On a dry but cold windy morning 11 of us set off to visit Eccup reservoir near Leeds. The light was much better than on our previous visit at the same time last year, so we were confident that identification would be a lot easier as last time the birds all appeared as silhouettes !

Goldeneye pair at Eccup Reservoir

Goldeneye pair at Eccup Reservoir © UWFS

We were rewarded straight away with a great sighting of a pair of Goldeneye, the male looking magnificent in his black & white plumage.

As we continued along the path we were treated to groups of bullfinches and numerous flocks of Great Tits and Blue Tits which seemed to be everywhere.

The reservoir had large numbers of very vocal Wigeon and also Mallard, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, a couple of Mute Swans, and Coot.

Eccup Reservoir - Goosander

Eccup Reservoir – Goosander © UWFS

Surprisingly there were no geese. Further around the reservoir was a solitary Goosander which is always a highlight.

Along the walk, we had great views of red Kite flying majestically above us. We are now so used to seeing them, but it is still always a thrill to watch them.

Woodland birds were mainly tits but there were also Goldcrest, Nuthatch, Tree Creeper, Blackbird,

Eccup Reservoir - Robin

Eccup Reservoir – Robin © UWFS

Robin, Wren, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Magpie and Woodpigeon. A Great Spotted Woodpecker was also seen by one member of the group.

Once we had reached the dam the weather started to close in, so we decided to head back before the rain caught up with us.

Despite the cold wind a good day was had by all, the highlights being the Goldeneye, Goosander & Goldcrest.

A total of 28 species were recorded by the group.

Leader : Marg Smith Photos : Ian Hughes