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The Strid Woods
This small area of Wharfedale can give you a great days birding, without having to treks for miles and miles. Whilst there are over 80 miles of footpaths on the Bolton Abbey Estate, some of the best birding is achieved within a couple of miles of the car park. There are a number of waymarked paths to follow through the deciduous woodland beside the river Wharfe as it flows through the Strid Gorge. Pied flycatchers use many of the nestboxes to be found in the wooded area on the east of the river. Visits made just after dawn or just before dusk generally give the best birding.
 Notable Species
Pied flycatcher, redstart and wood warbler can usually be seen during the late spring and early summer before the canopy is complete in the woodland. An early morning visit will usually yield mandarin ducks on the river, whilst on the surrounding moors red grouse, golden plover, curlew and buzzard can be found.
Birds you can see here include:
Mandarin Duck, Mallard, Goosander, Red Kite, Eurasian Buzzard, European Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Pheasant, Moorhen, Eurasian Oystercatcher, Northern Lapwing, European Golden Plover, Eurasian Woodcock, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Stock Dove, Common Wood Pigeon, Common Cuckoo, Tawny Owl, Little Owl, Common Swift, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, Eurasian Wren, White-throated Dipper, Hedge Accentor, Robin, Common Redstart, Song Thrush, Redwing, Mistle Thrush, Fieldfare, Eurasian Blackbird, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Common Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Wood Warbler, Common Chiffchaff, Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, European Pied Flycatcher, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Eurasian Nuthatch, Common Treecreeper, Eurasian Magpie, Eurasian Jay, Eurasian Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Common Starling, House Sparrow, Chaffinch, Brambling, Lesser Redpoll, European Goldfinch, European Greenfinch, Eurasian Siskin
 Other Wildlife
 Site Information
 History and Use
The Bolton Abbey Estate is owned by the Duke of Devonshire and comprises a large area of moorland and the tree-lined valley of the River Wharfe that forms the Strid. The abbey ruins and parish church are all that is left of the 12th century Augustinian Priory. There is fly-fishing allowed on the river, permit needed and open access onto the moorland above the valley on most days of the year. The riverside area can be extremely busy during the summer months and even on weekends during the winter months.
 Areas of Interest
 Access and Facilities
Two fee paying car parks, largest at the Cavendish Pavilion site, (SE077552) Strid Wood car park (SE058563) is substantially smaller. There is also very limited free roadside parking at Barden Bridge(SE052574), this is popular with walkers so you need to be there early. Both car parks can be accessed from the B6160 which runs from the A59 between Harrogate and Skipton.
There are toilets situated at both car parks. The shop sells basic hot/cold drinks and snacks at Strid Wood car park. There are both a restaurant/cafe and a gift shop at the Cavendish Pavilion car park.
 Contact Details
General Enquiries Estate Office 01756 718009 (Monday to Friday)
Where to watch birds in Yorkshire and Humberside, J Mather
Birdwatching Walks in the Yorkshire Dales, B Threlfall
 External Links
Content originally posted by Keith Dickinson