Trip reports

Field Trip - Bolton Abbey and Strid Wood

Male blackcap in hawthorn bush

Sunday, 26 April 2015

This was our second visit to this lovely area along the tree-lined River Wharfe not far from Skipton and it is fast becoming a firm favourite. Fortunately, we had chosen a lovely spring day.

The first call was the tea shop for a cuppa and toasted teacake! After this, starting our walk from the Abbey but on the opposite riverbank was our choice. Kate tripping the light fantastic over the stepping stones was a treat to see; the more sensible ones of us crossed via a very sturdy bridge! A lovely spring day greeted us with a host of spring flowers lining the way.

The usual resident Mandarin Ducks were found strung out along most of the river, as were Grey Heron and Mallard. As the path takes you up above the river, it provides a great elevated view of this as it twists and turns. In the riverside woodland, a Treecreeper was seen collecting insects very near to the path and then it proceeded to squeeze behind the loose bark of an Oak tree, presumably to feed its young.

Other tree acrobats, especially the Nuthatch, were in good numbers and noisy! The trees were full of birds like Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warblers with the odd Goldcrest in the conifers. Other summer visitors included Swift, Sand Martin, Swallow and House Martin - all busy catching insects. Great Spotted Woodpecker was sighted and Green Woodpecker was heard and seen by some.

Grey and Pied Wagtails were spotted down by the river. Also seen here were a Dipper and a Common Sandpiper having a territorial dispute whilst upstream was a lonesome Redshank. The bright blue flash of a Kingfisher was seen as it flew down the river to a perch where it showed well.

Strid Wood has become famous for its population of Pied Flycatchers and these were spotted in the same area in which we saw them on our previous visit. Small flocks of the tit family were abundant throughout the wood in the form of Long-tailed, Coal, Blue and Great Tits. Other notable species seen were Redwing, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush and Redstart, along with the more common woodland birds such as Robin, Dunnock, Wren, Blackbird, Greenfinch and Goldfinch. One person was also lucky enough to see a Tawny Owl.

35 people attended
56 bird species seen
Star Bird: Pied Flycatcher