This weekend we visited Potteric Carr for the first time. One of Yorkshire Wildlife Trust's Big 5 its an extensive reserve of with a range of wetland and woodland habitats, we'd gone with the hope of seeing the Bittern, yet despite a Bittern-less visit we really enjoyed our visit. From the hide we enjoyed close sightings of Gadwall, a Kingfisher, a pair of Little Grebe, Grey Heron and a number of Shelduck.
From the hide nearest the Field Centre the feeding station attracted a large number of Reed Bunting as well as Chaffinch, Robin, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Pheasant, Blackbird.
There are some lovely patches of Birch throughout the reserve, a tree suited to the poor soils associated with reclaimed mining areas. I love the way they catch the afternoon light in a woodland, the horizontal lenticels of its papery bark becoming more fissured with age.
Plenty of Alder too, like the Birch its a pioneer species and actually belongs to the Birch family. Here the yellow elongated male catkins in the centre and the more rounded darker female catkins. The catkins appear before the leaves.
A great attraction of these kinds of wetland areas especially on a sunny afternoon is the abundance and variety of waterscapes. The reflections of marginal vegetation in the ponds, streams and marshes provide glorious abstract views.