Trip reports

Field Trip to East Yorkshire

Adult bittern wading in reedbed at Lee Valley Country Park

Wednesday, 24 April 2013

The annual trip this year visited East Yorkshire. Sixteen members met at the Crown and Anchor Pub Easington with the intention of travelling out to Spurn Point. Unfortunately the road out to the point had collapsed so we spent the afternoon walking around the Bird Observatory site and Kilnsea Wetlands Nature Reserve. Things started off well with good views of Black Redstart opposite the pub car park. The next three hours produced another 26 species, the highlights being Long Tailed Duck, Golden Eye, Avocet, Red Breasted Merganser, Linnet, Meadow Pipet and Ringed Plover.
After a very enjoyable afternoon the group moved up to Flamborough to check in to the The North Star Hotel and Cameron Court Hotel.
Friday morning the group headed for one of the highlights of the area the RSPB site at Bempton Cliffs. The day was foggy and the views at the site very restricted. However we had a most enjoyable tour of the site lead by Angela, a very keen RSPB volunteer, who was able to give the group detailed information about the work being done at Bempton. She also told us about the visit be Michael Portillo during his BBC 4 programme Great British Railway Journeys. Although the view was restricted we managed to see Fulmar, Kittiwake, Razorbill, Guillemot and Gannet. The tree sparrows were nesting in the roof area of the centre and were a delight to watch busily tending the nests. We decided to return over the weekend to get better views.
The group moved on to South Landing, Flamborough where the visibility was much better. Twenty two species were seen here in a most productive two hours with the highlights being Fulmar, Purple Sandpiper, Eider Duck, Red Throated Diver and Turnstone. We then moved on to North Landing, but again the area was foggy and views restricted. All thoughts of returning to Bempton Cliffs were shelved and we all returned to the hotels.
Saturday morning the group travelled inland to visit Top Hill Low, a Yorkshire Water nature reserve. The weather was beautiful and the group spent a most productive day at this excellent site with many diverse habitats. We saw our first swallows and martins. The highlights of the day were Tree Sparrow, Red-necked Grebe and Marsh Harrier. With a count of over fifty species a most rewarding visit. With the weather so improved we decided to return to Bempton Cliffs later in the day and were rewarded with excellent views of the sites iconic birds with some of the group seeing our first puffins.
Sunday morning saw the group checking out of the hotels with the journey home being broken with a visit to another RSPB site Blacktoft Sands. A very windy day reduced the number of birds seen, but this did not detract from the sites attractions. Again we saw many swallows, house martins and sand martins making their way north. Marsh Harriers breed here and nine or more birds could be seen at any one time. There is also an avocet colony, but the highlight of the day had to be good views of a bittern flying in front of one of the hides.
Yet again a very good annual trip and the members of the party expressed their appreciation of Ian Bagley's efforts in organising and leading such an enjoyable trip.