Trip reports

Field Trip - Bolton Abbey and Strid Wood

Goosander on water

Sunday, 22 April 2018

As we arrived, the wind was up and we were subjected to a sharp shower which sent some of the group into the nearest tea room!

After some light refreshment, we ventured out onto the banks of the River Wharfe. A feeding feast was in full swing with good numbers of Sand Martins and Swallows skimming the river. Grey Wagtails were feeding by the fast-flowing river whilst Pied Wagtail were taking pickings from the neatly sheep-clipped grassed areas.

Mandarin Duck made their usual appearance whilst male and female Goosander and a couple of Common Sandpiper fed in parts of the river with a slacker flow. Towards the end of the day, a Dipper was finally found following an intense search by some of the group. Black-headed Gulls, Grey Heron and Oystercatcher were also seen.

Strid Wood, one of the largest remnants of Sessile Oak trees in the Yorkshire Dales, hugs the banks of the River Wharfe and invites visitors to walk its shaded paths. Renowned for its flora and fauna, Bluebells flower in late April and early May, followed by Wild Garlic. The wooded trails are a must for seeking out summer bird visitors and we had good sightings of Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff, Treecreeper, Nuthatch, Song Thrush, Blackcap and assorted tits. The pretty Pied Flycatcher never fails to show up here at this time of year and gave us some great views feeding up in the oak canopy.

At the heart of Bolton Abbey Estate lies the Priory Church and ruins of an Augustinian Priory in its beautiful riverside setting. History-loving members of the Group enjoyed the story of Prior Moone and how he negotiated with Cromwell to secure the nave as a place of worship for the local community - something that continues to this day. The seating both in and around the Priory Church made this the perfect location to end the day by sitting back, admiring the view and escaping the 21st Century.

33 attended
57 bird species seen