On a dry but cold day due to the wind, ten of us travelled to Eccup Reservoir near Leeds which we hadn’t visited for over two years as a result of Covid.

As we walked down the road towards the reservoir we were treated to great views of a Chiffchaff flitting amongst the branches. The second sighting was of a Jay flying across the golf course, quickly followed by another sitting in a tree by the side of the road. This one took longer to identify as the colours were difficult to spot. Both were lovely to see. The usual Corvids of Carrion Crow, Jackdaw and Magpie were also seen along with Woodpigeon.

A couple of Oyster Catchers greeted us by the gate as we approached the water. A pair of Great Crested Grebe and a large flock of Widgeon were on the water but not much else as the water was quite choppy due to the wind. Mallard, Goosander, Cormorant , Greylag and Mute Swan were spotted by some of our members but in very small numbers. A couple of Heron flew over.

As we walked around the edge of the water a Robin seemed to adopt us and followed us for some time. A pair of Bullfinches were sighted high up in the branches along with Nuthatch, Tree Creeper, Blue Tit, Long Tailed Tit and Great Tit. Blackbird and Song Thrush were also spotted and a Wren was heard singing in the undergrowth.


Hazel Catkins

We had numerous views of Red Kite flying majestically over our heads, effortlessly overcoming the wind, their plumage highlighted in the sunlight. A Buzzard was also sighted.

We reached the dam where a Pied & Grey Wagtail were running up & down the edge of the water. Due to the cold wind we retraced our steps to have lunch and headed back to the cars, only to be treated to the sight of Redpoll and Siskin feeding in the tops of the trees. A real treat as we hadn’t seen that for a long time. Chaffinch and Dunnock were also seen.

A good day was had by all despite the cold wind. In all 33 species were recorded.

Marg Smith

Photos: Ann Shaw and Marg Smith