I had the rare opportunity for a full weekend birding this weekend, I was out with Mark both days and they were certainly contrasting in more ways than one. Saturday was nice and sunny becoming increasingly cloudy in the afternoon, we had decided on West Yorks again and started at Sands Lane Gravel Pits at Mirfield on the offchance of seeing the Ring Billed Gull that has been reported on and off from there this winter, it was a bit of a long shot that didn’t pay off, the pits have been opened up for fishing and there is probably too much disturbance now, a Grey Wagtail was a year tick though. We headed for the Dearne Valley next visiting Broomhill Flash and Old Moor Wetlands, there was a good selection of Wildfowl seen although we spent a lot of time around the feeders at Old Moor such was the selection of birds using them and it being good light for photography, birds included a male Siskin, four or five Brambling and up to 12 Waxwings. We then headed for Anglers CP calling off at Rabbit Ings en route where there are several Short Eared Owls wintering, it was our first time at this site and we got the gen on where to best to view from etc but with nothing showing and deeming it a bit early in the day we carried on to Anglers CP, we had a really good couple of hours here, again a good selection of Wildfowl present including the female Long Tailed Duck, two drake Scaup, a pair of Smew and a few Goosanders, a Green Woodpecker flew across in front of the hide then around 15-30 a few large Gulls started turning up with both 1st and 3rd winter Yellow Legged Gulls seen. We ended the day back at Rabbit Ings but apart from a distant Buzzard all seemed quiet then just as the light started to fade up to three Shorties appeared and started hunting, a good end to a really good day.
|a bit distant|
|closer but didn't come out into the open|
|1st winter Yellow Legged Gull|
|and 3rd winter|
|Kestrel at Rabbit Ings|
|I thought they were all females but this must be an immature|
drake with the yellow on the bill