A group of eight met at Wheldrake Ings, a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust bird reserve just south of York.  An attempt had been made several times to these wetlands but until now flooding has prevented us from going, although we were lucky this time as apparently the car park had been flooded the day before.

Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs announced their presence as soon as we arrived, and we watched a pair of nesting Swallows flying to and from their nest.  Disappointingly, few other summer migrants were in evidence, although we did hear a lone Blackcap singing.  Curlews and Skylarks were in the fields and Buzzards and a Kestrel in the sky.  The usual wildfowl graced the pools, sharing them with some Redshanks, Lapwing, Oystercatchers, Herons, Little Egrets and Grebes ( Little and Great Crested).  A rare and delightful botanical sight in a damp meadow were a couple of rows of of wild snakeshead fritillaries ( Fritillaria meleagris), sometimes known as chequered daffodils.

A short visit to Bank Island, a nearby Natural England reserve, rounded off a most pleasant sunny day’s birding.  We heard and saw 33 species.

Report: Clare Dunn