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North York Moors - Help with late April Bird sites Please (1 Viewer)

Dave Derrick

Well-known member
Supporter
England
I am staying for a week in late April just outside Malton and would be be very grateful for some suggestions as to good bird watching sights in the North York Moors area. In particular, wooded areas where Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart etc may be found, although I accept it may be a little early in the year.

Any help much appreciated. Thanks, Dave.
 

Keith Dickinson

Well-known member
Opus Editor
Hi Dave, the N Y Moors are not an area I know well so I can't help too much for the species you are targeting. I do know that Spot fly are really hard birds to find now. The area around the Raptor viewpoint at Wykeham is about the best I could suggest for the other two species. I will ask around for more info for you.
 

Keith Dickinson

Well-known member
Opus Editor
Pied flycatchers are probably going to be a bit later moving through than you are there. Spotted flycatchers are in major decline, looking at the last few Yorkshire bird reports they are decreasing year on year so the best you could hope for is an early passage bird. The best chance for Redstarts is going to be Dalby Forest but even there they aren't numerous.
 

Dave Derrick

Well-known member
Supporter
England
If you are prepared to travel a little then you have a good chance of all three at the back end of April in Strid Woods at Bolton Abbey.
Keith, many thanks for your suggestions; most helpful. We were based last year for a week near Kirkby Lonsdale and had Bolton Abbey on the list, but never quite got round to going there. A fair drive, but perhaps this year from the other side of the country ? Thanks, Dave.
 

Keith Dickinson

Well-known member
Opus Editor
Yeah Malton to Bolton Abbey is a fair way, but Strid Wood has the benefit of the Cavendish Pavilion so drinks and meals are possible on site making it easier to make a day of it. No having to pack lunches etc. For general birding closer to Malton try Askham Bog (just off the A64 on western boundary of York), Filey Dams as it's name suggests is in Filey, look for street named Wharfedale and follow that to the reserve entrance), Forge Valley (near Scarborough, actually at East Ayton on the Scarborough - Pickering Road, several parking places to stop and explore from), Wyeham raptor viewpoint (take the road at the side of the Downe Arms pub for about three miles to reach the viewpoint).
 

Dave Derrick

Well-known member
Supporter
England
Yeah Malton to Bolton Abbey is a fair way, but Strid Wood has the benefit of the Cavendish Pavilion so drinks and meals are possible on site making it easier to make a day of it. No having to pack lunches etc. For general birding closer to Malton try Askham Bog (just off the A64 on western boundary of York), Filey Dams as it's name suggests is in Filey, look for street named Wharfedale and follow that to the reserve entrance), Forge Valley (near Scarborough, actually at East Ayton on the Scarborough - Pickering Road, several parking places to stop and explore from), Wyeham raptor viewpoint (take the road at the side of the Downe Arms pub for about three miles to reach the viewpoint).
Keith,

Very many thanks; much appreciated. I agree with the benefits of Bolton Abbey; a whole day experience; regretted not making the effort last year. Thanks for all the other advice; I reckon enough to keep us going for a week. All the best, Dave..
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
I am staying for a week in late April just outside Malton and would be be very grateful for some suggestions as to good bird watching sights in the North York Moors area. In particular, wooded areas where Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart etc may be found, although I accept it may be a little early in the year.

Any help much appreciated. Thanks, Dave.

'Could be a bit far for you but at an hour and a half's drive, Tunstall Reservoir at Wolsingham in the South West part of County Durham was guaranteed spotted and pied flycatcher on a daily basis last year (they stick to a small area and so you don't have to wait long to hear/see them). They were both there earlier than the expected arrival date, I know because one of the birds I wanted to see in spring was pied flycatcher so I thought I'd have a look even though earlier than anticipated and they were there. I would say around mid-April. Apparently redstarts are usually in good numbers there too, except last year.

The good thing about it is that you are guaranteed to see them once they've turned up, particularly pied flycatcher. They nest in a certain part of the woodland and they don't move too far from the nest box (and it's quite open, on a nice day lots of light gets into that part of the woodland). Males much busier and on show. If it's a bird you really want to see and you have a very good chance of seeing that bird, then an hour and a half isn't far and it's a beautiful area.
 

Dave Derrick

Well-known member
Supporter
England
'Could be a bit far for you but at an hour and a half's drive, Tunstall Reservoir at Wolsingham in the South West part of County Durham was guaranteed spotted and pied flycatcher on a daily basis last year (they stick to a small area and so you don't have to wait long to hear/see them). They were both there earlier than the expected arrival date, I know because one of the birds I wanted to see in spring was pied flycatcher so I thought I'd have a look even though earlier than anticipated and they were there. I would say around mid-April. Apparently redstarts are usually in good numbers there too, except last year.

The good thing about it is that you are guaranteed to see them once they've turned up, particularly pied flycatcher. They nest in a certain part of the woodland and they don't move too far from the nest box (and it's quite open, on a nice day lots of light gets into that part of the woodland). Males much busier and on show. If it's a bird you really want to see and you have a very good chance of seeing that bird, then an hour and a half isn't far and it's a beautiful area.
Paul,

Very many thanks. Fair drive, but could well make a day of it. Presumably park up, cross dam and walk north through the woods. Cheers, thanks again, Dave.
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Paul,

Very many thanks. Fair drive, but could well make a day of it. Presumably park up, cross dam and walk north through the woods. Cheers, thanks again, Dave.

No bother, Dave. Aye, park up, cross the dam. Walk 20 yards or so up the bank and the pied flycatchers are there. The spotted flycatchers I had to walk just a bit farther into the woods, maybe another 40/50 yards. Morning, I found the pied flycatchers very noisy and active, usually high up in the trees but that part of the wood is not dense so you can watch them while listening to them. Afternoons, not so vocal and active but they came down much closer to the ground. Spotted flycatcher did come to that part of the wood in the afternoon. Also wood warbler in there and tawny owls, among other birds, 'was in there about 10am one day and a tawny owl was hooting, I was there for the pied flycatchers so didn't bother but a lad I was talking to went and found it and got a beauty of a picture in daylight. The good thing about this place for the flycatchers is that you don't have to wait long to see them, last year I was seeing pied flycatchers on a daily basis within 5 minutes of turning up, they don't move far, and plenty of light gets in where they like to spend their time.
 

Dave Derrick

Well-known member
Supporter
England
No bother, Dave. Aye, park up, cross the dam. Walk 20 yards or so up the bank and the pied flycatchers are there. The spotted flycatchers I had to walk just a bit farther into the woods, maybe another 40/50 yards. Morning, I found the pied flycatchers very noisy and active, usually high up in the trees but that part of the wood is not dense so you can watch them while listening to them. Afternoons, not so vocal and active but they came down much closer to the ground. Spotted flycatcher did come to that part of the wood in the afternoon. Also wood warbler in there and tawny owls, among other birds, 'was in there about 10am one day and a tawny owl was hooting, I was there for the pied flycatchers so didn't bother but a lad I was talking to went and found it and got a beauty of a picture in daylight. The good thing about this place for the flycatchers is that you don't have to wait long to see them, last year I was seeing pied flycatchers on a daily basis within 5 minutes of turning up, they don't move far, and plenty of light gets in where they like to spend their time.
Paul, excellent. Will certainly give Tunstall a visit. Again, many thanks. Cheers, Dave.
 

Dave Derrick

Well-known member
Supporter
England
No bother, Dave. Aye, park up, cross the dam. Walk 20 yards or so up the bank and the pied flycatchers are there. The spotted flycatchers I had to walk just a bit farther into the woods, maybe another 40/50 yards. Morning, I found the pied flycatchers very noisy and active, usually high up in the trees but that part of the wood is not dense so you can watch them while listening to them. Afternoons, not so vocal and active but they came down much closer to the ground. Spotted flycatcher did come to that part of the wood in the afternoon. Also wood warbler in there and tawny owls, among other birds, 'was in there about 10am one day and a tawny owl was hooting, I was there for the pied flycatchers so didn't bother but a lad I was talking to went and found it and got a beauty of a picture in daylight. The good thing about this place for the flycatchers is that you don't have to wait long to see them, last year I was seeing pied flycatchers on a daily basis within 5 minutes of turning up, they don't move far, and plenty of light gets in where they like to spend their time.
 

Dave Derrick

Well-known member
Supporter
England
Paul, sorry to be a pain. I am assuming that you park in the car park less than half a mile up the western side of the reservoir and walk back to the dam etc. Cheers, Dave.
 

PaulCountyDurham

Well-known member
United Kingdom
Paul, sorry to be a pain. I am assuming that you park in the car park less than half a mile up the western side of the reservoir and walk back to the dam etc. Cheers, Dave.

No bother, Dave:. you can park at the car park where you're talking about, or you can park right next to the houses just outside of the gate to cross the dam: there have always been spaces when I've been. I should have said, guaranteed house martin also around the houses near the gate and the mud bank just as you walk through the gate. Song thrush and mistle thrush always busy on the grass 'round there, green woodpecker not unusual, I've seem barn owl there in the field to the left as you walk through the gate. Always kestrels and buzzards knocking about on the drive from the main road to the reservoir and I've seen dipper half way between moving off the main road and heading to a dam where there's a stream you can't miss: always grey and pied wagtail there.
 

Dave Derrick

Well-known member
Supporter
England
No bother, Dave:. you can park at the car park where you're talking about, or you can park right next to the houses just outside of the gate to cross the dam: there have always been spaces when I've been. I should have said, guaranteed house martin also around the houses near the gate and the mud bank just as you walk through the gate. Song thrush and mistle thrush always busy on the grass 'round there, green woodpecker not unusual, I've seem barn owl there in the field to the left as you walk through the gate. Always kestrels and buzzards knocking about on the drive from the main road to the reservoir and I've seen dipper half way between moving off the main road and heading to a dam where there's a stream you can't miss: always grey and pied wagtail there.
Paul, Again very many thanks for all your help. All the best, Dave.
 

Derick Pearson

New member
England
Yeah Malton to Bolton Abbey is a fair way, but Strid Wood has the benefit of the Cavendish Pavilion so drinks and meals are possible on site making it easier to make a day of it. No having to pack lunches etc. For general birding closer to Malton try Askham Bog (just off the A64 on western boundary of York), Filey Dams as it's name suggests is in Filey, look for street named Wharfedale and follow that to the reserve entrance), Forge Valley (near Scarborough, actually at East Ayton on the Scarborough - Pickering Road, several parking places to stop and explore from), Wyeham raptor viewpoint (take the road at the side of the Downe Arms pub for about three miles to reach the viewpoint).
One won't find much better advice than these birding venues here. They ALL produce if one spends time at them. Thank You Keith.
 

KC Foggin

Super Moderator
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
United States
One won't find much better advice than these birding venues here. They ALL produce if one spends time at them. Thank You Keith.
Hi there Derick and a warm welcome to you from those of us on staff here at BirdForum (y)
We're glad you found us and please join in wherever you like. ;)
 

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