June, 2016

Aire Valley - Fairburn Ings and St Aidan's

Aire Valley - Fairburn Ings and St Aidan's
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Aire Valley - Fairburn Ings and St Aidan's

  • Recent sightings: Midsummer sightings

    With summer arriving in full bloom, we’ve had another great week of recent sightings at Fairburn.  From snipe to redshank, sandpiper to goosander, the wildlife at Fairburn has been in full bloom.

    Green sandpiper, Chris Gomersall (rspb-images.com)

    There have been both common sandpiper and green sandpiper; seeing them has taught me that green sandpiper can be identified by their slightly darker upper body and less distinguished white cuts along their front.

    Common sandpiper, Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

    Pickup hide has been a good spot for birds lately, with lapwing and teal making a grand entrance, and Goosander have been along Cut Lane and Charlie’s hide, which is an unusual sighting given the time of year, but welcome nonetheless!

    Juvenile Kingfishers, Ginny Sibley

    Lastly, we have been spoiled with the arrival of three freshly fledged Kingfishers at the new Kingfisher screen. The juveniles seem to be branching out now, fingers crossed for a second brood this year.

  • Recent sightings: sunsets and spoonbills

    WOW! What a couple of weeks at Fairburn Ings. We have had a great mix of species about, including three cuckoos, one very elusive spoonbill, and a black tern!

    Black tern, Mike Langman (rspb-images.com)

    The swifts have been displaying nicely on the coal tips, showing off their aerial acrobatics and swooping low overhead. I discovered last week that they spend almost their entire lives on the wing, even while sleeping.

    Swift overhead, Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)

    There have also been several sightings of bitterns across the reserve. About a week ago I was lucky enough to see this secluded bird twice in one day; the first time was on a guided walk led by one of our volunteer rangers, the second was later that evening, when I managed to see my feathered friend flying over this picturesque sunset.

    Coal Tips sunset, Rachel Gooday

    We have also had some wonderful views of little egrets out on the flashes, looking down from the Coal tips and Arrow Lane. They have been accompanied by the return of our ever elusive spoonbill, which made a magnificent return for a few days.

    Little egret, Paul Chesterfield (rspb-images.com)

    As usual, do keep letting us know your sighting in the book and on social media.