RSPB Leeds Local Group coach trip to Far Ings and North Cave 27th April 2024

47 of us set off on a chilly but beautifully sunny morning on our coach trip to Far Ings and North Cave.

A very warm welcome to Dominic and Harry who were on their first trip with us.

After a quick comfort stop at Ferrybridge Services we continued our journey. We drove over the Humber Bridge to get to Far Ings Nature Reserve situated on the south bank of the Humber.

Far Ings Nature Reserve is run by Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust.

Reedbeds dominate the reserve along the banks of the Humber. On leaving the visitor centre we walked along the path overlooking the reedbeds and we were greeted by the sound of sedge warblers in the reeds and blackcaps in the trees on the other side of the path. The sedge warblers were very elusive (it was windy and cold) but they were certainly very vocal.

Leaving this path, we made our way further into the reserve and checked out various hides. We saw a pair of marsh harriers, heard booming bitterns, heard lots of reed warblers and saw common terns.

It seemed quieter birdwise at Far Ings than in previous years as many migrants have not yet arrived, but we thoroughly enjoyed our time there.

We left at 1pm to drive back over the Humber Bridge.

Our second venue for the day was North Cave Wetlands. This is a Yorkshire Wildlife reserve dominated by wetlands created from former sand and gravel extraction. Extraction is ongoing outside the current reserve with the site destined to expand when extraction ceases. North Cave is a great place to visit at any time of year with a variety of habitats (lakes, reedbeds, hedgerows, meadows and woodland).

We had checked on Birdguides and were aware that a Savi’s warbler had been seen along Dryham Lane which forms part of the site. This would be a lifer for many. So, after a stop for refreshments at The Little Butty Bus we walked down Dryham Lane looking out for and listening for the Savi’s warbler. Unfortunately, despite our best efforts the Savi’s warbler eluded us. However, we did see / hear willow warbler, blackcap, reed warbler, lesser whitethroat and garden warbler plus lots more. It was also lovely to see lots of sand martins, swallows and a few house martins overhead. Beyond Crossland Hide we managed to locate a very well-hidden little owl amongst some trees. Walking back, we also had a good view of little ringed plover on a sandbank.

We left North Cave at 5.30pm. By that time, it was getting chilly, so we were very glad to get back onto a warm coach. We were exhausted but happy after a very enjoyable day.

The bird list for the day, across the two sites, was 81. This was an excellent result. It is our best bird total since we went to Spurn in October 2023.

A huge thank you to our drivers Russell and Karen.  

Also grateful thanks to Pauline for once again organising a fantastic day’s birding. 

Steph Bigglestone