Sunday 20 January 2013

Dowley Gap & Hirst Wood

Sunday January 20th a.m.
 Another cold day with a temperature of 0°C at Dowley Gap with compacted snow turning
to ice making walking difficult in places along side the canal.There is also some construction
work which has started on the locks restricting access to the canal in places.The first birds we
saw were Mallards on the canal and then a large number of BH Gulls in the sewage works area,
these lifting from time to time filling the sky.As we got closer we could see there were Lapwings
among the Gulls,we took the track down to where it overlooks the filter tanks to get a better view.
Besides a couple of Blackbirds & Wrens in the hedgerow we could see a large number of Pied
Wagtails & Redwings feeding in the tanks. We were joined by a fellow birder as the Wagtails took
to the air & in flew a Sparrowhawk looking for its breakfast. Some of the Wagtails went into a
nearby tree where they were joined by a couple of Meadow Pipits. Then as the birds returned to the
tanks we spotted our first Grey Wagtail of the year,taking our local annual species list to 50. We are
happy with this although some birders in the South & East of the country managed a 100 on the 1st of
January.I think they get a much more varied & number of species to see though in their area, that's my
excuse anyway and I'm sticking to it.
  Walking along we saw a couple of Goosanders on the canal out of range of the camera,we saw other
fly overs during our walk too.A flock of LT Tits were feeding in a tree with a Jay not too far away. We
walked down to the river where there were more Mallards then we headed back.We were happy to see some birders we knew on our way back watching the birds by the filter tanks.We also saw a couple of
Mistle Thrush and a Redwing was too quick for us before we could get a snap of it in a nearby tree.We headed for the other side of the canal and down to the river but with several boats about with people
rowing we decided to head home.
c350 - BH Gull
6 - Goosander
1 - Grey Wagtail
1 - Jay
23 - Lapwing
11 - LT Tit
35 - Mallard
5 - Meadow Pipit
3 - Mistle Thrush
c60 - Pied Wagtail
20 - Redwing
1 - Sparrowhawk
plus other common species

Lapwings & a couple of BH Gulls

BH Gulls & Lapwings

Pied Wagtail

Pied Wags taking refuge in the tree as the Sparrowhawk hunts

River Aire passing through Hirst Wood

Hirst Wood

1 comment:

  1. You,re a couple of birds in front of me Danny, the way its going just now we,ll be lucky to reach 100 by the end of the year.