Monday, 20 August 2012

18th August, RSPB Fairburn Ings

We decided to have a change today, a new wildlife place for us and it was a close call between the RSPB reserve at Old Moor, Dearne Valley or Fairburn Ings. The latter won on the spin of a coin so Old Moor will be top of the list next time.

So here we are within sight of Ferrybridge Power Station with the cooling towers ushering their fumes skywards, not the typical idea of a wildlife haven but....this place is well worth a visit if you are in the area. We are not at the best time of year for birdwatching with many species heading coastwards in preparation for their migratory journeys, and yet we still had a magical day!

Our first visit was to a hide near the visitor centre, and my first photograph...a heron of course!

The bushes around the hide were strewn with feeders and in quick succession we saw some lovely tree sparrows with their chestnut heads and then a great spotted woodpecker.

I'm not sure whether this is a bee, hornet or wasp! Whatever it is it allowed me near enough to get a decent macro shot..

The path that led around the main lake was also close to the river Aire, much further downstream than my usual walks though! The whole area was alive with damsels and dragonflies, a large dose of patience is required to photograph these in close up, a skill I am fortunately learning.

A black lined skimmer...

A common darter...

And a brown hawker..

Wandering back to the visitors centre we passed a newly mown crop field edge, I spotted some movement around the margin of the field, red legged partridge a bonus!

We then spent over an hour at a special habitat created for kingfishers, of course we saw nothing! It is never that easy nor should it be and we will return and spend much longer next time we are over this way.

Another trip out to the hide near the centre did not offer much apart from this young grey squirrel taking the opportunity to pinch some of the food put out for the birds.

A scorching hot day and we were tired and thirsty after a few hours in the heat, thank goodness for the flasks we always pack and a reviving cuppa before we set off for home!


  1. A very successful viewing day for you both.Loved the tree sparrow, what a sweet little bird. Great photo of the woodpecker too, a firm favourite and frequent visitor to our bird table. Those damsels and dragonfly shots were really excellent, amazing detail. Skills spot on taking those !

  2. Your hoverfly from Fairburn Ings on 18 August is Volucella inanis which has only recently reached Yorkshire - it is one of the most northerly records so far.


    Roger Morris
    Hoverfly Recording Scheme

  3. The Black Lined Skimmer? (Black-tailed Skimmer) is actually an immature female Common Darter.