Saturday 25th February 2017

Today I thankfully ignored the weather forecast, which in general was pretty dire, and we headed off to the York area for a days birding.
First up was Skipwith Common and 2 Green Woodpeckers, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, at least 60+ Redpoll and the star species Woodlark, which despite my thinking it was to early, at least 2, possibly  3 singing ♂. These birds have one of the most melodic songs you are ever likely to hear and although today was dull their performance was majestic. We had great views of the birds and their song was still resonating on the wind as we left the reserve.
Moving onto Bubwith Bridge and North Duffield Carrs we saw good numbers of Whooper Swans to the South of the Road on the Corn Fields and as the showers arrived we headed into the hides.
Great views of both ♂ and ♀ Peregrine and at least 3 Common Buzzard kept the waders flighty. Wildfowl only ♂ and ♀ Pintail, Goldeneye and Shelduck were present and Waders included Golden Plover, Dunlin and large numbers of Lapwing present.
As the rain subsided we moved up to Wheldrake Ings and the first tower hide. From this elevated position we saw Ruff, Golden Plover and most Common Duck species. With large numbers of Wigeon which was by far the commonest species. Walking back along the path by the river, which is currently been Vandalised in the name of Flood Defence, as lots of the Willow Trees were been removed or pruned, we did see a single Willow Tit with lots of other common species. From the Bridge we found 2 Avocet on flooded fields and a small group of Barnacle Geese.
After lunch we headed to Dunnington and the opportunity to see the long staying Pine Bunting. This bird appeared in early January in a flock of Yellowhammers and seems happy in its temporary home. The bird is elusive to say the least and lots of other birders there were on their 3rd or even 4th trip to try to see the bird.
We did have to wait a short while for it to put in an appearance, but the wait was worthwhile as this stunning Bird appeared. It was with a mixed flock of Yellowhammers, Bullfinches, Tree Sparrows, Brambling and Corn Bunting, but it is a very pretty bird and well worth the wait.
So overall all target species seen and a great day had by all.


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