Upper Nidderdale, Tuesday 30th April 2019

We soon left the low ground fog behind and, by 10 a.m. when we reached Gouthwaite, the sun was shining. The early team had stopped at Wath for Dipper and, although that was unproductive, they did see Treecreeper and hear Green Woodpecker. In the car park at Gouthwaite, a Garden Warbler gave good views as it sang from a nearby tree. The low water level at Gouthwaite Reservoir produced much activity amongst the waders present with Common Sandpipers and Little Ringed Plovers displaying, Dunlins trilling, Common Redshanks and Oystercatchers forever flying and calling. A fine drake Pintail gave excellent close views. A Common Buzzard and a Red Grouse were seen on the western hillside.

We moved on to Lofthouse and the Scar road, stopping beside the Fire Station building to look for the Dipper which is usually seen there, but the water level in the Nidd was extremely low and the rocks were well above the water. No Dipper was present but a Grey Wagtail was eventually found. A Stoat crossed the road as we drove up to Scar House Reservoir. The weather was exceptionally warm for Scar House! After much searching, a pair of Ring Ouzels was found along with several Wheatears. Two Common Buzzards were also seen on the skyline.

After lunch, the group walked to the dam and continued along the road where a cuckoo called from across the reservoir. A search for Crossbills seen recently in the area was unsuccessful but a pair of Siskins obliged. As we returned along the Scar road, our first stop was at Newhouses to look for Pied Flycatchers in woodland where nest boxes have been placed for them. A fine male was found immediately, giving everyone close views as it sang — the photographers were very happy! A stop at the tunnel was unproductive and so we moved on to stop again at the Gouthwaite viewing area for a final look. Scanning the hillside across the reservoir two birds were seen perched above the skyline. Two years ago Black Grouse had been seen and they were a possibility. The site ruled out Red Grouse and, thanks to a member with some high-tech. optics, Black Grouse was confirmed when white underwings were seen as they dropped down and flew up again from time to time.
An excellent end to a most productive day in glorious weather. A great team effort producing 65 species on the day
June Atkinson

Nidderdale Species List

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