Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Patchwork Challenge: Rodley - March

A quick update on my progress - or lack of it - on my Rodley Patchwork Challenge list during March 2016. Nine new birds added for the year during March, including a patch-lifer on the reserve for me: Meadow Pipit. I've seen Mipits near to Rodley Nature Reserve before, but never on it or from it, so this was the highlight of the month. My Rodley Nature Reserve life list (for the reserve only, not the Patchwork area) is now 96.

Meadow Pipit, Rodley NR - Monday 28th March 2016

A Pink-footed Goose on the farmer's field on the 19th was welcome Rodley year-list addition. I'd spent very little time on the reserve in early March, thus missing any fly-over goose passage.

Pink-footed Goose, Rodley NR - Saturday 19th March 2016

Most of the other birds came from the "greater patch" - the area around the reserve which includes a wood, pasture, houses and much more canal and river than the reserve itself has. Rodley NR is only about 0.25km2, but the Patchwork Challenge rules allow 3km2, so this surrounding area allows me a few more birding options. The new birds (which, apart from Grey Wagtail) are scarce on the reserve, were: Nuthatch (Bramley Falls Park), House Sparrow (Newlaithes Rd), Dipper and Grey Wagtail (river by Pollard Lane),

Dipper, Newley - Saturday 26th March 2016

Grey Wagtail, Newley - Sunday 28th March 2016

 26th March is when Spring arrived, with 5+ Sand Martin over the reserve, and a pair of displaying Great Crested Grebes on the lagoon. A first-winter Lesser Black-backed Gull low over the willow path was a welcome species too. The first Swallow of the year was reported on the 28th, but I missed it while I was admiring my lovely Meadow Pipit.

The list of the birds reported at Rodley this year that I've so far failed to connect with, or missed due to absence or the reserve being closed to the public (which is most of the time), or dipped due to bad luck or sheer ineptitude is (not including summer migrants):
  • Lesser Redpoll (not common at Rodley, just sporadic records)
  • Water Rail (ever-present, but more difficult since the flooding destroyed the hides and restricted viewing)
  • Cetti's Warbler (has my hearing got so bad I can't hear this, when everyone else can?)
  • Merlin (I live in hope)
  • Tree Sparrow (previously regular; now just one sighting in three months)
  • Common Scoter (a one-day patch mega... while I was at work)
  • Stonechat (my Rodley bogie bird)
  • Black-tailed Godwit (a one-day patch mega... while the reserve was shut)
  • Bittern (don't get me started on this)
Still, there's always something good to see...

Common Snipe, Rodley NR - Saturday 26th March 2016

Common Buzzard, Rodley NR - Saturday 26th March 2016
Little Owl (in its usual roosting spot), Rodley NR - Saturday 26th March 2016


  1. You're not the only one who's missed the Cetti's I didn't hear a peep when I was there recently, despite reports of it!

    1. Phew, not just me then! I have a blocked middle ear at the moment, which is making all birdsong sound odd, thin and quiet; but I thought a Cetti's would get through!

    2. Ah, that is a problem! I think sometimes the birds see me coming and a ripple of shhhhh goes through them.........