Trip reports

Anglers & Pugneys Country Parks - 16/11/13

Coal tit perched on bramble bush
Coal tit - RSPB Images

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Our first stop was Anglers Country Park. This is a lake surrounded by fields and woodland, next door to Wintersett Reservoir. We pulled into a layby at the side of the reservoir for a quick look before moving onto the main car park. Tufted duck, great crested grebe and pochard were all diving for food while a grey heron stood sentinel on a floating barrel.

We then parked up in the main car park where there is a good feeding station with generous numbers of tree sparrows mingling with chaffinch, greenfinch and goldfinch. Our walk took us round the lake where a large flock of wigeon was inspected in case of a vagrant American wigeon (which had wintered here the last couple of years) - sadly no joy! Goosander and teal were the other ducks present. Onto the hide which overlooks a rocky area at one side of the lake where a couple of snipe were seen feeding and preening in the margins and a very flighty flock of lapwing were roaming around the small rocky islands. As we came out of the hide, one of the group spotted a flock of lesser redpoll feeding in a nearby tree while song thrush, mistle thrush and redwing were in a nearby hawthorn hedge.

We broke for lunch back at the car park then walked up the lane to Haw Park Wood. This is a lovely area of mixed woodland although there are more areas of coniferous trees than broadleaved. Here we picked up the usual woodland species - treecreeper, goldcrest, great spotted woodpecker, coal tit and siskin. We had been told by a local birder that a flock of crossbills were around but, given the size of the wood, we didn't hold out much hope of finding them. However, find them we did! We all got fantastic views of them feeding at the top of the trees. A number of them were stunning, bright red males.

We ended the day at Pugneys Country Park which is close to the M1. Winter wildfowl were in evidence again with shoveler and gadwall added to the day list. On the way back to the cars, the ice cream van in the car park proved too much of a temptation for some - ice cream in November!