Ripon City Wetlands and Nosterfield Quarries – 10th April

17 of us gathered at Ripon City Wetlands on a glorious spring morning, followed by a visit to the restored quarry at Nosterfield, and then lunch and a third walk round the working Nosterfield quarry. In all we tallied 73 species on the three walks.

Highlights were:

Ripon City Wetlands

  • Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs in full song
  • The first singing Willow warbler for many of us.
  • At least three Cetti’s warblers in song.

Nosterfield 1

  • Black-tailed godwits – 25 in full breeding plumage
  • Avocet – 2
  • Ringed plover – 2
  • Pink-footed goose – 42
  • Ruddy shelduck – 1 with the Pink-footed geese. Was it wild? Who knows?
  • Garganey – a pair flying so fast and low that only two of us saw them!

The geese and godwits were presumably on their way to Iceland.

Nosterfield 2

  • Little egret – 5
  • Little owl – cracking views of a pair in a suitably holey ash tree
  • Green woodpecker – 1
  • Mandarin duck – a pair
  • Common sandpiper – 1
  • Little-ringed plover – 2

At Nosterfield 1 we found two Bloody Nosed beetles which deposited nice red goop on my fingers and hands, and at Nosterfield 2 we watched two species of Bee Fly zooming round a flowery bank.

Missing from the day’s tally were any hirundines, which surprised us. But on the way there or on the way back several of us also ticked the Ring ousel at Poppleton – making for a really great day out.

John Lawton