Monday, 7 March 2016

Post 394 - Wonderful rambling at wildlife reserves - a challenge update

Some fabulous fungi at Fairburn
Hey everyone, today's post 394 and I have been to a couple of places recently which I haven't written about yet so I thought I'd make up for that today. The weekend before last I went to a reserve that's a favourite of mine, RSPB Fairburn Ings and this weekend I had a stroll around a reserve that's new to me, Yorkshire Wildlife Trusts Strensall Common.

So what were they like and what did I see?

About the best my camera could do with the
displaying Grebes!
Fairburn Ings - I'd been planning to get here the week before but that didn't work out as I wasn't feeling very well, a shame as I heard there was a Spoonbill and a Smew there that week. The reserve had been flooded as well so we didn't know how much was open but as I read that the Smew was still about I was keen to go and have a look for it.

At the entrance to Strensall Common
Well I went and the reserve didn't look like it had been flooded, only one path was still closed. Our family had a lovely walk round but I wasn't lucky enough to find the Smew this time. I saw plenty of other birds though. On the feeders were the Tree Sparrows, Great Tits, Greenfinches, Chaffinches and as we walked round we saw a Treecreeper. On the Lakes there were Goosanders, Oystercatchers, Tufted Ducks, Goldeneyes and Swans.

The highlight though this time was watching a pair of Great Crested Grebes doing their courtship display, bobbing and shaking their heads. It was lovely to watch but I only managed a couple of ropey photos as they were on the far side of the lake. I missed out last year seeing one of these birds with its young being carried on the parent's back so I'll be looking out for that this year!

Reeds, heath and copses, lovely habitats
Strenall Common - this reserve had lots of heather on it, which isn't that unusual where I live being close to the North York Moors but what made this different was that it was in the Vale of York, so quite low down. When I looked it up it is part of a big area of lowland heath which is internationally important!

Dad, Esme and I had a lovely walk round the common while Mum was visiting a friend in York. It had lots of interesting habitats. There was plenty of heathland of course, some nice patches of wet woodland, reedy areas and lovely copses of silver birch.

Wet woodland, the Beech leaves and ferns were
lovely in the sunshine.
It looks like a place that will be great in the summer months and there was evidence of mammals about even at this time of year. I didn't see much here other than Chaffinches and Longtailed Tits in the trees but I'll have to try and get back in a few months as I'm sure there are a lot of dragonflies waiting to emerge. Apparently it's good for Common Lizards too which I really like.

I did a mini clean as well as I found an old helium balloon there as well as a few bottles and cans so I collected a few up as I went round and put them in the bin at home.

A dead Helium balloon, picked this up so it wouldn't
harm any wildlife!

Well that's been it for a couple of weeks, it's a busy patch so I've not been out and about quite as much. Should be getting out and about a bit more soon especially as it's been nice enough to get a walk in the bit of light still around at teatime now!

Hope you enjoyed,


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