My parents have recently bought a small barn to do up and serve them as a country retreat for retirement in Stainforth, on the edge of the Yorkshire Dales NP. The first time I will have chance to go down is mid-March. Despite having only limited knowledge and experience of the area, mostly day walks around the Grassington/3 peaks area - I was really impressed by the sheer numbers (the curlew and oystercatcher roosts were incredible) and species diversity. Of course the scenery isn't too bad aswell!
If anyone could point me in the direction of any blogs or have suggestions for any must-see birding locations within this southern part of the Dales I'd be really grateful!
Presumably red grouse are in the area? Would I need to go further north to have a chance of black?
I'm assuming you mean the Stainforth that's in Ribblesdale, 'cos if you are then an area to visit just East of there is Malham Cove where there's a nesting pair of Peregrines on the Cove for all to see and the scenery is second to none. The area around the river in Stainforth is good, there's Dipper, Pied Fly, Grey Wag and other birds as well as downstream watching the Salmon leap as they travel up thro' the falls in late summer early autumn.
As Ken said on your way there, along the A65 just thro' Hellifield, is the Flash on the right where some good birds are seen regularly.