Thursday, 8 March 2018

Hirst Wood, Canal and River Aire

14:30 - 16:00

A trip to the Hirst Wood Area, Saltaire this afternoon after another snowy episode made local birding difficult.

A dry outing and quite pleasant along the river and canal - if a tad muddy.

Hirst Wood:-

2 Jay, 4 Nuthatch, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker heard and a few other sp.

River & Canal:


The river and canal had an amazing number of Goosander.
First off, as we dropped down to the river (from the end of the wood before the aqueduct) we saw 10 Goosander here - 5 Drakes and 5 Female birds.
As we arrived back on the river heading towards the boat house another 5 F Goosander were seen.
Also on the way back to the car a Pr. Goosander were near the canal lock.

A huge number (for me anyway) of Pied Wagtail were in an around the water treatment works I would estimate 50 plus birds.

2 Grey Wagtail were seen along the river also.

Also about, 4 Moorhen, c10 Meadow Pipit, Mallard, Long Tailed Tit.

A lovely surprise was that of a Little Grebe seen on the river, one of my favourite birds.

Also about Black Headed Gull, Canada Geese, c10 Greylag Geese and a fly over of a Cormorant.

Sue had a stonking spot with a pr. Grey Partridge seen, in a field,  with her beadies as we were on the canal path.
A Song Thrush and 2 Mistle Thrush were here also.

Approaching the cricket field we came across 4 Song Thrush, 4 Blackbird and 2 Fieldfare all feeding together.

As we crossed the bridge to the Boathouse Inn for a coffee and a bun, a pr. Oystercatcher flew overhead and landed on the Cricket field.

On the way back to the car c10 Redwing were in the fields.

Lesser Pecker News:-

A man approached us as we neared the car asking if we had seen the Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.
After I'd said that I had not seen one, he said:-

"A twitcher type saw one the other day and pointed it out to me"!

There is hope for me yet.

A cracking afternoon out with some good birds turning up at regular intervals making and hour and a half seem like 20 minutes!

A large number of Grey Wagtail here - honest!

A shame the Little Grebe was under the trees or under the banking

The black 'bird' below left if soil I hope!!

First sighting of Grey Partridge

Jay with an odd call?


  1. Interesting Jay call John. They are good mimics at times, this one sounds a bt like a Tawny Owl call.

  2. Yeah, I thought it odd Dave.
    It made this call a good few times before flying off.
    Just managed to get one short bit of it.