Soak up the autumnal sights in the Yorkshire Nature Triangle

Published: Monday 11th September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Just because the weather is getting a little chillier, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the Yorkshire Nature Triangle.

In fact, autumn is one of the key times to visit many of the stunning sites in the county.

“This season sees the Yorkshire coast become a huge arrivals and departures lounge for wildlife, or in some cases, just a temporary stopover for nature,” Tom Marshall, Business Development Manager for Yorkshire Wildlife Trust, enthuses.

Visit now and you’ll be able to see summer visitors, such as swallows and martins gathering in large groups before setting off for warmer climes. It’s an impressive sight, involving hundreds and thousands of birds.

“Spurn Point is a great place to watch this visible migration,” Tom tells us.

This time of year is also a brilliant chance to spy redstarts, warblers and wheatears. The former can be identified by its quivering bright orange tail, whilst the wheatears have a blue-grey body, black wings and an orange flush on their breast.

“These three may have nested far inland throughout the summer, but they now make their way to our coast ahead of their trip to winter quarters,” he explains.

Meanwhile, colourful continental aviators can also be seen in the area.

“Some unusual visitors sometimes find themselves blown off course and arrive on our shores by accident,” Tom points out.

Head to Flamborough, Filey and Spurn during the next month or so and you may be able to spot vibrant travellers, such as shrikes, hoopoes and the exotic-sounding bluethroats and rollers.

Whilst many summer birds are leaving the island, there are some who journey to Yorkshire for a winter retreat.

“Wildlife from Scandinavia and the Arctic Circle will travel to the region in autumn. This includes redwings and fieldfares. They find our berry-laden hedgerows irresistible.”

The redwing is the UK’s smallest thrush. In the meantime, fieldfares are much larger. Their distinctive chuckling can be heard from afar.

“Whooper swans also fly in for our ice-free waters, heralding their arrival with a stunning hooting call,” Tom adds.

Sizeable groupings of wading birds inevitably attract birds of prey, so early winter is a wonderful season to catch a glimpse of these magnificent creatures.

“Peregrines are joined by the smaller merlin, whilst harriers and short-eared owls prey on small mammals, making a home in the salt marshes of the Humber,” Tom explains.

Furthermore, the wetland nature reserves, such as Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s North Cave, RSPB Blacktoft Sands and the Lower Derwent Valley, see thousands of beautifully-hued ducks and wigeons.

Villages like Nunburnholme are a fantastic location to see red kites. It’s a particularly exceptional view, as during this time of year they begin to roost together. Red kites have an incredible five-foot wingspan and frequently circle above fields and woodland.

“Strengthening autumnal winds can also bring in pirates in the shape of skuas. Their aggressive tactics in chasing down gulls and shearwaters offshore make them a sought after sighting for birdwatchers,” Tom continues. “The Yorkshire Belle offers special cruises in partnership with the RSPB to seek them out.”

To find out more about what you could get up to in the Yorkshire Nature Triangle this autumn, please visit their website.

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Published: Monday 11th September 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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