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 Adel Dam and as usual I headed for the Marsh Hide. The feeders were fairly quiet with just a few Blue Tits making regular visits and after a few minutes a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker flew down and landed on the left hand of the three log feeders. A pair of Coal Tits now emerged from the bushes to the left of the hide and landed on the table feeder amongst the Blue Tits.
They were now joined by Chaffinches, Great Tits and a pair of Nuthatches on the table feeders. The Great Spotted Woodpecker now flew across to the feeders at the far left hand side beyond the pond as a Jay flew in and landed on top of the log feeder. More and more Blue Tits were arriving in the bushes to my left, perching in the bush before flying down to the feeders. The Jay only spent a couple of minutes trying to extract a nut from the feeder before it was scared off by a noise that came from behind the hide.
A Nuthatch flew in and occupied the feeder vacated by the Jay but, after being unsuccessful in extracting a nut, it flew over to the table feeder. After feeding on the seeds it flew down the left hand side of the hide and landed about ten feet up a tree and began to inch round the trunk before flying back across to the table feeder. It picked up more seeds from the feeder and flew back down the left hand side of the hide, but this time landing on a moss covered tree stump.
After ferreting about in the cracks in the tree stump hiding its food it moved up to the top of the tree stump. It kept turning round, first looking right towards the feeders and then left off into the trees and then repeating a couple of times before flying back across to the feeders. As a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers squabbled over the feeders a rather bedraggled looking female Mandarin Duck meandered its way up the narrow stream and onto the small pond in front of the hide.
A pair of Jackdaws had now descended on the table feeders but only stayed for thirty seconds before rising up and heading towards the pond hide. A pair of Nuthatches now bickered over one of the log feeders with the winning bird tucking into the nuts and then flying off with its prize. I left the Marsh Hide and made my way along the path to the Pond Hide and the feeders to the left of this hide were also busy with even more Blue Tits.
Amongst the Blue Tits there were Great Tits and Chaffinches and another Coal Tit and after a few minutes a Nuthatch joined them. At the edge of the grass around the feeders there was a single Bank Vole, regularly popping out and taking the food dropped from the feeders. Out on the pond there were Mallards, Gadwalls, Moorhens and a couple of Black Headed Gulls. Back at the feeders a Dunnock and Robin had now joined the throng of Blue Tits visiting the feeder.
To the left of the hide there is a long branch that reaches out over the water which is occasionally used by a Kingfisher. I was hoping the Kingfisher would put in an appearance but as I looked at the branch a Willow Warbler flew along the water's edge and landed on the branch. After looking around for a minute or so it flew across the front of the hide and on to the trees on the right hand side of the pond.
I left the hide and started to make my way back to the car, paying a quick visit to the lake in Golden Acre Park where there were several Mallards and Black Headed Gulls. On the far side there was a trio of Mute Swans and a Grey Heron now flew overhead and landed near the top of a tree in the middle of the lake.
I have attached a few photos and a full sightings list from my visit to Adel Dam Nature Reserve.