Ferrybridge and RSPB Lodmoor
10 people met at Ferrybridge on a mild but very overcast day. After a lot of understandable grumbling about the cost of parking we gathered in front of the Visitor Centre looking along The Fleet. The main group of birds consisted of the usual gulls: herring, greater black back, black headed and Mediterranean. Among them were about 6 feeding bar-tailed godwits, a less frequent visitor. Further out were a few little egrets and a group of small waders in the distance. We walked along the road to be closer, there were about 100 ringed plover and a few dunlin and oystercatcher. Three brent geese flew over before a heavy shower pushed us into the convenient shelter of the road bridge where we saw a close meadow pipit. The harbour proved to be very empty birdwise so we made our way back to the cars picking up stonechat, wheatear and a lone sandwich tern among the gulls. We saw a large group of jackdaws and discussed whether they were on migration.
After lunch a reduced group met at Lodmoor for a circuit of the reserve, by now it was much brighter. The marsh harrier was drifting around and we had good views of gulls in various annual plumages which raised some lively discussion. There was one pintail, several black-tailed godwits, lapwing, dunlin and a few snipe. However the favourite sighting was a group of golden plover, first about 20 flying around in their characteristic tight group but at the east end we saw several hundred, sometimes calling their lonely notes and in the sunshine showing why they are called ‘golden’. Cetti’s warblers were calling but as usual not showing themselves, a sparrowhawk flew over causing much activity, there was one redshank and one brent goose. A small party of gadwall were intent on pairing up, with heads bobbing and much circlingaround the chosen mate.
About 17 bird species were seen at Ferrybridge and about 40 at Lodmoor. There were also some fresh red admiral and speckled wood butterflies.