viewing Platform and Canals area (BPW). It was seen from the Viewing Platform on 15th, and was along the Canal Towpath nearby on 30th. On 15th/17th October, one was seen along Mervyn’s Tram, with the shrike refound on ‘Middle Moor’ on 19th-20th/28th. In November, it was near the Viewing Platform on 2nd, along Goole Moor Tram and at ‘Middle Moor’ (same bird?) on 3rd, and over the next two days it was at the western end of Blackwater Dike. On 7th November, the bird was perched near the Viewing Platform; it then pursued a Meadow Pipit and was not seen again.
Magpie Pica pica. Although many daily counts did not exceed six, totals infrequently reached 14. On 16th January there were 41 at a roost at Thorne Colliery, with 19 next day. Also notable were 16+ in the Long Meadow area on 26th September, and 22 at the Thorne Colliery roost on 15th December.
Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius. Recorded throughout the year, with daily counts in JanuaryMay of one-two, and June-August of one-three+. The September maximum was four, but with very few encountered subsequently, these involving singles except two on 2nd October and 23rd December.
Western Jackdaw Corvus monedula. On 15th March, three headed west over Thorne Colliery. On 18th March one passed west over the ‘Paraffin’ area, and on 10th April another flew west over Durham’s Garden. One flew to the west over the flooded workings on 18th September. In October, seen over Durham’s Garden on 2nd (one west) and 7th (three east).
Carrion Crow Corvus corone. Daily counts generally did not exceed 22, but totals were higher in August-September, maxima being c.55 on 2nd August, c.80 on 19th August and c.60 on 17th-18th September. Bred in a birch at Will Pits.
Goldcrest Regulus regulus. Not recorded until one on 12th September, with one-two occasionally to the year end, except four+ on 7th November.
Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus. Peak counts were 14 on 5th July, 12 on 17th August and 16 on 23rd December. A nest with fledged young was found in the cavity of an old willow Salix at Will Pits on 27th May.
Great Tit Parus major. Daily counts occasionally reached 10, but with 15 on 18th March.
Coal Tit Periparus ater. One was at Will Pits on 23rd March. In late April, seen on 27th (two at Elmhirst) and 29th (one along Limberlost Tram). Present at Durham’s Garden on 12th/26th September (singles), 2nd October (two) and 20th November (two).
Willow Tit Poecile montana. Daily totals reached up to five+, though with 11+ on 2nd October. Broods of young were observed along Pony Bridge Tram, at Will Pits, Will Pits Scrape (same?) and near Top Moor Farm.
Skylark Alauda arvensis. Apart from 32 on 12th January and 47 next day, both involving Chadwick’s Field, no daily count went beyond 11 except in October-November. There were 70+ west on 2nd October, 20+ west on 7th October, and then 24 on 1st November, with no other totals in these two months exceeding 12.
Sand Martin Riparia riparia. In April, after 10 on 17th, there were “several” on 20th, c.20 on 26th and one on 27th. May-July records were unremarkable. Notable figures in August were 26 on 17th, 42 on 23rd and 50+ on 28th. Records in early September included nine on 4th, with the last being three on 6th.
Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica. In April, the first were three on 17th, with up to 50+ subsequently, and c.30 on 1st May. On 2nd August there were 300+, including 250+ at Thorne Colliery. In September, counts reached 70+ and were occasionally higher: 100+ on 16th, c.80 west on 17th, 300+ on 18th and 159 on 20th. In October, there were 10+ on 2nd, one on 7th and two on 11th. Bred in a shed at Bank Top.
House Martin Delichon urbicum. There were only three records in the first half of the year: 20th April (“a few”), 26th May (five) and 18th June (two). Counts in August reached 18+ on 28th. Peak September figures were c.90 (west) on 18th, 26 on 20th and 30+ on 28th. There was also one on 2nd October.
Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus. Daily counts sometimes reached 17, exceptionally 30+ on 7th November and 26 on 23rd December. Bred at Will Pits, Will Pits Scrape and on Crowle Moor.
Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita. The first and last dates were 16th March (two) and 7th November (one). April peaks of c.15 on 10th/27th were notable, as was 10 on 2nd October, with few subsequent records. Area maxima of males were Paraffin Cuttings two, Inkle Moor four, Long Meadow two, Durham’s Garden area five, Elmhirst Tram one, Elmhirst Wood one, Limberlost Wood one, Pony Bridge Wood one, Southern Canals two, Will Pits eight, Will Pits Scrape three, Green Belt one, ‘Middle Moor’ one, Goole Moor one and Crowle Moor one, giving 34 males at these locations. Bred at Will Pits.
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus. First heard on 8th April. After 10+ next day, there were 50+ on 10th and c.50 on 27th. Area maxima of males were Paraffin Cuttings one, Inkle Moor three, Durham’s Garden area three, Woodpecker Wood three, along Thorne Waste Drain 10, Pony Bridge Marsh 12, Pony Bridge Wood four, Will Pits 14, Bank Top six, flooded workings north of Fisons’ Road 12, Green Belt three, ‘Middle Moor’ 10 and Goole Moor two, giving 83 males at these locations. Nests were found at Will Pits, Will Pits Scrape and on Crowle Moor, with wellgrown young and a parent at Jones’ Cable on 22nd August. The last were four on 16th September.
Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla. In April, after 10+ on 10th/24th, there were 14 on 27th, then 10+ on 5th May. Area maxima of males were Paraffin Cuttings two, Inkle Moor four, Durham’s Garden area four, Elmhirst Wood two, Will Pits six and Goole Moor one, giving 19 males at these locations. Nests were found at Will Pits (one) and on Crowle Moor (two). Records in September extended to three on 21st.
Garden Warbler Sylvia borin. Extreme dates were 26th April (two) and 21st September (two), with May maxima of eight+ on 15th and five on 17th. Area maxima of males were Paraffin Cuttings one, Inkle Moor one, north of Fisons’ Road one, Will Pits four, Will Pits Scrape four and Crowle Moor two. On the latter, two nests were found.
Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca. Singles were reported from alongside Thorne Colliery (main footpath) on 24th/27th April and 15th May; and from Durham’s Garden on 3rd August (one) and 12th September (two). The Rhododendron Path held singles on 24th April and 6th July. Possibly the same was at Green Belt on 8th July. Other locations were Creyke’s (one on 17th May) and Bank Top (two on 17th August).
Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis. After one on 23rd April, there were 28 by 27th, and 25+ on 5th May, then 23+ on 15th. Area maxima of males were Paraffin Cuttings one, Inkle Moor one, Durham’s Garden area three, Woodpecker Wood one, Pony Bridge Wood three, Pony Bridge Marsh two, Will Pits six, Will Pits Scrape one, Green Belt one, Bank Top one, flooded workings north of Fisons’ Road two, ‘Middle Moor’ two, Goole Moor eight and Crowle Moor one, giving 33 males at these locations. Nests were found at Woodpecker Wood, Will Pits and on Crowle Moor. The last was seen on 21st September.
Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia. Extreme dates were 10th April (two) and 19th August (one ‘reeling’), and the highest count was 14 on 27th April. Area maxima of males were Paraffin Cuttings one, Durham’s Garden area three, Pony Bridge Marsh two, ‘Lonesome Pine track’ one, Southern Canals one, Mervyn’s Tram one, Mill Drain Marsh one, Will Pits four, Will Pits Scrape two, Bank Top one, flooded workings north of Fisons’ Road two, Shoulder o’ Mutton two, ‘Middle
Moor’ three and Goole Moor four, giving 28 males at these locations. During the annual European Nightjar survey, 24 males were recorded between 14th June-2nd July (Middleton Eco Consultancy).
Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus. After one on 17th April, the subsequent peak counts were 15+ on 24th April and 5th May, then 30+ on 15th May. Area maxima of males were Chadwick’s Field one, Durham’s Garden area one, Bank Top one, flooded workings north of Fisons’ Road six, Will Pits two, Green Belt one, ‘Middle Moor’ two, Goole Moor three, giving 17 males at these locations. The last was one on 11th September.
Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus. First located on 23rd April (one), last seen 12th September (two), with the highest count being 23 on 26th May. Area maxima of males were Paraffin Cuttings one, Inkle Moor three, Durham’s Garden area one, Rhododendron Path one, Canal Towpath (Canals) six, Mill Drain Marsh two, flooded workings north of Fisons’ Road nine, ‘Middle Moor’ two and Snaith & Cowick Moor one, giving 26 males.
Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus. One flew overhead at the Viewing Platform on 24th October (RJS).
Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris. Recorded February-May and in December. The early dates were 22nd February (one at Woodpecker Wood), 23rd March (one at Inkle Moor), 4th/11th April (three/two at Will Pits), 12th May (one at Will Pits) and 26th May (two alongside Paraffin Tram at the Paraffin Cuttings). On 23rd December there were singles at Woodpecker Wood, Elmhirst Wood and Will Pits. On the last day of the year one was in the Hybrid Black-poplars at Moorends recreation ground.
Wren Troglodytes troglodytes. Maxima were 12 on 16th March and 23rd December, and 20 on 27th April. Breeding was noted at Will Pits, and on Goole and Crowle Moors.
Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris. Apart from 40+ on 27th March, none was reported until 3rd August (five). There were c.50 at the flooded workings on 15th August; and 84 with gulls in a field near the Paraffin Works ruin on 5th September. Small parties flew west all day on 7th November, with the highest of three observer totals being 600+.
Blackbird Turdus merula. Monthly maxima were January 15, February one, March eight, April seven, May three, June three, July two, August four, September nine, October one, November 63 and December 68. In the latter two months, counts of a roost in the Durham’s Garden area peaked at 63 on 30th November and 68 on 3rd December. Bred at Will Pits and on Crowle Moor.
Fieldfare Turdus pilaris. Counts January-April peaked at 76 on 12th January and c.70 on 1st March. The last was one on 4th April. Not recorded again until 15th October (18), with totals in that month reaching c.120, eclipsed by 250+ west on 7th November. A roost at Durham’s Garden provided high counts in November-December, with c.1000 on 14th November and 507 on 15th December.
Song Thrush Turdus philomelos. Recorded in all months except February and August, with maxima of five on 27th April and seven on 3rd December. Two nests were found in the Will PitsWill Pits Scrape area.
Redwing Turdus iliacus. Infrequent and scarce in the early months. In March, 20 was the maximum (on 1st/15th), with 12 on 18th the last. Redwings returned on 7th October (120+), with maximum counts in November of 120+ (flying west on 7th) and in December of c.70 (on 3rd).
Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus. One-two were in the Inkle Moor area in March-April, with singles at Thorne Colliery on 27th April and on four dates in September. One on 31st December was in Chadwick’s Field.
Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata. Singles were by the Entrance Bridge on 14th May and 9th September, with a report of four there on 28th June. One was at Will Pits on 15th May. .
Robin Erithacus rubecula. Eight on 27th April and 21st September, with a maximum of 10 on 3rd September and 7th November.
Common Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos. A solitary male held territory in the northwestern corner of Will Pits (not a usual area), being heard on 5th/12th/14th May. The bird was apparently unpaired and not recorded on subsequent visits (RB).
Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus. There were two records, both of females. The first was along the Rhododendron Path on 3rd August. The second was in Bramble Rubus fruticosus agg. at Thorne Colliery on 6th September.
Whinchat Saxicola rubetra. Only present on three dates. Female/juveniles were in the flooded workings-Fisons’ Road area on 14th August (one), 27th August (two) and 11th September (one).
European Stonechat Saxicola rubicola. The hard winter affected this species, with only a single breeding pair, in the area of the Viewing Platform. Here, young birds were seen on 14th May and 15th June. In addition, on 7th August an adult male and a juvenile were at the Shoulder o’ Mutton. During January-March, there were four on 1st January, but only a lone male during the rest of that month. Next recorded in April, and registered in each month to November. There were occasionally three, but four+ on 20th November. Not seen in December.
Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe. One on 24th March was the first. In April, there were birds on 9th (one male), 19th (two females), 20th (one male and two females), 26th (four), 27th (one male and two females) and 29th (three females). There were three May dates: 1st (one female), 7th (two) and 14th (one male). All other records were concentrated into September, involving female/immatures: on 2nd (two) and 4th/16th/22nd (singles).
Dunnock Prunella modularis. Recorded through the year, usually one-two, but six on 21st September.
House Sparrow Passer domesticus. Present along Broadbent Gate Road and the western end of Jones’ Cable, maximum seven on 18th July. Also four on the colliery wasteland on 16th April.
Tree Sparrow Passer montanus. Nestboxes at Moors Farm and Red House Farm are increasing the population of this species. A notable count was c.40 on 20th February in a field near Moors Farm. Three were at the western end of Jones’ Cable on 30th January. On the colliery wasteland towards Inkle Moor, present in March on 18th (one) and 23rd (two). A single was at Red House Farm on 5th May, with six at the disused Swinefleet Works on 6th July. In the same month, 13 flew over Will Pits on 30th. Two flew over Bank Top on 18th September.
Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava. After the first on 17th April, the spring maxima were 21+ on 26th April (including 20+ at Red House Farm) and 18+ on 17th May. In August, there were 14+ on 14th, 10 on 19th and 10+ on 28th. The last was on 18th September.
Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba. Not noted until one on 15th March. Then recorded in most subsequent months, maximum six on 20th November. Bred in a shed at Bank Top.
Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis. The first was one at the Southern Canals on 24th April. Three were on Crowle Moor on 26th April and 12th May, with one on 15th May. On 29th April, three (two displaying) were along the ‘Lonesome Pine track’. On Crowle Moor, there were four singing males on 24th May, and a nest was found on 21st June. Also in June, there was a singing male at Pony Bridge Marsh on 2nd, and two were along the ‘Lonesome Pine track’ on 23rd.
Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis. Recorded in 10 months, and monthly maxima were January two, March c.40, April 15, May c.20, June 14, July 10, August 100+, September c.120, October four and November three. These included 100+ on 30th August and c.120 (many resting/feeding) on 16th September.
Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs. Monthly maxima were January c.1134, February 40+,
March c.100, April 14, May two, June three, July three, August 14, September c.50, October one, November 688 and December 226. Most of the higher counts were associated with a roost in the Entrance Bridge area, peaking at c.1000 on 16th January, c.1134 on 20th January, down to c.100 by 15th March. The previous highest count for Thorne Moors was 608 – also at a roost – on 12th January 2003. The November maximum, also high, was 688 on 30th. The December peak was 226 on 19th. Some counts came from Chadwick’s Field, notably 63 on 16th March. Nests were found at Will Pits, Will Pits Scrape and on Crowle Moor.
Brambling Fringilla montifringilla. Mainly recorded in January. At Chadwick’s Field, there were two females on 12th and three on 15th. One joined Common Chaffinches to roost on 16th, and two were along the Rhododendron Path on 18th. Outwith January, present on 2nd October (singles at Durham’s Garden and Will Pits) and 11th November (one over Bank Top).
Greenfinch Chloris chloris. Monthly maxima were January c.200, March five, April two, June one, August two, November 98 and December nine. The higher counts were associated with a roost in the Durham’s Garden area, the maxima being c.200 on 12th January, c.50 on 20th January and 98 on 30th November.
Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis. Monthly maxima were January c.40, February c.20, March c.40, April 10, May 15+, July 40+, August c.20, September 200+, October c.30, November nine and
December 12. The September peak of 200+ involved birds in Chadwick’s Field on 4th/18th; other September counts included c.80 on 5th/26th. Bred near the colliery spoilheap in a Hawthorn Crataegus monogyna.
Siskin Carduelis spinus. For the first eight months there were just three records: a flock of c.25 along the Rhododendron Path on 25th January, and singles in March on 8th/18th. In September, reported on 7th (two), 12th (one south), 21st (two) and 28th (two). There were occasional Siskins in October, maximum four on 2nd/18th, and two on 7th November.
Linnet Carduelis cannabina. On 12th January, two flocks in Chadwick’s Field, an area of abandoned Oil-seed Rape Brassica napus ssp. oleifera, produced an estimate of 2100+, a moorland record (BPW). An idea of numbers could only be gained when the Linnets were put to flight by a raptor. Other January counts there reached c.500 on 4th. The previous highest figure for Thorne moors was c.1180 on 2nd December 1972, associated with a roost. Beyond January, the maxima were comparatively modest. They reached c.50 on 15th March and 66 on 2nd August, but were often below 12+. April-July counts only reached 10+. At least two pairs bred on Crowle Moor.
Lesser Redpoll Carduelis cabaret. Until September, there were no counts above four, except 10 on 1st January. September totals reached c.35 on 28th. The highest numbers were in October, reaching 100+ on 7th and c.120 on 9th. Counts in November-December reached 70+ on 5th/19th November and c.60 on 19th/22nd December.
Common Redpoll Carduelis flammea. At least one was present with c.60 Lesser Redpolls at Durham’s Garden on 22nd December (BPW). The fifth record for Thorne Moors.
Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula. Monthly maxima were January 10, February four, March 11, April three, May three, June 10, July five, August four, September five, October two, November 10 and December 15. The maxima were obtained on 15th March (11) and 23rd December (15).
Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis. At dusk on 1st November, a first-winter bird was seen on Fisons’ Road North (BPW, SH). It was still present on 2nd (BPW, JGH), with two on Goole Moor on 3rd (JGH).
Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella. Counts mostly did not exceed four, but occasionally reached six; there were eight on several dates in March-April and on 2nd September. Nested at Green Belt and on Crowle Moor.
Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus. Monthly maxima were January seven, February two, March 10, April 18, May 25+, June 16, July 12, August c.50 (on 10th), September 16, October 10, November eight and December three. Bred at Will Pits Scrape.
Corn Bunting Emberiza calandra. One was at Red House Farm on 26th April.
Budgerigar Melopsittacus undulatus. One ‘blue’ bird was along Broadbent Gate Road on 1st May.
LIST OF OBSERVERS
Thanks are offered to all who have obtained 2010 records (with apologies for any omissions).
Paul Adams, Robert Broch, Kevin Bull, Les Corrall, Lance J. Degnan, Melvin Grasby, Chris Halstead, Keith Heywood, R. Hibbert, James Hinchliffe, Steve Hiner, John G. Hitchcock, Peter Hinks, P. James, Jim Johnson, Paul Leonard, Ian McDonald, Ron Moat, Ian Morley, Melvin Payne, William H. Priestley, Stephen Routledge, Peter C. Roworth, Brian Smith, Richard J. Sprakes, Ben Steel (BSt), Brian Thompson, Bryan P. Wainwright, Robert Watson.
Middleton Eco Consultancy (A. Cawthrow, D. Little, P. Middleton, W. Middleton, D. Pearce).
Lincolnshire Bird News, Lincolnshire Bird Report 2010.