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Big Year

September (37 so far)

There’s not been much in our garden recently, bar the blackbird, blue tit, robin and ubiquitous jackdaws, but we have been adding to our list at weekends.

Sunday 1st, we went over to Dove Stone reservoir, the peregrines that were nesting there are fledged and flown but we did see a jay, 2 kestrels, some black-headed gulls on the reservoir, with a swallow swooping over and a raven flying over the crags. A trip to the garden centre netted us a dipper, and all in all we finished the day – and our great new list with 13 birds (we also saw canada goose, magpie, mallard and woodpigeon)

Sunday 8th, a visit today to one of our favourite birdwatching haunts: the RSPB Old Moor reserve near Barnsley. A good number of waterbirds and waders and, fortunately, helpful people so we could check what we were looking at. Unfortunately we had to leave too early to stand a chance of seeing the night heron and the “rare and occasional” spoonbills, currently visiting, proved more elusive than you would expect a big white bird to be. Still, we did see the little egrets, which aren’t usual this far north and plenty more besides (blue tit, bullfinch, canada goose, chaffinch, collared dove, coot, cormorant, gadwall, great tit, green sandpiper, grey heron, herring gull, little egret, little grebe, mallard, moorhen, mute swan, pheasant, pied wagtail, ringed plover, ruff, sand martin, snipe, starling, tufted duck, wigeon and woodpigeon).

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