Earlier in the week I got one of the best jobs at Fairburn - usually reserved for volunteer rangers but on Saturday morning it was down to me to get my layers on and fill the feeders. 

Perhaps it was the blue fleece and three buckets of suet, seed and fatballs - but the Discovery Trail came alive! Huge flocks of long tailed tits passed over in waves, robins were demanding their fill and chaffinches were flitting above my head. Now is the time when the lack of leaves mean the woodland around Fairburn Ings is visibly magical again. We've had all the usual suspects and the feeders are running out in a matter of hours.

Confident robin up close! Lorraine Willis (twitter)

You'll see great, blue, long tailed, coal and of course willow tits. Did we mention special willow tit badge? Plus your goldfinches, robins, chaffinches, tree sparrows, dunnocks, greater spotted woodpeckers and the beautiful bullfinches are all flitting around the centre and discovery trail.

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The sightings book is starting to mention the arrival of goldcrests - a tiny (the tiniest!) bird at Fairburn, arrive in Autumn in larger numbers. You're most likely to spot one within flocks of other species. They eat tiny morsels like spiders, moth eggs and other small insect food.

Goldcrest with it's striking yellow stripe - Graham Breeze (twitter)

Other arrivals include the duck influx mentioned last week - goosander, pintail, goldeneye, wigeon at Village Bay.

Keep your eyes on the sky for hundreds of redwing and fieldfare (450 at once on Mon!) - and not to forget skeins of thousands of pink footed geese travelling the stretch of the River Aire.

Redwing, Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)

Many a whisper have been heard over the past week or so - lots of hawfinches sighted nearby. Many a visitor and volunteer have been on the lookout.

Yesterday morning one did fly over Big Hole - spotted by ranger John G. This is Fairburn's first record since 2001. Hawfinches are an exciting and beautiful bird, with a humongous and powerful beak - fingers crossed we catch a proper glimpse! There seems to have been a bit of an influx this year - although some are resident in the UK.

Male hawfinch, Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)

Starling murmerations are starting at Fairburn - not as big as they get yet! But in a few weeks keep your eyes on the Coal Tips trail late afternoon.

Plus with a little patience, the kingfishers have been sighted every day for a couple of weeks now at the kingfisher screen. Happy visitors!

"Two fish in one dive!" - Graham Breeze - twitter