Heading north

After months of planning, booking accommodation, changing our minds, cancelling and booking again we are off…up north! We decided to break the journey up with a stop in Yorkshire to do some birding there, in fact the site we visited is in North and West Yorkshire! Fairburn Ings and RSPB site was to be our first stop and the journey was going well, ETA 11.30am but it wasn’t to be. Suddenly the traffic on the A1 ground to a halt and for about five miles we crawled very slowly along until we saw what had been the cause, a nasty looking accident. Thankful to have arrived safely we got there about an hour late.

It was a nice looking site with a really good visitors centre and very friendly staff. We spent some while overlooking the feeders, as we were told that Willow tits often visit them, not today it seems! We were treated to lots of Tree sparrows including this young one that sat on the feeding station demanding to be fed.

Nuthatches, Bullfinches and other small birds but sadly still no sign of a Willow tit. Off we  good walk out to some of the hides much of the time in the pouring rain. Not a great deal on the water but at least this little Robin was put off by the weather.

We enjoyed the visit and if it were nearer I suspect we would visit again but it was rather a long way to go and sadly no tick today. Off to continue the journey northward, next stop Darlington to Hall Garth Hotel our stop for the night and by the time we arrived the weather had improved dramatically. We were able to have a walk around the garden and golf course and work up an apitite for what we hope would be a delicious meal at the ‘local pub’ in the hotel grounds as an alternative to eating in the hotel dining room.

We found a small, ‘secret’ garden, a peaceful spot that with an enthusiastic Gardner at work could be beautiful. Then off around the hold course we went, I suspect Ian was feeling a few pangs of missing golf!

There must be a lot of work involved in keeping the course looking good but then I wonder if this little fella help keep the grass so short!

Well sadly our meal wasn’t a great hit, ok but not anything to make a return visit appealing! Thankfully our room is very pleasant and I think we will both sleep well. When we awake we are off again heading to Seahouses but we plan to detour on the way to the WWT site at Washington (sadly not D.C.). We are planning to visit most of their sites this year probably just leaving out one as that is in Ireland!

Hopefully the next few days will bring some exciting reports…watch this space.

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