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On Wednesday I went down to my local RSPB reserve,

Fairburn Ings which is located east of Leeds near Castleford. Fairburn Ings was designated as a nature reserve in 1957 under the National Parks & Access to the Countryside Act (1949) and since the 1970s the reserve has been managed by the RSPB.

I had a quick look at the feeders by the visitor centre which were awash with Goldfinches, Chaffinches and Greenfinches as well as a couple of Blue Tits and Dunnocks. I continued on to the Pick Up Hide which was very quiet with just a couple of Robins, Blue Tits and Great Tits visiting the feeders. It was very windy at the Pick Up Hide, even more than usual, so after a few minutes I left and headed to the Kingfisher screen.

Unfortunately it may be a while before Kingfishers are seen here again as the week before, a male Kingfisher had been caught and killed by a Sparrowhawk. Whilst I was there I did not see the female Kingfisher and the day after the Sparrowhawk sadly caught and killed the female Kingfisher as well. Beyond the sluice gate there was a group of about a dozen Mallards in the water disturbing a Grey Heron as it looked for food.

Whilst I watched the Grey Heron a Goldcrest and then a Treecreeper appeared in a tree to the right of the water and a group of around fifteen Long Tailed Tits and ten Cormorants flew over head and a pair of Kestrels perched in a tree about fifty yards to the west of the Kingfisher screen. By this time the Grey Heron had taken off and flown round in a circle landing just the other side of the sluice gate. It then proceeded to wade through the water looking for food.

Grey Heron

I returned to the visitor centre and then made my way towards the car park and as I reached the car park I heard a bird singing very loudly but could not work out where it was coming from. As I looked around, just to my right and only a foot or two away a Robin was perched on top of a fence singing away looking straight at me whilst it did. Even as I moved closer the Robin did not fly off. After watching this Robin for a few minutes I went down to the pontoon at the edge of the main lake.


On the main lake there were several Black Headed Gulls and Mallards as well as a few Mute Swans. The Grey Heron had moved from the Kingfisher screen and was now perched on a wooden pole out on the water. As I had been on the pontoon several large groups of Starlings flew overhead towards the Coal Tips trail and as I drove home even more Starlings were heading in that direction.

I have attached a full sightings list and a few photos from my visit to RSPB Fairburn Ings.

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