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Bradford Dale - 27th February 2022

Updated: Sep 21, 2022

Location: Bradford Dale

Attendees – Jayne, Ann, Sharon, Clare, Suzanne and David.

Date of tour: 27th February 2022 Number of species - 38

For once it was nice to start the walk without getting wet as the weather was dry and bright. I had six guests on todays walk plus my partner Lynne. We made our introductions and headed straight for the River Bradford. Mallard, Moorhen, Woodpigeon and Jackdaw were seen after a few minutes and a singing Song Thrush was heard, then spotted filling the air with its stunning song. There was a Mistle Thrush singing too but we couldn’t pick it out.

As with the previous tour we took the detour around to see what was on the fishing pond and as we climbed the slope we had great views of Bullfinch, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Robin and distant views of a Great-spotted Woodpecker that was doing it’s best to remain hidden. Here we had a small flock of Redwing fly past but heading away from us.

We walked towards the farm and House Sparrows were scurrying around the hedgerows and Starling were perched on telephone wires showing the best of their iridescent plumage in the sun, a real treat through the scope.

On and around the fishing pond was Grey Heron, Coot, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan and feeding in the field beyond was another first for me at this site, Curlew. We watched them using their long-curved bills to find food deep in the soil before heading back down Mawstone Lane and re-joining the river. Greenfinch were singing and a Grey Wagtail landed near the river for a moment before flying on to the rooftop of a near by house.

Magpies called and chased each other while as we carried on towards the river crossing and in to Dipper country.

We soon had our first Dipper, only for a moment, but better sightings were to come. Dunnock and Great Tit were in the trees singing for a short time, nice to hear but not yet in the full song of spring. We saw Dipper again, this time on the far bank and it was collecting nesting material and disappearing behind one of the weirs. This isn’t its usual nesting spot, so did we have a second pair on the river? We watched for a good while as both male and female were going backwards and forwards with more and more twigs and leaf litter. Eventually we had to drag ourselves away to walk further upstream.

The second pair of Dipper were at the usual nesting site, which meant we now definitely had two breeding pairs.

We reached the ‘books in the wall’ and were treated to wonderful views of Treecreeper and a preening Dipper gifted us more great behaviour to observe.

Buzzard flew over before we headed back, this time along the opposite side of the bank.

This proved to be a good decision, I wish it was mine, as we came across a huge tree covered in lichen and mosses. Feeding in the tree was Goldcrest, Long-tailed Tit, Goldfinch, and a Wren belting out its song. We spent a good twenty minutes enjoying the views and then continued back towards the cars. The water here is so clear, and we watched a Little Grebe swim under the water like a torpedo, covering 10-15m in just a few seconds. A pair of Collared Dove darted away from us as we crossed the river again and Blackbird fed in the leaf litter.

The cars were in sight, but we still had a few more new birds to enjoy. Nuthatch called and fed, and a Carrion Crow hailed its presence from above while Coal Tit showed itself to give us a grand total of 38 birds for the day.

It had been a great morning, my kind of bird watching. Great birds, great company and all at a snail’s pace. I couldn’t have asked for more, a huge thank you to the group and hope to see you again soon.


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