• St Aidan's 'Thursday Team' Volunteers

    Today we are focusing on our Thursday Volunteer Reserve Assistants.

    This group of volunteers work across the reserve to support the wardens in maintaining the reserve for wildlife and visitors.


    Sam, who is one of our Thursday volunteers, says “In my working life I realised I wasn't spending any time outside and certainly wasn't getting enough exercise, which was soon to change. I joined RSPB St Aidan’s in October…

    • 31 May 2018
  • Lesley, Reserve Volunteer

    Lesley is one of our Wednesday Reserve Assistants at Fairburn Ings and is very enthusiast about the team “We are a friendly group of usually 6 who work well together. We even have a WhatsApp group chat called ‘Wot’s ‘Appning Wednesday’ where we keep in touch with each other with photos of the work we are doing on the reserve. I didn’t know what I would be doing when I started volunteering but I knew I wanted to work mostly…

    • 31 May 2018
  • Young Ranger Volunteer, Georgia

    Today’s volunteer is one of our youngest Volunteer Rangers a St Aidan’s, Georgia.

    Always enthusiastic Georgia told us: “I started volunteering at the RSPB because I wanted to inspire people to love St Aiden’s as much as I do. The birds I’ve learnt and people I’ve met while I’ve been here have shown me how noticeable a small change can be and how, when working together, we’re all able to help give nature…

    • 31 May 2018
  • Sunday Fun-day Volunteers: Val & Keith

    Introducing Keith and Val, who describe themselves as ‘the Sunday morning novices’, having joined 6 months ago. 

    Val says “Keith is a Ranger and is trying hard to sound like a walking encyclopaedia on all things bird-like.  He is getting there with the help of our other wonderful and knowledgeable experienced Rangers.  I am an assistant in the visitor centre and now, at last, becoming familiar with the…

    • 31 May 2018
  • Meet Janine & Chris, Aire Valley Volunteer Co-ordinators

    Introducing Janine and Chris, our new Volunteer Coordinators at St Aidan’s and Fairburn Ings. They recruit and support our wonderful team of over a 100 volunteers.

    Chris says “I’m a relative newbie, having joined the team in January. So pleased I decided to volunteer with RSPB (and that they were prepared to take me on!). I’ve missed being part of a team since I retired and have been made to feel so welcome at…

    • 31 May 2018
  • They’re Here! The Harbingers of Summer (& St Aidan's Sightings)

    The four birds that epitomise summer, namely screaming swifts, jabbering sand martins, prattling house martins and trilling swallows are now all here. Sand martins arrive first (usually late March/early April), followed by swallows, house martins and finally the swifts (usually late April/early May) and depart the earliest, during August. By now they are all extremely active hawking for aerial insects as their time is…

    • 30 May 2018
  • Fairburn Ings Sightings 13th May to 29 May 2018

    Coal Tips

    The reed warbler’s rhythmic, repetitive song currently fills the air around the coal tips; these secretive little birds deliver their songs from the cover of the reed beds. You can often see their shadow moving amidst the reeds and on occasion shuffling up into view still delivering their song, a wonderful treat and so worth waiting for.

    Reed warbler - Pete Maugham

    Sightings of the black-necked…

    • 30 May 2018
  • Fairburn Ings Sightings

    This week we welcome our new sightings blogger, Pete. He's a regular at Fairburn, knows his wildlife & pretty handy with a camera too. If you see him around, give him a wave (he'll have a badge, whether he'll be incognito is another thing!)

    Lin Dike

    A potential rarity was found near Warbler Corner last week (between Lin Dike hide and iron bridge) I say potential because the sighting has yet to be…

    • 16 May 2018
  • The good, the bad and the ugly

    For your delight and delectation, I spent a couple of hours crawling around on my allotment this week, hobnobbing with the insects. There's nothing like getting down and dirty on a sunny spring day to press your 'wow' buttons. Here's who I met:

    Female Tawny mining bee (Andrena fulva) out shopping

    This lady may well live in your lawn, leaving little volcanoes of earth at her doorway. She's harmless…

    • 6 May 2018
  • 6000 miles (or 9,952km) Plus St. Aidan's Sightings

    This is the distance, as a crow flies, between Leeds and Cape Town, South Africa and represents the UK’s importance for birds that winter in Africa and breed here. All wheatear spend their winters in central Africa and come spring, the various races travel to north Africa, northern Asia, Greenland, north-west Canada and Europe. The Greenland race is a passage migrant to the UK on its way to its Arctic breeding grounds…

    • 2 May 2018