Wednesday, 7 February 2018

A Day Out

On Saturday we went out with a couple of destinations in mind the first one being North Cave Wetlands. Another damp dull day for us but I think we're used to that, it did mean that I didn't make much use of my camera though.

Redshanks in the gloom

The path from the entrance past the lake was filled with birds - Blue, Great, Coal and Long-tailed Tits, Wrens, Robins, Blackbirds, Goldfinch, all flitting around us in and out of the trees, we stopped just to watch them for a little while. It was the same on the path between the reedbed lake and the far lake with a Song Thrush there too.


 Blue Tit

At the Turret Hide two guys in there pointed out a Green-winged Teal, i'd read they'd been seen during the week but I thought after seeing how many Teal were just on the Village Lake it would be a bit of a needle in a haystack. So thank you to them! A Marsh Harrier spooked some of the birds on the opposite side of the lake and we saw it a couple more times as we walked around.

Green-winged Teal

 We saw plenty of Gulls mostly Black-headed and Common, Lapwings, Shovelers, Shelduck, Little Grebe, Cormorant, Wigeon, Pochard, Heron, Little Egret, Gadwall and Oystercatcher amongst others.




Wigeon & Coot


Little Grebe

Coot, Teal & Common Gulls

On Dryham lane we saw more flocks Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Tree Sparrows and several Dunnocks.

Tree Sparrow & Chaffinch


Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Tree Sparrows

Warming our hands with bacon sandwiches and mugs of tea from the Wild Bird Cafe we watched the birds at the feeders on the viewing platform. I spotted a couple of Lesser Redpolls in the trees nearby they were gone before I thought about prising my fingers from around the mug to take a photo though!

Long-tailed Tit

I must admit that I dropped my lens some time back and it really struggles with the light now and jams up now and again. It's fine if it's a bright sunny day (which are few and far between right now) but otherwise not so's not worth repairing as it wasn't overly expensive, I want to hold out a little longer to get a better one so for now the photos are lacking somewhat!

After our food we headed off towards Castle Howard and the Yorkshire Arboretum to try and see the Hawfinch that have been there some time. By now the rain was coming down a little more but the route between the two places is scenic and we counted Buzzards along the way - 11 in total! Including two that were in the same field with a large flock of Fieldfares, in fact we saw several fields full of Fieldfares.

I got some not great photos from the car but you can tell the difference between the two Buzzards.

We also saw Grey Partridge in some of the fields too, another new bird for me, i've seen plenty of Red-legged before. Two Roe Deer were in a field right by one of the roads we drove along, clearly used to the traffic!

After a few stops and starts to peer at various birds we arrived at the Arboretum in the pouring rain. I wasn't really sure where to go from the car park but we had a wander around, I saw a Stoat run across one of the paths and several Great/Blue Tits in the trees. Looking over the fence by the shop I saw a bird sat at the top of the one of the trees.........could it be? Yes finally, a Hawfinch! I won't embarrass myself by posting the dreadful photo I got of it but we had good view of a couple of them through the binoculars in the end before they flew off.

All in all another great day despite the rain, 3 new lifers, which isn't something that happens very often these days. (We were glad to get into the car and warm up though).


  1. You had a wonderful day despite the weather, Pam. Bravo to you for getting out there to enjoy nature whatever the weather. I am especially encouraged to see the flock of Lapwings, which seem to be present in smaller numbers every time I visit the UK. It is surely one of the most gorgeous of all shorebirds, and somehow to me seems emblematic of Britain.

    1. There are quite a few Lapwings around at the moment, we used to have a lot in the fields where I lived as a child and they did disappear for some time but my Dad's noticed they have been back the past few years.

  2. Congratulations on the lifers! All the above mentioned would be lifers for me! I love the long tailed tits they are just so cute...I am still struggling with my camera and like you say I think it was one of the hard licks I put it through that caused the issue I have...almost everyday I'm drooling over camera's and yet I can't bring myself to spend the money!!

    1. Thank you :) They are gorgeous little birds aren't they! Oh yes I have some major camera envy, it can be lot to invest though!

  3. Congratulations on the lifers especially the elusive Hawfinch! :) You sound as though you had a great day out, despite the weather, with some wonderful sightings :)

    1. Thanks, I was quite pleased the Hawfinch was sat right there almost waiting for us! I don't mind the weather really but we were getting pretty cold in the end!

  4. What a super day out! Glad you were able to spot a Hawfnch and see other birds you hadn't seen before. I love the long tailed tits - one of my favourite birds:)

    1. Thanks Rosie :) They are a favourite of mine too!

  5. Well done for going out, it was worth it.. 3 new birds. It can be hard to even set of when the weather is so dreary. North cave wetlands looks a good place to go, will add it to my list.

    Had a Greenfinch in the garden this morning,not sure if I have recorded them in the garden before.

    1. Definitely worth it :) It it a great place (and having the little cafe at the entrance is a perfect way to finish off a visit!)

      Oh that's a good record, I had the one as well this past month, first in years, maybe it's their comeback year after recent declines!? x