Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Patchwork Challenge: Rodley Nature Reserve, Leeds - 10th January 2016

I made my first visit of the year to Rodley Nature Reserve on Sunday 10th January, kicking off my 2016 Patchwork Challenge.

Rodley NR had suffered during the recent floods, and unfortunately I wasn't able to help with the clear up. After some great work  by regulars and volunteers over New Year, the reserved opened for business in early January.

Most of the car park was still cordoned off, and the lake in the adjacent field was still flooded from last year. There was a decent number of gulls on the water, including an adult Herring Gull among the Black-headed and Common Gulls. A good bird to start the year - it took me until November to get it on the patch list last year.

Herring Gull, Rodley NR - Sunday 10th January 2016

A lone female Tufted Duck, with Moorhens, was the only duck on the flood water, and this proved to be the only one I'd see today. Duck numbers on the reserve were certainly down. Getting the winter visitors on the list is key at the this time of year, and two each of Redwing and Fieldfare were obliging in the riverside trees, with a Mistle Thrush. 45 Greylags and c50 Canada Geese were on the grassy slope behind.

A couple of Cormorants flew upriver and I noticed a Kestrel was hovering unusually high up over the entrance road. A mixed flock of Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits moved along the fence line, while a Wren burst into song. I was doing pretty well and hadn't moved more than five metres from the car.

The Mallards were on the nearby Lagoon, but in pretty low numbers. Gadwall was the most numerous duck, but the highlight was a group of four Goldeneye (2m, 2f). There was Coal Tit on the peanut feeder on the willow oath behind the Lagoon hide. Now this was a good bird - only the second I'd ever seen on the reserve itself. I normally pop over the canal to Bramley Falls Wood (still on the Patchwork patch, but not part of the reserve) to get these, along with Nutchatch and easier Treecreepers. A male Great Spotted Woodpecker soon flushed the Coal Tit off the feeder.

The Duck Marsh was relatively quiet, but I did add Grey Heron, Little Grebe, a brief Kingfisher and a skulking Snipe to the tally.

Common Snipe, Rodley NR - Sunday 10th January 2016

Bullfinch, Pheasant and Reed Bunting were among the birds by the visitor centre. The reliable Little Owl was up by the manager's garden, with a decent flock of Stock Dove in the field behind.

Little Owl, Rodley NR - Sunday 10th January 2016

Bullfinch, Rodley NR - Sunday 10th January 2016

I drew a blank up at the new Sludge Lagoon hide, but got great views of a Common Buzzard on the scrub, and managed a photo before it got fed up being mobbed by crows.

Common Buzzard, Rodley NR - Sunday 10th January 2016

I checked out the area around the Dragonfly Ponds and the river. The flood damage was clearly at its worst here. The riverside Hawthorn I call the "Goldcrest tree" because of it's reliability for Goldcrests was missing, or at least mostly obliterated by the raging river. I caught sight of a stonking male Goosander flying upstream.

Dipping pond, reedbed, and dragonfly pools after the flood - Sunday 10th January 2016

The "Farming for Birds" fields, planted with seed crop to attract birds in winter and spring, was now mostly a muddy mess. Fortunately the Linnet flock (smaller than usual) were still finding some food there. Some other regular Rodley birders pointed out a Red Kite way over Headingley to the east. We noticed there were a pair, slowly moving north west towards Horsforth. My only two-pointer bird of the day.

I checked out the flood water by the car park as dusk approached (picking up a couple of Jays in the trees), and a half-decent gull roost was forming. Would be nice if Rodley could develop one of these.

Some Feral Pigeons on the factory roof were my final species of the day: 49 spp, 50 pts. Full list below. Not a bad start, given some very obvious omissions. It's the monthly WeBS count at Rodley next week, giving my another chance to build up a decent score before the end of the month.
  1. Black-headed Gull 
  2. Common Gull
  3. Herring Gull
  4. Tufted Duck
  5. Moorhen
  6. Jackdaw
  7. Magpie
  8. Redwing
  9. Fieldfare
  10. Mistle Thrush
  11. Greylag Goose
  12. Canada Goose
  13. Blue Tit
  14. Great Tit
  15. Long-tailed Tit
  16. Wren
  17. Kestrel
  18. Carrion Crow
  19. Cormorant
  20. Coot
  21. Mallard
  22. Gadwall
  23. Goldeneye
  24. Little Grebe
  25. Mute Swan
  26. Coal Tit
  27. Robin
  28. Dunnock
  29. Great Spotted Woodpecker
  30. Snipe
  31. Grey Heron
  32. Woodpigeon
  33. Bullfinch
  34. Pheasant
  35. Stock Dove
  36. Reed Bunting
  37. Blackbird
  38. Kingfisher
  39. Little Owl
  40. Greenfinch
  41. Chaffinch
  42. Starling
  43. Goldfinch
  44. Buzzard
  45. Goosander
  46. Red Kite
  47. Linnet
  48. Jay
  49. Feral Pigeon

No comments:

Post a Comment