All Today's Record Shots (c) 2010 Phil Hargreaves
Yet another dingy day, but at least the mist lifted before the morning session started, and it didn't set in again until the afternoon session had concluded. We don't normally visit this RSPB reserve at this time of the year, so are used to a packed car park and little elbow room in the hides. We were the only people there for a couple of hours, and the car park had very few cars in it apart from our own. The bird of the day was a Bittern which flew out of a reedbed in front of Singleton & then flew across the whole of the reedbed giving good and prolonged flight views. There were also 3 Marsh Harriers in flight at the same time here, and we probably saw another 2 birds later on. The Snipe gave good views right from the start with a single at Marshland followed by more than 24 at Xerox. The Wigeon in the afternoon came really close, almost the closest we've ever seen wild Wigeon. A swift flock of 30+ Dunlin drew appreciative whoops from a couple of keen York birders, much to our surprise. But then maybe they don't see Dunlin too often in the centre of York! We also had some excellent views of a Barn Owl in the afternoon. At high tide more waders were seen at Ousefleet, but mainly Lapwing with 20 or so Curlew & a handful of Dunlin. Also present: Reed Bunting, Chaffinch, Tree Sparrow, Kestrel, Teal, Pochard, Tufties, Shelduck, Shoveler, Gadwall, Pheasant, Heron, Canada Goose & Greylag Geese. Passerines were only present in small numbers with Blackbird, Wren, Dunnock and a singing Skylark swelling the tally of these. The paths were in a shocking, filthy state, so if you are visiting take appropriate footwear!