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Barff Bird Observations 2...
Forum: Bird Observations
Last Post: DerekCooper
11-04-2018, 08:55 AM
» Replies: 34
» Views: 3,103
Barff Bird Observations 2...
Forum: Barff Bird Observations 2017.
Last Post: DerekCooper
12-03-2018, 02:57 PM
» Replies: 78
» Views: 17,693
Newsletter 2
Forum: Newsletter
Last Post: DerekCooper
11-10-2017, 11:55 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 1,409
Selby Times. FOBB
Forum: About FoBB
Last Post: DerekCooper
14-08-2017, 02:58 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 1,978
Mammals seen on and aroun...
Forum: Mammals
Last Post: DerekCooper
26-07-2017, 09:34 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 1,789
Barff Year List - 2017
Forum: Butterflies and Dragonflies
Last Post: denisg
24-07-2017, 01:33 PM
» Replies: 0
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Barff Species List
Forum: Butterflies and Dragonflies
Last Post: denisg
24-07-2017, 01:05 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 462
Brown Argus Butterfly
Forum: Butterflies and Dragonflies
Last Post: DerekCooper
19-07-2017, 04:32 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 316
Second meeting FOBB.
Forum: What is planned.
Last Post: DerekCooper
24-06-2017, 07:26 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 1,910
Forum: What is planned.
Last Post: DerekCooper
18-06-2017, 09:04 PM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 794

  May Morning Walk.
Posted by: DerekCooper - 17-05-2017, 04:11 PM - Forum: What is planned. - Replies (1)

Saturday 20th May. 0430 am. Early Morning Spring Walk. Approx 2 hours.

Yes it does say 0430 am! If you would care to join me at this time in the morning, you are very welcome.
Derek Cooper.

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  Dawn Chorus Walks around the Barff.
Posted by: DerekCooper - 15-05-2017, 05:09 PM - Forum: What is planned. - Replies (1)

During Spring I can often be found up on the Barff at first light to experience the sunrises and dawn chorus. This usually continues until the longest day which is 21st June. On this date it can often be light before 0400am. To experience the Barff at first light in Springtime can often be quite magical and you can often observe things that many people never get a chance to see. I have seen feeding Roe Deer, Fox Cubs playing, Hedgehogs foraging through the bracken and countless species of bird singing or feeding around the woodland. Some of the sunrises have been absolutely stunning. If you want to join me, sometimes through the week but also on most Saturdays, just contact me and I will arrange to meet you. Derek Cooper. 07944279383.

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  Bird List 2017.
Posted by: DerekCooper - 15-05-2017, 02:39 PM - Forum: Bird Observations - No Replies

Birds seen on or around Brayton Barff 2017

January to May.

Heron. Cormorant*.
Canada Goose. Greylag Goose. Mallard. Whooper Swan.* Oystercatcher*.
Buzzard b*. Kestrel b. Sparrowhawk b. Red Kite*. Tawny Owl b*.
Pheasant b. Grey Partridge b?*. Cuckoo b*.
Green Woodpecker b*. Great Spotted Woodpecker b.
Swallow b. Swift b. House Martin b. Starling b.
Nuthatch b*. Treecreeper b. Dunnock b. Wren b. Goldcrest b*.
Fieldfare*. Redwing*. Song Thrush b. Mistle Thrush b. Blackbird b. Robin b.
Chiffchaff b. Willow Warbler b*. Blackcap b. Garden Warbler*b. Whitethroat b.
Lesser Whitethroat*. Spotted Flycatcher b*.
Great Tit b. Coal Tit b. Blue Tit b. Long Tailed Tit b.
Redpoll*. Chaffinch b. Goldfinch b. Bullfinch b*. Linnet b*. Yellowhammer b*.
Corn Bunting b.* House Sparrow b.
Wood Pigeon b. Stock Dove b*. Collared Dove b.
Black Headed Gull. Common Gull. Herring Gull. Great Black Backed Gull. Lesser Black Backed Gull.
Pied Wagtail b. Skylark b. Yellow Wagtail*. Meadow Pipit.
Crow b. Magpie b. Jay b*. Jackdaw.

* Bird Highlights around the Barff so far.

b 47 Bird Species present in, over and around the Barff Woodland during the Breeding Season.

66 Bird Species seen so far this year.


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  Nuthatch on Brayton Barff.
Posted by: DerekCooper - 15-05-2017, 11:25 AM - Forum: Bird Observations - No Replies

The Success of the Nuthatch on the Barff.
The Success of the Nuthatch on the Barff.

With the demise of several bird species around the Barff Woodland, its really refreshing to see a bird doing so well here.

For many years there were no sightings of the colourful Nuthatch. There were a few independent observations by birdwatchers, but these were of wondering birds from other areas were there are healthy populations of this species. I had seen Nuthatch at Sandall near Doncaster, Temple Newsam, Lotherton Hall, Bishopthorpe Palace and Bishops Wood over the last 30 years.

This all changed in 1996 when one was observed in the roadside wood at Brayton Barff on 27th March. There was a gap of 4 years until a male was observed singing on 16th February 2001, in the right hand wood competing in song with a Green Woodpecker. A pair was spotted in a Nesthole in the road side wood on 27th April. Breeding confirmed.

Nuthatch were now regularly seen around the Barff. A pair nested in 2002. In 2005 2 males were regularly singing in different areas of the Barff. 

From 2008 There was a marked increase in Nuthatch breeding on the Barff. Birds appeared to be moving in from other Nuthatch areas. 
Good for the Nuthatches. Not so for the Great and Blue Tits that used the concrete boxes. 
Of the 60 plus bird boxes installed by myself on the Barff, up to a third of them are made of a hard concrete resin. They are design to be long lasting, robust, extremely tough and made especially for Great and Blue Tits. Unfortunately the Nuthatches had other ideas.
The concrete boxes have a entrance hole big enough for Blue or Great Tits to enter. Box No 12 attracted the attention of a pair of Nuthatches. They systematically chipped away at the entrance hole, so it was big enough to enter. On 6th May 3 Nuthatch eggs were found in Box No 12.

2012. 4 males were singing in 4 different locations around the Barff.

2013. 3 pairs located around the Barff on 6th April.

2014. 5 males were singing at different locations around the Barff on 17th April.

On 7th May 2014 I undertook an annual bird box check. Four concrete boxes designed for Great and Blue Tits had had the entrance hole enlarged by Nuthatches with these results.
No 8 box had 6 chicks. No 9 had 6 chicks. No 11 had 5 chicks. No 12 had 5 eggs. 
Another pair had nested in a natural nest site in a Oak tree. 5 breeding pairs of Nuthatch.

2015. January and February up to 3 males have been heard singing around the Barff.

In 2016 I installed some new wooden boxes with a metal plate around the entrance hole and on the lid. I cannot see their tough little beaks going through tin plate!
On 19th April 9 males were located singing around the Barff. In the first week of May I carried out my annual birdbox check and 3 pairs were found to be using my Great Tit bird boxes.

2017. On 10th April I carried out a bird census. Eight singing males were located around the Barff. In May as usual I carried out my annual bird box check and found 5 pairs of Nuthatch using my boxes. Interesting to note that this bird manages to cram the Blue Tit and Great Tit boxes full of nesting material which comprises oak leaves, bark and is alot courser than the more delicate Tit nests of hair, wool, and man made fibres. There almost seems to be very little room for the chicks to be reared in what space is left. Two of the boxes are specially designed for Spotted Flycatchers. They are more rectangle with a half open lid at one end. The Nuthatches secreted a mixture of mud and tree bark mixed with either saliva or water around the edge of the lid and the open entry part of the lid. They purposely reduced the front of the nestbox to a point that it could just gain entry to the inside of the box. Amazing to see!

It begs the question, is there a lack of natural nesthole sites for this species on the Barff? Why do they continually use boxes that are not designed for a bird of its size. By opening the entrances to the Blue and Great Tit Boxes its has possibly rendered the boxes of no use to the members of the Tit family. Also one could say it has denied the rarer Spotted Flycatcher the opportunity of using boxes specially designed for them. It would possibly be fair to say that their success as a breeding bird on the Barff has indirectly had consequences for other breeding birds that use the boxes such as the Spotted Flycatcher and members of the Tit family.

The Nuthatch is such a captivating and lively resident bird that is now found all around the Barff Woodland. I hope it continues to goes from strength to strength but not at the expense of all the other birds that use the bird boxes.



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  Barff Bird Observations 2017.
Posted by: DerekCooper - 13-05-2017, 09:13 AM - Forum: Barff Bird Observations 2017. - Replies (78)

Saturday 13th May. 0430am to 0800am. Dawn.
Cloudy start becoming brighter with some sun. A Breezy day but warmer.
Quite a productive morning around the Barff with Denis.
At least 3 Spotted Flycatcher observed around the woods. First Swift seen over the Barff.
Probably 3 singing Whitethroat observed. Bypass Trail and Barff Summit.
At least 4 Garden Warbler located. 6 Willow Warbler singing.
Usual numbers of Blackcap and Chiffchaff seen and heard.
Swallow seen over the Barff Summit.
Kestrel hunting around the Bypass Trail.
A pair of Bullfinch around the Old Pinewood Clearing.
Three Linnet seen along the Bypass Trail.
Other Birds
At least 2 pairs of Mistle Thrush and a singing male seen. 4 singing Song Thrush.
Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, Long Tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit,
Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Blackbird, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, (Barff Farm end) Crow, Magpie,
Pheasant, Large unidentified Gull overhead.
32 Species.


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Posted by: denisg - 12-05-2017, 12:27 PM - Forum: What is planned. - Replies (1)

Dates are for just 1 hour sessions each week for June & July.

Monday Evenings in June from 7.00 pm. on the 5th,12th, 19th, 26th.

Please come and help us. There are several areas in the left hand wood that need our attention. 1. Area near the car park. 2. Along the left woodland edge. 3. Up along the perimeter fence above the silver birch wood. 4. In and around the beech wood. 5. From the old rifle range towards and including the rear of the left hand wood. 6. Around the edge of the heathland. No doubt there are also areas around the edge of taphill and the summit area. All help is really appreciated to eradicate this menace. See you in the car park at 7.00 pm Monday 5th June.

Many thanks.

Derek Cooper.

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  Birdbox Check 2017
Posted by: DerekCooper - 11-05-2017, 08:49 PM - Forum: Bird Observations - Replies (1)

Bird Box Check 2017.
Saturday 6th May. 0700am to 1100am.
Cooler, Cloudy, Northerly Breeze.
Was kindly assisted by George Reay of  Friends Of Brayton Barff.
Car Park Area.
No 75. Nest.  No 1. Empty.  No 35. Empty.  No 26. Empty.  No 33. Empty.  No 71. Empty.  No 3. 4 Nuthatch Chicks.  No 32. Empty. No 78. Old Nest.  No 82.  7 Blue Tit Chicks.                                                                                                                 
Not numbered Blue Tit Box near Car Park with Great Tit on nest.  No 86. 7 Blue Tit Chicks.  B. Great Tit on nest.  G. 7 Great Tit Chicks.  E. Unable to gain access.  No 7. 4 Great Tit Chicks. 
Left Hand Wood.
No 79. Squirrel.  Blue Tit Box. Empty.  Open Fronted Box. Empty.  No 73. Empty. No 8. Blue Tit on Nest.  Open Fronted Box. Empty.  Great Tit Box. Great Tit on Nest.  P. Empty.
No 9. Nuthatch on Chicks.  No 18. 2 Great Tit Chicks & 4 eggs.  No 16. 6 Blue Tit Chicks.  Tawny Owl Box 1. Squirrels.  No 14. Empty.  No 5. Nuthatch on Chicks
No 20. 8 Great Tit Chicks.  F. Empty.  H. Empty.  No 42. Empty.  No 11. Used Nest.  J. 7 Blue Tit Chicks
Right Hand Wood.
Tawny Owl Box No 2. Stock Dove Nest.  No 7. Great Tit on Nest.  No 12. 5 Nuthatch Chicks.  No 72. Empty.  No 85. Blue Tit on Chicks.   
Road Side Wood and Old Pinewood Area.
No 84. Blue Tit on 6 Eggs.  No 83. 8 Great Tit Chicks.  No 4. 6 Great Tit Chicks.  N. Empty.  Q. Great Tit on Nest.  No 74. Empty.  No 10. No Front on box.  No 17. Great Tit on 2 Eggs. R. Empty.
O. Great Tit on Nest.  No 31. Empty.  No 23. Empty.  A. Empty.  C. Empty.  No 80. Blue Tit on Nest.  No 77. Squirrels.  No 25. Spotted Flycatcher Box. Nuthatch on Nest.  No 11. 7 Great Tit Eggs. 
No 27. Empty.  No 76. Squirrels.  No 70. Empty. No 28. Empty. No 29. Empty.
Totals. 5 Boxes used by Nuthatch.   14 Boxes used by Great Tit.   8 Boxes used by Blue Tit.  1 Box possibly used by Stock Dove.  4 Boxes used by Squirrels. 27 Empty Boxes.  3 Empty Nest. 1 No Access. Total 64 Nest boxes.
Away from the Boxes, other Birds observed today.
Buzzard being mobbed by Crows. 4 Garden Warbler. 6 Willow Warbler. Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush, Blackbird, Robin, Dunnock, Wren,
Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Wood Pigeon, Coal Tit, and Goldcrest.

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Photo Ichneumon wasp?
Posted by: denisg - 11-05-2017, 07:36 PM - Forum: Insects and Spiders - No Replies

Spotted today, Ichneumon wasp or Chalcid of some sort I think.

[Image: 33788718133_6e251f88d3_b.jpg]

[Image: 33755516984_90f304d944_b.jpg]


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  Friends of Brayton Barff
Posted by: DerekCooper - 11-05-2017, 07:07 AM - Forum: About FoBB - No Replies

Friends of Brayton Barff.

Recently a group of like minded people who use the Barff on a regular basis have come together. Their purpose is to work for the common good of this ancient woodland. The Barff woodland is well used by the local community and visitors from outside of the Selby area. A lot of pressure is put on this woodland, internally and externally and with housing developments encroaching on the Barffs periphery this pressure will increase. The woodland is owned by Yorkshire Water but they only put a limited amount of time and resources into maintaining the site. We as regular Barff users observe and notice just how this fragile environment reacts to overuse by us all. Litter, anti social behaviour, Yorkshire Water groundwork, Mountain biking, horse riding all has an affect on the woodland. We want to adopt a "hands on" approach. To care, maintain and encourage the flora and fauna for everyone to observe and enjoy. With the support of Yorkshire Water and other outside bodies we aim to undertake task around the Barff and try to educate people who use the woodland on what we are trying to do and how special Brayton Barff is. If you are interested in joining us or like our aims and want to offer help and support please get in touch. Many thanks
Derek R Cooper.

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Posted by: denisg - 10-05-2017, 08:45 PM - Forum: Fungi and Lichen - No Replies

Warning regarding Fungi and Lichen.

Even if you are 100% sure, please do not mark any fungi or lichen as edible in this forum, ever. Even highly experienced foragers sometimes get it wrong. Can everyone also please avoid picking or damaging fungi as it is the lifeblood of woodland,

Many thanks.


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