Date: Saturday 22nd April 2017
Weather: Fine but Cool
Leader: Graham Thomas/John Wilson
Party Number: 47
The Coach picked 47 people up at The Hob Inn, Bamber Bridge at 7.30am and drove through the beautiful countryside of The Howgills and The Whinsill.
Several species of birds and mammals where observed from the coach on route. We arrived at Saltholme RSPB Nature Reserve after about 2 hours 40 minutes travel. The Reserve lay just north of Middlesbrough covering a large area of water, rough scrub, and grass. A Habitat recovered from an industrial past.
We started our visit by having a look around the Visitor Centre with its large viewing window which overlooked a lake with a Sand Martin bank to the right hand side. This had over 30 Sand Martins flying around in a flock constantly visiting the many holes. There was also a feeding station to the left giving fabulously close views of Tree Sparrow, Stock Dove and Goldfinch.
We set off from the centre along the various trails, hides, and screens.
The numerous habitats gave rewarding views of various bird, mammal, and plant species. This took most of the day. The highlight of the day was observing a pair of Ringed Plover which turned out to be Little Ringed Plover, because of their black beak, yellow around the eye and lack of wing bar when they flew.
We came back to the centre for refreshments in the cafe about 2.30 pm. We then just had enough time to visit the Phil Stead hide before getting back on the coach at 4.00pm for the return journey.
We stopped at Killington Lakes service station on the journey back.
Everyone agreed it was a fantastic day out.