With nothing major on the radar I decided to spend the morning down at Orgreave to see if the wind had brought anything in overnight. I was also keen to see if I could catch up with the Reed Warbler that I had been tipped off about yesterday, as that would be my third patch tick in 2 days. Its been fun spending more time down at the patch, but having said that I still could not get out of bed for half 5, eventually dragging myself out at 6, meaning that I got to the site at 7.00ish.
The morning started a little rainy but then cleared up afterwards until it came quite sunny. The wind had dropped but had not completely gone and on the northern side of the lake where there are fewer trees it could definitely be felt. The shrubbery had plenty of passerines around, including Blackcap and Chiffchaff, both singing. The small lake had some good stuff including a Great Crested Grebe chick being closely attended by its parents, which was fantastic to see.
There were no waders round the small lake and as I wandered over to the large lake I struggled to pick any up initially. However, on the near shore I eventually got a Ringed Plover, and a little more scanning got me a Sanderling again, which was fantastic. It was not particularly close so I moved off round the way it was going hoping it would come out of the grass closer. It did but I had been distracted by a Little Ringed Plover and had not been paying attention, so when it did run through the shorter grass I had no time to prep myself. Never mind. It was the only Sanderling here today.
I continued round after the Sanderling had moved on round until it was out of sight. There were no new waders round the side, only a couple of Ringed Plover. As I reached the area where I had been tipped off about the Reed Warbler. As I approached I could hear the zesty call of the Reed Warbler though it was drowned out by a very vocal Whitethroat in the neighboring trees.
I set myself up and it did not take long before I could see the Reed Warbler flitting around. It took me surprisingly long to work out that digiscoping was simply not going to work for this and so had to retrieve my camera from my bag. Even then the bird was incredibly difficult to track. At one point, after I had lost it for a while, two birds flew across the river. I could not confirm it but it looked like two Reed Warblers, though the second bird could have been a Whitethroat. Having said that, later revelations would suggest that they were both Reed Warblers.
Whilst I was waiting for a decent chance to photograph this patch tick I spotted another patch tick fluttering around the edge of the river. Not a bird this time but a Banded Demoiselle, which is a species I have not seen on the site before and the first this year for me.
The warbler started to show much better afterwards, although it soon became clear that there must be 2 individuals, one on each side of the river. I could not see the birds transfer across the river, yet within seconds of each other the birds were showing on their respective sides. Its possible that there was a third bird, as about 10 seconds after watching the bird on the far side I spotted the bird on the near side sat out in the open, though it quickly dived to be replaced by another. I cannot confirm this was not the bird from the far side of the river but the short time span in which I saw the birds would lead me to think that it is not.
The rest of the walk was very pleasant and I picked up a number of the regular species dotted around the lakes. There were quite a few garden birds around too in the riverside trees, including Long-Tailed Tit, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and another Blackcap. It ended up being a really nice day and a great way to spend a morning.
Orgreave Lakes: Blackcap, Blackbird, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Magpie, Black-Headed Gull, Chiffchaff, Skylark, Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Goldfinch, Canada Goose, Swift, House Martin, Sand Martin, Graylag Goose, Gadwall, Mallard, Carrion Crow, Kestrel, Ringed Plover, Cormorant, Great Crested Grebe, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan, Lapwing, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Oystercatcher, Sanderling, Coot, Little Ringed Plover, Stock Dove, Redshank, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Moorhen, Whitethroat, Great Tit, Linnet, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Meadow Pipit, Dunlin, Graylag Goose, Bullfinch, Blue Tit, Long-Tailed Tit, Dunnock, Swallow,