Doncaster Naturalists’ visit to RSPB St Aidens – Tuesday 28 May 2024.

The weather forecast was for a intermitten rain showers, and it was not wrong. Perhaps it was this that was responsible for a reduced turnout of just five members, lead by Joyce and Paul. Despite the weather, a most enjoyable day was had.

We started with a visit to view the resident Little Owl (as does everyone), the we had a Marsh Harrier fly over the car park, followed quickly by a heron. Then a Whitethroat was heard and seen feeding its young by the toilet block, then a Cetti’s Warbler callimg from the bushes, meaning we had nine species recorded before leaving the car park.

We were immediately impresswed by the number of Swift patrolling the sky at all levels; the count would well have exceeded a hundred if it had been possible to count such a rapid flight of these birds.

Another numerous bird we encounted throught the day was the Reed Bunting which could be heard and seen perching the amongst the low bushes.

However, the anticipated sightings of the Bitten and Black-necked Grebe did not happen for us. Perhaps we did not venture into their territory, dispite being advised by the site wardens in the car park, that they were showing well, the Bitten even had been seen with a chick. Perhaps another visit to this enchanting site (in better weather) might reveal them.

RSPB St Aidens
Common name Scientific name
Graylag Goose Anser anser
Mute Swan Cygnus olor
Shoveler Anas clypeata
Gadwall Anas strepera
Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
Pochard Aythya ferina
Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
Little Grebe (Dabchick) Tachybaptus ruficollis
Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
Feral Pigeon Columba livia
Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus
Swift Apus apus
Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
Coot Fulica atra
Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
Redshank Tringa totanus
Black-headed Gull Chroicocephalus ridibundus 
Common Tern Sterna hirundo
Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
Red Kite Milvus milvus
Buzzard Buteo buteo
Little Owl Athene noctua
Magpie Pica pica
Crow Corvus corone
Skylark Alauda arvensis
Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus
Swallow Hirundo rustica
Sand Martin Riparia riparia
House Martin Delichon urbica
Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
Garden Warbler Sylvia borin
Whitethroat (common) Sylvia communis
Robin Erithacus rubecula
Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
Common Tern Sterna hirundo
Heron Ardea cinerea
Cetti’s Warbler Cettia cetti