News archive

October 2013

Sunday, 27 October 2013

Tree sparrow on twig

Winter Wonderland II

The Group's trip to Fairburn Ings was eagerly awaited but sadly the site did not live up to expectations. Lets be clear, it wasn't the reserves fault or that of its very welcoming staff. In fact things got off to a great start with Tree Sparrow and Willow Tit being found on the feeders at the visitors centre. But sadly from there on in things declined ! The recent mild weather and the fact that the end of October is probably not late enough in the year meant there were few geese and no flock of wintering Goosander or Smew. Plenty of Shoveller, Pochard, Teal, Wigeon, Gadwall, Goldeneye and Tufted Ducks on the shallow lakes. Very few small birds braved the stiff wind and we only saw a few Redwing, and they were pretty fleeting views. No sighting of Long eared Owl either. After lunch at the centre (with Tree Sparrow and Willow Tit again) we set off to cover the second part of the reserve. Here we had more luck with Redpoll and Siskin in the trees with the flock of goldfinch / Greenfinch. Lovely but sadly all too brief views of a Kingfisher provided a splash of colour in this rather grey weather day. All too soon it was time to go home. Would we go back? Yes - but perhaps it would be better to go in the middle of winter when we would be guaranteed (hopefully!) our target birds of Goosander, Smew and Long eared Owl.