Sunday 28 July 2019

Twitching in Yorkshire

Since visiting Bempton Cliffs , and spotting Puffins, Pufflings and other sea birds in their natural habitat, we have been encouraged to visit other nature reserves armed with our binoculars.

A trip out to Tophill Low nature reserve promised a host of unusual birds but, apart from Wood Pigeons, a Robin, Coots and ducks, we were disappointed on this occasion.  However, it was far from a wasted visit as there are quite a few hides, ponds and walks through the woods which were especially welcome on one of the hottest days of the year.  We did try pond dipping, saw apple green marsh frogs and a rare moth when a lepidopterist leapt out of the bushes.  More serious twitchers spend many hours of the day in the hides, even bringing their own cushions!

 Opportunities for pond dipping and observing water creatures

 Cool, shady walks

 Birds which can be spotted here, but alas not on this visit

Although regular visitors to the seaside town of Filey, this was our first visit to Filey Dams and it won’t be our last.
This hidden gem, maintained by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and situated at the end of a residential street, came as quite a surprise.  With free parking and entry and plenty of regular twitchers generously advising us about the wildlife and pointing out where to look, we enjoyed watching baby Coots being fed by their parents, a Mediterranean Black-headed Gull and Grebes. There is a large, airy hide from which to observe what’s happening in the freshwater lagoon or take the boardwalk to the marshes.
Although there are no facilities on site, we were recommended to try the nearby Pitstop Café, but can’t comment personally as we didn’t have time to visit it.  


 View from the hide
 I find these spaces tranquil and you never know what you might spot or who you might meet. 

“The sea is their grave but this Memorial sculpture is, in many ways, a headstone for the lost trawlermen”

I have always been impressed by the architecture in the centre of the maritime city of Hull, especially the old buildings with their carving...