On Wednesday 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.
It was a bright sunny day when I arrived at Adel Dam and after walking through Golden Acre Park I arrived at the reserve and headed for the first hide which is called the Marsh Hide. On the feeders and in the bushes to the left of the hide there were Chaffinches, Blue Tits and Great Tits. On the small pond in front of the hide there were several male Mallards and a lone male Mandarin Duck.
A Nuthatch now landed on the far right hand log feeder and after procuring a nut from it departed off into the trees. A few minutes later the Nuthatch returned to a tree just to the right of the hide before flying across to the table feeder. It flew off to the left a minute or so later and was immediately replaced by another Nuthatch which flew in from the right. A Blue Tit now landed on top of the middle log feeder before deciding against trying to extract a nut from the feeder and flew over and landed on the table feeder.
A Moorhen now swam up the narrow stream and after a brief swim round the small pond it made its way out of the water and proceeded to scoop up the scraps dropped from the feeders above. Just to the left of the hide a Nuthatch landed on a branch of a bush and after a minute or so flew over to the feeders behind the pond. At the far left hand side, beyond the feeders, one of several Grey Squirrels had been lying on a branch for at least ten minutes without moving as though it was sun bathing.
I happened to be looking out of the left hand side of the hide and I noticed a Wren moving along a fallen moss covered tree. It stopped briefly before disappearing into the undergrowth and then re-appearing a lot further back and then vanishing again. The Chaffinches, Great Tits & Blue Tits were still making regular visits to the table feeder and were now joined by a lone Coal Tit. A female Great Spotted Woodpecker landed on the far right log feeder and after successfully extracting a nut it flew off only to be replaced by a male Great Spotted Woodpecker and over on the feeders behind the pond was another male Great Spotted Woodpecker.
There were now two male Mandarin Ducks amongst the seven or eight male Mallards on the pond. In the undergrowth just in front and to the left of the hide I spotted another Wren moving along the ground before it worked its way along a thick fallen branch and then disappeared under the hide. A male Chaffinch perched on a branch just feet from the left hand side of the hide and stopped there for several minutes before flying across the pond and into the bushes at the far side.
Under the feeders beyond the pond there was a male and female Pheasant and a pair of Magpies picking through the scraps dropped from the feeders. I now left the Marsh Hide and made my way along the path through the trees, over the stream and up the steps to the Pond Hide. As I sat down a lone Jay was flying along the edge of the trees over to the far left hand side of the pond and sat on the ground to the left of the hide, below the feeders, was a single Canada Goose.
Out on the water there were several more Mallards and a pair of Tufted Ducks and wading along the edge of a small island in the middle of the pond was a Grey Heron. Visiting the feeders to the left of the hide were Great Tits and Blue Tits, whilst perched above the feeders in a tree overhanging the pond was another Great Spotted Woodpecker. The Canada Goose now got up and waddled across the ground then slid down the embankment and hit the water with a loud slap before swimming off.
Feeding on the ground and occasionally perching just above the feeders were Robins and Dunnocks with a single Long Tailed Tit watching from the trees. The pair of Tufted Ducks now started to make their way across to the front of the hide, diving as they went and I could see them swimming along underneath the surface looking for food. They spent several minutes moving back and forth across the water in front of the hide, both on and beneath the surface of the water.
A male Reed Bunting had now joined the Robins & Dunnocks on the ground beneath the feeders and the Grey Heron had now moved to the back left banks of the pond. I left the hide and headed back along the path to the reserve entrance and as I walked through Golden Acre Park I saw a pair of Mallards with eight chicks in tow at the edge of the lake at the bottom of the park.
I have added a few photos and a full sightings list from my visit to Adel Dam Nature Reserve.