April 24th

Today I saw my first bluebells of the season along the Riverside Trail I also heard my first cuckoo of the year! Down at Charlie's hide four very active and extremely vocal common terns were putting on a real performance of aerial acrobatics. Plenty of sand martins too, some were either nesting or exploring the drainage holes in the railway bridge over the River Aire. Back at Charlie's a lovely grey heron arrived and promptly sat down! While "resting" in this position it kept picking up sticks and rearranging them on the floor--I'm guessing he's a non breeding bird possibly a juvenile who has been allowed to breed and still has the urge! Grebes, shellduck, oystercatchers,cormorants and a lovely little wren building a nest in the overgrown branches of a fallen tree to the right of the hide were all on display. We were joined by a little sandpiper out on the island edge-delightful little bird. The kingfisher flew past in a blur of metalic blue and orange quickly followed by a great spotted woodpecker. The kingfisher also turned up down by the sluice gates he saw some lads fishing in his flight path so did a 90 degree turn and flew to the river. Has anyone else noticed the abundance of blackcaps this year? I must have seen at least 6 on my walk out to Charie's today -one was practically in the hide with me ticking away before flying up to perform his lovely blackbird que song. Willow warblers, chiff chaffs, sedgewarblers, and a host of others accompanied me on my return walk-sadly the little chaffinch's nest with two eggs in at the side of the trail seems to have evaporated into space - eggs, nest everything as if it was never there! Enjoyed pointing out the avocets from Bob Dickens hide to a couple who hadn't spotted them amongst the throng of gulls! Every visit is different but rarely if ever do I come home without some wonderful memories to mull on -till my next visit to Fairburn Ings
  • Hi Redwolf,

    The reserve is amazing at the minute, really full of life, and I'm glad its given you some wonderful memories!  The kingfishers certainly stick in everyone's minds and many have had their first glimpse of one here.

    I've noticed the abundance of blackcaps, and others have also commented on it so you're definitely not the only one to notice them all.  Even if you can't spot them easily among the leaves now, you can certainly hear them!

    Hopefully see you back soon,