Posted: Tuesday 1st November 2016 by Potteric

Fungi - credit Derek Parker Fungi - credit Derek Parker

Sightings and Photos for the Blog

Please send sightings and photos (taken at Potteric Carr) to potteric.sightings@ywt.org.uk

Link to Monthly Highlights

New Visitor Centre and car park - now open

The visitor centre will further enhance the experience of all those that come to the reserve and there will be a brand new shop and tearoom with lakeside views. Link to the official opening.


30th November - Wednesday

Jay - credit Malcolm Cook

Jay - credit Malcolm Cook


  • 1 Bittern- Huxter Well Marsh
  • 1 Marsh harrier- Huxter Well Marsh
  • 2 Jay - Willow pool feeders
  • 1 Willow tit- Willow pool feeders

Other: 1 Fox

Buffer Area

Sunset over Short Lane Fields - credit Richard Scott

Sunset over Short Lane Fields - credit Richard Scott


  • 1 Sparrowhawk - high over Low Ellers
  • c10,000 Starling - a reduced murmuration seen distantly from Short Lane. They were probably over Old Eaa/Decoy Marsh.

Records received from MC, RJS


29th November - Tuesday

  • 14 Mute Swan
  • 9 Pink-footed geese- flew low over Cottage Drain in the morning and appeared to go down on Loversal Carr Field
  • 350+ Greylag geese
  • 2 Shelduck
  • 40+ Wigeon
  • 60+ Gadwall
  • 200+ Teal
  • 24 Mallard
  • 110+ Shoveler
  • 18 Pochard
  • 24 Tufted duck
  • 17 Cormorant
  • 2 Bittern- seen in flight at Huxter Well Marsh
  • 3 Little egret
  • 2 Grey heron
  • 1 Little grebe
  • 3 Great crested grebe
  • 2 Marsh harrier- male and female
  • 2 Buzzard
  • 2 Kestrel - over the car park and Central Grassland
  • 5 Water rail - Decoy Lake (2), Lagoon, cell 2a (2)
  • 8 Moorhen
  • 116 Coot
  • 90+ Lapwing
  • 6 Snipe - 4 at Huxter Well Marsh and 2 at Decoy Lake
  • 1 Green woodpecker
  • 1 Great spotted woodpecker
  • 1 Jay
  • 8 Goldcrest - 4 in Beeston Plantation and 4 along the Access Track
  • 1 Cetti's warbler - singing in front of the visitor centre at dusk
  • 1 Chiffchaff- corner of Decoy Lake next to Mother Drain
  • c20,000 Starling - the murmuration over Low Ellers could be seen from the decking in front of the visitor centre
  • 1 Stonechat
  • 2 Pied wagtail
  • 16 Redwing - seen from the visitor centre late afternoon
  • 1 Mistle thrush - in car park

Other: 1 Fox

Buffer Area

  • c20,000 Starling - viewed from Short Lane, they went to roost in Low Ellers at 4.25pm

Records received from KL, SB, DC, AD, RJS, visitor reports


28th November - Monday

  • 13 Cormorant - in to roost at Old Eaa 
  • 4 Little egret - flew in from Carr Lodge
  • 1 GREAT WHITE EGRET- on cell 3a in front of the new Tofield Hide
  • 1 Sparrowhawk
  • 1 Water rail
  • 3 Snipe - Decoy Lake
  • c20,000 Starling - murmuration visible from the reserve
  • 3 Pied wagtail

Other: Common Darter - edge of Decoy Lake

Buffer Area

  • 1 MERLIN- see below
  • 1 Peregrine - see below
  • c20,000 Starling - went in to roost at 4.20pm. The flock was up high for about 20 mins before coming lower over Low Ellers. They were often in a tight flock and flying just below and above the trees. A Merlin chased in to the flock several times and then disappeared. The majority had gone in when a Peregrine came over Low Ellers quite high and onwards towards the town centre.

Records received from SB, RB, AD, Rob & Alan (Roving Rangers)


27th November - Sunday

  • 47 Pink-footed geese- SW at 12.30
  • 3 Shelduck - Huxter Well Marsh
  • 4 Little egret
  • 1 Sparrowhawk
  • 2 Buzzard
  • 15 Golden plover - West Scrape
  • 1 Green sandpiper- West Scrape
  • 7 Snipe - Huxter Well Marsh
  • 1 Jay - Willow Pool feeders
  • 1 Willow Tit- Willow Pool feeders

Records received from JK, MR


26th November - Saturday

Marsh tit - credit Adrian Andruchiw

Marsh tit - credit Adrian Andruchiw


  • 25 Wigeon
  • 260 Teal
  • 8 Cormorant - went to roost at Old Eaa
  • 3 Little egret
  • 1 Marsh harrier- imm male at Huxter Well Marsh
  • 2 Sparrowhawk
  • 4 Water rail - including one on show at Willow Pool
  • 4 Golden plover
  • 13 Snipe - Huxter Well Marsh
  • 1 Green woodpecker - Seven Arches Carr
  • 1 Great spotted woodpecker - Willow Pool
  • 1 Kingfisher
  • 1 Raven- S over Willow Marsh at 11.40. The first sighting since April.
  • 2 Coal tit - St Caths Copse
  • 1 Willow tit- Willow Pool
  • 1 MARSH TIT- Willow Pool
  • 4 Cetti's warbler
  • 5 Chiffchaff- Access Track (2), Willow Pool, pumping station, East Scrape
  • 5 Fieldfare - over
  • 15 Redwing - over
  • 1 Redpoll - over
  • 22 Goldfinch - Cottage Drain

Buffer Area

  • Starling - murmuration over Low Ellers at duskbut visible from the reserve

Records received from RJS, AA, SB, RB, DC, SBu, IH, JH, AD


25th November - Friday

Marsh tit - credit Richard Scott

Marsh tit - credit Richard Scott


  • 110 Pink-footed geese- 96 NW at 9.18am and 14 E at 9.52am
  • 2 Shelduck
  • 3 Little egret - Mother Drain
  • 1 Marsh harrier- cc
  • 1 Sparrowhawk
  • 3 Buzzard
  • 2 Kestrel
  • 2 Water rail - calling at cell 2a and seen at Willow Pool
  • 8 Snipe - 4 at both cell 2a and Decoy Lake
  • 2 Great spotted woodpecker - Willow Bank and near the reserve entrance
  • 2 Jay - Willow Pool feeders
  • 1 Willow tit- Willow Pool feeders
  • 1 MARSH TIT- Willow Pool feeders
  • 4 BEARDED TIT- seen from Mitchell Hde
  • 5 Cetti's warbler
  • 3 Chiffchaff- Big Hedge, Willow Pool and Access Track
  • 1 Greenfinch - Big Hedge
  • 1 Redpoll - over
  • c5 Siskin - Willow Pool

Buffer Area

  • 4 Water rail - Short Lane Fields drain and pond

Records received from RJS, SB, RB, DC, SBu, CCR, visitor reports


24th November - Thursday

  • 1 Bar-headed goose (escape)
  • 3 Shelduck - Huxter Well Marsh
  • 18 Wigeon - Huxter Well Marsh
  • 1 Goldeneye- cell 1b
  • 1 Little egret
  • 2 Marsh harrier
  • 3 Buzzard
  • 1 Kestrel
  • 49 Golden plover - West Scrape
  • 3 Snipe - cell 2a
  • 2 Jay - Willow Pool feeders
  • 1 Willow tit- Willow Pool feeders
  • 1 MARSH TIT- Willow Pool feeders
  • c10 Siskin - over Old Eaa

Records received from RJS, visitor reports


23rd November - Wednesday

  • 2 Shelduck - cell 1b
  • 1 Pintail- male
  • 1 Bittern- flew from the Lagoon to cell 2b
  • 2 Little egret - flew in from over M18
  • 3 Grey heron - in the big oak near Duchess Hide
  • 1 Kestrel
  • 4 Golden plover
  • 2-300 Lapwing
  • 2 Snipe - cell 2a
  • 1 Kingfisher - Mother Drain from the underbridge
  • Several large tit flocks included Goldcrest
  • 1 Willow tit- Willow Pool feeders
  • 1 MARSH TIT- heard calling near the Willow Pool feeders
  • 1 Siskin - over wardens car park

Buffer Area

  • c20,000Starling - over Low Ellers at 4pm

Records received from RB, SB and visitor reports


22nd November - Tuesday

  • 1 Bittern- walking on the island in front of Hawthorn Bank Hide
  • 2 Marsh harrier
  • 1 Water rail - in front of Willow Pool Hide for 10 mins
  • 1 Barn owl- flew over Great Yorkshire Way (near the iPort) to Huxter Well Marsh
  • 1 Great spotted woodpecker - Loversal Bank
  • 8 Goldcrest
  • 1 Willow tit- Willow Pool
  • 2 Mistle thrush - one singing at the pumping station and one at the visitor centre
  • 30+ finches - a flock on Loversal Bank, mainly Goldfinch and a few Siskin

Buffer Area

  • 3 Little egret - on flooded Short Lane Fields at 9.30 am.
  • 44 Magpie SLF at 4.05pm
  • c20,000Starling in to roost at Low Ellers Marsh at 4.20pm. Put on a show for 35 mins. Watched from Short Lane path

Records received from SB, RB, DC, SBu, DJ (hide logbook), SC per Doncaster Birding


20th November - Sunday

Fox and hybrid Pochard x Tufted duck - credit Richard Scott

Fox - credit Richard Scott

hybrid Pochard x Tufted duck - credit Richard Scott


  • 540 Greylag geese
  • 29 Canada geese
  • 1 Bar-headed goose (escape)
  • 2 Shelduck
  • 43 Wigeon
  • Aythya hybrid - drake Pochard x Tufted duck on cell 2a
  • 1+ Bittern- seen in flight twice at Huxter Well Marsh
  • 1 Little egret
  • 1 Marsh harrier- cc
  • 2 Sparrowhawk
  • 4 Buzzard
  • 1 Kestrel
  • 1 Dunlin- cell 1b
  • 5 Snipe - Huxter Well Marsh
  • 32 Herring gull - cell 1b
  • 17 Great black-backed gull - NW
  • 1 Green woodpecker
  • 1 MARSH TIT- Willow Pool feeders
  • 1 Mistle thrush - singing next to Sedum House
  • 5 Bullfinch
  • c10 Redpoll - Piper Marsh Scrub and Hawthorn Bank

Other: 2 Foxes - St Caths Field and Willow Pool

Records received from RJS, AF, DC, SBu, JK


19th November - Saturday

Redwing - credit Allen Holmes

Green woodpecker - credit Richard Scott

Redwing - credit Allen Holmes


  • 500+ Greylag geese
  • 24 Canada geese
  • 1 Bar-headed goose (escape)
  • 3 Shelduck
  • 50 Wigeon
  • 1 Bittern- in the reeds opposite Hawthorn Bank Hide
  • 5 Little egret
  • 2 Marsh harrier- cc and imm male
  • 3 Sparrowhawk - up together
  • 6+ Buzzard
  • 1 Kestrel
  • 2 Water rail
  • 17 Golden plover - West Scrape
  • 9 Common gull
  • 2 Kingfisher
  • 1 Green woodpecker - feeding on the embankment in front of Mitchell Hide
  • 2 Great spotted woodpecker
  • c15 Goldcrest
  • 1+ Willow tit- Willow Pool feeders
  • 1 MARSH TIT- Willow Pool feeders. The diagnostic 'pitchoo' call was heard (RJS, HW). This follows a report of a Marsh tit at the feeders on Tuesday. Link to  Separation of Willow tit and Marsh Tit
  • 5 Cetti's warbler
  • 2 Stonechat- male and female flew to St Caths Field from Huxter Well Marsh
  • 4 Mistle thrush - Beeston Plantation
  • 3 Redpoll - over
  • 8 Siskin - over

Other: Fox on the balustrade in front of the new visitor centre

Records received from RJS, DW, HW

Marsh tit takes the year list to 163 species. Last seen in 2008.


Wood mouse (taken on 16th) credit Anthony Robinson

Wood mouse -  credit Anthony Robinson


Feathered thorn and December moth (taken after Monday night's moth trapping session) - credit Derek Parker

Feathered thorn - credit Derek Parker

December moth - credit Derek Parker


16th November - Wednesday

Whooper swans - credit Paul Paddock

Whooper swans - credit Paul Paddock

Whooper swans - credit Paul Paddock

Whooper swans - credit Paul Paddock


  • 9 WHOOPER SWAN- 5 adults and 4 young on cell 1b but departed at 10.30am (PP)
  • 3 Shelduck - cell 1b
  • 1 Bittern
  • 2 Little egret - cell 1b
  • 1 Sparrowhawk - Piper Marsh
  • 1 Buzzard - Piper Marsh
  • 1 Kestrel - Piper Marsh

Other: Wood mouse, Common darter

Records received from PP, ARo per MF


15th November - Tuesday

  • 16 Mute swan
  • 350+ Greylag geese
  • 1 Shelduck
  • 10 Wigeon
  • 201 Teal
  • 74 Mallard
  • 63 Shoveler
  • 41 Pochard
  • 35 Tufted duck
  • 14 Cormorant
  • 1 Bittern- cell 2a
  • 7 Little egret - Mother Drain / Huxter Well Marsh
  • 4 Grey heron
  • 2 Great crested grebe
  • 1 Marsh harrier- Piper Marsh
  • 1 Buzzard
  • 1 Kestrel
  • 4 Water rail - calling at Piper Marsh and cell 2a (3)
  • 8 Moorhen
  • 104 Coot
  • 3 Golden plover
  • 400+ Lapwing
  • 1 Common gull
  • 1 Kingfisher
  • 4 Goldcrest - St Catherines Copse
  • 1 Willow tit- Willow Pool
  • 9 Cetti's warbler - Huxter Well Marsh (5), Piper Marsh (3) and Willow Marsh
  • 15 Long tailed tit - Willow Bank
  • 3 Redwing - Willow Bank
  • 1 Pied wagtail

Other: Water vole in Mother drain near the main gate

Records received from KL, SB, DC, SBu

Sunday's and Monday's sightings have been updated


14th November - Monday

Bar-headed goose - credit Amy Thompson

Bar-headed goose - credit Amy Thompson


  • 20,000+Starling - started to gather at 3.45pm and put on an excellent display going in to roost at 4.12pm. A Sparrowhawk caused a panic but that increased the spectacle!!! Viewed from the edge of Short Lane Fields, near the weir bridge overlooking Low Ellers.

Other: Water vole in Mother drain neat the main gate

Records received from SB, RB


13th November - Sunday

  • 90 Pink-footed geese- E at 9.35am
  • 440 Greylag geese
  • 6 Canada geese
  • 1 Bar-headed goose (escape)
  • 4 Little egret
  • 1 GREAT WHITE EGRET- reported from Duchess Hide early morning
  • 5+ Buzzard
  • 4 Water rail
  • 101 Golden plover
  • 1 Kingfisher
  • 2 Great spotted woodpecker - Black Carr Wood and St Caths Copse
  • c25Goldcrest
  • 2 Willow tit- Willow Pool, not ringed
  • 3 BEARDED TIT- Old Eaa (LH)
  • 2 Skylark - over
  • 8 Cetti's warbler
  • 1 Linnet - NE
  • 2 Redpoll - over

Records received from RJS, AA, MR, SB, LH


12th November - Saturday

Roe deer - credit Barry Wardley

Roe deer - credit Barry Wardley


  • 1 WHOOPER SWAN- cell 1b
  • 500 Greylag geese - cell 1b. Including 2 with neck collars (orange SBJ and SAU) and a white individual.
  • 27 Canada geese - cell 1b
  • 3 Shelduck
  • 51 Wigeon
  • 25 Gadwall
  • 250 Teal
  • 61 Mallard
  • 2 Pintail- females on cell 1b
  • 77 Shoveler
  • 61 Pochard
  • 21 Tufted duck
  • 1 drake  Aythya hybrid - Pochard x Tufted duck on cell 2a
  • 1 Bittern - Huxter Well Marsh
  • 3 Little egret
  • 1 GREAT WHITE EGRET- seen with 3 Little egrets (visitor report per RS)
  • 1 Marsh harrier- cc at Huxter Well Marsh
  • 2 Water rail
  • 208 Golden plover - numbers increased during the day at West Scrape
  • 206 Lapwing - West Scrape
  • 1 Woodcock- flushed from path beside St Caths Field
  • 1 Kingfisher - Huxter Well Marsh
  • 1 Green woodpecker - Seven Arches Carr
  • 1 Great spotted woodpecker - over Black Carr Wood
  • 1 Rook - over
  • 12 Goldcrest
  • 10 Cetti's warbler - including birds at the former Decoy Bank and the pond at Short Lane Fields
  • 1 Chiffchaff- calling near Mitchell Hide
  • c20,000 Starling - gathered over Low Ellers after 4pm
  • 8 Blackbird
  • 20 Redwing - over
  • 10 Siskin

Other: Wood mouse near Piper Marsh Hide

Records received from RJS, DW, RS


11th November - Friday

  • 1 Great spotted woodpecker - calling near Beeston Plantation
  • 9+ Goldcrest - including 4 behind Sedum House

Other: several Common darters

Records received from AD


9th November - Wednesday

Long-tailed tit - credit Michael Flowers

Long-tailed tit - credit Michael Flowers


  • 1 Bar-headed goose (escape) - cell 1b
  • 3 Shelduck - cell 1b
  • 23 Wigeon - Huxter Well Marsh
  • 8 Pintail- cell 2a
  • 1 BAR-TAILED GODWIT- on the exposed mud at the back of cell 1b (RJS)
  • 5 Snipe - Huxter Well Marsh
  • 1 Green woodpecker - Huxter Well Marsh
  • 1 Willow tit- Cottage Drain near the pumping station
  • c30 Long-tailed tit
  • 2 Chiffchaff- calling along the Access Track

Other: 1 Fox

Records received from RJS, PP

Bar-tailed godwit takes the year list to 162 species - a new record and with nearly 2 months remaining in 2016

Sightings for 7th and 8th have been updated


8th November - Tuesday

Pintail and Cetti's warbler - credit Michael Flowers

Pintail - credit Michael Flowers

Cetti's warbler - credit Michael Flowers


  • 180 Pink-footed geese- 120 SE and 60 W at 9.35
  • 230+ Greylag geese
  • 24 Canada geese
  • 1 Bar-headed goose (escape)
  • 2 Shelduck
  • 31 Wigeon
  • 18 Gadwall
  • 140+ Teal
  • 1 Pintail- male on cell 2a
  • 60+ Shoveler
  • 33 Pochard
  • 8 Tufted Duck
  • 4 Grey heron
  • 110+ Coot
  • 3 Jays - Hawthorn Field
  • 1 Woodcock- Loversall Field
  • 1 Common gull
  • 8 Goldcrest
  • 5 Cetti's warbler
  • 30+ Blackbird - feeding in berry bushes (near entrance, Hawthorn Triangle and Big Hedge)
  • 12 Redwing
  • 2 Bullfinch
  • 10 Goldfinch

Other: 8 Brown rats at the Willow Pool feeding station

Records received from KL, MR, DC, SBu, HW, PG, DH, GC, BW, MF, Sedum House logbook


7th November - Monday

  • 3 Goldeneye- male and 2 females on Huxter Well Marsh ( per Sedum House logbook)

6th November - Sunday

Green woodpecker - credit Kev Dunnington

Wood mouse - credit Richard Scott

Green woodpecker - credit Kev Dunnington

Wood mouse - credit Richard Scott


  • 12 WHOOPER SWAN- E at 8.35am (MR)
  • 175 Pink-footed geese- E in 3 skeins between 9.40 and 9.45am
  • 236 Greylag geese - cell 1b
  • 27 Canada geese - cell 1b
  • 1 Bar-headed goose (escape) - cell 1b
  • 1 Shelduck
  • 60 Wigeon
  • 3 Little egret
  • 2 Marsh harrier- adult and imm male at Huxter Well Marsh
  • 2 Water rail - cell 2a
  • 1 KITTIWAKE- an adult arrived at Huxter Well Marsh from the SE at 12.40 but departed soon after 1pm (RJS)
  • 320 Woodpigeon - S
  • 1 Collared dove - over
  • 1 Kingfisher
  • 1 Green woodpecker - on the embankment in front of Mitchell Hide
  • 1 Great spotted woodpecker - Decoy Marsh
  • 1 Willow tit- Piper Marsh
  • 2 Chiffchaff- calling along the Access Track
  • c10,000 Starling - to roost. A Sparrowhawk was in attendance!
  • 2 Stonechat- male and female in St Caths Field
  • 2 Redpoll
  • 10 Siskin

Other: Wood mouse in Black Carr Wood

Records received from RJS, MR, JK, DW, IH, JH


5th November - Saturday

  • 1 Shelduck
  • 31 Wigeon
  • 1 Goldeneye- fem/imm cell 1b
  • 3 Little egret -2 on lagoon 1 mobile
  • 1 Marsh harrier- imm male
  • 1 Sparrowhawk
  • 3 Buzzard
  • 1 Kestrel
  • 2 Water rail
  • 4 Snipe
  • 1 Kingfisher
  • 2 Great spotted woodpecker
  • 12 Goldcrest
  • 4 Coal tit
  • 1 Chiffchaff - access track
  • 1 Treecreeper
  • 9 Fieldfare - including 8 W
  • 50 Redwing
  • 2 BLACK REDSTART- fem/imms at the new visitor centre at 2pm and at least one still present at 4pm (DW). This is only the 4th record for the reserve, the last was on 6th November 1984.
  • 1 Redpoll
  • 1 Siskin

Other: 1 Common darter - big hedge

Records received from DW, RJS, SF

Black redstart takes the year list to 161 species, equalling last year's record total.


4th November - Friday

  • 1+  Bittern- seen from Hawthorn Bank Hide and Mitchell Hide
  • 1 Little egret - Piper Marsh
  • 1 Marsh harrier- Piper Marsh
  • 3 Dunlin- West Scrape
  • 5 BEARDED TIT- seen and photographed somewhere in the Loversall Delph area ( per AD). Willow Marsh and Reedbed Filtration Ponds will be worth a look and listen tomorrow!

Records received from AA


3rd November - Thursday

  • c60 Pink-footed geese- E
  • 1 Woodcock- Black Carr Field
  • 10,000+ Starling - fantastic murmuration over Decoy Lake/Old Eaa

Records received from MR, AD


2nd November - Wednesday

Fly agaric - credit Richard Scott

Fly agaric - credit Richard Scott


  • 1 Chiffchaff- calling along the Access Track
  • c50 Goldfinch - near the compound. The flock included a few Siskins.

Records received from MR, RJS


1st November - Tuesday

  • 1 Shelduck - Old Eaa
  • 82+ Wigeon
  • 38 Pochard
  • 2 Bittern- one flew from Decoy Marsh to Old Eaa in the morning and one was on Willow Marsh at 1.30pm but flew to Huxter Well Marsh
  • 3 Great crested grebe
  • 1 Marsh harrier- cc on Huxter Well Marsh
  • 1 Kestrel - Huxter Well Marsh
  • 2 Water rail - on Decoy Marsh at dusk
  • 180+ Golden plover
  • 350+ Lapwing
  • 1 Snipe - over Huxter Well Marsh
  • 2 Jay - Loversall Carr Fields
  • 10 Goldcrest
  • 3 Cetti's warbler
  • 1000+ Starling - c1000 dropped in on Low Ellers at 4.25pm and a distant large group went to Huxter Well Marsh
  • 11 Fieldfare - over
  • c20 Redwing - dropped into Willow Marsh scrub at 3pm
  • 8 Redpoll

Records received from KL, SB, DC, SBu 

Read Potteric's latest blog entries.

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