Sunday 24 October 2010


Snook out after lunch, back to the old patch. Hopped out of the car at Bank Island, my mind full of American Wigeons and Baikal Teals. A flock of birds shot out of a patch of scrub just down the slope – Waxwings! I got my bins on them and counted twelve as they flew north towards Wheldrake village. I lost them behind the trees after a little while and despite driving back to the village failed to relocate them. A fab start!

On to the Ings proper, two birders in the tower hide asked me to have a look at a small wader they had found, feeding with some Ruff. Back on I was alarmed to see a hint of a white rump – my heart raced, then the bird turned and revealed itself as a Curlew Sandpiper, a LDV tick for me, but not the hoped for Yank…Shortly, all the Wigeon got up, along with two dozen Snipe, before a rufous juvenile Hen Harrier shot past low, being mobbed by Lapwings. Wow – this place is better than I remember! In the distance, a line of Whooper Swans loafed, occasionally getting a bit excited and heads up and wings out whooping, a top sight!

I walked round to the pool, which was quite, and didn’t seem to have changed in 20 years and then on to Swantail. The view from here was great, and the Hen Harrier came past again, causing chaos. Half a dozen Pintail were hanging out among the hordes of Wigeon and Teal. I headed back and added Bullfinch, a couple of flyover Siskin, lots of Redwings and pair of Willow Tits in the car park. A cracking start to my York birding.

Whooper Swans

Juvenile Hen Harrier

Juvenile Hen Harrier

Curlew Sandpiper

Curlew Sand with Ruff

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