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Bird Report for 2007

by Jim Pewtress

Mute Swan
One Gilling, Redcar Farm and two Gilling Lakes on 11th March, two on R. Derwent, Old Malton on 17th August.

Whooper Swan
Four at Sykes on 25th March were thought to be this species.

Greylag Goose
Skeins of 50 Slingsby on 10th January.

Canada Goose
Five at Slingsby on 9th April, two Shaw Rigg on 26th April with reports also from Farndale and Lake Gormire.

Pink-footed Goose
50 over Sykes on 25th February, 100 Rudland Farms and intakes on 6th April and 60 at Sykes on 18th September.

30 in Rosedale on 3rd February.

15 at Kirkbymoorside Pond on 3rd February when eight at Gilling Lakes, six on the R. Derwent, Old Malton on 3rd October and 20 at Howkeld Mill on 16th November.

Tufted Duck
Six at Gormire Lake on 14th January, eight on 8th April with eight at Helmsley on 13th and a pair at Slingsby on 25th . Eight at Lake Gormire on 7th October.

Common Scoter
Four flew north-east over Kirkbymoorside on 23rd August with 58 west on 4th September.

Three at Lake Gormire on 14th January, a male flew down the R Dove at Kirkby Mills on 20th, two in Rosedale on 3rd February with five on 18th, two at Gilling Lakes on 9th March and one on 11th.

Red Grouse
Reported from the moorland areas of Bransdale, Rosedale and Snilesworth and also from Sutton Bank and Cow House Bank. Apparently a record number of Grouse were shot on Snilesworth estate after a three year break from shooting.

Red-legged Partridge
Small covies of six at Slingsby on 25th February and seven on 9th September.

Grey Partridge
Two at Gilling on 4th February, pair at Harome on 23rd March, four at Sutton Bank on 24th and reported from Bransdale on 9th November.

Common Pheasant
As one would expect numbers from the shooting estates are quite significant i.e. 262 at Hawnby on an Atlas count on 29th December.

Little Grebe
Reported from Lake Gormire on 8th June.

Grey Heron
Six at Robson Spring Wood on 25th January and four at Slingsby on 18th February were the only counts, singles at several sites but no reports from the two breeding sites.

Red Kite
One at Wass Wood on 15th July.

Hen Harrier
One in Rosedale on 26th January.

Marsh Harrier
One in Bransdale on 29th August

Northern Goshawk
Two in Rosedale on 2nd February, with singles at Helmsley on 3rd, Thornton Dale on 7th March, Snilesworth on 4th June and Slingsby on 21st October. There appear to be at least five pairs breeding in the recording area.

Eurasian Sparrowhawk
Singles reported from Black Plantation, Bransdale, Duncombe Park, Kirkbymoorside, Old Malton, Slingsby and Sykes House with two at Yearsley.

Common Buzzard
Becoming increasingly common with two at Old Byland on 17th March, four at Lidmoor on 9th, two at Old Byland on 4th April, two at Slingsby on 26th May, five at Lidmoor on 30th with two on 2nd June. Two at Cow House Bank on 29th July, two at East Ness on 11th August and four at Bank Wood, Hovingham on 15th September. Single at Court House Farm on 28th, three at Lidmoor on 15th October, two at Rudland Farm/Intakes on 28th and three at Obtruch, Farndale on 17th December. Singles reported from Gormire Lake, High Guide Post, Kilburn, Ousegill and Rudland Rigg.

Singles reported mostly from the north of the area in all months. Present all year at Slingsby.

Singles in Bilsdale on 8th April, Ousegill on 3rd July, Rudland Rigg on 8th, juvenile at South Holme on 24th and a female at Slingsby on 2nd October.

Single at Sykes on 20th July.

[Roughlegged Buzzard]
One reported from Nunnington on 4th November. To be confirmed.

Common Moorhen
Reported mostly from the southern part of the area with max counts of eight at Old Malton on 24th July and five on 3rd October. Frequently seen near the Micrometalsmiths Pond, Kirkbymoorside with a max of six on many dates.

Four at Gilling Lakes on 3rd February and four at Lake Gormire on 8th April.

European Golden Plover
Early bird on the moor on 7th January, 21at High Park on 21st with 80 at Rudland Farm/Intakes on 22nd and 80 at Rigg Road on 3rd February. Flock of 150 remained at Slingsby from 11th March to 15th April. Seven at Kirkbymoorside on 16th November.

Northern Lapwing
One on the moor on 2nd January. 100 at Slingsby from 6th to 14th. Small parties of 15 on Rudland Rigg in early February. 54 at Slingsby on 18th , 70 at Amotherby on 20th and 20 at Sutton Bank on 24th March. 12 territorial flights noted at Slingsby Carrs on 2nd March. First nest with three eggs on Shaw Rigg on 18th April. Fifty at Slingsby on 1st July, 14 at Chapel Rough on 5th and 34 at Slingsby on 4th November.

Common Snipe
Two at Sutton Bank on 24th March, one at Shaw Rigg on 15th and 30th and one at Ousegill Head on 1st August.

Eurasian Curlew
One on Harland Moor on 26th February, pair at Slingsby Carr on 2nd March, three on Shaw Rigg on 3rd, four at Slingsby on 14th April with nest on Shaw Rigg on 18th. Five there on 17th May with two pairs on 25th. One at Black Plantation on 9th June. Pairs also reported from Ampleforth and West Lund Lane, Kirkbymoorside.

Three in Sykes area on 19th February, two at Gilling on 12th April, three at Chapel Rough on 17th June. Singles elsewhere at Hartoft Forest, Hawnby and Rigg Road.

Black-headed Gull
Regular flights over Slingsby to Castle Howard. Twenty at Sutton Bank on 24th March, 50 Sykes area on 15th April, 400 at Slingsby on 23rd September and 1000 Low Carr Farm, Pickering on 17th November.

Common Gull
50 Sykes area on 23rd March with 10 on 6th April and 30 at Boon Hill on 27th.

Lesser Black-backed Gull
Singles at Slingsby on 28th January and 22nd April, two Shaw Rigg on 17th May and five at Old Malton on 25th August. 28 at Kirkbymoorside on 2nd September.

Other than 100 at Sutton Bank on 24th March and 200 at Helmsley on 17th April all counts came from Slingsby early in the year. 157 on 21st January, 212 on 25th February with a maximum of 562 on 18th March.

Stock Dove
Four at Slingsby on 26th May, 12 at Old Malton on 31st July and reported from Farndale and Hawnby.

Collared Dove
Whilst reported from throughout the area the only count was of four at Helmsley.

European Turtle Dove
Two at Thornton Dale on 11th June, three at Spiers House on 22nd and one at Cow House Bank on 15th and 29th July.

First at Chapel Rough on 21st April, thereafter singles at Great Arden Moor on 6th May, Gilling Wood on 7th, Slingsby on 11th and 12th, Rosedale Bank Top and Shaw Rigg on 15th. Slingsby on 2nd June, Welburn Farm on 6th, Gilling Village on 14th, Ousegill on 20th, Slingsby on 21st and again on 23rd.

Barn Owl
Bred Slingsby with the first chicks calling on 16th April, four eggs and two recent born chicks on 1st May with female feeding young on 7th. Evidence would suggest that one chick was eaten. Still calling from box on 24th August and 3rd September with two adults and two juveniles circling the box on 26th. Elsewhere singles reported from East Ness, Great Baraugh, Harome, Malton, Normanby, Stonegrave, Welburn Grange and West Ness. Despite the bad weather in June it was a good breeding year with occasional double broods which was reflected around the country.

Little Owl
A drop in numbers with the only records of singles at Gilling on 4th Febraury, West Ness on 23rd May, Rievaulx on 8th June, Gilling on 9th and Slingsby on 10th October.

Tawny Owl
Reported from Ampleforth, Farndale, Gilling, Kirkbymoorside, Old Malton, Slingsby, Sykes and West Ness.

Long-eared Owl
Two at Hartoft Forest on 7th July.

Singles: Sykes area on 25th June, Cow House Bank (trapped) on 26th, Hartoft Forest on 7th July, Sykes area on 19th and 20th and Shaw Rigg and Hartoft Forest on 29th.

Common Swift
First at Ampleforth on 24th April then at Slingsby on 1st May with good numbers back by 10th. 100 at Slingsby on 15th July with the last on 28th August. Forty at Thornton Dale on 4th August.

One Thornton Dale on 20th February, two on 31st March, singles at Old Malton on 17th and 25th August, Gilling Wood on 25th and Thornton Dale on 18th and 28th November. Reported from Duncombe Park.

Green Woodpecker
Single birds reported from north of the area with two at Gilling Lakes on 3rd March, Gilling Village on 26th and Rigg Road on 23rd July. One Hutton-le-Hole 13th May, West Lund Lane on 1st September and Low Park on 9th. Calling at Cow House Bank on several days in July and August.

Great Spotted Woodpecker
Single birds reported from throughout the area with three at Gilling Lakes on 21st May, four on 27th and two at Old Malton on 24th July.

Most records from the Slingsby area with counts of 10 on 15th April and nine on 22nd with upto eight at other times. Four at Murton Grange on 12th May with three there on 17th June. Reported from Gilling, Helmsley, Ousegill and Snilesworth.

Sand Martin
The floods in June washed out the Helmsley colony on two separate occasions. An early count on 1st May indicated approximately 80 occupied holes scattered along the river bends. Unfortunately the banks on this stretch of river are not very high and consequently a rise in river levels of only one or two meters can have a catastrophic effect. There were still about 50 birds present in early August with family parties, which would indicate breeding attempts when the waters subsided. A movement south at Hovingham Lodge noted on 15th September.

First bird at Rudland on 4th April then two at Pickering on 8th. Fifty at Slingsby on 14th and 24th August, 80 at Ings Lane on 2nd September and the last at Kirkby Mills on 23rd.

House Martin
A protracted year with the first 10 birds arriving at Gilling on 22nd April and the last at Slingsby on 20th October. 60 at Rievaulx on 27th August, 50 at Slingsby on 9th September, 100 Sykes area on 13th declining to 30 by 15th.

Tree Pipit
Singles at Gilling Woods on 21st May, Gormire Lake on 8th June, Yearsley on 10th and Chapel Rough on 15th.

Meadow Pipit
Reported from eight sites but only counts of six at Sutton Bank on 14th July and two at Ousegill on 27th November.

Yellow Wagtail
One at Gilling on 3rd June, a pair at Fryton crossroads on 16th June and one at Sykes area on 13th September.

Grey Wagtail
Nested Slingsby-feeding at nest on 8th May with fledged young feeding on lawn on 26th May and 29th June. One at Thornton Dale on 1st February, two at Gilling on 5th April, two at Ousegill on 26th, female at Helmsley SW on 20th May with six at Duncombe Park on 7th June. One at Old Malton on 3rd October, Howkeld Mill on 6th, two at Lake Gormire on 7th and Gilling on 22nd November.

Pied Wagtail
Usually seen in ones and twos from all areas with four at Gilling on 3rd February, two at Slingsby on 22nd July, Gilling on 5th August and 30 at Slingsby on 25th November. One collecting nesting material at Slingsby on 6th June.

Eight at Pickering on 15th December.

Up to four recorded from many sites with max counts: Five at Slingsby on 28th March, eight on 9th April, five at Helmsley on 4th June, six at Slingsby on 1st July, Old Malton on 4th with seven there on 3rd October and five at Cow House Bank on 9th December.

Up to four from many sites with the following counts from Slingsby: Monthly max, 10 on 4th January, 19 on 11th February, 14 on 15th April and 13 on 26th May.

Common throughout the area with double figure counts of: 13 at Helmsley on 3rd February, 11 at Old Malton on 6th September and 10 on 3rd October.

Black Redstart
Single at Spout House, Bransdale on 12th August.

Common Redstart
First bird in Farndale on 27th April, at Sykes on 29th when four were in Bilsdale. Two at Ampleforth on 1st May, one at Stoneleigh Wood on 9th and Rievaulx on 8th June. Two in Bilsdale on 9th August, one at Sykes on 22nd and the last at Levisham Moor on 1st September. Five pulli ringed in Nettledale on 3rd June.

Singles in Rosedale on 15th May, Ousegill on 29th and 5th June, three in Rosedale on 17th and two at Ousegill on 20th.

One Rosedale on 26th January, four at Whitesykes on 30th April and Levisham Bottom on 27th August. Four on Harland Moor on 23rd October with a male and female/immature on Middleton Moor on 27th October. Singles also recorded from nine sites along the moorland edge.

Northern Wheatear
First returning bird on Snilesworth Moor on 6th April. Three at Rosedale on 13th, Lockton High Moor on 20th and Shaw Rigg on 26th with two at Whitesykes on 28th and 30th. One on Rudland Rigg from 27th August to 29th October and the last at Syckersons on 6th November.

Ring Ouzel
Two at Rosedale and one at Shaw Rigg on 6th April the first returning birds. Up to three in the Ousegill and Shaw Rigg area from 12th April until the last at Ousegill on 15th October. Elsehwere: Seven on Lockton High Moor on 20th April, two on the Hambleton Hills on 22nd April, four at Snileswoth Moor on 4th June and three in Rosedale on 20th September. Three pulli ringed at Ousegill on 19th June.

Whilst a common bird, counts only came from Kirkbymoorside Golf Club with 30 on 15th December and the rest from Slingsby with monthly max of 19 on 21st January, 22 on 24th February and 23 on 9th April. Fifteen on 15th July.

A bird found dead in Farndale on 4th November had been ringed at Utsire, Norway on 30th September, 654 km.

One hundred at Slingsby on 6th and 17th January, 50 in the Sykes area on 8th and Rudland on 18th. 100 at Oldstead on 20th, 105 at Slingsby on 21st and 40 at Harome on 25th. 80 at Slingsby on 11th and 25th February, 70 on 3rd March and 50 on 23rd. 50 at Sutton Bank on 24th, 200 in Sykes area on 8th April, 50 at Rudland Farms/intake on 12th when a further 60 in Bransdale the last. Returning bird at Slingsby on 28th October with 40 there on 28th November. Small parties of up to 40 birds frequently seen.

Song Thrush
Up to five recorded from sites through out the area.

Fifty in the Sykes area from 12th January to 8th April with a late bird at Chapel Rough on 21st. Fifty back at Chapel Rough on 2nd October then small parties of 16 at Slingsby on 4th November, 25 at KMGC on 15th December, 30 at Gilling on 25th and Sykes area on 29th.

Mistle Thrush
Pair bred in a Slingsby garden and three pulli ringed at Ousegill on 19th May. Ten on Rigg Road on 7th January, 35 in Sykes area on 30th July and 50 on 20th August and 10 at KMGC on 15th December.

Sedge Warbler
Two at Old Malton on 4th and 31st July.

No winter records this year. The first returning male at Slingsby on 14th March with the last on 1st September. Five at Gilling Wood on 27th May. Singles reported from Fryton on 11th April, Yearsley on 12th, Gilling on 13th, Ampleforth on 27th, Lowna on 28th and Old Malton on 4th July.

Garden Warbler
An early bird at Thornton Dale on 8th April then a gap until one at Ampleforth on 27th. One singing at Slingsby on 2nd May and Gilling Woods on 27th. Two at Slingsby on 8th July and also reported from Kilburn and Lake Gormire.

Lesser Whitethroat
Single at Old Malton on 17th August.

Common Whitethroat
First back at Fryton crossroads on 23rd April with singles at Thornton Dale on 27th, Ampleforth and Sykes on 2nd May with four singing males at Slingsby on 7th, increasing to eight by 20th. Two on Starfitt Lane on 12th May were singing from Oil Seed Rape.

Three at Gilling on 3rd June, three at Old Malton on 4th July, seven at Slingsby on 8th with the last at Whitesykes on 3rd September.

Wood Warbler
Only records of a single at Gilling on 12th and 28th May.

No winter records this year. Fist at Lake Gormire on 11th March, in Farndale on 27th with four at Gilling on 27th May. Reported from Ampleforth, Old Malton, Slingsby and Sutton Bank. The last were at Sykes on 2nd and 12th October.

Willow Warbler
First arrivals being four at Yearsley and a single at Old Malton on 12th April. Three at Ampleforth on 16th with four at Helmsley on 4th June and Gilling on 27th. Five at Old Malton on 31st July with six on 17th August with the last on 25th.

Reported from Cow House Bank, Farndale, Gilling, Kirkbymoorside, KMGC, Old Malton and Slingsby.

Spotted Flycatcher
As usual a late migrant with the first at Sykes on 23rd May with one at Thornton Dale on 1st June, two at Gilling on 3rd , Slingsby on 10th and Chapel Rough on 18th. Two at Slingsby on 1st July, Chapel Rough on 5th, Sykes on 6th and four at Thornton Dale on 16th. Six in Duncombe Park on 9th August, juvenile at Slingsby on 9th, six in the Sykes area on 20th with the last at Sykes on 1st September.

Pied Flycatcher
One at Lidmoor on 30th May. Thirteen pulli ringed from two nests at Hawnby on 3rd June.

Long-tailed Tit
The only counts were 10 at Sykes on 4th January, Sykes area on 6th with 17 there on 15th July and 17 at Old Malton on 17th August.

Blue Tit
Common throughout the area with the only double figure count of 15 at Sutton Bank on 24th March.

Great Tit
Recorded throughout area. An adult feeding four young at Slingsby on 16th June.

Coal Tit
Records received from throughout the area with no more than two recorded at any one site.

Willow tit
One at Sutton Bank on 24th March and reported from Duncombe Park and Farndale.

Marsh Tit
One at Helmsley on 4th January and 3rd February with two at Gilling on 7th November.

Single at Gilling Lakes on 3rd March, KMGC on 25th, two at Gilling on 8th April, one at Low Park on 9th September, Kirkdale Ford on 6th October, Garbutt Wood on 7th and Hawnby on 30th December.

Singles reported from Gormire Lake, Hawnby, Helmsley SW with two at Gilling on 3rd March with a bird carrying food in to the wood along Hagg Road on 12th May.

Often heard rather than seen. Two at Gilling on 3rd February, Sykes on 11th April, four at Stape on 29th June with singles from elsewhere.

18 in the Sykes area on 27th January was the only count of note with up to four birds recorded elsewhere but mostly ones and twos.

Usually encountered in the winter in small flocks often with other corvids. 100 at Nunnington on 30th November, 30 at Cow House bank on 9th December with 54 at Hawnby on 29th.

Several large rookeries in the area but the only counts of note were 100 at Slingsby on 9th September and again on 23rd November with 152 at Hawnby on 29th December.

Carrion Crow
Twenty one at Slingsby on 4th February, 30 at Sutton Bank on 24th March, 14 there on 14th July with 13 at Slingsby on 30th September and 4th November.

Common Starling
Few large counts these days often in small parties of 20 to 30. However there were 200 at Slingsby on 25th October.

House Sparrow
More widespread than the report would suggest as there were only two counts of 10 at Sutton Bank on 24th March and 12 at Rudland Farm/intakes on 12th December.

Tree Sparrow
Maximum counts from Slingsby of 25 on 11th February and 20 on 25th February. Elsewhere two at Sykes House on 8th January, Gilling on 4th February and 3rd June with four at Kirkbymoorside on 4th November.

Sixty at Helmsley on 3rd February, 33 at Slingsby on 4th February, 40 at Sutton Bank on 24th March and 26 at Slingsby on 15th April. 17 at Old Malton on 6th September.

Only records of one at Gilling on 11th February and several in the Sykes area on 12th October.

Recorded throughout the area but only counts of 12 at Slingsby on 11th February with 11 on 9th September and 15 on 22nd.

Young in a garden at Slingsby on 28th May. Recorded throughout the area usually in single figures other than 15 at Slingsby on 14th January, 16 there on 15th July with 10 at KMGC on 20th January.

Thirty at Gilling Wood on 1st January with two at Slingsby on 28th March. Family party of two adults and three juveniles at Stape on 27th May.

Single at Cow House Bank on 15th July, four in Sykes area on 20th, two at Thornton Dale on 28th with five in the Sykes area on 2nd September with 10 on 5th November. 30 at Thornton Dale on 14th December and singles at Kirkbymoorside on 8th and 31st December.

Twenty in the Sykes area on 27th February, 12 at Sutton Bank on 14th July, 19 at Slingsby on 1st September with 30 there on 12th November.

A single at Syckester, Rudland on 15th December.

Lesser Redpoll
Three at Chapel Rough on 17th April, Sykes on 10th July and one at Howkeld Mill on 16th November. Also reported from Arden Great Moor, Farndale, Howkeld Mill and Slingsby.

Common Crossbill
Five at Sykes on 19th January, 20 in the area on 22nd June, four at Cow House Bank on 15th July three at Sykes on 23rd and two at Cow House Bank on 29th. Fourteen at Low Park on 9th September, six in the Sykes area on 5th November, 20 at Cow House Bank on 9th December and six at Middleton Moor on 16th.

Five at Low Park on 21st January. Four at Slingsby on 4th February with five on 22nd April. Four at Gilling Woods on 27th May, Slingsby on 3rd June, nine at Old Malton on 17th August, four at Slingsby on 1st September, two adults and 2 juveniles at Cropton on 22nd and four at Cow House Bank on 9th December.

Other than 20 at Low Park on 21st January and 25 at Sutton Bank on 24th February all other counts came from Slingsby with a maximum of 32 on 4th February declining to 13 on 22nd April. Other records recorded from Gilling, Gormire Lake, Kilburn/White Horse, Helmsley, Stape and Sykes area.

Reed Bunting
Ones or twos reported from Black Plantation, Ousegill, Shaw Rigg, Slingsby and White House with up to four from Old Malton between 4th July and 3rd October.


Many thanks to the following for their records. Most of them have come from the Birdtrack system which enables us to receive records from people who are not members or live outside the area. Apologies for any missed.

Pauline Allenby, I.A. Ashworth, H. Atkinson, Yvonne Bennett, Barbara Boize, R. Borwick, Dorothy Brown, S. Conyers, B. Coursey, Jackie Day, Tom & Janet Denney, Jane Ferguson, A. Forsyth, K. Gittens, M. Greenland, R. Hoskins, K. Hutchinson, M. Kirby, A. MacNicoll, F.A.E. Murray, P. Ottoway, Brenda Owen, S. Pedley, Jim Pewtress, L. Phipps, Sylvia Robinson, N. Rossiter, Gill Smith, Rhona Sutherland, L. Walduck, M. Wyngrove

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