Saturday, 18 February 2017

Flooded Wheldrake Ings

Sunday trip was to Wheldrake Ings with Hull Nats. There were reports the reserve was flooded, but water had receded enough that a walk was doable - with wellies - around the reserve. Paths were very muddy and flooded at times, but overall it was a mild day with little wind, although it remained overcast for most of it. Wheldrake Ings, owned by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, is part of a large National Nature Reserve, the Lower Derwent Valley, which is also a RAMSAR site by its wintering wildfowl.
 A pair of Bullfinches greeted us in the car park by the bridge over the Derwent while Great Spotted Woodpeckers drummed in the distance. We watched the large expanse of flooded meadows from the wooden bridge. A large flock of Lapwings and a larger one of Golden Plovers kept being flushed. A Peregrine was soon spotted as the culprit. The Peregrine flew up into the flock, then down and away, at some point it was being followed by the Lapwings. What a fantastic spectacle!
 On the water, lots of Pintail. I'm used to see these ducks in single figures, they were great to watch.
 We also caught up with some Willow Tits and a small flock of Lesser Redpolls. 
The site is quite expansive and links to other small reserves and the Pocklington Canal (which I am still to visit, possibly later in the year). Despite the mud we had a great day, ticking 60 birds species overall.
Female Bullfinch.

Male Bullfinch.
Panel with map of the reserve.
Flood plains of the River Derwent.
Pintail.
More flooded meadows.
Teal on the alert.
Male Roe Deer.
Rover Derwent from the bridge.
A distant Peregrine. 
Lesser Redpoll.  
Barnacle Geese.
A stonefly, Nemoura sp.
lapwing and golden plover.
Flooded path.
One of several Grey Herons coming to roost in the trees by the river.

More information
Wheldrake Ings NR website. Here.
Lower Derwent Valley NNR leaflet. Here.
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