Strensall Common evening walk

Report by Peter Reed

Despite the gloomy prospects, after hail storms in parts of York and Strensall a few hours before, a optimistic group of about 12 met for this evening walk. At the last minutes, the venue had be changed due to MOD use of the southern shooting ranges area, so we visited the northern part, starting at Galtres.

Birds were slow to start with, Willow Warbler, Chaffinch and Great, Coal and Blue Tits, a distant singing Mistle Thrush and eventually a pair of Linnets showed, but no stonechat in the ‘usual’ place however.  Two Curlew called from the marshy area to the north, heralding a change of luck,  with Cuckoo and Green Woodpecker calling and a couple of visible Tree Pipits singing within range.  Further on we found Jay, Reed Bunting, Wren and Starling, the last unusual for the common, despite many dead trees for nesting.  Now about 8.30 pm, the light was going, but Rob and Duncan briefly spotted an owl on a stump, before it flew off and was lost, and we concluded it was a Long-eared Owl. Unfortunately, by this time about half of the group had started back and were out of calling range. The rest of us returned via another path nearer where it had been, but no further luck, though we saw a Mallard for the list!

Not a huge tally, but we saw and/or heard most of the main characteristic species and a pleasant sunset to walk back to the cars with. Thanks to all who came, and to Rob and Peter who waited at the other car park to re-direct those who missed the email/website notice of the revised meeting spot.