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Sunday, 23 February 2020

Curlew standing on weed, County Cork, Ireland

Report on visit to Nosterfield Nature Reserve

We started at the hide in the Nosterfield car park, where we saw good numbers of Lapwings, Oystercatchers and Curlews. Along with a decent array of ducks, we also picked up a Bar Tailed Godwit and the star of the day a Lesser Yellowlegs. This is a small wader, whose breeding grounds are between Alaska and Quebec, they migrate South to the USA Gulf Coast and beyond to South America. About 5 turn up in Britain each year mainly on the South and South West coast, when there have been strong adverse winds - and we have had quite a lot of those this winter.

In deference to the weather we drove round to Lingham Visitor Centre where we lunched. Whilst here we found out that we had been named as 'The Harrogate Hooligans' by a few of the locals but they can't think too badly of us as one of them is thinking of joining us in the next month or two.

The screen at Lingham yielded a small number of Pintails, a Smew and a Black Swan. By this time the wind was getting stronger and the temperature was falling and all but 4 of us packed it in at that point. Those who stayed on had the meagre reward of a handful of Common Gulls.

A good day's outing yielded 37 sightings with almost none of the common hedgerow species being seen.