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North Yorkshire

Eurasian Nuthatch Sitta europaea ©Martin & Sue Timmins

The county of North Yorkshire is the largest local authority, by area, in England. It is predominantly rural with much of the land utilised for agriculture. There are large expanses of upland habitats in the Pennines supporting important populations of breeding waders plus Red Grouse and Ring Ouzel. The North York Moors National Park has the most extensive expanse of heather moorland in the UK hosting breeding Merlin, whilst the forests of Dalby and Wykeham are home to important populations of Nightjars, and rare raptors such as Goshawk and Honey Buzzard.

The important seabird colonies at Bempton and Flamborough Head are just across the border in East Yorkshire, but the North Yorkshire coast still supports good breeding populations of Kittiwake and Fulmar. In the right conditions seawatching from Filey, Scarborough and the Whitby area can be rewarding. Although somewhat overshadowed by the migrant hotspots of Flamborough and Spurn, the North Yorkshire coastline is productive for the migrant hunter with Filey and the Scarborough and Whitby areas all offer excellent migrant watching in the right conditions.

Inland sites include the wildfowl havens of the Lower Derwent valley, the upland habitats of the Pennines, in particular Swaledale and Arkengarthdale and the excellent woodlands at Bolton Abbey.

Top Sites

Wheldrake Ings

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This Yorkshire Wildlife Trust area forms part of the Lower Derwent Valley NNR and attracts huge numbers of winter wildfowl including Whooper and Bewick's swans, as well as an array of other species throughout the year. The car park is a favourite spot for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, and a few pairs of Garganey are usually present through the summer months.

Bolton Abbey Woods

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Excellent for breeding woodland species including Pied Flycatcher, Common Redstart and Wood Warbler.

Filey Brigg and Country Park

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Sea watching yields shearwaters, skuas, terns, auks, but the bay is also good for divers, grebes and gulls, and is one of the most reliable site for Purple Sandpiper in the region. Migrant passerines occur in good numbers in the surrounding area, and this well-watched site is especially good in autumn. The nearby Filey Dams reserve (TA 107807) attracts small numbers of wildfowl and passage waders.

Skipwith Common

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This used to be one of the best places in the region for Nightjar, at the northern edge of its range (but now only occasionally seen on passage), plus Woodcock and other heath and woodland species.

Swaledale and Arkengarthdale

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Excellent in spring and early summer for species characteristic of the uplands, including Red and Black Grouse, Golden Plover, Curlew, Lapwing, Dipper and Ring Ouzel.

Nosterfield Gravel Pits and LNR


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Attracts significant numbers of wintering and migrant wildfowl and waders, including the occasional rarity.

Castle Howard Lake

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Attracts wintering wildfowl such as Pochard and Tufted Duck plus scarcer species in cold weather. Has breeding Reed Warbler, whilst Ospreys and Black Terns are sometimes seen during the spring and autumn.

Scarborough Harbour & Castle Hill

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The town of Scarborough offers some good birding, especially in the spring/autumn and winter. The cliffs at Castle Hill have breeding Kittiwakes, and the trees and scrub here attract interesting migrants. The harbour attracts gulls, sometimes including Iceland and Glaucous, and there is a regular roost of Purple Sandpiper.

Scalby Mills and Scalby Lodge Pond

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This pond just inland from the Cleveland Way attracts small numbers of migrant waders and has wintering Wigeon. The rocks at Scalby Mills are attractive to wintering waders and gulls, sometimes including rarer species like Iceland and Glaucous Gull.

Long Nab, Burniston

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The clifftop fields with hedgerows and scrub in this area are attractive to a variety of migrant passerines. Seawatching from the point at Long Nab can be rewarding and will produce a similar selection of species to Filey or Flamborough Head.

Wykeham Forest and Raptor Watchpoint

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Watchpoint for Goshawk and Honey Buzzard, also good for Crossbill and Turtle Dove. Nightjar is regular in the forest clearings during the summer, whilst Great Grey Shrikes may be present during the winter months.

Forge Valley

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Woodland species. Dipper can be found on the river at Hilla Green. Nearby the lake at Hackness (SE 968901) is a reliable location for Mandarin Duck.


County Recorder

Rarities: Craig Thomas

Sunny Bank, Church Lane, Flamborough, YO15 1PG

01262 851677


Ian Court

2 Burley Mews, Steeton, Keighley, BD20 6TX

01535 658582


Useful Reading

Birds in the Yorkshire Museum

ML Denton and W Oddie 216 pages The Yorkshire Museum 1995

ISBN: 0905807103

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Rare and Scarce Birds in Yorkshire

Andrew Wilson & Russell Slack

ISBN: 0903793598

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Where to Watch Birds - Yorkshire

by John Mather A&C Black, 2009 [3rd Edition]

ISBN: 9780713687828

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Yorkshire Bird Report 2010

Yorkshire Naturalists Union - Available through their website: http://www.ynu.org.uk

Best Birdwatching Sites Yorkshire

By Neil Glenn, with John Miles | Buckingham Press | Paperback | May 2017 | 340 Pages | 120 Two-tone Maps
See Fatbirder Review

ISBN: 9780956987679

Buy this book from NHBS.com

Useful Information

Yorkshire Ornithological Committee

Chairman: Craig Thomas 16 Scarborough Road, Filey, North Yorkshire, YO14 9EF, Tel: 01723 513055 e-mail craigcthomas@yahoo.co.uk Elected members: Mike Pilsworth, Hillcrest, Whitgift, Goole, DN14 8HL, Tel: 01405 704082 e-mail: mikepilsworth@hotmail.com Representative on Humber Wildfowl Refuge Committee: Miss A Gowland
(Not part of committee) YNU Protection Officer: Doug Simpson, 51 Heather Way, Harrogate, HG3 2SH, Tel: 01423 538645 e-mail: doug@milvus.me.uk

Guides & Tour Operators

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Yorkshire Rose Birding Tours

Tour Operator

This website aims to give you a little background of what the county of Yorkshire has to offer. Yorkshire is arguably the best county in Britain for birds and bird watching. It has England's largest mainland Gannettry, some wonderful habitats that provide homes to some extremely rare and scarce birds. Locally common, they prove to be extremely difficult to see elsewhere in the country. The Corn Bunting and Tree Sparrow for example, in the right location can be easy to find. These and lots of other birds find a suitable home in Yorkshire…

Verdant Wildlife

Tour Operator

All our tours are on gentle to moderate terrain unless otherwise stated, but we do recommend a basic level of fitness, sturdy footwear and suitable outdoor clothing. A welcome pack including a tick list and copy of the Birdwatcher's code, lunch and refreshments are included in the price and binoculars can be provided if required. Transport between sites is provided unless otherwise stated…

Trip Reports


Trip Report Repository

CloudBirders was created by a group of Belgian world birding enthusiasts and went live on 21st of March 2013. They provide a large and growing database of birding trip reports, complemented with extensive search, voting and statistical features.

Places to Stay

Click on WAND for tours, guides, lodges and more…

Let's Stay North Yorkshire Moors


Welcome to our North York Moors accommodation and tourist guide. Here you will find everything you need to know for your holiday in the spectacular North Yorkshire Moors National Park…

Marmion - Robin Hoods Bay


Situated in the centre of the village of Fylingthorpe on the delightful Yorkshire Coast, 5 minutes walk from Robin Hoods Bay. Marmion is a substancial Victorian house, offering comfortable, well-equipped and spacious holiday self catering accommodation for up to seven people. Only 10 to 15 minutes walk from the beach, Marmion is in a pleasant position to absorb the character of the Robin Hoods Bay Area. Marmion has sea and countryside views, old beams, an open fire and a sunny patio…

River View B&B


River View B&B holiday accommodation is in the Yorkshire Dales National Park, England, UK and is a famous area for a vacation, close to the market towns of Hawes, Sedbergh, and Ingleton. It is 3½ miles from the historical village of Dent, which is still cobbled, with white painted houses, and a 12th Century church, much as it has been for hundreds of years…

Cotterdale Cottage Holidays


The tranquil pursuit of bird watching can be enjoyed in the Yorkshire Dales, an area that boasts a vast and varied collection of local birds. Often bird watching is incorporated into walking…

Standfield Hall Cottage


Standfield Hall Cottage is a fantastic, detached, cosy two bedroom holiday cottage on an organic farm within beautiful Yorkshire scenery. It's your basis for a perfect farm holiday, a home-from home all year round and with a lovely big garden so if you have kids, they have a safe place to run around...

Filey - Ennerdale Apartments


Ennerdale, 31-33 Station Avenue, Filey, North Yorkshire. YO14 9AE Tel: 01723 513798


East Dales Ringing Group


The inaugural meeting took place on 26th August 1996. A constitution was drawn up and the group registered with the BTO. There are seven full members and four associate members. Full members are active in the club area and the associates help in the area when required. As well as group activities members have their own individual sites and projects. The group also help Robin Ward with his cannon netting on the Tees estuary or Seal Sands when required. He is also helping with projects within the group area…

Filey Brigg Ornithological Group


Filey Town is situated on the east coast of North Yorkshire between the towns of Scarborough and Bridlington. Filey Brigg is a finger of limestone that juts almost half a mile out to sea. The Brigg to the north and Flamborough Head to the south, form the natural breakwaters for Filey Bay…

RSPB - York Members Group


This web site aims to provide information for the members and for anyone who is interested the work of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, particularly in the York area in England…

Ryedale Natural History Society


The area covered by the Ryedale Natural History Society extends from the Hambleton Hills in the west to the A169 Pickering to Whitby road in the east and from Bransdale Moor and the Lyke Wake walk in the north to the River Rye and its environs in the south, a total area of some 800 square kilometres.

Wharfedale Naturalists Society


The Society has reprinted NATURE TRAIL ON ILKLEY MOOR together with the equally popular GEOLOGY TRAIL ON ILKLEY MOOR, both of which are completely sold out. The leaflet, Birds of Ilkley Moor, is illustrated by John Busby and Jeremy Taylor. Each sells at 40p…

York Ornithological Club


The site is intended to give information both to their members and many friends, and also to birdwatchers around the world who are interested in this very beautiful part of England…

Yorkshire Naturalists Union


The YNU has four basic aims: To study the wildlife of Yorkshire. To record the results of these studies. To present these studies. To use the information for wildlife conservation…

Yorkshire Red Kites


The Yorkshire Red Kite Project was the fifth in this sequence and began at Harewood Estate in West Yorkshire in 1999. By this time, the newly established Chilterns population had been so successful that, up to 2003, it was able to supply a total of 68 young birds for release in Yorkshire…

Scarborough Field Naturalists


Scarborough Field Naturalists' Society (SFNS) was founded in 1889 . We are a group of amateur naturalists' with interests throughout the spectrum of natural history. There are members at all levels of knowledge, from interested beginners to those with specialist knowledge in their chosen fields. We would encourage anyone with an interest in the natural world around them to take a look at our Meetings web page, choose a talk that is of particular interest (or just the next one on the list), and come along to see what we are all about…

East Yorkshire Ringing Group (Many sites in N Yorks)


The Ringing Officer for the Group is the registered ringer in charge, and ultimately all responsibility as regards trapping and ringing birds in the area lies with him….


Filey Bird Observatory

Observatory Website

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Ringing at the Observatory is Controlled by the East Yorkshire Ringing Group and ringing can be arranged for visitors who hold A Permits by contacting the Ringing Officer (Peter J Dunn) 43 West garth Gardens, Cayton, Scarborough YO11 3HA on 01723 583149 pjdunn@fbog.co.uk. Only rings supplied by EYRG to be used within the observatory area but all net and trapping equipment to be provided by the visitor at the present time. (Ringing protocol) The Observatory maintains a daily log with the FBOG recorder, which is being computerised at the present time. All records can be left at the Country Park Café during the summer months or posted direct to the recorder (Observatory Contacts). All sightings of rare or unusual species need to be submitted with a suitable descriptions for either the Yorkshire Naturalists Union Records Committee or the British Birds Rarities Committee.(Description birds). All accepted records will be published in the annual Filey Bird Report…


Yorkshire Museum


The biology collection does also have avian exhibits…


Yorkshire Dales National Park


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Covering an area of 1,762 square kilometres (680 square miles), the National Park is located in the north of England, and straddles the central Pennines in the counties of North Yorkshire and Cumbria…

Nosterfield Local Nature Reserve - Lower Ure Conservation Trust


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Welcome to the Lower Ure Conservation Trust’s website.
LUCT is a small charity but with big successes; working hard to promote and support our local wildlife, whilst thinking big landscape scale. We manage Nosterfield Local Nature Reserve, generally acknowledged as North Yorkshire’s premier wetland grassland nature reserve… See also: http://www.ydmt.org/what-we-do-details-nosterfield-local-nature-reserve-11669

North York Moors National Park


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The North York Moors National Park is a beautiful landscape of stunning moorland, spectacular coast, ancient woodland and historic sites. It's a great place whatever time of year…

Forums & Mailing Lists


Mailing List

To post to list: NorthEastBirding@yahoogroups.co.uk

List contact: NorthEastBirding-owner@yahoogroups.co.uk

To subscribe to list: NorthEastBirding-subscribe@yahoogroups.co.uk

This group is for everyone interested in birds and birding in North East England (Northumberland, Tyne & Wear, County Durham, Cleveland, North Yorkshire). It is a discussion forum for all aspects of birding - sightings, trip reports, census work, personality profiles, bird race and Big Day records, lists - and jokes. Although its primary focus is birding in the North East, all other bird-related topics are welcome. However, this is NOT a forum for character assassination, slander or libel.


Mailing List

Discussion Group - This list is for Yorkshire birders, birdwatchers, birdspotters, and related subjects in the Counties of North, East, South, and West Yorkshire England. The list is a forum for news of rare bird sightings in the four Counties. You may also make requests for bird-related information and information on local birdwatching sites. This is a public forum do not post details of species or sites that could help egg collectors identify nest sites. Do not send file attachments.


Whitby Birding


A diary of bird, other wildlife and natural world events in the area of Whitby, North Yorkshire. Whitby Birding is also the home of the Yorkshire Naturalists Union bird recorder for Vice County 62 (more info below). Whitby Birding engages in occasional environmental campaigning…



Alan Whitehead - North Duffield - I guess the main reason for starting this Blog was that I finally worked out how to do it! It will consist of my ramblings regarding sightings, birding issues and my travels plus…

A W Birder: Always on the lookout for fine birds…


I work as a Senior Ornithologist for a renewable energy company as part of the ecological consultancy team. I have been birding for about 22 years all over the world spending time living in Kenya and Costa Rica as well as visiting many global birding hotspots! I have a BSc (Hons) Degree in Ornithology and am a MIEEM. When time permits I also work as a guide for Tico Tours, leading tours in Costa Rica and other destinations…

Birding Dad


I am a birder who became a Dad in April 2008 (and again in March 2010). In May 2009 I moved away from one of the best inland birding patches, Grafham Water, Cambridgeshire, to live in Norfolk. I birded the mid-Yare Valley NNR (Strumpshaw - Buckenham - Cantley) for 18 months, but have now moved to York, where I'm from. Now all I have to do is find some birds…

Calderdale Birds


A BLOG from a collection of Yorkshire birders…

Nature North


get out and about in Yorkshire, Cleveland and further afield with my camera. Bedfordhire when at the in-laws. I try to photograph birds, bugs, mammals and flowers. I am a member of RSPB, Teesmouth Bird Club, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and Butterfly Conservation…

Ornithological Idiocy


How brains and birds become mutually exclusive - Got some mint news today, I'm now an official ornithologist. I figure this because someone is finally dumb enough to pay me for bird surveying…

Tim Jones - Tim’s Birding Blatherings


I'm Tim been birding for most of my life, taken it more seriously since 2005 and decided to make this blog about my birding exploits and random things I feel the need to blog about. I'm at York Uni now and am loving it! When I'm not hungover I try to make it down to Wheldrake Ings/Lower Derwent Valley on my bike or trying to get a lift to go a bit further afield, if you live in or near York get in touch as I don't know a lot of local birders and would be nice to meet up and go birding…

PicStop - Optics


01624 670005 - York House, Wetherby Road, Long Marston, York, YO26 7NH - High quality optics from leading brands - If astronomy or wildlife spotting is more your thing we have an amazing collection of telescopes, binoculars and spotters that are ideal for beginners and experts…

Other Links

Huddleston & Jackson Bird Ringing Partnership


This Web Site is being created to pass on information from the Huddleston & Jackson Bird Ringing (Banding) Partnership that operates in the York area of the UK…

Scarborough Birding


Scarborough Birders, formerly The Scalby Nabs Ornithological Group, was formed in 1993 by a group of birders to record the species occurring in the area surrounding Scarborough and District…

Nature Station


Nature Station is a UK, family run company specialising in quality, low cost and predominantly locally-sourced products for your wildlife garden or natural space...

Photographers & Artists

Artist - Steven Lingham


Steven Lingham is a self-taught artist born in Derby, England in 1973, who previously worked as a trained printer. He has spent the majority of his life living in Yorkshire and is now living in a small village near the beautiful old city of York with his wife. Steven is a member of the RSPB, Yorkshire Wildlife Trust and The Wildlife Art Society all of which promote conservation of British Wildlife. Subsequently it is not surprising that most of his work is focused around wildlife, including his real passion for British birds…

Artist - Robert E Fuller


Born in 1972, Robert E Fuller was brought up on a farm in Great Givendale, East Yorkshire, not far from where he still lives today. His father, Richard Fuller, is an award-winning farmer conservationist and author whose sensitive response to the rush to modernise farming practices in the seventies was ahead of its time…

Photographer - Simon Phillpotts - Wild Dales Photography


My name is Simon Phillpotts and I live and work within the Yorkshire Dales National Park. I have long been fascinated by the wide range of wildlife habitats the area contains and its biodiversity…

Photographer - Dave Mansell - East Ayton Birding


Scarborough-based photographer…

Photographer - Steve Mills


Steve Mills is an award-winning photographer. His image 'The assasin' won the Birds: Behaviour category in the prestigious Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2011. He was the only category winner from Britain…