Sunday, 20 December 2015

Yeadon Tarn & Knotford Nook

Sunday 20th December a.m.
 We started off at Yeadon Tarn where a dull start quickly brightened up as the sun came out giving a temperature of 9°C. From the car park we saw a charm of Goldfinch flitting about in the trees above us, then walking down to the Tarn we saw a solitary Redpoll at the seed heads as we did on our last visit to Redcar Tarn.On the water we saw GC Grebe,Goosander,Tufted Duck,Mute Swan & other common species.After a walk round the Tarn we decided to make the most of the sunny morning & go a few miles down the road to Knotford Nook.
 This is an area near Otley which has two lakes laying adjacent to the River Wharfe, the Lakes our now private & fenced off for the local fishing clubs.This used to be a favourite spot for local birder attracting a good variety of birds but in recent years has seen a decline.However it is still a place to see some birds, a couple of years ago a Slavonian Grebe was here which we managed to get over and see.This morning we walked along the road between the two Lakes which gives distant views of the birds through the hedges.We saw three drake Goldeneyes,Wigeon,Cormorant,GC Grebe,Tufted Duck,Goosander & c50 Lapwings fly over.We then walked back towards the car stopping at an opening in the trees for another scan of the Lake.We spotted a small bird on the water which was black & white with some feathers sticking up.What was this we asked ourselves? we ruled out male Tufted Duck,Goldeneye & Goosander so whats left?The bird seemed to be sleeping & did not lift its head making ID even more difficult but the only thing we could think of was a male Smew, have a look at the distant record snaps below & please let us know what you think?
Great Crested grebe


Common Gull

Mute Swan


Goldeneye-Knotford Nook

possible sleeping Smew?

head resting on its back

If only it would lift its head to have a look round

Mute Swans at Yeadon Tarn

sun catching this Goosander

Yeadon Tarn 20/12/2015


  1. Awkward one there lads, seems too much black for male Smew, looks more like Goldeneye but can,t say off the photos for definite.

  2. Thanks for the comment Brian,I guess it will have to remain a mystery bird and a maybe as the pictures were poor at the long distance we were from the bird.
    Have a good Xmas & pass on our best wishes to Lynda for a speedy recovery from her hand operation.

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