27th November – Wakefield Wanderings

Posted: December 13, 2011 in Bird Watching, Rochdale, Rossendale, Twitching
Tags: , , , , ,

An American Wigeon at Wintersett Reservoir near Wakefield was a lifer for one of our number, so, a trip was planned with a reasonable “supporting cast” to bolster our year totals. We reached a windy Wintersett and began sifting through lots of wildfowl and after a muddy trudge, we didn’t manage to locate the American Wigeon.” Lets try Anglers country park then”, which is only 200 yards away. Again lots of birds but no sign of our quarry, so, after 2 hours we began to think the bird had departed due to the strong winds of last night. We were then told that the bird was showing very well on Wintersett, and, you guessed it, we had to wade through the mud yet again! The bird was picked out and we were happy and after exchanging a few pleasantry’s. With Kevin Hughes and his friends from Cheshire we headed for Pugney’s Country Park, also in Wakefield. We had hoped to locate a juvenile Great Northern Diver but as we arrived the bird had been flushed off by the “plank balancers”, strange hobby that one! We had a good look around the immediate area for the diver but without success. A cracking male Red Crested Pochard was found though. We headed off to the other side of the River Calder to Calder Wetlands and managed to find a moulting male Smew, what a beauty he was! A quick check on RBA news revealed that the diver had returned to Pugneys, so did we. We then managed distant views of the bird as the “plank balancer” numbers had decreased (hopefully not due to drowning or freezing to death) In the end we managed to see all the species we had gone for but didn’t we have to work hard for them!

The Stig


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