Birding aims for Winter

As I set myself some birding aims for the Spring (and 9 out of 10 eventually got found) I thought I’d do the same for the Winter. Of course Winter straddles the year, so there’s already a good few wintering birds on my year list from January and February, but here’s a few that slipped through the net, and a couple of non-winter birds I need to mop up…

1. Pintail
Now whinchat’s finally been found, pintail can now take the place of my most annoying “bogey”. Pretty scarce in Sheffield, I’ll probably have to think of somewhere further afield to find them…

2. Lesser Redpoll
A bird that I never seem to find very easily – this year’s seen a massive influx into Sheffield already, so this shouldn’t be a problem to find somewhere!

3. Red-legged Partridge
Not really a winter bird, but one that also seems to give me the slip. Mainly a bird of the east of Sheffield, but numbers have recently been seen on Wharncliffe Chase, so probably somewhere to have a look.

4. Whooper Swan
I can’t believe I didn’t get any last winter! Hopefully some will drop in to Old Moor or one of the local reservoirs before too long.

5. Short-eared Owl
A more ambitious one… hopefully some wintering ones will show up somewhere on the local moorland.

6. Hen Harrier
Hopefully a trip to the winter raptor roost at Blacktoft Sands will bring up a couple of these…

7. Firecrest
A very ambitious one! One I may have to twitch should any appear locally…

8. Curlew Sandpiper
Luck of the draw… hopefully one will show up at Old Moor or Blacktoft when I’m visiting…

9. Water Rail
Oh dear, I really am getting ambitious now aren’t I? Mind you, a trip to Potteric Carr may be all I need…

10. Red Kite
Again, not a winter one, but one I’ve not seen yet this year. I’ll have to keep my eyes on the skies while travelling on the Motorway near Harewood!

I’m not too confident I’ll get all these in the time I’ve got, but we’ll see! As always, if anyone wants to point to any regular sites then let me know (perhaps not publicly for birds of prey).


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My name is Pete

5 thoughts on “Birding aims for Winter”

  1. I’m sure you’d pick up pintail and whooper swan at Martin Mere (or possibly Fairburn Ings).

    Talking of wildfowl, I heard a flock of geese flying over Walkley Bank at about 6.30 this morning.

  2. Pintail, L Redpoll, R-L Partridge, Whooper Swan, Curlew Sand, Water Rail, all are regular at Old Moor.

    L Redpoll, Red Kite, both can be seen almost anywhere as flyovers.

    Good luck Peter.

  3. Cheers for the tips, guys.

    Roger – for some reason I’d forgotten about Fairburn. Always a good place for waterfowl (and a good location to cadge a lift to if I can persuade my girlfriend she wants to go to the Castleford retail park!).

    Dean – Would you believe I’ve only ever seen whooper swan and curlew sand out of all those at Old Moor (and both a while ago)? Any tips on where on the reserve is best for RLP?

  4. Pete, for the Firecrest, I’m told that the section of the Dearne Way, just north east of Old Moor would be well worth a try.
    Good luck

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