Monday, 30 June 2014

Potteric Carr YWT

Back in Sheffield to move stuff over to the new house gave me the chance to try and pick up some more year-ticks in the South Yorkshire area. I analysed the sightings and the possibilities were between a pair of spoonbills at Fairburn or green sandpiper at Potteric Carr. Having thought about it I decided Potteric was probably better as it cheaper and the bird seemed more likely.
I made my way over late morning on a really lovely day, looking forward to seeing what was on the site. I arrived in good time so had plenty of time to try and see something on the site. I headed down the main way through the reserve same as before to make my way up to the West Scrape where the green sands had been reported over the last few days. On the way up I picked up good numbers of insects including damselflies and brown butterflies: Ringlet and Speckled Wood.
Near the end of the road I picked up Banded Demoiselle which was looking lovely in the sunshine. However, there was a female and a male, but the female was much harder to track down and was not as easy to get a photo of.
-Banded Demoiselle
While I was trying to get some shots of the demoiselle I flushed a Southern Hawker, an adult male which actually spent a lot of time landed, so I was able to get some photos of an adult Southern Hawker landed, which had been eluding me. I was initially reluctant to try and get close, but soon I was able to get great views and photos of it.
-Southern Hawker
I moved onto the Piper Marsh Hide which is where the Kingfishers were, but there was nothing there except for a Pochard. I waited about 5 mins, but just as I was setting off the Kingfisher flew past the hide, but it did not stick around so I was unable to get any photos or anything.
I moved onto the West Scrape Hide where the green sand was meant to be. I moved in, possibly there being the most birds there I can ever remember being there, so things were looking up. The majority of birds were Black-Headed Gulls and Lapwings. I waited about 5 mins before the bird of the hour appeared on the near mudflat. Thrilled would not cover it, it was such a good view. And as a result I decided to watch the bird, which turned out to be a big mistake as the bird did not stick around. As soon as I raised my camera to take some photos the bird flew off. I grabbed one photo, and its out of focus, but the view I got of the bird flying off was very striking, clearly distinguishing it from common sand by its bright white rump.
-Green Sandpiper
I waited around for the bird to return, but it took significantly longer than I had anticipated. I ended up waiting a whole 2 and a half hours. And in that time I only managed another minuet with the bird, and again I decided to watch the bird rather than photograph it. And so for the moment my record shot remained the one poor quality photo.
There were a couple of other birders there, milling in and out. The original birders mentioned that there was a pair of Godwit around, which we identified from his photos as Black-Tailed. We also found a few Wigeon, and a juvenile Little-Ringed Plover, which had been around for some time and a Marsh Harrier and Buzzard, which frequently sent the gulls up. After a bit the Godwits re-appeared, though we don't really know how they appeared from, as they somehow moved from one side of the lake to the other without flying.
-Black-Tailed Godwit
-Little-Ringed Plover
After 2 and a half hours I decided enough was enough and that the bird was probably lost. I had seen it, got great views and the only thing that was missing was some good photos, but it just did not seem like it was going to show again.
I carried on round, not picking up many birds but I got great views of insects. The undoubted highlight was a Devil's Coach-Horse Beetle, a lifer for me. However, as I found frequently through the day, the wrong lens was on the camera and despite my attempts to keep the beetle occupied by keeping it on the path while I changed the lens, by the time I had managed to change the beetle had scurried under the grass and I was unable to re-locate.
I also picked up Emperor Dragonfly, Four-Spot Chaser and Black-Tailed Skimmer. There was also Ringlet butterfly in large numbers. However, that was the good side. On the bad side there was a Wasp, which decided to randomly sink its stinger into me, although having analysed the mark I think it may be a bite mark rather than a sting mark. I also accumulated about 20 mosquito bites, along my legs over the course of night.
In the main Duchess Hide there was not much happening, so after a short while I continued along the path, but I decided to return to the West Scrape Hide to try and see if the Green Sand had returned. Along the way back I picked up Red Admiral Butterfly, the positive, and Mink along the top of a drain, the negative.
-Red Admiral
Back in the West Scrape Hide I decided I would wait a little while, about 10 mins and see what happened. As it turned out, going back was a wise decision as the bird was showing again. As soon as I wandered into the hide it was on the near shore, but once more I had the wrong lens on. I grabbed a few shots with the 300 before trying to change, during which time the bird decided again to move out of sight. Brilliant!
I waited a little longer, but not too much, but it proved worthwhile as the bird did make another appearance, looking mighty fine, though initially behind the reeds, but soon it was out in the open enough to grab some decent record shots finally, so that I would not be left with a terrible gap in my collection.
-Green Sandpiper
While I had waited the Godwits that were still around had taken flight and given good views as they circled around the lake. They did not stay airbourn for long, but I got great views of the wing pattern, proving beyond doubt that they were Black-Tailed.
-Black-Tailed Godwit
After the green sand had gone I decided to head back, as it could be quite a walk back. Along the wooded edge of the main marsh I found quite a surprise species when I spotted a Willow Tit among a mixed tit flock. I was unable to get any photos, nor was the view particularly good but there was no mistaking the identity of the bird, a really nice surprise to have found.
I decided to call in at the Willow Pool Hide to see if there was anything on the feeders there, the initial willow tit putting me in the mood for more. However the feeders were dead, probably due to the presence of a pair of grey squirrels that were making the most of the bird food on offer. However, the limited birdlife did not seem interested in the seed put down, the only bird being a young Blue Tit that was pulling the seeds off a bulrush, slowly making its way round the head, leaving it bald. It was a great stand to get some photos from, and the positioning of the bird was not bad either.
-Blue Tit
Finally I had in mind to check the Loversall field to see what was about on there. In the past there were good numbers of Dragonflies on there, and I had in mind to try and track some down. On the way there I got a nice surprise when I spotted the tail of a Grass Snake disappear into the undergrowth, a poor and brief but very nice view.
The ponds were quite quiet, lots of Blue Damselflies but not much besides. There was one Four-Spot Chaser on the pond, which kept landing on a stick obviously left for it, but highly inaccessible without crashing through the poolside vegetation. 
It was here that I stumble across my first Emerald Damselfly of the year, resting deep in some sedge, making it difficult to photograph, but not impossible so I was able to grab some record shots of the individual. It made a nice addition to the days list. 
-Common Emerald Damselfly
And that was the last action of what was a very rewarding and productive day spent out in the sun. As I type this up this evening I am now nursing a very sore leg from all my insect related injuries sustained from today. But was it worth it? I would say so...

Species List:
Potteric Carr YWT: Starling, Dunnock, Blue Tit, Magpie, Carrion Crow, House Sparrow, Blackbird, Blackcap, Great Tit, Robin, Black-Headed Gull, Wren, Mallard, Jackdaw, Mute Swan, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Coal Tit, Treecreeper, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Collard Dove, Lapwing, Long-Tailed Tit, Moorhen, Coot, Little Grebe, Great-Crested Grebe, Song Thrush, Jay, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Common Teal, Pochard, Shoveler, Gadwall, Kingfisher, Reed Bunting, Wigeon, Willow Tit, Chiffchaff, Little-Ringed Plover, Sand Martin, Willow Warbler, Canada Goose, Graylag Goose, Little Egret, Black-Tailed Godwit, Marsh Harrier, Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Swift, Green Sandpiper, Common Blue-Tailed Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Common Emerald Damselfly, Banded Demoiselle, Black-Tailed Skimmer, Four-Spot Chaser, Emperor Dragonfly, Southern Hawker, Common Darter, Speckled Wood, Ringlet, Gatekeeper, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Large White, Red Admiral, Peacock, Small Tortoiseshell, Comma, Rabbit, Grey Squirrel, Grass Snake, 

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Undisclosed Site

Given a tip-off by Nigel Kerwin, I headed off to an undisclosed location to try and find the Long-Eared Owls that live there. I brought my dad along for the ride, and we went along to the site. Along the way we got an outstanding views of a Roe Deer buck that stood beside the road looking right at us, giving us great views. Even when it moved off it did not run, but casually strolled away.
We the arrived on the site. I was unsure of which plantation the birds were actually in, there were two possibilities. I had always thought they were in the plantation closest to the road, but the more I thought about it the more I began to think that it might be in the other.
As soon as we arrived we could hear a peculiar call that sounded very much like a chick of some description but not a songbird. Nigel had informed me that the birds had chicks, so my dad and I were initially thinking that these must be owl chicks. The longer we waited we decided that it must be an owl chick, and that we should move to a different position where we would be able to see more of the plantation and maybe pick up the source of the noise.
As we headed on I was walking behind my dad, and spotted a large brown bird land in one of the trees. I alerted my dad and grabbed the bins for a look. Looking down it was clear to see that it was an owl, but not many features could be made out. Being in a Long-Eared Owl area it was certainly on of them. I tried to grab some shots but despite the light still being decent the camera could not handle it and I managed decent photos despite my best efforts.
After a bit the bird became restless and we were able to pick out more features, including an orange face, indicating that we had indeed found a LEO. This was immensely exciting as my previous sighting had been very brief of a flyby bird. This bird then decided to fly, I followed it and grabbed some shots but they are not very good, but do serve as record shots. 
-Long-Eared Owl
I hasten to add that it was nowhere near as dark as the photos make it seem. The owl did not seem to fly far, so we headed to a different angle where we would be able to see the side of the plantation where we thought it may have landed.
It did not take long to locate it here. It was perched on an open section of the tree, sat right out in the open giving great views and from here we could see all its features, so it looked great. It became more difficult as the local horses decided to come and inspect us, so we kept having to move to be able to see the Owl.
I managed a couple of shots here, but the light continued to be an issue,and my best effort was still incredibly blurry. However, it does show all the key features, and so I have included it here as proof of the species, and to add more to my record shots.
-Long-Eared Owl
Again though it decided to move off, flying quite close to us and headed over to the first plantation. All this time the juveniles had been calling but we had been unable locate them. After a little longer we decided to head off back, having had a really lovely evening.
We were walking by the first plantation, when we were joined by some more horses. My dad was distracted by these, and it was at this point that I spotted the Owl on top of a tree, staring right down at us. Our views so far had been distant to say the least, but this bird was very close, looking right down at us. Fortunately my dad was close enough to nudge to get his attention, but then I made the fatal mistake of trying to go for the camera, a habit I have tried to grow out of. In opening the carry-bag, the sound of Velcro, and the bird was off. I was very annoyed with myself for that happening, but I can still remember the bird looking down on me, and it is a picture that will stay with me for the rest of my life, no matter how brief the view.
And that was that. We headed back home as it was beginning to get much darker, without much event. We picked up good numbers of bats on the way back but besides that nothing really. An excellent evening to say the least. 
Species List:
Undisclosed Site: Long-Eared Owl, Meadow Pipit, Swift, Swallow, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Carrion Crow, Pied Wagtail, Magpie, Herring Gull, Collard Dove, Dunnock, Starling, Roe Deer, Rabbit, Bat sp., Common Frog, Ghost Moth,  

Farne Islands NT

My brother had an open day at Newcastle University and so my mum offered to go up to Seahouses afterwards for me to tick Eider, and have some fish and chips. This was a great plan, until there was a tern in my fortunes, a black and white tern of mega proportions. Yes, once again the Bridled Tern had returned to the Farne Islands, and this got me thinking that perhaps I would be able to make it to the Farnes via public transport and then get picked up.
I did some serious research into this, and found that it would be do-able, but would require us to reach Newcastle station for the train at 10.42, or else it would be a waste of time and I would miss all connections. I would require this train to Alnmouth, then a coast bus that was one every 3 hours to Seahouses and that would get me in at around half 1, giving me the option of 2 tours. In good faith I reserved a spot on the 2 o'clock tour, knowing that if I was going to make it, then this would be the one.
And so the day came, bright but overcast. We set off at around 8.00 in the morning, the time I usually get up when birding at uni, and made good speed all the way up to Newcastle. Here I must thank my dad for driving us there for me to get the train and Jesus for keeping the roads clear of traffic so it was possible. When I arrived I have a full half an hour of spare time prior to my train, so things were looking up.
All my other connections had plenty of time, the bus was a little late but no matter. A little wildlife intermission now, as we picked up Bullfinch and Roe Deer while driving up the motorway, I also added Kestrel and the Kittywakes on the Tyne bridge from the train, and Brown Hare, Rook, Curlew and another Roe Deer from the bus. Even should it all go wrong it had already been a pretty decent day.
I made it to Seahouses in good time, having had a pleasant journey on the bus through some lovely small villages along the coast. Upon arrival in Seahouses and checking my reservation I managed my first year-tick of the day, no problem: Eider. Sadly the males were all in eclipse, and the time was out, so I was unable to get great views at this point, but watched them over the wall behind the booking offices for the tours. Alongside the Eiders were Oystercatcher, Feral Pigeon and Herring Gull, so doing well already.
-Eclipse Eider
I had loitered around that area as our boat was soon due, and so it appeared. We got on a little later than 2.00, around 10 past, but I was surprised by how few twitchers there seemed to be, leaving me to wonder if the bird had gone overnight, and I had missed a trick. I should state here that a trip to the Farne Islands is great regardless of any Bridled Tern, and that it would be a great afternoon.
The first birds we encountered while on the boat were Guillemots that were fishing in small parties near the harbour. Thats year-tick number 2, quickly followed by number 3; Puffin, much to the delight of may passengers aboard the boat. Number 4 followed not too soon after in the form of Gannet, which glided among the waves or along the horizon in small flocks.
Having never been to a seabird colony at this time of year I was unsure of what to expect, if things would quieten down due to it been late, or if it would still be bustling. It was certainly a case of the latter, with the cliffs teeming with Guillemots and Kittywakes, the former making up the majority of the numbers.
-Lots of Guillemots
As we pulled up for the first time near the inner Farne Islands, the tour guide pointed out Shags, number 5, and Cormorants roosting on the rocks. While Cormorant is a species I am well familiar with from inland, the shag is not, and I do not see them often. I was keen to try and get some photos, but was reluctant to pull out the camera for getting in peoples way. I managed a few shots of Shags, often on nests or perched on the cliffs, but it was difficult to focus due to the rhythmic bobbing of the boat.
-Shag Pair
We then moved off to look at the Outer Farne Islands, and on the way across we were joined by more Gannets and a Fulmar, not a year tick but certainly an improvement on the sighting that was. This individual flew right over the boat, though I spotted it too late for any photos. 
On the Outer Farnes there were rather a lot of Grey Seals, which caused quite a commotion among the boats occupants. I did not bother trying to get photos as everyone was standing and it would have just been in the way, but I was surprised by how close the seals were coming to the boat, obviously it is to be expected from inquisitive animals such as them, but regardless. 
Anyway, having had great views of the seals the captain took us round to another island where there was more grass, and as a result there were good numbers of Common but especially Arctic Tern. But the real stars here were the Puffins, which were all lined up in a great mass along the top ridge of the rock, making for quite a spectacle. Despite the furor this created I decided to just get some photos, of a species that for all its character, I do seem to lack record photos of...
It was also on these Outer Farnes that we picked up our first Razorbills of the afternoon. I had noticed a lack of them among the guillemots, but the commentary explained they were not especially common here, and so it would seem. These were my 6th year-tick of the day, a nice addition but was unable to get any photos because they were sitting on the water on the wrong side of the boat. I spotted a few others perched on top of the rocks but I could not get any photos, the sea making it hard work. 
And that concluded our tour, so we headed off into the Inner Farnes, to land on Inner Farne itself for and hour. As soon as we drew close I spotted the small group of obviously less dude birders perched atop the jetty staring out into the terns along the rocks, indicating clearly that this was the location of the bridled. But as soon as I got off the boat I was broke the devastating news that it had been lost as of 2 mins before where a large number of terns had gone up. But the birders remained hopeful of its return so I set up and began to look. 
Upon landing on the island I got my 7th and for me most surprising year tick of the day when a female Red-Breasted Merganser flew past the jetty. I did not expect to see this species today, but it was a nice addition, having never seen one here before. It took me rather by surprise and I was unable to get any photos the view was so brief as it flew by, but the white wing patches made it pretty unmistakable. Along the shoreline there was also Ringed Plover, though I could only find the one, which was almost as aggressive as the terns were. At one point a young Black-Headed Gull managed to upset both the terns and the plover and so relentless were the attacks that the gull eventually just crashed into the water to sit it out. The terns in question were of course the Arctic Terns, but there were also good numbers of Sandwhich terns, though they were less bold. The boldness of the Arctics was something of a revelation, having been used to skittish birds most of my life, having these terns perch so close to me was something new. As we were waiting for the Bridled one perched on the mast near the jetty, an unnatural but convenient post for some record shots.
-Arctic Tern
It did not take long for the Bridled Tern to be found, perched on the other side of the jetty to where it had been before. I managed to locate it after looking through another gentleman's scope, finding it with my bins and then my scope. This is a bird I have long wanted to see, and it did not disappoint. As soon as I set eyes on it I took in its suave and elegant posture, as it perched among the rocks. It just oozed class, pure beauty, as solid and beautiful a British bird as you can get. I savored the view and then decided to grab some record shots before continuing my admiration. Good thing I did too, as no sooner had I rattled off about 20 record shots all the terns went up. I had put my camera away but through the bins I could follow the bird, as it came flew out over the bay, then back, then towards the jetty, and then right over us, and then over the far side of the jetty and then over the brow of the beach and was lost.
I can't describe the emotion felt as the bird flew over us, just for a split second it came with a couple of meters, so close that all its glory could be made out with the naked eye, Before having to watch it drift away beyond my sight. After it had gone over us I grabbed the camera but from that point on the bird had its back to us and I only managed a couple of shots before it went.
That was it, all day travelling, all that money for 5 mins watching one of the greatest birds I can imagine. Despite spending the rest of my time on the island looking, we were unable to relocate it, the bird had probably gone off fishing as it is prone to doing. But regardless, it had provided me with possibly one of the best 5 minuets of my life.
So I mentioned I got some photos, poor as they are as the bird was initially distant, but unmistakable in its finery. They define record shots. I would have loved a photo was it flew over us, but it will never be.
-Bridled Tern
This is a species I have always wanted to see, and it definitely made the whole trip worthwhile, though it would have been regardless. Some number crunching, that was the 8th (and final) year-tick of the day, but undoubtedly the best. Its also my 15th Lifer this year, and my first Mega for 4 years (pied billed grebe). 
Having been on a missive high from the bird, it descended into a lull now that it was lost and the search began again. I searched at first but then began to look for the other birds on the island, though in the same area. Despite the great numbers of Arctic Tern there were still a few Common Tern around, and one landed right besides the path with a sand-eel in its mouth. Inland I would never be able to get this close to this species, so this was a real treat to see it like this.
-Common Tern
Having never been to the Farnes at this time of year, I can say that I have never been attacked by its terns, a feature so readily advertised about the islands. While not wanting to upset the birds I decided to run the gauntlet to pay for my stay on the island, but also to see what it was really like. 
It did not dissappoint. Like a true birding pro, I managed to pass most of the birds perched on the edge of the path without causing them to fly, but the first bird was very upset and very persistent about its attacking. It pecked my a good 5 times before considering me vanquished, leaving me very relieved to have my hood.
It is a sickening feeling to have Arctic Terns pecking my head, when I spent most of Easter chasing them round South Yorkshire thinking I would not get them this year. Those 2 birds at Orgreave I had considered all I would get, observing a pair flying up and down a small lake before moving off. Now I had the birds well within touching distance, and if I did not want to touch them, they certainly wanted to get you. As I managed to avoid disturbing the birds on the paths edge I settled down to grab some photos, to improve on the record shots I had taken at Orgreave.
It is also worth mentioning that you got great views of the Arctic Tern chicks along the path. Not wanting to disturb the birds I did not stay at any nest to photograph the chicks so I have no photos of them, but they were certainly a delight to see. 
-Arctic Tern
Sadly my island experience was limited due to the fact that I spent most of it on the jetty awaiting the return of the Bridled Tern, but one can't be in all places at once, and I was not to know that it would not return. The hour flew by, and before I knew it the ferry had returned to take us all off home.
Our captain made a slow and steady return round the far side of Inner Farne to allow us to get a final view of the birds. This time I had a better seat on the boat so took a great deal more photos than previously, though very few came out well. I tried to add Kittywake photos to my effort for the March bird at Old Moor and managed a few reasonable shots. 
A real plus was that on the way out, just we were leaving, our driver alerted us to a Razorbill with its chick near the side of the boat. I grabbed a couple of record shots before I was crowded out, as proof of the year-list sighting. It actually came out alright, showing the adult well and even the chick too
The rest of the trip passed without incident. A couple of Gannets and a few Puffins were the swansong of what had been a great afternoon, really enjoyable. But it was not over yet. I knew my parents were coming to pick me up, but I did not know when or where. I made my way over to the Eiders to take some photos while I waited. There were only females near the shore, but they had good numbers of chicks, of different ages too. Its the first time I have ever seen Eider chicks and I have to say that they are pretty sweet. Their feet seem so out of proportion to their body, and they often were sent tumbling either by gravity or by the waves.
-Eiders with Chicks
I found my parents soon enough and we went for a walk along the harbor. Here we picked up Grey Heron fishing in the bay, as well as swallow and a small brown bird that was almost certainly a rock pipit, but it did not stop so I decided to not tick it until I can find one where it can be 100% confirmed.
And that was that, most of the journey home was in rain, and when it was not raining I was asleep, reflecting on what had been a pretty incredible day, one of the best I can recall having. There were so many birds, and its the first time I have been to a proper seabird colony with my camera and as a more mature birder. And then of course there is the obvious, but need I say more about that bird. In fact, the only thing really left to do is to give you today's species list...

Species List:
Traveling: Bullfinch, Buzzard, Rook, Kestrel, Kittywake, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Swift, House Martin, Curlew, Roe Deer, Brown Hare
Seahouses/Farne Islands NT: Eider, Herring Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Feral Pigeon, Oystercatcher, House Sparrow, Starling, Gannet, Kittywake, Shag, Puffin, Common Guillemot, Cormorant, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Fulmar, Greater Black-Backed Gull, Razorbill, Sandwhich Tern, Red-Breasted Merganser, Ringed Plover, Bridled Tern, Mallard, Pied Wagtail, Curlew, Grey Heron, Swallow, House Martin, Carrion Crow, Blackbird, Grey Seal, 

Thursday, 26 June 2014

Ogden Water

First day back and I'm already back out. I stayed in during the morning due to spending the night being sick, but when I eventually made it out I decided to head over to Ogden for the wood warbler that had been there all week. It was a nice day, not clear but warm and bright.
The first thing that caught my attention was just at the top of the main road down to the visitor center where on the wall there were about 10 small Longhorn Moths seeming to all fly in some kind of pattern, but then all land together. I tried a few photos but they did not come out too well. A quick Google search informs me that they are Nemophora degeerella, a common longhorn moth species, and the behavior I observed is apparently called 'dancing'. 
-Nemophora degeerella
I made my way down to where the wood warbler was meant to be on the way picking up Small Skipper but not much else. I called off at the pools, where there were a few Large Red Damselflies. On the bird front I got decent views of Chiff-Chaff and Coal Tit but not much besides.
I carried on up, listening all the time, to the site where the warbler was meant to be. I did not hear the wood warbler, though I was surrounded by Willow Warblers and Chiff Chaffs singing. After about 15 mins I decided to call it quits, I did pick up Spotted Flycatcher though, which I think is the first time I have seen one at Ogden.
On the way down I bumped in Nigel Kerwin who took me to the spot where the bird had been singing before, and we had a look but there was nothing doing, but we did pick up a brown headed Blackcap, possibly a young male as a Blackcap, probably the same bird started singing after a short time.
Since I was unable to get the wood warbler I decided to go and have a look on the moors. It rewarded me well as on the way up I stumbled across a species I have not seen properly in years: Green Tiger Beetle. I was thrilled to find it hunting along the path, having never really considered the possibility of finding one on Ogden Moor. It was quite settled, unlike those in Dorset which I don't even count because they were so flighty. This one was a real poser, settled on the path for great photos.
-Green Tiger Beetle
I carried on up the moors. On the river there were a few Grey Wagtails and I found a small frog on the bank of the river. There were also good numbers of Meadow Pipits, as is standard. One perched on a nearby wall giving me really good views and a chance to take photos.
-Meadow Pipit
After I finished at Ogden I decided to head over to Soil Hell and renew my acquaintance with the site. It was reasonable quiet by its own standards. There were good numbers of Skylark as well as Carrion Crow numbers. But the only thing I took a photo of were the Feral Pigeons feeding on the cut fields. There was a male displaying vigorously among the small group, but its a species that I have never really taken photos of, so I thought now was a decent chance to enhance that gallery.
-Feral Pigeon
So that concludes my first return trip round, and so follows my species list. 

Species List:
Ogden Water LNR: Stock Dove, Woodpigeon, Blackcap, Spotted Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Chiff Chaff, Blue Tit, Magpie, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Meadow Pipit, Lapwing, Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Mallard, Canada Goose, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Wren, Robin, Goldfinch, Treecreeper, Grey Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Collard Dove, Swallow, Swift, Blackbird
Soil Hill: Blackbird, Swallow, Skylark, Lapwing, Carrion Crow, Feral Pigeon