Trip reports

Huddersfield & Halifax Local Group outing to Harewood and Blacktoft Sands 22/02/2015

Huddersfield & Halifax Local Group outing to Harewood and Blacktoft Sands 22/02/2015
Water Vole Robert Outings Secretary

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

As to the trip itself it started with a drop of at Harewood and a walk in the opposite direction, because of Eccup being closed. The walk started at Harewood's main gate and went by estate roads and bridleways, back to the Leeds country way and the coach. On the way we saw many Red Kites, several Buzzards and many woodland birds including Tree Creeper and Greater Spotted Woodpecker. Also seen were Shelduck and Oyster Catcher. Roe and Fallow Deer were also seen. Overall it was a pleasant walk, but as we approached the coach the rain started.
On to Blacktoft as we got nearer the weather got worse with the wind and rain increasing. On arrival a surprise awaited us overnight the reserve had been inundated by the highest tides for many years and was partly closed. Blacktoft has done this before in Feb 2005 we arrived to find snow and ice. All this water meant there were very few birds, just a few ducks (Potchard, Gadwall, Widgeon & Shovellers) Coot & Moorhen. Some Marsh Harriers were seen and a few saw an adult male Hen Harrier which eventually came right in front of the reception hide, but the lack of birds was made up by the appearance of a Water Vole not 10 yards from the reception hide and it remained there for at least 45 minutes!!! Definitely worth the trip just for these two sightings alone! All in all a good trip enhanced with those memorable views of male Hen Harrier and Water Vole.