Trip reports

Field Trip to Potteric Carr YWT Reserve

Field Trip to Potteric Carr YWT Reserve
Paul Barrett

Saturday, 13 May 2017

The group organised a visit to the headquarters of the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust at Potteric Carr, just outside Doncaster. Departing from Shipley at 8am, we arrived at our destination an hour later. First stop, as always, was the cafe! The Visitors' Centre is now housed in a purpose-built facility (overlooking one of the many pools on the site) which was opened earlier this year.
Having had our shot of caffeine, we set off around the reserve. We chose to move around in small groups as experience has taught us that groups of more than half-a-dozen tend to be counter-productive. This did not prevent us from bumping into each other in the various hides scattered across the site.
The reserve covers a surprisingly large area and one group's stroll around the largest of the 'loops' took about three-and-a-half hours. During the day, countless warblers were heard (and mostly identified) but very few were seen due to the thick foliage.
It is thought that there are a couple of 'booming' bitterns on the reserve and one of the groups got a superb view of one at the Roger Mitchell Hide on the far side of the reserve.
There were not many waders in evidence, although a couple of little ringed plovers were sighted on the East Scrape.
Numerous little egrets were seen throughout the day - four of them together on Piper Marsh. A marsh harrier was quartering this area before being mobbed by lapwings and gulls. Nesting was in full swing with black headed gull chicks and goslings dangerously on show for predators and indeed, a herring gull was seen to devour a chick in one gulp, to the horror of some on-lookers. Three different kinds of deer were sighted including, fallow, roe and muntjac as well as a fox crossing in front of a hide.
Non-exhaustive list of birds seen: black headed gull, coot, goldfinch, great tit, blackcap, robin, blue tit, chaffinch, chiffchaff, pheasant, mallard, moorhen, little egret, little grebe, blackbird, swift, wren, Canada goose, mute swan, marsh harrier, gadwall, shoveller, lapwing, jackdaw, swallow, pochard, great black backed gull, little ringed plover, redshank, greylag goose, crow, magpie, herring gull, tufted duck, bittern, house martin, sand martin, cormorant, heron, kestrel, reed bunting, wood pigeon, jay, reed warbler, starling, thrush, Ceti's warbler.