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Post Info TOPIC: Pugneys Country Park, Wakefield


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RE: Pugneys Country Park, Wakefield


Adjacent to Pugneys is Calder Wetlands. The Marsh Warbler, present here since 15th June, was in situ late morning today. Saw the bird, briefly, fly up from the reeds to its favourite spot in the willow tree. The bird was singing intermittently during the half hour that I was there.

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Good views of the female Ferruginous Duck at 9.30 this morning from nature reserve lake. Thanks for the directions Mark. Also Pink Footed Goose over.



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Female Ferruginous Duck still present this morning 9.30am on nature reserve lake (behind boating lake) walk Ccw around boating lake take first right fork to hide, the bird was favouring the far right side of the lake close to small island
Also 5 Whooper Swan on boating lake

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Finally saw a Drake Smew. Bit like a lifer for me really as they are so different from the females, and been unsuccessful in tracking one down on too many occasions.
Seen at 11.45 yesterday in private but easily accessible large fishing lake behind main car park.
Stunning bird. Worth the wait.

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The Gull that was unidentified is, as suspected, and confirmed by Ian, a Herring Gull. Could've been poor light and a slight shadow that had me double checking with grey shade, then I was looking at bill thickness, etc. Herring Gull it is!

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A choice between Pugney's or Wintersett for the Gull roost....?

I went for Pugney's and I stayed until poor light watching various groups of Gulls in various areas including the small roost on the pool near the nature reserve round the other side of the res opposite the visitor centre.

Vast majority in their hundreds were Black-headed. Vast numbers towards the visitor centre, a few smaller groups around.

Lesser Black-backed Gulls also present, numbering approx 40-50 that I saw.

Great Black-backed Gulls - didn't see any adults but there a few individuals of juvenile appearance and they dwarfed all the others, also taking the bill into account...very heavy looking.

Common Gulls- managed to pick out around 10 in the main group, and singles dotted around.

Herring Gulls- only a few around, I think Argenteus

As I was leaving due to the diminishing light, I noticed an active Gull kind of resembling a juvenile Lesser Black-backed (and it could've been one) but it appeared to have a slim looking head and longish bill, it was harassing a lot of the floating Gulls diving at them. I was hoping this could've been a Caspian but I think they have been mainly at Wintersett so I'm not banking on it, and the fact it only flew fairly close a couple of times, I was unable to get any other features that could've safely ID'd it!

...also some shots of a Gull as yet unidentified but will confirm the species as soon as possible.

Other birds of note...
Plenty of Goldfinch
Long-tailed Tits
Great Crested Grebe - 1
Goldeneye - 1 male and 4 females on the nature reserve pool
Shoveler - 6 (3pr)
Tufted Duck - lots


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Another few hours in this area whilst waiting for the Gulls to come in.

Blyth's Pipit made 2 appearances of its own accord but only briefly and it went to ground very quickly. It was flushed yet again at least 3x and at one point actually landed not far from my car, Then flew up again and disappeared in the undergrowth over by the pool.

Other birds of note...
1 Redwing
1 Buzzard
At least 4 Kestrel (2 together moving through)
2 Little Grebe

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Took a chance on a Lifer and got the Blyth's Pipit at Calder Ind Est.

Nice to meet Johnny Holliday (the finder) who did a couple of walk rounds and flushed the bird. A high pitched call was evident as it flew round for all of 10 - 15 seconds each time and landed into the long grass area again. It also showed what I can only describe as a ragged tail with thin pointed feathers.

Other birds of note...
40+ Lapwing
3 Redwing
20 or so Goldfinch
2 Linnet
3 Meadow Pipits through
1 Sparrowhawk
1 Kestrel
A few Cormorants over

On the pool behind
Of note...
1 Tufted Duck
1 Little Grebe

Incidentally none of the Raptors managed to flush the Blyth's Pipit despite flying over pretty much where the bird was.


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Ian McKerchar wrote:

Originally posted today by Dave Ousey:

........ on Saturday morning Chris connected with the bird almost upon arrival and obtained good flight views and the distinctive calls were heard. The finder was on site to walk the area to flush the bird every hour or so to save the bird any undue stress of lots of birders milling around its favoured feeding area.


Dave I too was Pipit watching on Saturday 13th (my report is in the National Mega Sightings thread below). Upon arrival I bumped into Jonny Holliday the finder who said that flushing would probably not be undertaken that day. I had originally decided not to go over partly because I didn't consider myself sufficienly capable of identifying the bird only on flight views neither was I comfortable with the idea of flushing. I needn't have worried on the flushing count because the bird put in several appearances of its own volition; perched, feeding and flight views, probably more active because of the sunny conditions and there was no need to flush.

-- Edited by sid ashton on Tuesday 16th of December 2014 06:22:53 PM

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Originally posted today by Dave Ousey:

Way back in 1994 myself and Bob K were lucky enough to see a Blyth`s Pipit at Landguard Point, Suffolk. The bird was catching "blue-bottles" (thanks Brian) and showing very well most of the time and was thought to be only the second record of this species recorded in Britain. When local birder Jonny H found a strange pipit on his patch near Pugneys N.R, in Wakefield, he quickly realised that the bird was another Blyth`s Pipit and a first for Yorkshire! He found the bird during the week so most of our crew were not able to go for it until the weekend, so an anxious wait followed. The bird was remaining faithful to a watery meadow inside a business park and overlooked by the headquarters of West Yorkshire Police. All other "A Teamers" needed to see the bird as a lifer. Our Christmas get together on Friday evening for beer and a curry produced a few headaches but did not put Chris B off from going to Wakefield on Saturday morning. Chris connected with the bird almost upon arrival and obtained good flight views and the distinctive calls were heard. The finder was on site to walk the area to flush the bird every hour or so to save the bird any undue stress of lots of birders milling around its favoured feeding area. Sunday morning saw myself, Steve B and Steve K waiting for news of the bird, that was put out around 9-15am that it was still present. We met at 10am and arrived on site by 11am and the bird had been seen in flight at 10-30am as a Red Kite had flown over the area and flushed the bird, but the pipit had landed in the deep grassy area. At 11-30am the finder went into the watery area and after flushing 4 Grey Partridge, Snipe & 4 Meadow Pipit the Blyth`s Pipit took flight. Its tail appeared "twisted" and the call was quite different to the smaller Meadow Pipits that also flushed up. We all had a good, if brief views of the bird. A further 3 times the bird flew and better sightings were had. We left around 12-35pm and headed for home. The bird did show perched up and on the ground later in the day as the wind decreased. The journey home over the Pennines on the motorway was like driving in a fish tank as the rain lashed us around!

Dave Ousey.

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Late post for Friday 26th Sept
A couple of nights break in Yorkshire with the gf. I dragged her (kicking and screaming) birdwatching.

Pugney's CP Reservoir, on the main boating res of note:
Cormorant 1
Great Crested Grebe 20+
Tufted Duck possibly 50+
Plus usuals
Also plenty of Gulls including Black-headed, Herring and Lesser Black-backed, and as yet an unidentified large type Gull. I'm probably missing a simple giveaway as to its identity but I'm still working on it.

On the Nature Reserve lake behind the woodland:
Pochard 20+ (almost all m, only 2f)
Shoveler 2 (1m 1f)
Tufted Duck in large numbers


Finished the afternoon off at Anglers CP Reservoir, of note:
Tree Sparrow approx 10 on car park feeders
plus usual feeder birds
Lapwing - large number
Tufted Duck - large number
Wigeon - approx 40-50
Usuals and the commoner Gulls

A quick pint in the Navigation Inn near the hotel at Denby Dale produced a Kingfisher flying like a rocket along the canal.

One other thing of note, I was talking to 2 birders at Anglers CP and 1 of them said he'd seen a White-tailed Eagle a few days ago and it landed on a lamppost just down the road from the reservoir. Must've been some sight!



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late post for yesterday:

too many swifts to count, very low and almost flying into me
1 ringed plover
3 Yellow Wagtails (including one of the Blue headed variety)

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07.40
Sand Martin

-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 20th of March 2012 08:52:25 AM

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