A North American vagrant in the form of a long-billed dowitcher was found up on the coal tips on the morning of 14th September. It was fairly elusive during the day giving only distant views but finally appeared late afternoon on New Flash giving good views. This is only the second record for this species at Fairburn Ings, the only previous encounter being back in 1981.

Long-billed dowitcher - Joe Seymour

Great egrets also started to make regular appearances around the flashes and a common scoter was discovered on the River Aire. The cattle egret is also still resident although it can be difficult to locate.


Waders reported around the flashes have been up to six spoonbill, two common sandpiper, five little ringed plover, three ringed plover, cattle egret, six green sandpiper, three dunlin, two curlew, little egret, two snipe, greenshank, great egret, water rail,  four avocet (seen on Hicksons Flash),  bittern,  and not forgetting the long-billed dowitcher.  A few migrants have been seen around in the form of whinchats and wheatears, also noted have been blackcap, willow warbler, swift and whitethroat

Curlew - Pete M

Raptors noted have been two peregrine, four red kite, two marsh harrier, osprey over heading south-west on 3rd September, four kestrel, two sparrowhawk, hobby on 12th September and 25 buzzard counted overhead on 13th September. Other notable sightings have been two cetti’s warbler, two raven, pintail, rook over south-west on 7th September, 40 wigeon over north-west on 9th September. A common scoter was seen flying over south-east and was later found on the River Aire around Bulholme on 14th September. A total of 160 meadow pipit flew over on 13th September.

Hobby - Jon Buxton

Main bay and village bay

Not much to report from this part of the reserve, two kingfishers were seen on the 3rd September, a single kingfisher and avocet on 8th September, and a cetti’s warbler by the roadside platform on 11th September.

A great egret and five little egret were seen from Charlies Hide on 12th September.

Coal Tips

Raptors noted have been buzzard, marsh harrier leaving its roost on 1st September, and a hobby over big hole. Quite a few sightings of bearded tits reported with a high of 12 being seen.  A wheatear was noted on Big Hole, and a ruff was seen on the south-east lagoon on 8th September. Other notable sightings were bittern, little egret, two ring-necked parakeets and eight pink-footed geese heading west.

Bearded tits - Joe Seymour

Visitor Centre

Seen on the feeders have been nuthatch, willow tit and a green woodpecker has been seen in the same area. Raptors noted have been buzzard, two kestrel and a red kite. Two greenshank were seen from Pick Up Hide.

Butterflies & Dragonflies

Current list of butterflies reported on the reserve are, meadow brown, speckled wood, red admiral, green-veined white, painted lady, comma, small tortoiseshell, brimstone, small white, large white, brown argus, small copper, common blue, holly blue

Sightings around the reserve of southern hawker, migrant hawker, common darter, ruddy darter, emerald damselfly, black-tailed skimmer, brown hawker

Migrant hawker - Pete M


Bees noted have been large earth bumblebee, common carder bee, tree bumblebee

A brown hare was seen on main bay stack on 3rd September and an adult & juvenile roe deer were seen from Pick Up Hide on 6th September.