It was a cold, but dry, day when nine of us gathered at Staveley Nature Reserve, just north of Knaresborough. At first there seemed to be few birds about, but then a Treecreeper was spotted, and a pair of Bullfinches high in the bare branches. Tufted Ducks, Gadwalls and Mute Swans were on the first body of water, and a number of Tree Sparrows, several species of Tit and Finch and a Willow Tit were viewed on feeders from two of the hides.
The day’s puzzle was in identifying a large raptor resting in a distant tree ; after much deliberation the conclusion was that it was a Red Kite I believe.
Whilst having lunch in the large hide most of the winter ducks were in evidence on the pool, along with Cormorants and a Heron, but the water level was too high for waders apart from a lone Lapwing. A handsome male Stonechat provided additional interest as it flitted about on some nearby bushes.
As we returned to our cars a Great Spotted Woodpecker put in an appearance, bringing the day’s total to 44, or 45 if we count a calling Jay.
leader Clare Dunn