All pics for this post (c) 2010 Vince Cowell unless stated otherwise
Marsh Harrier [male]
Darker phase Pheasant (c) 2010 M Flowers
Dark v. Light (c) 2010 M Flowers
Light v. dark (c) 2010 M Flowers
Great Crested Grebe
Black-headed Gull v. Avocet
A ‘student’ from Skipton had 3 lifers today: Avocet, Spotted Redshank and Bittern & if only she hadn’t seen a Marsh Harrier last week, she’d have had a 4th this week, as there were plenty of those today. The first Whitethroat of the year gave good views during the morning, but apparently we’d just missed a Grasshopper Warbler, which would have been more impressive. Many Sedge Warblers sang & gave good views, whilst a single Reed Warbler was heard. There were maybe a hundred Sand Martins & a few Swallows. The 3 Spotted Redshank gave distant views, but later gave a fly-past. The youngest class member first spotted the Bittern, which was virtually scoffed at by some S. Yorkshire birders, but we later picked it up in 2 further hides, as it moved ever Eastwards. The Avocets weren’t there in the usual high numbers for this time of year, but hopefully, they’ll be massing on an island, which has undergone management just for their benefit. During the afternoon session a flock of c.20 Black-tailed Godwits flew in for a bath, some of whom were looking very impressive in their breeding plumage. A Barn Owl became visible in its nestbox entrance. We also had Stock Dove, Curlew, Snipe, Redshank, Oystercatcher, Reed Bunting, Wigeon, Pochard, Shoveler, Gadwall, Tufted Duck, Lapwing, Willow Warbler, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, and a possible Merlin. Some Bearded Tits ‘pinged’ but no one in the hide was able to "pin" them down.