Visit on Thursday 16th November 2023

A dry dull but windless day saw 11 members visit this local Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve.

The water levels were as high as I have ever seen them so no areas for waders but Lapwings found a Tern Island to rest on. The various water birds were happy, several male and female Golden Eye were very pleasing to see, although they had attracted some devoted photographers in one hide who did not seem happy to share their presence with a perhaps too noisy group of fellow bird watchers.

A couple of ladies from Wetherby were very chatty and helpful, advising us of the muddy wet condition of the outer footpath and that they had been lucky enough to at least hear the pig-like squeal of a Water Rail – we weren’t!

A pair of Stonechats were excellent diversion over lunch with the added debate over wether there was also a Reed Bunting, later confirmed. An occasional Redwing and a few Fieldfare were amongst the Blackbirds feeding on some Hawthorn berries watched over by a flock of Starlings, a very typical Autumn scene.

A few of us were lucky enough to see a pair of Bullfinch and a smaller group privileged to catch sight of a Kingfisher.

Always of interest is what one hasn’t seen, this time no raptors! But.. as two of us had a final drink in the car park before returning home a Red Kite flew over making a most timely appearance.

37 species was the Group’s total.

Leader Josephine Drake