BLUE TITS APLENTY @ HIGH BATTS


On Sunday I decided to head to High Batts Nature Reserve, a members only reserve just north of Ripon on the banks of the River Ure. Yearly membership for this reserve is just £11. There are three hides on site, one raised up overlooking a pond with the other two on the river bank. During the Summer months this reserve can be quiet but is still a very good spot for seeing Kingfishers.


It was a cloudy but still quite warm day upon my arrival at High Batts and I first headed for the Upper Pond Hide. The feeders in front of the hide were a little quieter than usual but there were still Blue Tits, Great Tits, Chaffinches, Tree Sparrows and Coal Tits visiting the feeders. On the feeders to my right there were Coal Tits, Marsh Tits, Great Tits and quite a few juvenile Blue Tits.


On the far side of the pond there was a group of Mallards asleep on the bank at the edge. After a couple of minutes a pair of Collared Doves dropped down from the large tree in front of the hide and flew across and landed on top of the feeders to the left. Up in the trees above the feeders another pair of Collared Doves appeared and back over at the tree a Great Spotted Woodpecker had flown over and was inching its way down the trunk towards the feeders hanging from the lower branches.

Once the woodpecker had finished on the feeder it was making its way back up the trunk when it was chased off by another Great Spotted Woodpecker and this bird returned to the tree and preceded to hammer the trunk with its beak looking for food before making its way down to the feeders and then flying off. Over to the right there was now a succession of juvenile Blue Tits visiting the feeders just outside the hide along with Marsh Tits and a rather dishevelled looking Coal Tit.


The Collared Doves now flew from the top of the feeders and landed on a thin tree placed just in front of the hide before all four flew off over the pond and the trees at the other side. I now left the Upper Pond Hide and headed for the River Hide which was unusually quiet and after a few minutes I left the hide and headed along the path towards the Hotel Hide.

As I walked along the path I saw several Green Veined White butterflies as well as a couple of Gatekeepers and Small Heath butterflies. There were also several Brown Hawker dragonflies as well as a single Common Hawker dragonfly. From the Hotel Hide I spotted a pair of Goosanders asleep a little way up river on the far bank along with a couple of Mallards. After a few minutes the Goosanders woke up and swam off up river as a Grey Heron flew along the river in the same direction.


On my way back along the path towards the Upper Pond Hide I saw two Ringlet Butterflies. I made a quick visit to the Upper Pond Hide before I left, where the feeders were still busy with Blue Tits, Great Tits, Marsh Tits, Tree Sparrows and Chaffinches. The four Collared Doves had returned and a pair of Moorhens were on the grass just in front of the hide with a trio of chicks.


I have attached a few photos and a full sightings list from my visit to High Batts Nature Reserve.

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