Spent the day birding the York area having failed to get a Bird Race team together. Had a great day amassing 91 species plus a possible Caspian Gull. Highlights included Pink-footed Goose, Grey Wagtail and Nuthatch at Castle Howard (the latter two species having eluded us in 2011), Jack Snipe and Chiffchaff at Hes East, Grey Partridges and Peregrine down the Tillmire, 2 Woodcocks in Askham Bog, Bewick's Swan found skillfully by Rob Chapman at North Duffield Carrs and then a possible Caspian Gull at Wheldrake Ings late afternoon. Very pleased to see a Barn Owl come out of the nestbox we put up back in the summer with ITV's Liz Bonin too! Congratulations to the three York teams that took part, with the winners the String Quartet who scored 97 species.
Some pics from the day:
Dusk at Wheldrake Ings, looking SW over the refuge
11 January 2015
A week later and it was my turn to lead a YOC trip round the Lower Derwent Valley. A very pleasant day, with the highlight being prolonged views of a Red Kite over the flood at Wheldrake Ings.
Early in the New Year the water went over out of the Ouse and there is a good patch on Acaster Church Ings just south of where I live. Yesterday, 17 January this held 20 Pintail (my highest ever count here), 27 Wigeon, 10 Teal and 9 Gadwall. c20 Goosander flew over south too. On 14 January I saw a Barn Owl near the farm just south of Acaster Bridge, the first I have seen round here for ages.