Bolton Abbey Woods & various.9/5/2016

Posted: May 10, 2016 in Birding
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Myself, Chris B, Bob K met at my home for our annual trip to Bolton Abbey Woods, Bob was at the helm. Leaving at 6am and reaching the woods by 7am on a beautiful, sunny morning. The birds all appeared to be singing, but our ears (mainly Chris ) soon located the Redstarts and we saw them fairly well, truly, colourful gems of the woods are Redstarts. A distant Cuckoo was also heard.We descended to river level and the smell of the various plants that grow down there was truly powerful, mainly Ransoms and Bluebells. Chris showed us a number of unusual plants also, Honeydew, Lords & Ladies. Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiff-chaff were all singing at once then, the bird we have not heard here for a few year`s, Wood Warbler. Great to hear it singing, but locating it was a different matter. The amount of Pied Flycatchers in the area, seems to have increased, I wonder if the custodians of this area have used the “Cork in nestbox” idea to stop Blue Tits using the boxes and waiting till the Pied Flycatchers return before “uncorking” ? A walk up to the shelter revealed Mandarin, Marsh Tit and a further Wood Warbler. Chris found a Woodcock really close to the path and Bob found a pair of Spotted Flycatchers in a similar area, nice to see. The area was begining to get busy with runners, noisy cyclers, walkers and the usual yapping dogs, time to leave!

The long drive over to Foulshaw Moss from the Skipton area was helped by the sightings of a few Swifts chasing each other around in the little village areas. It was warm as we arrived at Foulshaw, Bob & Chris saw an Adder and we all enjoyed Green Hairstreak and Four Spotted Chaser Dragonflies. A distant female Osprey, Tree Pipits, Buzzards all added up to a really nice hour at this new(ish) reserve.

We called into Leighton Moss to see if we could find Reed Warbler, no problem as we walked along the causeway. Up to three Marsh Harrier were also observed. We called in at the Morecambe & Allen hides and were shocked to see the area completely flooded. The Black headed Gulls at the Allen hide were all flying about with no sign of any of their nests remaining also no Avocets present, a problem with a breached culvert?

News of a Little Gull being present at Stocks Reservoir had us heading in that direction over some lovely countryside. We reached Stocks and a kind lady helped us with our parking arrangements, cant say anymore! At the first hide a search for the Little Gull was stopped in its tracks as a Black Tern was found (by us?) We watched it twisting & turning as it caught its prey items, one of the birds that people have difficulty getting me away from. The local birders arrived and so did the Little Gull spending most of its time with the Black Tern chasing insects, never seen that before.Think thats why we enjoy birding as much as we do because you never know what will happen next. We had all had a truly good days birding and arrived home by 5-15pm.

P.S. We had originally decided to go for an Alpine Accenor at Gibraltar Point, Lincolnshire, but as it was not seen, I think we all made a good call!!

Dave O.




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