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A refresh of the YOC website is currently under development. We hope that it will be going live in early autumn.

On a fine, sunny day, the club trip on 7th June saw us start off at Yearsley Moor, where 14 of us met Jonathan Pomroy, who led us on a walk through the woods and down to the lakes. Whilst the raging, simulated battle of Ampleforth School’s  CCF did conspire to drown out some birds and prevent us walking around the main lake, alongside more common woodland birds, we did have good views of Tree Pipit, Siskin, Bullfinch and Spotted Flycatcher and more fleeting views of Redstart in the woods; though sadly no Pied Flycatchers were seen near the lake. Mid-morning, we headed to Jonathan’s house, aptly named Swift House, to see his resident Swifts screaming overhead and view the Swift nest-cam that he has set up. Nesting House Martins were much appreciated here too. We were also treated to coffee and a chance to look at his sketch books and paintings, as it was one of his Open Studio days.

We then went on to Hawnby , where birds were in rather short supply, possibly due to the increasingly windy conditions,  although we did all eventually manage to see a pair of rather mobile Pied Flycatchers and had rather better views of Redstarts; there were also several Mistle Thrushes and Meadow Pipits about.  A highlight for many was seeing three scarcer butterfly species there (in a sunny sheltered spot), namely  Duke of Burgundy, Green Hairstreak, and Dingy Skipper, which Mike Walton identified for us – for some members of the group, three British butterfly ticks! A few of the group then ended the day at Wass Woods (very quiet also), the reward for perseverance being a fine Spotted Flycatcher perched on top of a tree out in the open as we returned to the cars to head home! A total of 49 species was seen and heard during the day.

Sand Martins have been spotted using the Sand Martin Hotel at Heslington East. However, there are fewer House Martins around this year than might have been expected.