Friday, 11th March
Led a tour for Yorkshire Coast Nature in North Yorkshire today. The weather was much better than forecast, with sunny skies until after lunch; the rain held off until 4 o'clock, which was perfect. We had at least six Goshawks in the forest, including a great bit of interaction between an adult male and a Buzzard, sparring over the ridge, before the Gos forced the Buzzard into the trees.
Nearby, 20 Mandarins were seen, picked up first on their unobtrusive call, a quiet 'meh'.
Saturday, 12th March
I nipped up to Wheldrake Ings mid-afternoon. At least 188 Black-tailed Godwits were roosting and feeding on the refuge; there may have been more, but some bushes obscured part of the flock. Nearby, two cute female Smew were on the flooded field behind Pool Hide. A Chiffchaff was singing in the riverside Willows.
At Church Ings, Acaster, two adult Whooper Swans were hanging out with a few Gadwall.
Sunday, 13th March
The Whoopers were still present at Acaster and had been joined by a pair of Pintails, nine Shovelers, three Wigeon and c20 Teal. Curlews were displaying over the meadows and a Chiffchaff was flitting about along the river.
I did a bit of birding round the LDV, with 180 Pintail on Bubwith Ings, along with 80 Dunlins. The Black-tailed Godwits were flying around over the refuge but then flew onto Wheldrake and out of sight. Duncan counted 234 on there earlier. Cool!