Last Day Of Our Tour For Two And We Head For Home Via More Birds

Spotted Redshank Thornham

We enjoyed a flock of eleven Spotted Redshank at RSPB Blacktoft Sand - libary photo.

After a great breakfast we loaded up and said goodbye to the Yorkshire coast and headed west on 8th October but still more birds to enjoy. In just over an hour we arrived at RSPB Blacktoft Sands on the south shore of the Humber Estuary. Mike and Rachel had not been to this reserve before and had asked if we could include a visit, on our Tours of Two we can be very flexible. Just one car in the car park and no staff about but helpful signs told us all we needed to know about the COVID-19 restrictions in place, where masks in hides.

Dunwich Marsh Harrier

We all loved watching the Marsh Harriers hunting over the reed-beds - libary photo.

At the first hide we visited no one else was in the hide and we learnt that binoculars and telescopes steam up quickly when you are wearing mask. But we persevered and enjoyed good views of eleven Spotted Redshank roosting on a small island. At another hide there were a lot more birds the majority Teal but amongst them Shoveler and Wigeon. A closer look produced Common Snipe resting amongst the ducks and Little Grebes feeding in the far corner of the pool. At the last hide we watched a Spotted Redshank feeding in the open water along with Common Redshank and a single Dunlin dropped in. But it was the three Marsh Harriers hunting over the reed-beds here that stole the shop. These graceful raptors floated over the reeds and twisted and turned in the breeze just wonderful to watch. Three Swallows also fed over the reed-bed – won’t be seeing many more of these summer visitors now.

A Cetti’s Warbler gave its loud song from a small bush by the path but somehow remained hidden apart from a few glimpses as it sang over and over, then it shot out of the bush into the nearby willows, a brief view but a view. Tree Sparrows were busy at some bird feeders and good to see this species is doing better here in Yorkshire than at home in Wales.

We then headed west back towards home but had time for one more stop – Anglers Country Park in West Yorkshire – here we had lunch in the rather bare café but the food was fine and the staff very friendly. After our meal we set off for a walk to the nearby lake. This open almost circular water had plenty of birds and a fair number of people taking walks, some with dogs around the lake. Some birds were very close to where we set up the scopes to scan the area, Great Crested Grebes and Gadwall were just a few yards offshore and seemed pretty undisturbed by the number of people and dogs passing. The reason we had stopped off at Anglers Country Park was to look for three Black-necked Grebes that had been seen here recently, Alan picked out three small grebes at the far end of the lake but in the scopes we could see they were Little Grebes. We kept scanning and then another small grebe popped up near the Little Grebes and this time we had a Black-necked Grebe! Times like these top of the range telescopes are really worth their weight in gold and our Leica telescopes allowed us to have a decent view of this scarce bird despite being at the opposite end of the lake. Once we had all had a good look at the Black-necked Grebe we walk around the lake to get closer. A Grey Wagtail was on the shore of the lake and there were Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Pochard all here to enjoy. We stopped again and set the scopes up and this time the views were so much better, helped by improved light, and we enjoyed great looks at the grebe a lovely bird to end our Tour for Two.

We dropped Mike and Rachel back at their house and thanked for their lovely company and hope we can enjoy lots more birds with them in the future. It had been a brilliant Tour for Two with so many wonderful birds, amazing migration and a lot of fun.

Come and join us for a “Tour for Two” – very small group just two guests with two guides, tailor made itinerary, low risk in these COVID-19 times and of course lots of birds and an excellent chance of enjoying them all. Do drop us a line and we can make all the arrangements be it a day trip, two days, three day or as long a tour as you wish. Our recent Tours for Two have visited the Highlands of Scotland, North Wales and the Yorkshire coast and we are planning many more! Let us know where you would like to go and we can put together a proposal perfect for you.

We are so lucky to have so many species and habitats within easy reach here in North Wales we would love you to join us for one of our Best of North Wales Birdwatching Trips days out. We expect to enjoy a lot of birds during these relaxed pace tours and we can tailor make the day to suit you.

We would love you to join us on our Birdwatching Trips in the future just drop us a line to arrange a custom tour and please see our tours pages for set departure trips. If you have any questions at all please fire away here….

We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds in beautiful places with you soon!

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