• New Blogger Gael - Midwinter meander at St Aidan's

    The third and final of our new team of blogging volunteers is Gael - she recently started photographing wildlife and hasn't looked back! Here's her experience of a blustery walk around St Aidan's with me before Christmas:

    'One of my few memories of primary school is a lesson where we were given a selection of pamphlets about birds, and had to choose one and write about the bird. I chose lapwing, and because…

    • 28 Dec 2017
  • New Blogger - Phil - Fairburn Ings

    Sometimes we all get carried away with how rare the birds we see are, to the point where the more common but still amazing sights are overlooked. Our new blogger, Phil - took one of his first trips around Fairburn Ings and shares his experience.

    He'll be writing frequent blogs, and teaching his young daughter Poppy all about wildlife and why we should protect it along the way.

    'There is honestly nothing better than…

    • 24 Dec 2017
  • George's Introduction to St Aidan's & Sightings

    George, one of our very first blogging volunteers in the Aire Valley, visited St Aidan's this week. An eager self-proclaimed 'newbie' to bird watching, here's her experience:

    Bundled up from head to toe, with a new set of binoculars and enough enthusiasm to warm me on this very icy day, I set out on my first exploration of St Aidan's.

    This time of year is a great opportunity to see many species…

    • 19 Dec 2017
  • Fairburn Ings Sightings 19/12

    It's been a while since our last blog, but in the new year we'll be welcoming three new volunteers to the Aire Valley. Our social media and blogging volunteers, Gael, Georgina and Phil will be out on site collecting stories and information to share with our visitors and readers. 

    The ducks of St Aidan's may have had their own blog last week but they're showing up in great numbers at Fairburn too! We've had hundreds…

    • 19 Dec 2017
  • St Aidan's - Ducks: Bring on the Displays!

    Winter is definitely here. In addition to the ice and snow, more goosanders are on Lemonroyd lake and the river. And winter, is the trigger for ducks to start their quest to find their breeding partner by exhibiting display behaviours until spring, when they nest.

    Female goosander; a sawbill has a hooked bill and teeth-like lamellae to grip fish

    In most duck species, it is the female incites the males into courtship…

    • 13 Dec 2017
  • St Aidan's Sightings 08/12

    Fieldfares - Rob Hunton (Swillington Ings Bird Group - sibg1.wordpress.com)

    Many sightings are very similar to last week - marsh harriers are sighted daily (and at close quarters!) around the ridge and furrow/reedbed, joined by regular sparrowhawks, red kites and peregrine.

    Winter thrushes are on the up - redwing and fieldfare are being spotted regularly around the hillside.

    Marsh harrier - Rob Parsons (Swillington…

    • 8 Dec 2017
  • St Aidan's recent sightings blog

    Winter is bringing in the migrants at St Aidan’s now, and the Hillside has proved a good spot to see them. Monday brought in some great sighting of fieldfare this week. These are very social birds, spending the winter in flocks of anything from a dozen or two, to several hundred strong.

    This sighting was shortly followed by a flock of the UK’s smallest true thrush - the redwing. It’s creamy strip above the…

    • 1 Dec 2017