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Post Info TOPIC: Blacktoft Sands RSPB


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RE: Blacktoft Sands RSPB


22/07/2018 (posting delayed by minor op)

A good day out here with Mr. Ausberger. Plenty of Tree Sparrows around the car park as usual and a good selection of commoner passage waders.
Marshland had:
Spoonbill 2
Little Egret 7
Grey Heron 1 (with 3 more heading down river)
Mallard 8
Teal 26
Ringed Plover 1 juv
Lapwing
Ruff 8
Snipe 6 - all showing well
Spotted Redshank 2
Greenshank 3
Green Sandpiper 1

plus
Yellow Wagtail 3 - 1 adult male and 2 juvs
Barn Owl a pair snuggled up in the bushes near the owl box
Stock Dove 3
Bearded Tit minimum 9

elsewhere
2 Common Sandpiper lurked in the extreme left front corner reeds on Xerox
First had 3 more Ruff, another Green Sandpiper, 3 more Bearded Tits down on the mud: Singleton 10 Green Sandpiper, 1 eclipse Shoveler, and more Snipe out in the open, with 20 plus Ruff, 1 summer plumage Dunlin and the Godwit flock at Townend. Up to 8 Bearded Tits visible together on one section of mud here.
The Marsh Harriers were having a quiet day, with only about 5 birds seen, plus a pair of Common Buzzards and 2 young Kestrels.

Also seen:
Little Grebe, Greylag Goose, Gadwall, Moorhen, Coot, Black-headed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Swift, Swallow, House Martin, Pied Wagtail, Blackbird,Robin, Wren, Sedge Warbler, Reed warbler, Reed Bunting, Carrion Crow and Goldfinch.


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A top day at Blacktoft Sands yesterday (26th May) for myself, Chris Chandler and Colin Rushmer. Great weather and great birds. We arrived around 8.30 and birds were singing everywhere. After a quick look and chat in the Reception Hide, we headed for Townend Hide overlooking the close reedbeds and the wider reserve.

Within 15 minutes we got onto the returning female Montagu's Harrier hunting in the near distance. What a bird she is! We had 3 prolonged views over the morning, which was more than I had hoped for really, so delighted with that. I found that she looked a bit more solid than my memory suggested and on these views I could see why sometimes people just report a ringtail harrier if they get a distant view. But these views allowed us to see some great plumage detail. The sharp-featured facial markings and brown and cream barring on the tail stood out to me. It was just a privilege to watch a bird like this.

Whilst we gazed out over the reedbeds there were frequent views of Bearded Tits buzzing about, although never really close or perching up to allow a proper scoping. As normal, plenty of cruising Marsh Harriers. A Sparrowhawk perched in a dead tree and then swooping through the reeds created a fuss at one point.

Up the reserve on the more wader-orientated pools we saw breeding Avocets but these and Lapwings were the only waders around, so no Temminck's Stint during this small influx, or anything more common either for that matter.

The other brilliant views we had were Sedge and Cetti's Warblers from the paths. 2 of each showed very well, with more heard. We never got on a Reed Warbler despite hearing a few. When we checked into the Reception after lunchtime we heard that 5 Spoonbill had flown over but we were unlucky on that one. I clocked 48 species though, which I thought was a good effort and clearly any day you see a Monty is a great day, so we left the reserve as happy campers.

Heading back to Goole we diverted through the fields to the A161 King's Causeway road. On the way down we stopped and managed to spirit up Yellowhammer, Yellow Wagtail and Corn Bunting out of the fields and hedges. The Corn Buntings in particular showed really well.

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Sightings so far this morning include:

 

1 Red Kite

3 Spoonbill

24 Spotted Redshank

12 Ruff

2 Green Sandpiper

 

Info thanks to Barry Hulme



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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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Pleasant day here (9.15- 16.15) with the "A"'s team (Karen & Mike) - the "R"'s team being otherwise occupied. biggrin

The birds were concentrated in the central area between Townend and Marshland Hide, apart form Little Grebes, the majority of which were in the deeper water at Singleton.
Good numbers of Ruff, Spotted Redshank (16), Snipe and Green Sandpiper around the three scrapes together with Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Common Sandpiper and Redshank. The only small waders we could find were 3 Dunlin, although a Little Stint had been claimed earlier in the morning. Interesting to see the Spotted Redshank 'mob-feeding' as Avocets do in winter. Not sure I've seen them do this before.

1 possibly 2 Water Rail showed briefly at Marshland, which also had a single juvenile Yellow Wagtail together with a good number of mainly juvenile Pied Wagtails. At Townend a couple of Little Egrets (adult and juvenile?) disturbed the Spoonbill and Grey Heron duo's (and all the other ducks and waders) with an almost constant chase which later passed through Xerox scrape. Mallard, Gadwall and Teal in abundance, with a few Shoveler scattered about; 2 Buzzard (distant), a Kestrel and at least 3 Marsh Harrier made up our tally of raptors; plenty of Tree Sparrows around the car park, Goldfinch & Linnet, Robin, Wren, Blackbird, Reed and Sedge Warblers seen with Blackcap and Willow Warbler heard; Usual Corvids and Pigeons. A few Swallows and House Martins passed through to feed over the fields further upstream. Starlings (all Eurasianhmm) Cormorants and Gulls en route.



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Tuesday 11th - 5-9pm.
Spotted Crake showing well. Visible the majority of my visit. Apparently still there this morning.
Marsh Harrier (4)
Montagu's Harrier - no sign but reported earlier in day
Bearded Tit - heard but not seen
Water Rail - great views
Green Sandpiper - at least 4

Made up for missing the Black Stork at Spurn earlier in the day.

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And off we went as well, spending just over five hours at the reserve from mid day. Rain hadn't been forecast and the general cloudy weather seemed to take longer to clear than expected but it bacame warmer by late afternoon. Amongst others :-

Little Grebe
Little Egret (35+)
Gadwall
Teal
Shoveler
Water Rail (2)
Marsh Harrier (5+)
Montagu's Harrier (2-3)
Sparrowhawk (1)
Buzzard (3)
Kestrel (1)
Avocet (15+)
Dunlin (1)
Ruff (15+)
Spotted Redshank (15)
Snipe (2)
Black tailed Godwit (28+)
Curlew
Green Sandpiper (1)
Stock Dove (2)
Sand Martin
Reed Warbler
Bearded Tit (2)
Tree Sparrow
Linnet

After several sightings of Marsh Harrier - males, females and juveniles including a couple of food passes - the Montagu's Harriers finally showed. Distant and over to the right a ringtail was seen with another silhouetted Harrier. They were down and out of view very quickly so unsure as to female/juvenile. Not long after, the male Montagu's flew right to left, more or less the full extent of the reserve, mid distance but decent enough views. Ten minutes later, another circuit.

Nice array of waders with the Ruff and Spotted Redshank in various stages of moult. The white headed male Ruff was still around Steve! Plenty of Black tailed Godwit and noisy Little Egret. Tree Sparrow (c.20) at the feeders. A few Reed Warbler here and there, a single Water Rail from two separate hides and two Bearded Tit noted.

Headed south on the minor roads to Haxey and the Duke Wellington for a couple of pints and a bar snack (recommended) before heading to Hatfield Moors hoping for Nightjar - see comments in Thorne & Hatfield Moors thread.

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so off we went on the promise from Dianne Oxberry that the weather was set fair, she's rubbish at weather! But we did see the Montagu's (a female) and Marsh Harriers at least 5.
Other highlights were:
Ruff 20 in many differing plumages
Spotted redshank 14
Redshank also
Water Rail
Dunlin
C Snipe
26 little Egret
6 Green sandpipers

Worth the trip if you don't mind the harriers being distant.


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Thanks for this Steven, we will try tomorrow

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Tues 28th July- 10.00am-4.30pm
First time visit for me to this reserve . Lots of heavy downpours but a bit brighter in the afternoon. Very few people on the reserve all day.

2(3?) Montagu's Harriers (lifer!) - They took a while to show themselves in between downpours which reduced visibility but eventually after a wait of about an hour a distant ringtail (probably the female) rose up from the reeds to chase off a passing Marsh Harrier. A few other fleeting distant views of a ringtail followed in the next hour. Eventually the male began to show at around midday giving more prolonged views including repeatedly landing at the top of a small tree. At one point the male and a ringtail (I think the female) were flying round together for a couple of minutes. As the visibility improved in the afternoon the male showed well a number of times but always distant, and again chasing the Marsh Harriers away!. I'm pretty sure I saw the young bird in the afternoon for a few seconds as it flew up from the reeds briefly. Fantastic birds!

Marsh Harriers - seen throughout the day but less active during the rain. Probably involving about 5-6 birds but difficult to say. Best views from Singleton hide where 2 juveniles were sat in the same tree. A female dropped on a prey item in the reeds and flew up with it in it's talons. Both juv birds took to the air and one collected it in an aerial food-pass. The female then returned back to the same place and caught a second item. Another food pass then followed - literally a couple of minutes after the first! - and both close to the hide.

Waders:
16 Spotted Redshanks
6 Ruff - incl. 1 white headed male
1 Greenshank
4 Golden Plover
8 Avocet
2 Snipe
Black-tailed Godwits
Redshanks
Lapwings

Other birds:
1 Cuckoo - juv seen in the reedbed
Bearded Tit - heard quite a few but frustratingly couldn't see one!
Reed Warblers - lots plus many young
1 Grasshopper Warbler - an incredibly obliging bird literally less than 6 feet away in grass at the edge of the path near the visitor centre - I think it was young bird.
2 Chiffchaff
Tree Sparrows - lots
1 Linnet
c.15+ Little Egrets
2 Grey Heron
Little Grebes - quite a few plus young
pair Mute Swan plus 2 young
Gadwall
Teal
Mallard
Coot
Moorhen
Woodpigeons
BH Gulls
Carrion Crow
Magpie
Robins - incl. 2 young birds
Reed Buntings

A good day!

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Agreed. The bottom line is we saw the 3 of them one way or the other and it was brilliant! As good as it gets in many ways.

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A blog only tells you what has happened or been sighted previously so to use it as a "it's probably that because the blog says so" I'm not too sure about that.
Point taken on the second food pass though, even though I thought the bird doing the pass appeared very pale, I could well have been mistaken as there was still a bit of haze and we did agree on Ringtail later so my mistake, but the first pass...I did say at the time it was evident that the female looked that much bigger (which is usually the case with Birds of Prey) so my thought process was are the juveniles likely to be that much bigger than the adult male, not saying it's not possible.
wink

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What a great experience it was watching those Harriers. It was a case of unfinished business for us as the first visit had left us wanting more. It is such a privilege to be able to see this stuff happening in front of you. I had never seen food passes from Marsh Harrier either, so it was double bubble for me.

With my pedantic hat on though, on the second food pass, this was definitely between two ringtails, I had them both in my scope. We had seen the male leave the immediate area flying strongly just before, heading west. He could have slipped back but I think we would have seen him. In addition the RSPB have been blogging that the juvenile is coming up to receive food from a parent, borne out in this case. On the basis of the reported behaviour and the behaviour in the second food pass I personally think the first one was more likely to be to the juvenile too. I certainly didn't get a good enough view of the ringtail to say it was definitely the female.

To be honest it is really hard to stay relentlessly observant when they are flying, because it is so bloody exciting! I wouldn't blame either of us for slightly confusing things in our minds.

The male quartering for a full minute plus in my scope was magical. The highlight though was probably the female chasing off one of the Marsh Harriers, talk about a rapier vs a broadsword. Also one last look at her gliding around at about 1230 from Townend Hide, as the rain was about to start, I'd say the last word in elegance in my experience of birding.

Let's just hope they get this juvenile away and come back next year and do it again! Thanks as always to Rob for the driving.

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Sunday 26th July.

An early start for a 201 mile round trip with Steve Burke and Simon Gough to RSPB Blacktoft and RSPB Old Moor with a day's tally of 82 bird species and 4 Mammal species in Other Wildlife.
I saw 81 because I missed the Rose-ringed Parakeet right outside Simon's house in Burnage, and I'll let the lads edit what they missed if they wish.

- Montagu's Harrier - at least 3 seen around 9.20am. Excellent bino and scope views of the male, female, and one of the juveniles. Not as close as recent blog photos suggest but we were all chuffed! We watched the male and female hunting (quartering), we witnessed 2 food passes (male to female then male to juv) then a bit of harassment from a Marsh Harrier ended up with the tables turned on IT!

- Marsh Harrier - 5 seen at once, but to be honest sightings of 2's, 3's, juv's, birds in the air whilst others perched in trees, could be up near 20 in my view, 2 food passes also seen.

- Common Buzzard - 2 circling east of Singleton hide
- Kestrel - 1
- Teal
- Gadwall
- Cormorant
- Great Crested Grebe
- Little Grebe - at least 6 (1 the subject of a Marsh Harrier dive bomb attack attempt)
- Spotted Redshank - 14 in a group, 19 total all at Xerox, various plumage moults
- Redshank - plenty about
- Greenshank - 2
- Lapwing - lots around
- Black-tailed Godwit - too many to count
- Green Sandpiper - 1 then 2 together at different hide
- Common Sandpiper - 1
- Dunlin - 1
- Ruff - 3 then another 6 in various plumage moults
- Common Snipe - 5
- Little Egret - 17 at one hide, more seen and flyovers
- Grey Heron - 2
- Water Rail - 1 juvenile moving along the waterline / reeds edge
- Black-headed Gulls
- Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- Common Gulls - 3
- Herring Gulls - 4
- Great Spotted Woodpecker - 2
- Swift - lots about
- Swallow - lots about
- House Martin - a few around
- Bearded Tit - 2 juveniles showing well in shrubbery, 1 in flight low over reeds
- Long-tailed Tits - small family group
- Robin and juvenile
- Blackcap and juvenile
- Sedge Warbler - lots around incl some cute tiny juv's within feet of us
- Reed Warbler - 3 maybe 4
- Chiffchaff - think it was 4 total
- Willow Warbler - 1
- Wren - 2
- Pied Wagtail - 2
- Yellow Wagtail - 1 briefly flew across the country lane approaching reserve
- Tree Sparrow - 10+ in car park and on feeders
- Chaffinch
- Goldfinch
- Linnet - 2
- Bullfinch - 1 female
- Reed Bunting - 2

Lots of usuals seen including Corvids, Woodpigeon and Collared Doves, Waterbirds, and Garden Birds.

p.s. Should've been rain at 11am, but had none until 1pm so had some good quality time watching some top quality birds, providing some exceptional viewing.


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With Karen F & Mike A

Good views of male and female Montague's Harriers during the day from Townend & Singleton hides, including a food pass to the juvenile.
Lots of activity from some of the minimum of 35 Marsh Harriers on the reserve, including several food passes.
Hobby through east to west
Pair of Kestrels from Ousefleet hide
Cuckoo to east of Singleton hide
Grasshopper Warbler showing well between Reception and Xerox hide, with another reported from between Townend and First hides

Xerox hide:
C 20 Spotted Redshank in varying stages of moult
c12 Ruff showing a wide variety of plumages and sizes
5 Grey Herons, including one which looked to be digging items out of a bank then taking them into the water to wash and eat
15 Avocets - adults and juveniles
6 Common Redshank
Tufted Duck female plus 4 ducklings
Teal, Shoveler, Mallard

Green Sandpiper 3
Common Sandpiper 2
Great Crested Grebe 1 adult & 1 juvenile
Little Grebe 2 family parties of 2 adults and 5 juveniles
2 Shelduck -back from Heligoland?

Good numbers of Little Egrets, Tree Sparrows and Black-tailed Godwits, plus usuals

Several Ringlets and Meadow Browns, mainly along the path to Ousefleet hide, also at least 2 Red Admirals.



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12.30-3.30
Male Montagus Harrier from Singleton at 1.30pm.
Female from Townend at 1 and a Green Sandpiper.
3+ Marsh Harrier
Bearded Tit and Peregrine from Oosefleet hide.
Xerox: 4 summer plumage Spotted Redshank, 3 Ruff, 4 Avocet, 10 Black Tailed Godwit
Also many Sedge, Reed Warbler and Reed Bunting.
6+ Tree Sparrow around car park. Skylark, Whitethroat, Blackcap too.
Grasshopper Warbler, Hobby, and Long Eared Owl reported
Yellow Wagtail just West of Oosefleet village.


-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 4th of July 2015 08:19:38 PM

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Spent the day on site yesterday. The female Montagu's Harrier was seen regularly, circling the skies throughout the day, from any of Singleton, Townend, First or Xerox Hides. My best view was actually in the visitor centre, while I was asking the staff what time buses went back to Goole! "Hang on, isn't that..."

The male Montagu's was more elusive, but he did treat me to a leisurely fly-by shortly after arriving and later in the morning, he was seen from Townend stooping sharply at a Marsh Harrier, which flipped upside down and presented its talons in self-defence.

The Ring-necked Duck wasn't around, as far as I know. I also dipped a Hobby that apparently zoomed past Xerox Hide... But I am not complaining. It was a superb day.

Other highlights:

6 Spotted Redshank (breeding plumage - Xerox Hide)
2 Green Sandpiper (Townend Hide)
Cetti's Warbler heard calling from vicinity of Ousefleet Hide
Juvenile Sparrowhawk hunting (First Hide)
1 Yellow Wagtail on adjacent farmland


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Late post for Thursday 11.00 - 5.30pm

Superb views of both male and female Montagu's Harrier quartering over the marsh from Xerox Hide. First the female then it was joined by the male after an hour or so. They were some way off but cool conditions kept the heat haze away so scope views on zoom were excellent. I was hugely lucky with timing as a certain Lee RG Evans had made two entries in the sightings book at Singleton hide for 11-12 June. It had taken him two whole days from dawn to dusk to see the harriers!

At least 6 Marsh Harriers were around with 5 in the air at the same time as the female Montagu's with a 2nd-year male and a female coming in close.
Also the Ring-necked Duck was sleeping in front of Townend Hide alongside a superb breeding-plumaged Spotted Redshank which was later commuting from hide to hide and calling.

This is one of the best RSPB reserves and one where I have never been disappointed wink
I just wish it was nearer...

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Trip over to East Yorkshire to RSPB Blacktoft Sands specifically to see the long staying Montagu's Harriers, Which after a 2 hour wait didn't disappoint with reasonably close views of the female bird quartering low over the reed beds from Singleton hide, Unfortunatly no sign of the male bird whilst I was there.

Also seen,
Marsh Harrier ever present at least 5 birds seen all visable in the air at the same time, 2 pairs and a 1st summer dark bodied cream crowned bird
Avocet 60+
Tree Sparrow 12
Many singing Blackcap, Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff, Willow, Sedge and Reed Warbler around the reserve
A Garden Warbler heard singing in the car park
Good numbers of Swallow, Swift, House and Sand Martin


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Roger Baker 3 wrote:

Rob,

How can you use the word "disappointing" twice when you've (we've) obviously seen a lot of birds.

The site, although small, takes a lot of sensitive managing for the rare breeders.
5+ pair of Marsh Harriers and nearly 100 pair of Reedling (up from 1 pair in 1964) suggests they're doing something right.

I also know that they have to keep the water levels higher than they would like but this is to deter fox and badger predation of the eggs and young.

Mentioning Reedlings brings me to your "lack of birds" comment ...... I don't think a Reedling was seen on Monday but that doesn't mean they were absent. I should imagine plenty of Reedling saw us !

As for the hide with nothing to see ..... birds will go where they want to be, after all it's a reserve not a pet shop !

Anyway, after one of my away days .... it's back to my local gaffs ... the real definition of "lack of birds".
biggrin

Roger.





Hi Roger,
I know how my comment probably sounds but it was an observation we all commented on.
The rare species aspect was brilliant as we saw what we came to see, and management of the reserve is all good, and I don't dispute that the birds are all there, including the 100 pairs of Bearded Reedling.
What I was getting at was the number of birds on the whole rather than the number of species.
We got some fantastic species, but low numbers of some of the 'usuals' you'd expect to see from wetland and marshland hides.
The other 'disappointing' was in not seeing a Hobby. I can't say it any other way than that. It was disappointing not to see one in my view, and that is simply what it is, it's just my view and what I felt on the day.
Cheers
Rob

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As Rob mentions ( good to see you 3 lads, yet again & to properly meet Simon too!) we were another couple of visitors from the 'Forum' to make the journey over to East Yorkshire last Monday! Arriving a bit later than Rob, Steve & Simon we struggled to ark, ending up on the road verge outside the reserve, fully expected though on a sunny Bank Hol on a reserve with displaying Montagu's Hariers on it!

First stop was Townend Hide where a long wait eventually allowed us to see the female Montagu's Harrier, scoped well but not for long. With it only being a yeartick and with a queue outside the hide we headed out to let others take our place. Later from First Hide we had much better views, scoped, closer & longer, of both male & female in display and chasing Marsh Harriers, superb, in a hide with seats to spare! Other birds seen were similar to the lads, with Grasshopper Warbler only seen in flight but the Cettis' seen briefly perched and in flight a few times. My wife picked up a 99% certain Water Vole (and she is a v.good mammal ID person) but we never saw it again. Several folk (inc a couple I know well) did see Bearded Tits, just right place, right time scenario. As Roger says they're out there all the time, just seeing them is harder!

For anyone wanting to see the Montagu's Harriers it will probably stay pretty busy whilst they are showing well, weekends being worse. Keep an eye on the wardens blog (linked through the RSPB site) which is keeping tabs on the harriers and as it says they could just give up at any time, even though they bred successfully last year. Lots of the previous nest sites in the UK are just given up for no apparent reason.

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Rob,

How can you use the word "disappointing" twice when you've (we've) obviously seen a lot of birds.

The site, although small, takes a lot of sensitive managing for the rare breeders.
5+ pair of Marsh Harriers and nearly 100 pair of Reedling (up from 1 pair in 1964) suggests they're doing something right.

I also know that they have to keep the water levels higher than they would like but this is to deter fox and badger predation of the eggs and young.

Mentioning Reedlings brings me to your "lack of birds" comment ...... I don't think a Reedling was seen on Monday but that doesn't mean they were absent. I should imagine plenty of Reedling saw us !

As for the hide with nothing to see ..... birds will go where they want to be, after all it's a reserve not a pet shop !

Anyway, after one of my away days .... it's back to my local gaffs ... the real definition of "lack of birds".
biggrin

Roger.

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Mon 4th May with Steve Burke and Simon Gough

Birds of note...
-Tree Sparrow 2 in car park bushes, few more on feeders
-Sedge Warbler seemed to be everywhere
-Reed Warbler 1 (more heard)
-Whitethroat 2 seen (more heard)
-Steve picked up on a Lesser Whitethroat calling near reception, not seen

-Montagu's Harrier (Lifer for us) male and female seen from far hide. Seen for a few minutes, distant at first but came a little closer to the packed hide and saw enough to confidently ID them, they'd already been ID'd but good to get some diagnostic features including the long slimmish wings and the black bar wing bar on the male. These were by no means close ups but can't complain at the views we had, and I suppose it was the main target species so worth the journey.

-Marsh Harrier 6 was the most in view at once that I saw, but to be honest they were everywhere and always in view. Even saw a food pass at one point, which I've never seen before so timing was right.
-Common Buzzard at least 2
-Kestrel 2
-No Hobbies for us (bit disappointing)
-Mediterranean Gull 2 seen flying over the hides calling
-Garganey pair
-Shelduck
-Pochard
-Teal
-Shoveler
-Tufted Duck
-Gadwall
-Avocet quiet a lot around
-Common Sandpiper 1
-few Blackcap around
-Grasshopper Warbler 1 reeling off main path then seen briefly as it flew across whilst we were stood with Doc Brewster (think Simon got a good view from the where he was stood
-Cetti's Warbler 1 heard whilst walking round, another heard infront of a crowd near reception, briefly seen as it flew across us low into deep reed cover
-Yellow Wagtail 5, 4m 1f, seen at roadside no more than 500yds from exit
-another Marsh Harrier seen on road out of the village

My first visit here and on the whole it was worth the trip due to the species seen but we all commented on the lack of Birds. One hide in particular had virtually nothing there. But disappointing in that sense!

A good day out and ended with me suggesting that I should give the other 2 a chance for another Lifer, which worked out just right. (See Ludworth Moor)

wink

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Tuesday 5th of May 2015 11:48:39 PM


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Mon 4th April. 08.00 - 13.00 hrs.

Montagu's Harrier. Pair.
Marsh Harrier. At least 6 inc 1 female.
Garganey. Pair.
Avocet.
Cetti's Warbler. Singing near reception but not seen

Great day out.


Roger.

-- Edited by Roger Baker 3 on Monday 4th of May 2015 08:58:54 PM

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Headed over Saturday afternoon as never been to the site before, got there earlier than expected so went to the site.
4-5 Marsh Harrier, 1 Little Egret, 1 hunting fox, many Tree Sparrows and a hunting Barn Owl over the reserve at dusk were the highlights. No sign of the Hen harrier coming to roost.
This meant we could head to another reserve the next morning so decided on Bempton Cliffs for some sea bird action.

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1-3 pm yesterday. Highlights :
3 Marsh Harrier
Cettis Warbler
Stonechat
Drake Pintail
25 Dunlin

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RE: Blacktoft Sands RSPBb


Very warm but quite windy birds seen
Woodpigeon 20
Starling 10
Carrion crow5
Marsh harrier 1
Grey plover 3
Golden plover 3
Lapwing lots
Snipe 5
Spotted redshank 8
Redshank 11
Green sandpiper 2
Wood sandpiper 1
Common sandpiper 5
Sedge warbler 3
Black tailed godwit6
Black pheasant 1

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RE: Blacktoft Sands RSPB


Report for 2nd April.

6 Marsh Harriers showing well. Predominantly from the Singleton Hide where their courtship displays can be seen over the marshes. Bittern heard but not seen. Water levels are high and so very few waders. 6 avocets. 100's of widgeon and teal. Still large numbers of Greylags.

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First visit to this site. Located near the Ouse, Trent, its six hides looking out onto reed beds and lagoons with carpeted benches for comfort. Fairly quite today people wise but saw
Tree Sparrows and Reed Bunting on feeders, Good flock of Wigeon and Pochard, Goldeneye, Teal, Gadwall Merlin, Curlew, Lapwing, Redshank, Snipe, Dunlin Greylag Geese, and a Brown Hare showing very well near Ouse Hide. They have also brought onto the marsh a breed of 'Konik' Horses four of them, related to the Tarpan or wild horse, they apparenlty bite but looked very impressive.

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RE: Blacktoft Sands -Goole


Originally posted by Mark Battersby: -

Saturday 15th September

Birds:

Redshanks
Greenshanks
Green Sandpiper
Yellow Wagtails
Snipe
Several different Marsh Harriers (14 roosted there on Friday I was told)
2 different waterail
Ruff
Lapwings
Spotted Redshanks
Beardies
Teal
Widgeon
Little and GC grebes

A grand day out. RSPB Bolton group also there on a day trip.


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Ian McKerchar (forum administrator and owner)


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today


Blacktoft this morning,


Redshanks
5 Spotted Redshanks
4 Greenshanks
30 Snipe
15 Ruff
1 Green Sandpiper
1 F Marsh Harrier
1 Dunlin
30 Yellow wagtails in the fields with cows from the far hide to the left, sorry forgot name, Linnets and Meadow Pipits here too,
2 White Wagtails
1 Adult and 1 juv Water Rail
8 Bearded Tits feeding on the floor in front of the reeds for about ten mins, great prolonged views
A few Sedge and Reed Warblers Around

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RE: Blacktoft Sands -Goole


Stopped off at Blacktoft Sands on way back from the Roller with Alex Jones:

1 Marsh Warbler (showing well in trees and reeds near Singleton Hide) a lifer for Alex.

1 Cuckoo calling and seen in flight
1 Short-eared Owl
1 Peregrine
4 Marsh Harriers
2 Reed Buntings (watched them attending to a nest with chicks in)
Lots of Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers

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29/05/2012 - Evening visit with Mike Duckham and Phil Owen:

1 Savi's Warbler - male singing v.distantly at 9.30pm before we were very politely chucked out!
1 Little Grebe
3 Pochards
4 Gadwalls
4 Marsh Harriers
3 Avocets
1 Black-tailed Godwit
1 Yellow Wagtail
2+ Bearded Tits

didn't try for the Marsh Warbler as only arrived at 8pm but it had apparently been showing occasionally, more often heard.

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Thanks Ian. The carpark gates were locked but I used the nearby lay-by and public footpath to get to the reserve. The Marsh Warbler was belting his song out in full view near the Singleton hide all the time I was there. Also heard but not seen were a couple of Grasshopper Warblers and Water Rails, loads of Sedge Warblers and Whitethroats, a booming Bittern and a distant Tawny Owl. No sign of the Savi's Warbler but it was worth it for the Marsh Warbler alone Also, the Hornets nest is still visible above the Gents if anyone's interested.
Cheers, Mark

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I've certainly been (very) pre 9am with no problems and even chatted to the warden in the hides (which are not locked) who was doing his early morning rounds. Not sure whether that still an accepted norm though but a 9am start isn't much use to most birders.

Savis Warbler present this evening also apparently, perhaps best heard (seen?) in the evening (reserve closes at 9pm).

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 29th of May 2012 05:53:44 PM

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I fancy trying for the singing Marsh Warbler here tomorrow but I'd have to go at dawn's crack and their website says it doesnt open till 9. Does anyone know if this just means the hides and reception like some similar reserves, or the whole place?
Thanks, Mark

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31/07/11 AM to PM

MARSH SANDPIPER still there right in front of the hide (as you approach the visitors centre its the furthest on the right - if you havent seen it - but most people seem to have been already). The hide was absolutely heaving and there was a pretty big queue for a seat.

7 Marsh Harriers (m,m,f,f,f,f,f)
1 indestructible Avocet chased one of them out of the lake, pecking it in the air. Great stuff.
40+ Teals
30ish Spotted Redshanks
8 Dunlin
3 more Avocets plus 2 very young avocets
8-10 Green Sandpipers
6 Greenshanks
2 Redshanks
30+ Black Tailed Godwits
3 BEARDED TITS (Xerox Hide in the reeds on the shore line opposite)
1 Little Grebe
4 Linnets
2 Reed Buntings
20+ Little Egrets
1 Peregrine
1 Kestrel
3 Sedge Warblers (heard)
1 Reed Warbler (heard)

happy birding,

Rob



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John Barber wrote:

Looking to load the odds in my favour I enlisted the assistance of Blacktoft expert Sid Ashton. Sid had already seen this bird two weeks earlier and has visited the reserve on several occasions


Expert !!!!- John you are having a laugh - still a nice day and pleased that you found the bird and I found my specs

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Despite my best efforts to try and ignore the Marsh Sandpiper at Blacktoft Sands, reading reports from fellow Manc Birders finally tempted me to fill up the petrol tank on my over worked Hyundai and head east across the Pennines.

Apart from a young female driver in a mini trying to commit suicide by over taking us on the slip road to the M56 - she almost turned her car over and ended up facing oncoming traffic - us ! the journey was speedy and uneventful.

Looking to load the odds in my favour I enlisted the assistance of Blacktoft expert Sid Ashton. Sid had already seen this bird two weeks earlier and has visited the reserve on several occasions.

Arriving before the crowds at 8am we had the place entirely to ourselves. The first question, with no one around to ask, was which way to go ?

It's seems inexplicable that when you bring along an expert for guidance, one chooses to ignore that advice - and yet that's exactly what I did. "The birds probably up at the left hand end of the reserve said Sid" No, according to a report on the reception bulletin it was last seen yesterday at the Singleton Hide, lets go that way I said. That mistake was going to cost us most of the morning.

Of course, the Marsh Sandpiper was no where to be seen from the Singleton Hide, despite there being plenty of waders around, including several Greenshanks, which, try as hard as I might, Sid wouldn't allow me to turn into a MS - it's a pain sometimes when you have an expert with you ! One consolation at this stage was the sighting of a young family of six Bearded Tits flitting around the edge of the reeds, marvellous stuff.

Reluctantly we eventually decided to move back up the reserve checking every hide as we went along, seeing plenty of birds along the way, including more Bearded Tits, several Marsh Harriers, more Greenshank, Black Tailed Godwit and Green Sandpiper amongst many others.

Arriving at the Marshland Hide to find a few birders inside we were dismayed to learn that the bird had been feeding there early on but had moved on, probably to the scrape at the Ousefleet Hide. Off we went.

No luck there either, things were beginning to feel like Henry Cooks experience earlier in the week. So we split up, one covering one end of the reserve and one the other. Three and a half hours, and several mobile phone calls later, I eventually got on the bird - just the briefest glimpse - back at the Singleton Hide: huge relief nonetheless. Sid soon joined me and a very full and excited hide were eventually treated to extensive views of the bird as it fed in the margins in front of the hide.

Having found the target bird we were able to relax and take full stock of the birds around. More Marsh Harriers - at least seven seen we think and Sid counted fourteen Bearded Tits in total.

And that was the end of our day, time to head home - but not before Sid rescued his glasses from the roof of the car having driven several hundred yards down the road ! Just a day in the life of a North West birder I guess.



-- Edited by John Barber on Friday 29th of July 2011 09:38:18 PM

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The Marsh Sandpiper showed well from the Ousefleet Screen for three early rising county birders yesterday Henry, so early were they, they had the place to themselves for nearly an hour, other than the warden of course

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26/07/2011 - Marsh Sandpiper still present in the afternoon but a bit of a nightmare to track down. Took 4 hours of scuttling the kilometer or more between hides, regularly being told "you should have been here a minute ago" after the bird had been chased on a couple of occasions by Avocets. After the initial relief of finally seeing it at the Marshland scrape it was great to get close views of this rare and rather delicate wading bird amongs the wader-fest at present. Also about were:

3 Little Egrets
28 Greylag Geese
1 Pochard - plus 3 young still
3 Marsh Harriers
1 Kestrel
2 Curlew Sandpipers
9 Dunlins
14 Ruffs
15 Spotted Redshanks
2 Greenshanks
8 Common Snipes
40+ Black-tailed Godwits
4 Green Sandpipers
3 Avocets - plus young
3 Yellow Wagtails - plus 8 or more youngsters
4 Reed Warblers
2 Sedge Warblers
1 Bearded Tit

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Afternoon visit after dipping White-rumped Sandpiper on Teesside.

Good views of the Marsh Sandpiper on Ousefleet, Marshlands & Townend.

Also around today:

Black-tailed Godwit min 150
Yellow Wagtail 5 Juveniles
Ruff min 4
Spotted Redshank min 15
Little Egret 4
Little Grebe 3 Juveniles
Green Sandpiper 6-10
Curlew Sandpiper 1

plus all the usuals.

Also, the Hornets 'showing well' and a reasonable collection of Butterflies, plenty of Red-tailed Bumblebees, Common Carder Bee and 2 species of Dragonfly.

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first time here with phil kelly,good day. 53 species seen.
at least 8 marsh harriers at one time,mostly juveniles. been reported there is 16 juveniles fledged this year.
marsh sandpiper did one on thursday, no spoonbills either
12+spotted redshanks
3 greenshanks
6 green sandpipers
6 ruff (all looking different from each other, plumage wise)
5 little egrets
4 avocets + 3 chicks
1 garganey
1 bearded tit (m) good views whilst feeding on the mud on marshland pool.
1 yellow wagtail (juvenille)
8 dunlins
50+ black tailed godwits
1 snipe
redshanks
1 pochard (f) + 3 chicks
1 linnet
2 buzzard
3 kestrels
2 grey herons
1 little grebe + 2 chicks
reed warblers, sedge warblers, blackcaps, willow warblers, whitethroats,
mallards, coots, moorhens, shovelers, lapwings, teals, b-h-gulls, l-b-b-gulls
canada goose, greylag goose, pheasants, magpies, crows, starlings, feral pigeons
wood pigeons, collared doves, tree sparrows, dunnocks, wrens, blackbirds
reed buntings, goldfinches, chaffinches, blue/great & long tailed tits
swifts, swallows, sand martins & house martins.

thanks again phil for a great day out





-- Edited by steven burke on Saturday 23rd of July 2011 08:46:59 PM

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Had a similar list as Gary after going for the Marsh Sandpiper yesterday morning. Great day After parking your car though, be careful if you need to 'park your breakfast' - I found a HORNETS nest in the roof of the toilet block. Kept having to explain why I was looking at the Gents through my bins

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16th/17th july 2011
Spent two days on the reserve with Mrs G and were treated to some memorable birding highlights , Marsh sandpiper being the main event which looked very much like a greenshank to me but with obvious more slimmer bill. Female Garganey still showing well along with 2 wood sandpipers,2 green sandpipers and 2 common sandpipers. Other birds included ,2 dunlin,2 ruff,2 spoonbill,4 avocet ,several redshank,7 marsh harriers 7 spotted redshanks 7 going in my lottery numbers,kestrel , hobby,barn owl,bearded tit, grasshopper ,sedge,reed warblers. A great weekends birding and still one of the best reserves ive visited and met some very friendly birders.juv Marsh harriers landing no more than ten yards infront of singleton hide and basking in the evening sun and eating I think baby toads hundreds of them about.Great for photos

-- Edited by Gary Gorner on Monday 18th of July 2011 08:58:47 PM

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RE: Blacktoft Sands - Goole


Managed to persuade Mrs A that she needed a bit of fresh Yorkshire air this afternoon so we went over to Blacktoft

A good number of wader species present :- Little Egret, Ruff, Redshank, Greenshank, Dunlin, Snipe, Common Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Green Sandpiper, Avocet and of course the one we went to see Marsh Sandpiper which gave really good views from the screen at Ousefleet hide.

There was a female Garganey in front of First hide, also present there was a Little Grebe with chicks.

We also had excellent views of Marsh Harriers from the Singleton hide culminating in a spectacular 7 birds in the air at the same time just as we were leaving. I think Mrs A enjoyed that sight

Also nice to meet Richard Norris again.

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RE: Blacktoft Sands -Goole


We visited yesterday and were rewarded with some fantastic views of the Spoonbill having a bath and preening. Also present were

Spotted redshank
Sedge warbler
Reed warbler
Reed bunting
Redshank
Greenshank
Shovler
Shelduck
Mallard
Coot
Marsh harrier
Avocet
Tree sparrow
Black tailed godwit
Whitethroat

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visited blacktoft on sunday species list pretty much the same as marks with the exception of

no green shank or yellowhammer
but we did see 2 bearded tits and about 6 reed bunting

also saw a hobby over the M62 by the ebuyer warehouse

-- Edited by jason fisher on Tuesday 14th of June 2011 06:53:30 PM

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Annual trip to Yorkshire for the Nightjar at Hatfield Moors. Also called in at North Cave Wetlands. Amongst other stuff at Blacktoft :-

Spoonbill (2)
Marsh Harrier (c.8)
Avocet (75+)
LRP (1)
Snipe (2)
Black tailed Godwit (c.15)
Spotted Redshank (1)
Greenshank (1)
Sedge Warbler
Reed Warbler
Whitethroat
Blackcap
Tree Sparrow (c.12)
Yellowhammer (c.8)

There was a sign up stating the pools by the most northerly hide had completely dried up due to the dry weather and words to the effect that there was nothing to see. We didn't walk up there but it's where the Barn Owl nest box is and where you get a usual tick. It's a different world, weather wise, east of the Pennines!

-- Edited by Mark Jarrett on Sunday 12th of June 2011 10:43:20 AM

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biggrin.gif22/4/11

Cracking days birding on arrival we saw a full summer plumaged slavonian grebe right in front of the hide and a grasshopper warler which Mary thought was tame ,it was showing brill within 10ft of us and kept everyone mesmorised with its quivering body tremmbling call. Mid afternoon we were treated to a bittern fly by which we had been listening boom in the morning. The marsh harriers were also making the most of the hot thermals at least 9 on one qick scan of the scope mostly males and the females were very territorial. Another great visit to this one of my favourite reserves and up to 100 avocets biggrin.gif whitethrotes, reed bunting, tree sparrows, skylarks ,warblers all seem to be doing very well here.biggrin.gifcant wait to go again.

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sunday visit

just one thing of note other than the usual suspects, 2 long earded owls sat in the tree 10ft from the xerox hide, thankfully roped off to avoid disturbance to the birds but what a interesting position to roost, so close to everyone walking by all the time smile.gif

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