DIVING GREBES @ THORP PERROW ARBORETUM
On Friday I visited Thorp Perrow Arboretum which is an 85 acre woodland garden Arboretum near Bedale in North Yorkshire. Thorp Perrow Arboretum was originally created by Sir Leonard Ropner in 1931 and currently contains numerous gardens and is a good spot for Snowdrops & Bluebells as well as having a Bird of Prey Centre and Mammal Centre at the far end of the Arboretum.
At this time year the Snowdrops were out in force with thousands of them across the site. As I reached the start of the Snowdrops trail a Robin flew across and landed in a bush just a few feet to my left posing in the early afternoon sunshine. As I followed the trail along the Water Steps Path a Great Tit and another Robin flew across in front of me and a Dipper flew off down stream towards the lake.
As I reached the end of the Water Steps Path a Wren flew across the water and under a bridge at Henry's Island. I walked round onto Henry's Island and I spotted the Wren perched on a branch sticking out from the far bank singing away. I now walked along the banks of the lake and on the far side a trio of Little Grebes were just under a tree regularly diving for food.
Most of the lake was frozen, but as I reached Kate's Island at the far end of the lake there were a pair of Mallards and a lone Coot with a few Moorhens on the grass at the far side. I now turned round the end of the lake and headed through the trees towards the Bird of Prey Centre. Before I arrived I had a look at the Yew trees just outside where in recent days a group of Hawfinches had been seen but not today.
The Bird of Prey Centre sits within a walled garden with birds such as Laughing Kookaburras, Jackal Buzzards, Crested Cara Caras and Eurasian Eagle Owls. Next door in the Mammal Centre there are animals such as Meerkats, Goats, Wallabies and a few different breeds of chicken. After a look around the Bird of Prey and Mammal Centre I headed back towards the lake where I spotted a Robin perched on the branch of a fir tree with a pair of Blue Tits a little further up the tree.
I now walked back along the banks of the lake and the trio of Little Grebes had moved nearer to the footpath and were now hiding under the branches of a fir tree overhanging the water. They moved across the diving for food as they went. A little further along I reached the Water Steps Path and at the other side of the stream a lone male Pheasant was walking through the trees. When I reached the visitor centre again a couple of Robins where bobbing about under the picnic tables picking up scraps of food dropped from the tables.
I have added a full sightings list and a few photos from my visit to Thorp Perrow Arboretum.