ROWDY JAYS @ ADEL DAM
On Wednesday I went to Adel Dam Nature Reserve whichis 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 but warm day when I arrived at Adel Dam and I first headed for the Pond Hide which was fairly quiet apart from a few Blue Tits, Great Tits and Chaffinches. A Coal Tit made a visit to one of the log feeders just in front of the hide, extracting a nut and then flying off to the left into the trees. The number of Blue Tits and Great Tits now increased as they started to queue up in the trees next to the table feeder.
A juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker now flew in and landed on the far feeders as I spotted a Wren ferreting about in the tall plants at the edge of the pond. The log feeder to the front left of the hide was now visited by a Nuthatch for a few seconds before it was scared off by a Jay flying in from the left and landing on top of the feeder. In the trees high above the feeders there was a group of Crows calling to each other which was then drowned out by a very loud and noisy group of four Jays over to the right.
Once the rowdy Jays had gone quiet and flown off, a group of Stock Doves flew down and landed on the table feeder as a Nuthatch visited the far right hand log feeder. The Nuthatch flew off as a Great Spotted Woodpecker swooped down from the trees and landed on the log feeder. One of the four Jays now returned and landed on the middle log feeder, spending several minutes extracting nuts from it before departing over the pond and up into the tops of the trees.
A pair of juvenile Great Spotted Woodpeckers arrived at the feeders with one of them visiting the far feeders and the other heading for the left hand log feeder as a Robin made a visit to the table feeder. Normally you can see a narrow stream leading into the pond from the main stream which runs between the lake in Golden Acre Park and the main lake further down the reserve.
Today however it was completely obscured by tall and overgrown grass and plants, but emerging onto the pond where the stream joins it were a pair of Mandarin Duck chicks. The chicks were joined a few minutes later by a female Mandarin Duck and as the ducks were dabbling on the water the four Jays started making an almighty racket in the trees again, getting louder and louder before they disappeared in the direction of the lake.
I now left the Pond Hide and made my way along the path through the woods to the Lake Hide. The lake itself was fairly quiet with just a few Moorhens, Mallards and Mandarin Ducks with their chicks. The feeders were slightly busier with a few Blue Tits and Great Tits visiting with a Nuthatch making a brief visit whilst a Chiffchaff watched on from a bush above the feeders. I now made my way back through the reserve towards my car spotting a Blackbird and a few Magpies amongst the trees as I went.
I have attached a few photos and a full sightings list from my visit to Adel Dam Nature Reserve.