Trip reports

Field Trip - Fairburn Ings RSPB

Long-tailed tit perched on branch

Sunday, 19 March 2017

A popular reserve with many of our Group members, Fairburn always has something to see whatever the season.

On this visit, we arrived to high winds, so a walk around the sheltered area of the Discovery Trail close to the Information Centre was the first call for many of us. Lots of Chiffchaffs and the elusive Cetti's Warbler were singing - along with members of the tit family, namely Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit and Great Tit. Robins and small flocks of Tree Sparrows were also to be found in this wooded area and one or two of the conifers offered glimpses of Goldcrest. A Willow Tit gave good views whilst singing in the marshy area close to the car park.

A new addition to the three pre-existing trails, the 'Coal Tips Trail', had recently been completed but, because it is quite high up and exposed, the high winds made it quite difficult on this occasion. The Riverbank Trail was much calmer and, again, Cetti's Warblers and Chiffchaffs were in abundance. Skylarks and Sand Martins showed up on the grasslands and parties of Goldfinch, Siskin, Linnet, Redpoll and Bullfinches were also seen. At the Lin Dyke Hide, Greenland White-fronted Geese grazed and Great White Egret showed well.

Ducks on the lakes included Shelduck, Wigeon, Gadwall and Teal. A few Pintail and Goldeneye were also showing. Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck were also present as were Avocet and Oystercatcher. Little Egret and Grey Herons were seen in good numbers from Charlie's Hide at the far eastern end of the reserve. Kingfishers here were putting on a noisy show for us as they made their claims for their breeding territories.

Birds of prey seen during the day included Buzzard, Kestrel and Red Kite. A good day was had by all - despite the high wind.