SUPERB GREY WAGTAIL @ SPROTBROUGH FLASH
On Thursday I visited Sprotbrough Flash Nature Reserve
which is located in the Don Gorge just off the A1 and a few miles west of Doncaster. There are two hides and a viewing screen over looking a long thin lake with the River Don bordering the reserve to the south and a large woodland area to the north. There is also The Boat Inn close to the edge of the reserve should you require food and drink.
It was a fairly bright but cloudy day when I arrived and parked by the side of the River Don and I as walked towards the reserve a pair or Red Kites were circling high overhead. I saw a lone Goldfinch in the tree of a garden just before the reserve and after a few yards beyond this garden I arrived at a viewing screen at the right hand end of the lake. On the lake there were a couple of Coots and Tufted Ducks and in the trees to the right a pair of Wood Pigeons.
Down on the water, sat on a reed, was a Grey Wagtail with its back to me and it turned its head to look to the left but flew off after a few seconds. I continued along the path on the banks of the River Don and arrived at the first hide which has been a good spot to see Kingfishers with a perch just a few feet in front of the hide. Over to the left of the hide someone had left out some food on the ground and this was attracting Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches, Dunnocks and a single Coal Tit.
After a few minutes a Robin now emerged from the bushes and then dropped down to pick up the food that had been left out. On the water in front of the hide were a few more Coots and Tufted Ducks as well as Gadwalls, Mute Swans and a single Great Crested Grebe. Over to the left there were a pair of Buzzards and after waiting a while to see if the Kingfisher turned up I decided to make my way towards the next hide.
To my right a pair of Long Tailed Tits made there way through the large bramble bushes to my right. I arrived at the second hide and sat on two posts protruding from the water were a pair of Cormorants and further to the left, also sat on a post was another Cormorant. At the far side of the water there were Shovelers, Gadwalls, Teals and Greylag Geese. Nearer to the hide were more Coots and Tufted Ducks with a few Black Headed Gulls flying through the air past the hide.
I made my way back along the path to the first hide having a look to see what was on the river as I went, but apart from a couple of Mallards, there was nothing to see. Back at the first hide a Mute Swan swam very fast from left to right in the water in front of the hide. A Great Crested Grebe now slowly made its way towards the hide but only came to about fifty yards away before swimming off to the right out of sight.
I made my way back along the path, taking a quick look at the viewing screen before stopping as I had spotted a bird in the trees at the edge of the River Don. After taking a closer look I discovered it was the Grey Wagtail again and it was currently singing away. After a few minutes it flew off and landed on a sign in an island in the middle of the river. I sat on a bench by the side of the river to eat my lunch and whilst I was eating my lunch a Grey Heron made several flights up and down the river.
After my lunch I had a quick look up the river in the opposite direction from the reserve. I saw a couple of couple of Chaffinches in the trees and overhead the Buzzards were soaring and once I returned to the car park there was a pair of Long Tailed Tits moving through the trees.
I have added a few photos and a full sightings list from my visit to Sprotbrough Flash Nature Reserve.