WOODPECKER TENDS TO ITS YOUNG @ ADEL DAM


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 cloudy day upon my arrival at the car park and as I walked past the lake in Golden Acre Park I saw a Mute Swan with several cygnets in tow. Once I arrived at the reserve I went straight to the Marsh Hide and on the feeders were several young Great Tits being fed by their parents. On the small pond in front of the hide there were several Mandarin Duck chicks as well as one adult duck watching over them.

Blue Tits and Chaffinches now made regular visits to both the far feeders and the table feeder just in front of the hide. A pair of Stock Doves flew down from the tops of the trees and landed on the table feeder, scattering the smaller birds. A juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker now landed on a dead tree over to the left and inched its way up. A male Great Spotted Woodpecker flew in and landed on the far feeders and the juvenile moved across and landed on the wooden bar which held up the feeders.


The juvenile now started squawking at the male until it came up from the feeder and fed it. The male now repeated this several times feeding the now almost fully grown juvenile as Great Tits and Blue Tits now visited the log feeders in front of the hide. A Jay landed on the far right hand log feeder as another Jay watched on from the tree above. The other Jay flew down from the tree and after a brief argument both Jays flew off to the left, although one of the Jays returned and landed on the table feeder and proceeded to tuck into the seeds.

A pair of Jackdaws now descended on the table feeder before one of them flew over to the far feeders and the other went and landed on a branch over to the left hand side. Now the Jackdaws had left the table feeder, the Jay again returned and a Moorhen appeared from the reeds on the right hand side. I now left the hide and followed the path round to the Lake Hide and out on the water were several Mallards and a lone Tufted Duck. On the feeders to the left there were Great Tits, Blue Tits and Chaffinches as well as a single Coal Tit.


A Robin and a Reed Bunting were feeding on the ground below the feeders as a Nuthatch now tried to get at the nuts in the feeders. Over on the far side of the lake a Kingfisher was perched on a branch above the water and a little way to the right a Grey Heron was wading through the water looking for food. I now made may way back along the path to the Marsh Hide, where the Jay was back on the table feeder. I stayed a few minutes but it was now very quiet so I started to walk back to the car, spotting a single Crow perched on a branch over the waters of the lake in Golden Acre Park.


I have attached a full sightings list and a few photos from my visit to Adel Dam Nature Reserve.

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