Birding goals for the spring update!

If anyone had thought I’d been a bit quiet on my birding goals for the Spring, I’ve actually been pretty busy getting some of my birding wishlist over the last few days.

Last Tuesday I had a trip to Agden Side to find whinchats, and failed miserably, although bizarrely did find one of their rarer (in Sheffield at least) relatives – a stunning male stonechat!

On Friday night I went to Wyming Brook to find wood warblers, with much better success. I soon heard one singing, but out of sight, in a tree right above my head. I was just thinking this would probably have to be a “heard but not seen tick”, when I came across two in a tree a short distance away, one of them happily flycatching just to demonstrate its yellow chest and prove it wasn’t a willow warbler!

Yesterday morning I had a return to Agden Side, and again failed to find a whinchat, although I did for once manage to see a tree pipit there, rather than just hear them. I walked back through Rocher Head for much better success with another on my wishlist. I walked down the path and got to the derelict barn, and on some abandoned farm equipment got a glimpse of a bird which seemed to be shivering a red tail, but I didn’t get a good look before it darted into trees. I waited for a while and my patience paid off as I was rewarded with great views of a male redstart (thanks to Roger for the tip of the area!). There was also another singing a bit further on.

Other highlights from yesterday included 3 x common sandpiper and 3 x great spotted woodpecker at Agden Reservoir; 3 x displaying snipe, 1 x tree pipit, 10 x linnet, 7 x lapwing, 2 x curlew and 16 x rook at Rocher Head; a tawny owl flying across the path in broad daylight at Rocher End Plantation.

So my birding goals for Spring stand as follows:

Redstart – found at Rocher Head
Whinchat – searched for at Agden Side but not found yet!
Woodcock – quick look at Redmires but not found.
Spotted Flycatcher – found by accident in the Loxley Valley.
Cuckoo – heard at Wharncliffe Heath, but I’d still like to see one…
Grasshopper Warbler – not found yet. Could be tricky…
Barn Owl – the only non-migrant on this list, could be the trickiest of the lot…
Yellow Wagtail – not found yet. May have to travel to the East of the city to find one.
Wood Warbler – found at Wyming Brook.

Plus there’s a good few migrants not on the list I still need to find, including pied flycatcher, common tern, little egret, nightjar and hobby… it’s going to be a busy old June!


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My name is Pete

One thought on “Birding goals for the spring update!”

  1. Grasshopper warblers are at Redmires. We’ve only heard them in early evening, but then we don’t very often go to Redmires during the day so I don’t know if they come out during the day. That bit of time as the sun’s just starting to go down but it’s still not quite full on dusk yet.

    Have heard them from the nearest reservoir to Lodge Moor and that bit of moorland behind Wyming Brook. Plus from the exact spot where we stopped for the woodcock.

    Seeing them is a different matter, but they do fly from bush to bush if you’re patient enough.

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