Six of us made the journey to RSPB Fairburn Ings for an evening trip. We gathered in the main Visitor Centre car park and as we walked towards the lake we were greeted by the sight of a flock of cormorants flying right above our heads. Amongst the usual suspects on the lake – Mute Swan, Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Shoveler and Shelduck was a lovely female or juvenile Mandarin Duck.
Female Mandarin at Fairburn, 21st August 2014 ©Christine Booth
We walked back towards the reserve centre and stopped to take a look on the bird feeders which were full of Goldfinch, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Tree Sparrows and at least one Willow Tit. Walking further into the reserve, we sat a while and were treated to the sight of at least three juvenile Spotted Flycatchers plus Chiffchaff, Blackcap and Linnet flitting around the branches, giving us ample opportunity to observe them at our leisure.
Juvenile Spotted Flycatcher at Fairburn, 21st August 2014 ©Christine Booth
No luck at the Kingfisher screen unfortunately, but we did get a good sighting of a Jay in flight and also another Willow Tit and Robin. Moving further round the reserve we caught a glimpse of the Sand Martins entering an artificial nesting bank, a Moorhen and chicks and plenty of Swifts, Swallows and House Martins feeding over the lake. In the distance was a dead tree where a flock of circa 20 Cormorants had settled down to roost, amongst them a lone Little Egret.
Time was passing on and so we got back into our cars and drove along the lane to our next stop further around the reserve. After stopping for a quick bite to eat at the Lin Dike car park, we walked along the path to Lin Dike hide overlooking Spoonbill scrape. It was fairly quiet on the lake here – plenty of Mallards, a couple of Little Grebe, Coot, Teal, Gadwall, Shoveler and flocks of Greylag and Canada Geese sat amongst the grass. As dusk fell, we witnessed several flocks of geese and Lapwing flying overhead, a couple of Kestrels hovering in the distance and up to six Little Egrets appearing above Fairburn village looking to land in a tree on the lake. A nice evening ended with a Grey Heron and two Curlews which flew west over the hide. A trip list of 64 species isn’t too bad for just a three hour visit!
Once again, another lovely trip out in the company of lovely people!
Posted on Sunday 24th August 2014 at 16:45pm
There can't be many amongst us who remain either unaware nor disgusted with the continuing slaughter of this wonderful and supposedly fully protected raptor in the name of protecting the hunting rights of a few individuals. There should be around 300 pairs of this species breeding in the uplands of England whereas this year there are a mere 3 pairs. Not only are we being denied a fabulous bird for the sake of a very dubious "sport" - Red grouse being driven towards a few wealthy men who somehow derive pleasure from shooting down as many as possible; but the collateral damage is also unwarranted, massive amounts of Carbon Dioxide being released into the atmosphere due to heather burning to create ideal conditions for grouse. Roads are being built and prime habitats damaged just to facilitate easier access for this minority pastime. Traps and poisoned baits for predators are also indiscriminately killing many other species of wildlife. I've personally witnessed Ring Ouzel and Red Squirrels lying dead in traps and this is by no means exceptional. As taxpayers we are funding this totally unsustainable and peculiarly British industry but there are now moves underfoot to try and ban it completely.
Sign the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting here http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/65627
You can also support the campaign to boycott the grouse industry and hotels, restaurants and businesses associated with it - Click here for more details with this extensive pdf format information sheet.
On the 10th August there are 5 national events taking place to support Hen Harrier day and details can be found on http://markavery.info/blog/
I also recommend reading the August edition of Birdwatch for more details.
Posted on Sunday 10th August 2014 at 21:30pm
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LBC - Web Site Administrator
Posted on Saturday 7th June 2014 at 22:50pm.