Today I gave a student, Oliver, from Staines (and York uni) the tour of some local sites. As he needed LEO as a lifer we set off to Fairburn via Wentworth College which produced no Redpolls and Harewood Whin which produced no Gulls. None, zilch, nicht, nada. At Fairburn due to teh visitor centre being closed we headed straight up to Lin Dyke and I didnt quite have the directions right so we missed the bird. We headed down to the centre at opening time for a Water Rail under the feeders and several Bullfinch feeding on the feeders fighting with Greenfinch - not something I had seen before. Sadly no Little Owl which has disappeared and no Willow Tits. Headed back to Lin Dyke we had a couple of Little Egrets buzzing about. A couple of Chiffchaffs started calling which were my first of the year. We eventually managed good views of the Owl and pressed on.
We decided on Allerthorpe Common, hoping for Adder and Crossbill. Once again the adders diudnt play ball but the Crossers gave brief flight views, with c20 present. Also plenty of Siskin and we had a small party of Lesser Redpoll. Another Chiffchaff sang in the background as Jays screamed. The paths were littered with Toad porn as the amphibians got jiggy. A Common Lizard seen by Oliver was nice in the sun.
Next stop was Black Dyke Ings where a pair of Shelduck were kicking about, along with a few Oystercatcher, Linnet and Lapwing. Plenty of Pied Wagtails were kncking about and I noticed a paler bird - a very nice White Wagtail.
Last stop of the day was North Cave which failed to produce anything of significant note...except the Wheatear which appeared as I remarked 'We really should check that field for Wheatears'. Brilliant. And very springy. No sign of the Green-winged Teal but the reserve was very busy so we didnt get much of a chance.
As a postscript it should be noted we had a Small Tortoishell at Fairburn and a couple of Small Skipper's at Allerthorpe. All good stuff.