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On Friday 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.

It was a bright sunny and hot day when I arrived at Fairburn Ings although not quite as hot as the previous day. I headed for the Pick Up Hide and as I made the short journey from the Visitor Centre to the Pick Up Hide I saw a male Bullfinch, a Dunnock and a pair of Long Tailed Tits in the trees. The water in front of the hide was pretty quiet with just a couple of Coots present and on the feeders over to the right there were Robins, Dunnocks, Chaffinches, Reed Buntings and a pair of Greenfinches.

Below the feeders there were a couple of Pheasants and in the branches above the feeders there were a pair of Wood Pigeons and a lone Collared Dove. I now moved on to the second set of feeders located just a short distance south east of the hide and these feeders were busier. From here I saw Blue Tits, Great Tits, Dunnocks, Blackbirds and perching on the ropes between the wooden posts were Reed Buntings & Robins.

I walked along the path towards the Kingfisher screen and half way along I spotted a single Mute Swan in the water by the pond dipping platform. Once I had had a quick look at the Kingfisher Screen I continued up the hill to the start of the Coal Tips Trail. Once I had made it to the circular part of the trail I saw two Green Woodpeckers fly across the path and into a small wooded area and out of sight. I walked along the path to the right and over on the lagoon to my left there were Coots, Gadwalls and a couple of Little Grebes.


I continued on past the second lagoon and turned west along the top of the hill from where you can see the Pick Up Hide and further on the Heronry. As I walked along the path I saw several Willow Warblers and a Chiffchaff singing from the tops of bushes and as I reached the third lagoon I began to hear the trademark boom of the Bittern. Over to my right, not far from the bottom of the hill is the Heronry, which today had at least twenty Grey Herons and at least forty Cormorants and in the grass nearby there were some Canada Geese.

As I reached the far end of the Coal Tips Trail I spotted the Great White Egret making its way from The Moat to the Spoonbill Flash and a little further round there was another Grey Heron. I continued on round the path returning to the first lagoon where I saw the Little Grebes again and also a trio of Black Necked Grebes although they were quite a distance away. I now retraced my steps to the Pick Up Hide and sat on a wooden post just in front of the hide was a Collared Dove.

Greenfinch (Male)

The feeders were now being visited by Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Chaffinches, Reed Buntings and Tree Sparrows. After a brief stop for a drink at the visitor centre I made my way down to the pontoons overlooking the Main Bay. This end of the Main Bay was unusually quiet with just a couple of Mallards, Black Headed Gulls and a pair of Shelducks present.

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

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