FABULOUS FIELDFARES @ ADEL DAM
On Friday I went to Adel Dam Nature Reserve which is owned by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. This reserve is a particular favourite of mine as it affords you great views and picture opportunities of Nuthatches, Jays, Great Spotted Woodpeckers and the always dazzling Kingfisher.
Adel Dam is on the north west outskirts of Leeds, near the airport. To reach the reserve you have to park in the main car park for Golden Acre Park and then walk down to the bottom past the big lake to access the reserve. Adel Dam opened as a nature reserve in 1968 and was operated by Leeds Bird Watchers Club until 1986 when it was taken over by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust.
There are two hides at the reserve, Marsh Hide - which overlooks several feeders and a small pond and is enclosed by several large trees and the Lake Hide which overlooks a small lake with feeders to the left of the hide. The weather was still as cold as it had been when I visited Fairburn Ings on Wednesday although this time it didn't snow. As I was getting out of my car I noticed on the land behind the cafe in Golden Acre Park that there were a few thrushes feeding on the ground in the snow, I would have a closer look after I been to Adel Dam.
I walked through the snow covered Golden Acre Park, stopping briefly at the frozen main lake which had Mallards, Swans & Black Headed Gulls at the edge of an area of unfrozen water. I continued on to Adel Dam and headed for the Marsh Hide and as I reached it I noticed a Jay high up in a tree to the left of the hide which soon flew off. Visiting the table feeder and the ones at the far side of the pond were several Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches and a lone Coal Tit. A group of Long Tailed Tits descended on the far feeders before a Magpie flying through caused them to fly off.
A Great Spotted Woodpecker landed on the feeders at the far side as a pair of Nuthatches visited the log feeders looking for the nuts inside them and as they spotted each other they flew off after each other. Pecking through the snow on the ground in front of the hide were a trio of Robins as well as a couple of Dunnocks, Blackbirds and Chaffinches. Wading along the stream leading up to the pond was a Moorhen on the ice as not one but two male Great Spotted Woodpeckers flew across the pond and landed on the far right log feeder with the second dislodging the first.
The first Woodpecker returned a minute or so later chasing the other Woodpecker back across the pond and into the trees. There was no sign of the resident Mandarin Ducks so I made my way down to the Lake Hide to see if they had moved down there. The lake was completely frozen over and all the birding action was to the left of the hide in and around the feeders. There were several Robins in the bushes surrounding the feeders as well as a couple of Dunnocks, Blue Tits and Great Tits.
A trio of Mallards flew in and landed below the feeders picking up the scraps as a female Reed Bunting appeared in the tall grass next to the feeders making regular trips to pick up the scraps on the ground. To the left of the feeders a Robin perched at the top of a branch watching over its fellow Robins as they fed on the ground. The moment it flew down to the ground another Robin flew up and took its place and this kept being repeated with one Robin watching out for predators whilst the rest of them fed.
I walked back up to the Marsh Hide where the usual suspects were still making regular visits to the feeders but creeping up a tree trunk was a Treecreeper. During my two visits to the Marsh Hide a few birds (Blue Tits, Great Tits, Robins & Chaffinches) visited the ledge at the front of the hide as seeds had been left out. I now made my way back towards Golden Acre Park turning right along the southern side of the lake and as I turned left up the eastern side of the lake there were several birds coming down to the fence at the edge of the path.
In the bushes either side and coming down to the fence were Robins, Blue Tits, Great Tits and Chaffinches as well as a Coal Tit and Nuthatch. I continued along the path towards the cafe as Blackbirds flew back and forth across the path I spotted a Goldcrest in the tree which flew off and landed high up in a group of fir trees. As I was looking for the Goldcrest amongst the fir trees I noticed a Fieldfare in a tree at the other side of the path.
Feeding below this tree on the ground was a lone Redwing and after I had watched it for a couple of minutes I made my way round to the path at the back of the cafe. Feeding on the ground were a couple of Blackbirds, but up in the tree were several Fieldfares, a bird which had in the previous couple of days visited my garden. Another bird which had made regular visits in the snow to my garden was the Song Thrush and a pair of them now flew in and started picking up the berries that had dropped onto the ground from the tree above. As I walked back to the car I spotted a couple of Goldfinches in a tree at the other side of the road.
I have attached a few photos and a full sightings list from my visit to Adel Dam.