Trip reports

Thorne Moor & Hatfield Moor

Thorne Moor & Hatfield Moor
Little Ringed Plover - Steve Settle

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Those of us who weren't away birding elsewhere - you know who you are - met up at Birch Services then headed over the Pennines to the Doncaster area for our visit to the Humberhead Peatlands NNR with the dual sites of Hatfield Moor and Thorne Moor.
We chose to visit Hatfield Moor first, as basically there is a toilet at the car park - well an eco-friendly port-a-loo.
As we readied ourselves, a green woodpecker was heard, and a few swifts passed overhead.

We then headed past Boston Park pools, though not much water was visible because of the emergent Willow and Birch woodland. There were plenty of Damselflies and a few Dragonflies, along with a few butterflies, but bird life was rather scarce with some common woodland birds and a few warblers including Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat and Blackcap.
When we reached the open peatland area a pair of Yellowhammer greeted us. We made our way on to the disused peat beds, walking round the raised margins of the disused worked area, some containing water, others almost dry.
There were plenty of Black Headed Gulls, Lesser Black Backed Gulls, and Crows, but despite these there were a few waders, Lapwings, Little Ringed Plovers, Ringed Plovers, plus Pied Wagtails, Yellow Wagtail, Stonechats, Reed Bunting, and Meadow Pipits. A number of Dragonflies were to be found over some of the pools. The walk was curtailed by lack of knowledge of which of the raised banks were accessible or more importantly, weren't dead ends. The walk back along the southern boundary gave us better views of the pools, with Shoveler, Shelduck, Gadwall, Mute Swan and Little Grebe.
We lunched on the tables near the car park, but only a family of Long Tailed Tits was noteworthy.
We then headed for the Thorne Moor site. Again, lack of local knowledge meant we entered the site from the eastern Crowle car park. We then had a 2 mile walk through the emergent Willow and Birch woodland before reaching the Peat Moorland proper. The woodlands again gave us a few common woodland birds and a few more warblers, including Sedge Warbler and Garden Warbler. Probably the most interesting bit was the walk past the field that contained 30+ Goats. There were also a fair number of butterflies and dragonflies as well.
By the time we reached the open area the prospect of the 2+ mile walk back meant that we didn't spend as much time as would have been liked. We did have a very obliging male Marsh Harrier drift low over our head, but not much else in the bird line.
We headed back to the car but at 4pm it was far too early to consider staying for Nightjar, so we headed home, (dropping in to the spec out the western entrance at Thorne for future reference).

48 species in total were seen or heard.