This reserve in West Tanfield, Ripon, is a wonderful wetland/grassland area with large areas of open water. The water level was good on this occasion, supporting many wildfowl and waders.

Due to an unfavourable weather forecast, the original destination of Fairburn Ings was changed following discussions at the UWFS meeting last Monday evening. The new venue being Nosterfield Nature Reserve, where 9 members of the bird watching group met in the car park at 09.30am. Conditions were overcast but no rain. We began our viewing in the hide close to the carpark. Excellent scenes over the water and across to the surrounding grassy areas.

A host of species identified, Canada geese, Greylag geese, Oyster catcher, Curlew, Redshank, Lapwing, Snipe, Ring Plover, Dunlin, Goldeneye, Little Grebe, Gadwall, Coot, Shoveler, Widgeon, Mallard, Teal, Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Mute Swan and Black Headed Gulls.

As we made our way along the foot path towards the next hide we encountered Kestrel, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Blackbird, Starling and Carrion Crow. Great Tit, Goldfinch and Grey Heron also sighted as the path circled another stretch of water. Audible identification of a Wren and a Robin, unfortunately not seen.

On returning to our vehicles, we decided to drive on to The Quarry site and have lunch in the Visitors Centre. It was a welcome discovery to find we had the place to ourselves. After lunch we set out on the paths between mature hedges with lots more birds to view. Able to spot them easily with little foliage yet. Here we saw Chaffinch, Thrush (unsure whether Song or Mistle), Magpie, Jackdaw, a group of Fieldfare (or possibly Redwing), Pheasant and a Yellowhammer. Our arrival at the next stretch of water revealed Common Gulls, Great Crested Grebes, Cormorant, Black-tailed Godwit and the final treat as we made ready to return was a magnificent Green Woodpecker.

A successful and very enjoyable day. Total sightings 42.

Report by Judith Goodings