Tuesday, 19 May 2015

NNBC on Tour in Yorkshire!

Yorkshire Highlights 15th-18th May 2015

A few months ago I decided it would be good to re-visit old birding haunts in Yorkshire where I had spent many a happy day with my teenage son, an avid birder ,and thought it may be fun to see if anyone else from NNBC would like to go along too!
So it was that 9 of us descended on Yorkshire and Humberside to try our luck with species rarely seen 'Up North'

First stop was Bempton Cliffs where we were delighted by the sounds (and smell!) of thousands of Gannet,Kittiwakes ,Razorbills and even a few Puffin to name but a few. Bempton is a fantastic reserve which has just had a makeover and definitely worth a visit at this time of the year- a bit like St Abbs on Steroids!

The following day we had a date at Blacktoft  Sands where we were made most welcome by the duty warden who was expecting us and who filled us in with latest news.Unfortunately news of the Montagu's Harriers presence on the Reserve had spread and the hides were busy but this did not detract from the magnificent views we had of this fabulous bird !Marsh Harriers were also a  common sight and no less of a thrill to watch their frequent fly pasts!Avocet, Temminck's Stint (a first for me!),Cetti's Warbler(another first!),and Yellow Wagtail were a few amongst many others!

The afternoon(very windy and dusty) spent at the reclaimed sand gravel extraction quarries of North Cave Wetlands ,was also productive ,Gadwall,Wood Sandpiper and Avocet being of note.

Sunday morning at 6.45am found four of us across the Ouse at Faxfleet where a short walk along and below the dyke gave us great views of Barn Owl,Marsh Harrier,Yellow Wagtail and certainly more Reed Bunting  among the Phragmites than I have ever seen in one place!

The rest of the day was spent at Potteric Carr,an unlikely spot for a Reserve next to the thundering M18!A magnificent 61 species was the total after a hard day's birding by the whole group in this enormous but fantastic reserve-so huge that we did not manage to meet up with the other part of the group  in the entire day!Highlights for me were frequently booming Bittern,and Cetti's Warbler-both heard but not seen!

Monday 18th May saw us all go our separate ways or (for three lucky Club Members!)the rest of the week to explore even further!Our party of three headed home via Tophill Lowe,near Great Driffield for a final couple of hours.This is owned by Yorkshire Water and is more of a reserve for serious birders as opposed to a family day out.Time was short but a quick visit to a couple of hides allowed us to add Common Tern to our list in addition to great views of a posing Kingfisher.

Fuller details about this weekend and the species seen, will appear in the Newsletter and on the Website in due course courtesy of Richard Poyer.

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