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Post Info TOPIC: Blacktoft Sands RSPB


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RE: Blacktoft Sands RSPB


First time visit as we were passing through the area. At least 5 Marsh Harriers quartering about & best of all 2 male Hen Harriers. One of which was on the ground for around 30 seconds about 40 yards in front of the Ousefleet hide the colours were just glowing in the afternoon sun just brilliant!

Other birds around including Wigeon, Goldeneye, 3 Kingfisher, Cettis Warbler, 100+ Snipe scattered over the various islands, Black Tailed Godwits, Golden Plover flock (60 & multiple skeins of Pink Footed Geese flying overhead.



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Blacktoft Sands. 16/8/22

   Heading back towards Goole along the behaving itself M62 we went to RSPB Blacktoft Sands reserve as an American wader, a Pectoral Sandpiper had been found a couple of days ago. This species is a regular migrant into Britain from North America where it breeds in northern Canada and is also to be found breeding in Siberia. It was fairly quiet at Blacktoft, possibly due to the lack of water in the various pools etc. We headed for Marshland hide where all the water is and we soon managed to see the Pectoral Sandpiper, its just a bit taller than a Dunlin with an obvious pectoral band of darker feather across its breast. After watching the bird for about 5 minutes it flew off, on its own and we did not see it again! Lots of other waders to watch though including: - Black tailed Godwit, Spotted & Common Redshank, Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Ruff, Curlew, Dunlin, Snipe, and Lapwing. Only one Marsh Harrier was seen but a few Bearded Tit`s were enjoyed. As we got back to the carpark a U shaped flight of about 50 Common Scoter passed overhead, a nice end to another good day out. No complaints about the M62 today, well it was 8-30pm

Dave O. 



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RSPB Blacktoft Sands near Goole, Yorkshire. 27/7/22

    With lots of species of wading birds beginning their return from the breeding grounds in the Arctic, it was time to visit one of the best places to watch them, Blacktoft (Toft being an old English word meaning Homestead) An early start to hopefully beat my pet hate the M62, now known as The Carpark. With Craig B at the wheel along with Bob K and myself progress was good, those roadworks near Leeds hardly slowed us. Upon arrival at Blacktoft, the gates were closed, something to do with a concrete mixer? Well they let us in and we hastened towards the Singleton Hide, on the way we could hear Common Cranes, what a lovely sound! We saw Greenshank, Green Sandpiper, Redshank feeding and a few Marsh Harrier`s in the air. After about an hour 2 Common Cranes wandered out from behind one of the islands and showed distantly at first, then wandering a little closer. Great to see this species that was once fairly common in this sort of reedbed habitat, they seem to be staging a comeback in our country. A Spoonbill dropped in for a quick wash & brush up As the hide filled up we moved on to the other hides, firstly seeing a young Fox vanish into the reedbed, no doubt lying in wait for its breakfast. There is quite a healthy population of Bearded Tits at Blacktoft and there were lots on view this morning being present and seen from all the hides. At Ousefleet hide we saw Spotted Redshank, Snipe, Curlew, Ruff, Black tailed Godwit and lots of Lapwing. We walked to the last hide and admired the small herd of Conick Ponies that live there all year round and keep the grass low. We sat down at a small screen and admired the antics of a few Bearded Tits that came quite close, Green Sandpiper`s also kept us all entertained for an hour or so. After an early start it was time for home arriving back in Rochdale around 3-15pm all having had a good birding time and a few laugh`s along the way!

Dave O.



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After seeing a Stone Curlew at Fairburn earlier and the Red Tailed Shrike and Black Browed Albatross both at Bempton Cliffs - could our day have got any better?  5 Common Cranes were reported at Blacktoft Sands the night before but no mention for the day we were passing by.  We decided to stop off anyway and arrived just before 5pm.  There was only 1 other car there.  Not a good sign.   An RSPB volunteer/member of staff appeared, probably heading home, mentioned the Cranes were at the Singleton Hide.  We made our way down and were joined by someone looking for them from the Leeds area.  On arrival there was no obvious sign so I plonked myself down and decided to sift through the waders.  The other member of my party found 2 of the Cranes just in view - an adult and a juvenile.  What a spot.  Eventually 4 showed but they did not to much.  They could have been decoys.  They were joined by 4 Spoonbills who looked tiny in comparison.  Other notable sightings including 5 birds  of prey which included Marsh Harrier, Hobby, Red Kite, Peregrine and Kestrel.  Bearded Tits showed really well as did Greenshank, Spotted Redshank and a Water Rail.  Singing birds included a Reed Warbler very briefly and more actively, a Whitethroat.  



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White-tailed Lapwing still present from Xerox Hide

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Quick call in here after Swillington and the White-tailed Plover duly obliged by relocating from Marshside to Xerox, giving us a shorter walkbiggrin
Showing well at the back of the lagoon in company with a Redshank. Little Egret, juvenile Curlew Sandpiper, 7+ Snipe, Cetti's Warbler, 9 Teal, Moorhen's etc.

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A quick two hour stop at Blacktoft gave us the White-tailed Plover but sadly no Bluethroat, nonetheless a nice stop off and adding to a total of 76 birds for the weekend.



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Back over the Pennines to East Yorkshire yesterday. Wasn't too fussed at going for the Green Warbler but a mate of mine wanted to go, so off we went. The bird hadn't read the script and following at least one day of wet weather, off it went too with favourable winds and weather in the morning. Managed to see the Black-browed Albatross (third time now) depart the cliffs and head out to sea at midday. It was either wait potentially all afternoon for the Albatross to return for better views, or head for Blacktoft and get my mate a UK tick with the White-tailed Lapwing. Blacktoft won.

Better views this time and arriving late afternoon meant fewer folk on the reserve with less strain on the hides. Upon our arrival the bird had just flown from the pool in front of Xerox Hide to the one in front of First Hide, where the bird stayed, happily feeding as close to the hide as the edge of the pool would allow. Great views.

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Called in at Blacktoft en route to Bempton. Two hours in the Xerox Hide only. Star bird, White-tailed Lapwing still showing well (although not too close) from the above hide.

Good supporting cast including Greenshank, Ruff, Ringed Plover, Dunlin, Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Black-tailed Godwit, Northern Lapwing, Water Rail, Snipe, Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, Bearded Tit amongst others.

A few photos (heavily cropped) of the White-tailed Lapwing attached.

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Very quick visit at 10am this morning to see the White Tailed Lapwing. Showy from Xerox hide. Also 3 Knot, 2 Green Sandpiper and Little Egret there. 

Busy but plenty of space. Didn't have time to gang around unfortunately but Little Stint there too today. 

Best image attached of the star bird.



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Friday 3 September, 1pm /6pm,first ever visit here,warm still, cloudy day,white tailed lapwing showed really well,dunlin ,black tailed godwit, little stint,bearded tit, meadow pipit, yellow wagtail, pied wagtail, marsh hàrrier ,peregrine, pheasant with brood,ruff,reed warbler,redshank, greenshank, green sandpiper, common sandpiper, snipe ,lapwing,mute swan,little grebe,little egret,water rail ,moorhen, well worth the trip over

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Friday Sept 3rd.

Been itching to have a look at this White-tailed Lapwing but I'm still very wary of crowded hides.
Decided to have a crack today ... left home at 14.00 hrs arrived Blacktoft 15.40 hrs ..everything went to plan, day trippers all gone, plenty of room on car-park and in the hides.

The Lapwing was showing well from upstairs in the Xerox hide.

Roger.

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Headed over to Yorkshire today for another of my Focalpoint sponsored Pro-Birder Blog Days, when I go out to promote Focalpoint, do a bit of birding and the publish it as a Blog on the Focalpoint website!

My destination was Blacktoft Sands RSPB were a White-tailed Plover/White-tailed Lapwing has been in residence for several days now. I say White-taied Plover because the first one I saw in the UK many years ago was called that at the time and it's hard to change the name when that was what it was called when I life-ticked it !! This would be my second in the UK, hence my arrival 'late at the party'.

I arrived not long after the reserve opened at 8am and was told it had been showing from Xerox Hide but was elusive. I was very pleased to walk in and there it was on full show, albeit at the rear of the lagoon, but showing well. Several Green Sandpipers were also on the lagoon, but the plover took all of my attention. Then without warning it took flight and headed off the lagoon, so we all decamped to Townend Hide, its other favourite lagoon recently.Sure enough it was on the island there amongst Black-tailed Godwits and lots of Ruff. Here it came incredibly close and to say it showed well would be an understatement. Also on the lagoon here were 2 Spotted Redshanks swimming and catching fish, amazing behaviour to watch!! After a while the warden, and one of my mates, Stuart Taylor (the finder of the bird), asked if folk would move out as a queue had formed. Sadly myself and two others were the only ones to move and let others in, even though most folk had been in there before me.

Next I headed around the reserve to enjoy my day out. Bearded Tits showed well from Xerox and Marshland Hides on the mud by the reed edge. Sedge Warblers and Reed Warblers joined them. A flock of Dunlin were on Marshland Lagoon too with other waders already mentioned and a Golden Plover flew over calling. Two Greenshanks showed very well from Xerox Hide and 2 Marsh Harriers were seen from First Hide. Cetti's Warbler and Chiffchaff were both seen and a host of Tree Sparrows were massed on the feeder. Water Rail and Snipe were both in the open, not skulking as they sometimes do. The only hirundine was a lone House Martin.

I had a return visit to the plover for more digiscoped pics and Townend Hide had spaces now, always pretty full but no queues like in the morning. One of these pictures is attached to show how ridiculously close the bird was.... and how muddy its legs and beak had become! A great day, an easy journey and this one showed much, much better than my lifer one!!



-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Thursday 2nd of September 2021 09:00:13 PM

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Sunday 29th August

Early morning visit, arrived on site around 6.20am, only a handful of cars on site, and I was told by RSPB warden on arrival that I was best heading to Xerox Hide.

- White-tailed Lapwing (Lifer)
Within minutes I was watching the bird with only a few other people. A fantastic looking Wader with its cute little face and disproportioned long bright yellow legs. Showed well for ages but later disappeared behind the island and didnt reappear for a bit so that was my cue to try other hides.
I was sat in Marshland Hide and it suddenly dropped in where it nestled amongst the regular Lapwing and fell asleep. It barely moved in a while and more people had dashed over from Xerox so I decided Id had my fill.

- Bearded Tit
Pinging heard all over the reserve, singles and doubles seen at Xerox but then the undisputed highlight was a minimum of 13 together feeding on the swamp floor at the reeds edge at Marshland Hide with other birds in tow.

- 5 Water Rail
Apparently its been a good year for them here, and seen regularly out in the open rather than skulking in the reeds, and that was certainly the case today.
2 seen at Xerox (1ad, 1 imm), 3 seen at Marshland (1ad, 2 imm) incidentally not together but all out simultaneously as separates.

Other notable sightings
- 1 Spotted Redshank (Townend Hide)
- 6 Green Sandpiper (5 at Xerox)
- c50+ Common Snipe
- Ruff in big numbers
- Black-tailed Godwit in abundance
- 1 Yellow Wagtail (Marshland)
- numerous Reed Warbler
- 4 Sedge Warbler
- Cettis Warbler burst of song (Xerox)
- 21 Little Egrets (Xerox)
- 3 Marsh Harrier
- 1 Wigeon (Singleton)
- Tree Sparrows coming and going
- 2 Red-legged Partridge crossing the road near the Vermuyden dock bridge in Goole
- Grey Partridge family near roadside at Goole Fields
I must say I was sat in Marshland Hide and a few feet away I heard 2 blokes say under their breath this lad says hes had a Yellow Wagtail, well I cant see one. I took great pleasure in standing up slowly leaning over and put my camera infront of them and said - theres the Yellow Wagtail. I wouldnt mind but it wasnt even me that found it, the finder had left, theyd obviously earwigged me getting another birder on to it.


-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 30th of August 2021 10:04:58 AM

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 30th of August 2021 10:16:40 AM



-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 30th of August 2021 03:16:55 PM

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Morning visit to Blacktoft Sands RSPB today:

1 White-tailed Lapwing (Plover) - Lifer - showing really well

Other highlights:
1 Water Rail
1 Spotted Redshank
3 Green Sandpiper
Numerous Ruff, Snipe and Black-tailed Godwits
4 Marsh Harrier
1 Peregrine - female in a skirmish with 3 of the Marsh Harriers
1 Hobby - in a skirmish with the Peregrine
1 Sparrowhawk
2 Buzzard
5 Bearded Tit
1 Yellow Wagtail
2 Pintail and 1 Wigeon amongst the usual ducks
4 Little Egret
Good numbers of Reed Warbler
2 Sedge Warbler
1 Willow Warbler heard in brief song
Good numbers of Tree Sparrow



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Short visit enroute home on September 22nd.

Spotted Redshank 8
Black-tailed Godwit 3
Green Sandpiper 2
Snipe 2
Redshank 5
Lapwing 5
Bearded Tit 1
Marsh Harrier 2 imms.
Mute Swan 10
Grey Heron 3
Reed Bunting 1 male.
Skylarks
Teals
Shovelers
Tree Sparrows


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Mike A and I called in here at lunch time after ticking off the Little Bustard. A couple of heavy showers but otherwise a pleasant afternoon. Good numbers of Lapwings, Ruffs in all their variety, and plenty of Black-tailed Godwits. All but 6 of the 16 Spoonbills had departed for Alkborough by the time we got to that end - but at least the ones left were movingbiggrin

Also:
Little Egret 6 minimum (highest single count)
Greenshank 2
Green Sandpiper 2
Redshank 6
Spotted Redshank 8 minimum including 2 summer plumage males.
Little Ringed Plover 1
Marsh Harrier 4 1 adult male, 1 2nd summer male, 2 juveniles.
Garganey 1 eclipse male
Water Rail 1
Grey Heron 2
Common Snipe 8
Queuing Tree Sparrows at the feeder.

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Saturday 13th April 13.00-16.30

After a quick run from North Cave Wetlands the Stockport Birdwatching Society arrived at Blacktoft Sands for the first time in over a decade, to find I suspect that very little had changed! The headline as we arrived was a mid-morning sighting from the bird services of 2 Common Crane that had dropped onto the reserve. Of course even a 5ft tall bird is invisible behind 6ft reeds, so nobody saw them. Bah. They were probably chilling out with the equally invisible Bitterns.

Much as with our previous destination, Spring hadn't wholly happened, and we couldn't count on fairly standard species for the reserve like Sedge Warbler, Common or Green Sandpiper. Some good birds were winkled out, with various folk pleased to see Cetti's Warbler, Peregrine, Yellow Wagtail, Goldeneye and Ruff and a few Bearded Tits buzzing over the reeds and of course the central feature of the afternoon was endless sumptuous views of Marsh Harriers of various sizes and colours. At least 3 adult Males were almost always on show, swooping and hovering, along with adult female birds and some less distinctly-plumaged immatures; a conservative count would be 8 birds although there are probably plenty more roosting as we saw at least 2 off the reserve.

With the sun out and the Marshies so active it was pretty enjoyable sitting in the hide so it was with a pang of regret that we got back on the coach to come home. I finished the day on 62 species and resolved to get back to Blacktoft as soon as I can.

You can find out more about Stockport Birdwatching Society here: http://stockportbirders.blogspot.com/



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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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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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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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