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Birding Update

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Posted: Sun 7 Feb 2016 @ 11:00 by George Atasder

A quick update on local bird sightings in January

The mild winter has had a real impact on the numbers of wintering thrushes. Redwing and Fieldfare numbers are much lower than most years. However they can still be seen regularly in small groups or ones and twos, particularly along the riverside footpaths to the church.

A species which is of conservation concern but which is regular in Elvington is the Corn Bunting. Last winter flocks of up to 100 birds could be found in the fields near the sewage works. This year, numbers are much lower but it is still unusal to walk this area without finding at least one amongst the flocks of buntings. Yellow Hammers have been much more numerous, with flocks of about 140 regularly feeding in the unharvestable field there.  Several Reed Buntings are also utilising the fields here too, and finch flocks have built with dozens of Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch with a few Siskins and Lesser Redpoll although only one Brambling has been seen so far. The flooding in this field has also attracted up to 15 common snipe and 1 or two of the rarer Jack snipe.

The floods around the Derwent have attracted in Wigeon, Teal, Pintail, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck and the odd Goldeneye. But many of these move on once water levels drop. 

Along Dauby lane flocks of Lapwing and around 2000 Golden Plover can be found. These flocks do move around the valley though so some days you may be unlucky and find nothing. The footpath to the Water Treatment Works from Dauby Lane is the place to watch the gulls come in to roost. Huge numbers of common and Black Headed Gulls use the reservoirs at the works to roost or wash up before moving on to Wheldrake Ings. These are joined by larger Herring Gulls, Greater Black Backed and also rarer Iceland and Galucous gulls have been seen here. 

These fields and the reservoirs also attract in geese. The majority you'll find are Greylag but this year there have been Pink Footed Geese joining them and the odd Egyptian Goose.

You may have noticed Balckcaps in your garden this month. They are thought of as summer visitors but more and more are overwintering in gardens where food is supplied. The mild winter has also meant three or four Chiff Chaffs have overwintered, around the Church and in the fields between the village and Wheldrake Lane.

Buzzards numbers, as across the country, are on the increase and now can easily be seen above Elvington, try the riverside fotpath to Sutton Wood. Red Kites are aslo doing well on the Wolds and regularly drift over to our village.


Happy Birding, there's plenty to be had in Elvington

Last edited by George Atasder on 7 Feb 2016 - edited 2 times total

Posted: Mon 8 Feb 2016 @ 11:18 by Tod

Also a Barn owl has been putting in an appearance around the fields near the Sewage works. Not been noted since last spring!

Posted: Sat 20 Feb 2016 @ 19:52 by Buttercup

I have heard that barn owl loud and clearly : )

Posted: Sun 10 Apr 2016 @ 19:01 by George Atasder

Summer migrants now arriving in force. Chiff Chaffs making themselves heard throughout the village. A couple of Willow Warblers in song and swallows and sand martins have arrived, particularly around the water treatment works.