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Wheldrake Ings

From Opus

England, Yorkshire


[edit] Overview

A large reserve to the south-east of York made up of flood meadows or Ings, lying alongside the River Derwent and the Pocklington Canal. It is part of a complex of reserves and flood meadows known collectively as the Lower Derwent Valley.

[edit] Birds

[edit] Notable Species

A small wood is present which has many woodland species including Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Willow Tit, Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Garden Warbler and formerly Lesser Spotted Woodpecker.

Around the car park (which regularly floods!) some scrub can contain a variety of Warblers, Tits, Finches and Buntings.

In the fields both species of Partridge are regular with occasional Quail. Crossing the bridge to the east side of the river a path snakes down the western side of the reserve to a number of hides. Between the path and the river is crack willow scrub which contains Warblers, Tits and Finches with occasional passage passerines such as Spotted Flycatcher and Common Redstart.

The first hide, reached approximately half a mile from the car park, is a double decker and looks over the meadows toward a Great Cormorant colony on the far side of the Ings. Goosander commonly gather around these trees in winter during flood (the Ings flood at all times of the year although little rainfall can quickly lead to all but the pool and a few ditches drying up).

During the winter this hide gives a fantastic view of wildfowl, waders and on an evening the gull roost. All bird numbers are dependent on flood levels but gulls especially so. High floods this winter brought flocks of over 10,000 gulls in. The majority are Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, with smaller numbers of Herring Gull and Great Black-backed Gull. Scarce gulls present in recent years include good numbers of Iceland Gull, with smaller numbers of Glaucous Gull, Yellow-legged Gull and occasional Kittiwake.

All regular species of winter wildfowl are represented, some purely on passage but others like Northern Pintail occur in large numbers.

A scan of the resident Greylag Goose and Canada Goose often produces Pink-footed Goose. Golden Plover and Northern Lapwing occur in large flocks, often with smaller numbers of Black-tailed Godwits and Ruff amongst them.

Common Snipe counts of 100 plus can occur in winter with occasional Jack Snipe amongst them. Recently Common Cranes have been seen on this part of the reserve on passage.

The second hide (the Riverside Hide) is quite dilapidated and the water levels need to be just right for this to be particularly productive although views of what can be seen from the tower hide are different.

Toward the south of the reserve are two other hides, the pool hide which can attract passing waders and good numbers of ducks and the Swantail Hide (after passing along a board walk through a reedbed). Birds such as Sedge Warbler & Reed Warbler are common but usually somewhat skulking.

During spring passage a roost of Whimbrel occurs.

Raptors are often seen around the reserve with Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Hobby, Peregrine, Buzzard, Marsh Harrier and Kestrel often seen.

[edit] Rarities

Rarities in recent years have included Green-winged Teal and American Wigeon.

[edit] Check-list

Birds you can see here include:

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[edit] Other Wildlife

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[edit] Site Information

[edit] History and Use

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[edit] Areas of Interest

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[edit] Access and Facilities

The reserve is reached from Wheldrake, 4 miles east of the A19. Half a mile south-east of the village turn left after the sewage works.

[edit] Contact Details

Tel: 01904 435500

[edit] External Links

Wheldrake Ings

Wheldrake Ings on Streetmap


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