On the 30th September I took a trip to Blackburn Meadows, the Sheffield Wildlife Trust reserve at Rotherham.
A former sewage works on the outskirts of Sheffield and Rotherham may not be the most obvious place for a wildlife reserve, but Blackburn Meadows is an oasis in the middle of the former industrial area. Its two lakes form a magnet for a number of bird species, and there’s hides facing out to view what’s out there.
There wasn’t too much to see on the day I went, a cold but fine Saturday afternoon. The lakes were home to mallards, moorhens and coots, and the trees filled with goldfinches, magpies, woodpigeons, blackbirds and robins. I do feel that an earlier start later in the season will yield better results. Other than the birds, there were plenty of rabbits, and some amazing dragonflies and butterflies.
The problem with the reserve is lack of seating in the hides. Kneeling on cold, dirty concrete doesn’t really encourage you to spend much time watching birds, and, sadly, one of the hides had obviously been used as a urinal judging by the smell. Luckily the best view of the lakes is via the “viewing sculpture”, a nice metal fence looking out over the water. I wouldn’t want to use it in bad weather, though, or try and cram in if there was a serious twitch going on.
The site links to the Sheffield Canal Walk, and I had a walk back to Meadowhall, seeing more mallards, some mute swans and a heron. One day I’ll see a kingfisher down the Sheffield Canal, but not this day. Bah.
Today’s full list:
Mallard, Coot, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Grey Heron, Woodpigeon, Robin, Magpie, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Rabbit, various dragonflies and butterflies.