July, 2012

Aire Valley - Fairburn Ings and St Aidan's

Aire Valley - Fairburn Ings and St Aidan's
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Aire Valley - Fairburn Ings and St Aidan's

  • Is nothing Sacred?

    A Sacred Ibis was reported yesterday flying west up the River Aire. By my reckoning that makes the reserve list stand at 292 species. Of these 12 fall into the same dodgy ducks and probable escapees as yesterdays visitor. With large bird collections close by at Lotherton Hall and Harewood House we are well served in this regard. The moth trap continues to attract some spectacular visitors with a beautiful Northern Eggar the highlight of last nights haul. With water levels now falling after the recent flooding Pickup Pool has become a bit of a wader magnet. Up to 8 Green Sandpipers were seen yesterday along with several Snipe and some Little Egrets. Other recent sightings include juvenille Black-necked Grebe and Mediterranean Gull, perhaps suggesting that both species have bred on the reserve this year.
  • Boom time at Fairburn Ings

    Despite another flood last weekend its not all bad news here at Fairburn. Much to everyones surprise a Bittern was heard booming on Wednesday. The last time the enigmatic mating call echoed across the ings was more than 50 years ago. Lets hope we dont have to wait as long for a repeat performance. In addition to the surprise vochalisations the bird has also been ssen on a daily basis from Pickup Hide and the duck feeding platform. Another record this week saw Little Egret numbers peak at 11 birds. It is perhaps getting a bit late to hope for a breeding attempt this year but it is surely on a matter of time before they are added to our list of nesting species.

    The desperate weather has led to many waders packing their bags for warmer winter climes much earlier than usual. This week a number of Green Sandpipers, Whimbrel and Greenshank have dropped in for a snack on their way back to Africa. Raptors are still much in evidence with a female Marsh Harrier and several Hobbies seen daily.

    It has been an interesting week with the moth trap with some of the highlights including: Poplar Hawkmoth, Drinker, Snout, Garden Tiger and the dark morph of the Peppered Moth. If you fancy seeing some of our moths up close and personal then give us a ring on 01977 628191 and book on for our Magnificent Moth Night on Saturday 18th August.



  • 5th June latest

    A male Red-crested Pochard made a colourful addition to the wildfowl on Village Bay on Monday. A pair of Ruddy Shelduck put in a good show earlier in the week and a large party of Black-tailed Godwits stopped off briefly at the weekend. Several recent sightings of Bittern perhaps hint at a possible nesting attempt on the reserve. Raptors have been showing well in the past day with a female Marsh Harrier seen from Pickup Hide and a number of Hobby sightings, including two together from Pickup Hide. There have been lots of Kingfisher sightings, including an adult and a juvenille seen together. So at least some survived the recent flooding. There are also a lot of juvenille Green Woopeckers around the reserve so they have obviously had a good breeding year too.