All Day Watch at Middleton Moor

Mary and Mike were on the first shift and arrived in mist at 06.50.

Early morning is probably the best time as everything starts to stir.  They started with Raven, 2 juv Sparrowhawks being harassed by magpies, Kestrel and a Buzzard.  Approx 200+ Starlings flying off.  Plus of course the usual stuff.

Judith and myself arrived at 9am and saw a nice flock of around 30 Meadow pipits and a couple of Wheatear on the bund but quite a lot of coming and going

Derek was next to arrive heard the meadow pipits in the field and had a stonechat near to the hide.  A bit of excitement as 6 mallard took to the air as a sparrowhawk buzzed overhead then flew off over the lagoon not catching anything.  On the way back to the car he saw 3 Curlew.

I arrived mid afternoon and Stuart soon after.  Late afternoon/early evening is always very good too.  We were kept quite busy finding what was around on the lagoons and flying over. From around 6pm the starlings first and then the gulls started coming in, first in small flocks building up to at least 1000 starlings dropping in the reeds to roost (after a few spectacular displays) by 7.35pm

We were able to count the gulls until just after 7pm but with being distracted by the starlings gathering and displaying we looked at the gulls on the water and we were only able to estimate numbers!   The last estimate before we left, of those on the water in front of the hide was: LBBG’s:C600 and BHG’s: C400.  There was also a field full of gulls at the far side that had settled there and not included in this count.

Going back over the field, on the lagoon near the gate we were able to do a rough count of another 200+ LBBG’s AND 250+BHG’s roosting there – altogether, so at least 1500+ Gulls altogether.

A total of 36 species for the day I thought was pretty good for Middleton Moor!

06.50 Mary & Mike
1,  Raven
2,  Tufted Duck
3,  Canada
4,  Starlings (200+ am)
5,  Magpie
6,  Sparrowhawk  2juvs being harassed by magpies
7,  Kestrel
8,  Buzzard am – seen several times during pm
9,  Mallard
10, Collared Dove
11, Carrion Crow
12, Woodpigeon

09.00 Judith & Dorothy
13, Chaffinch at the gate and one later  at the side of the hide
14, Meadow Pipit C30
15, Wheatear
16, LBB Gull – first one 09.43 followed by others during the day
17, BH Gull – just one until much later
18, Coot
19, Blue Tit – small family at side of hide
20, Great Tit – small family at side of hide

10.50 Derek, departed 12.50

21, Stonechat – near hide
Buzzard – being mobbed by 2 Ccrows
Sparrowhawk – buzzed a small flock of mallard that flew off – Sparrowhawk got nothing
22, Curlew – 3 seen when walking back over the fields to car

14.50 Dorothy: 15.20 Stuart and joined later by a regular visitor, Andy Deighton – member of Sheff’d BG

LBB Gulls increasing in numbers
23, Whitethroat – in gorse in fields
24, Moorhen
25, Wigeon – 6
26, Teal – 12
Curlew – 3 on far side in the grass
27, Swallow only one, later a couple more went through
28, Willow-Chiff – calling at side of hide
29, Little Grebe
30, Stock Dove – Buzzard tried to snatch it off the ground, failed put up all the LBBG’s (57)
31, Snipe – dropped in at 18.05, flew off at 18.40
32, Common Gull
33, Yellow legged Gull
34, Pied Wagtail
35, Swift – very late
36, Reed Bunting.

Total of 36 species throughout the day