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RSPB Fairburn Ings

On Wednesday I visited my local RSPB reserve, Fairburn Ings. It was a nice sunny, but very windy day. The visitor centre is located on Newton Lane, just north of Castleford, between the villages of Allerton Bywater & Fairburn. The star species at this reserve are Chiffchaffs, Green Sandpipers, Kingfishers, Little Ringed Plovers & Reed Warblers.

First I headed to the Pick Up Hide, which can be windy on a calm day and today it was like being sat in a hurricane. At the Pick Up Hide I spotted Greenfinches, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Dunnocks, Chaffinches and a Great Spotted Woodpecker all coming to the feeders to the right of the hide. In the lagoon infront of the hide were Mute Swans, Little Egrets, Mallards, Sand Martins and a Grey Heron. Also flying infront of the hide was several Wood Pigeons and Cormorants as well as a very large flock of Jackdaws.

After a while I decided to move on to a less windy spot, the Kingfisher screen. On my walk to the screen I spotted Tree Sparrows, Song Thrushes & Blackbirds. After I had been at the Kingfisher screen for more than half an hour I was beginning to think the Kingfisher was not going to show. But then there was the trademark flash of blue and the Kingfisher perched on a branch about 10 to 15 metres away, just the other side of the sluice gate.

The bird spent the next 15 to 20 minutes catching fish, but sadly not coming any close for a good photo opportunity. A couple of minutes before it left a second kingfisher arrived and sat on the other side of the stream. They both left down stream a minute or two later. Someone also watching the Kingfishers mentioned that a Spoonbill had been seen just in front of the Lin Dike Hide at the far end of the reserve. So I went back to my car and headed for the reserves 2nd car park.

However upon arriving at the Lin Dike Hide, there was sadly no sign of the Spoonbill. There were several other birds to see such as Black Headed Gulls, Mallards, Grey Herons, Tufted Ducks, Swifts, Gadwalls, Avocets and flying over the hide was a single Oystercatcher. I have attached my full sitings list and a few pictures from my visit.

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