During a visit Sue and I recently made to see friends in Yorkshire I got the opportunity to spend a few days exploring the wildlife of the area. On the way up from London we made our lunch stop at the Lyndon nature reserve on the southern shore of Rutland water. This is an excellent reserve for seeing Ospreys as one pair nest in Manton bay. The pair there this year have raised 4 chicks this year and all have fledged. When we were in the hide we could see 5 birds, 2 Adults and 3 young, perched at various locations around the area of the nest.
Our first day in Yorkshire we went to the RSPB reserve at Bempton Cliffs.
This is a major sea-bird breeding colony and the only mainland breeding site for the Northern Gannet. In addition you can come close to Kittiwake, Fulmar, Guillemots and Puffins. It was amazing to see the Gannets and Puffins so close.
The most unusual sighting was Albie, the Black-browed Albatross. Albatrosses are found normally in the Southern ocean from South Africa to South America. But there have been a few birds which have found there way into the northern Atlantic over the years, the amazing thing is once they make that journey they seem to settle down and return to the same place each summer. Long staying birds have previously been recorded in the Shetland islands and the Faroes. Albie has been in the North Atlantic and Baltic sea for about 6 years and this is the second year he has returned to the Gannet colony here at Bempton. It took me a while to find him amongst the thousands of Gannets but once located on the rock face he was clear to see.
My second day out was to the RSPB reserve at Fairburn Ings. the Ings are a set of lakes created when mine workings collapsed and the site now consists of a number of lakes with woodland and some open spaces. Best sightings here included Great and Little Egrets (Cattle Egrets were aslo present but I didn’t see them) and Spoonbill.
A good couple of days exploring the wildlife of Yorkshire that make me want to go back and explore some more