Friday, 3 February 2012

RSPB Fairburn Ings

Last weekend was the date for this years Big Garden Birdwatch, and even though we didn't take part due to lack of time after our outings and other commitments, we were still watching birds.

On Sunday, we headed off to RSPB Fairburn Ings which is about eight miles away from where we live. It's been a regular haunt of ours since Daniel and Eleanor were young as it was an ideal spot for them to feed the ducks and swans.

First of all, we headed to the visitor centre to buy our bird food. We could have taken some bread with us, but it's not nutritious enough as it doesn't contain the ingredients needed to keep the birds healthy. Seed is a much better option and doesn't cost very much.

There's a little cafe area in the visitor centre from where you can watch the garden birds on the feeders right outside. We had Archie with us and we couldn't take him inside, so we watched the garden birds from outside.

There were plenty of birds to see and they didn't seem at all nervous as people passed by. I'm not sure if this is a Great Tit or a Blue Tit, but going by the size I'd go for a Great Tit.

There were plenty of Goldfinches around, I wish I could attract some back in to my garden, it's been a while since I've seen any there.

There's lots of little signs in the garden area which give information on how to attract wildlife in to your own garden.

I'm glad that dragonflies aren't really this size, but what a beautiful sculpture.

Archie was taken with the ducks and swans, though I don't think the swans liked him if the amount of hissing is anything to go by.

The swans are really quite tame and will happily feed from your hand. Eleanor wasn't quite so sure as she offered her hand out to a swan.

It was a really cold day so we didn't stay long, but it won't be long until we're back again to wander along one of the trails.


  1. That dragonfly sculpture looks very impressive, it looks like you had a great day out bird watching........when my children were small we used to make bird cakes out of seeds, bacon rind, bits of stale cakes all mixed together with a little oil and hung in the old apple tree.........the birds need all the help they can get to survive the cold winter. x

  2. Lovely photos. We saw two swans in flight on Wednesday afternoon - a magical sight as they soared over the rooftops. Goodness knows where they came from and were headed to. I did a week's voluntary work at Martin Mere a couple of years ago as part of my teacher training and had a great time.

  3. Lovely photos, I've always found swans to be a bit mean-spirited and aggressive, in the distance I like them.
    Great Dragonfly!

  4. I think they used that giant dragonfly for some of our real airplanes.

  5. Sounds like you had a lovely time. Don't know if we're going to get much in the way of time outdoors this weekend - too cold and too snowy! All the best, Jx

  6. that place looks amazing. I always love to watch the birds feeding off our feeder and the interaction they seem to have with our chickens. Loved the dragonn fly. Everywhere is too cold at the minute

  7. Thank you for all your comments.

    Lily - You're right about helping the birds out with a tasty meal, especially in this weather. I keep meaning to make some bird cakes but I never get round to it. I've got seed and suet blocks out for them at the moment though.

    Scarlet - We often see geese flying overhead on their way to Fairburn Ings, they make a right old noise as they're going over.

    Mac n' Janet - Swans can be very mean spirited, but they look so majestic on the water.

    Ruth - That dragonfly is certainly big enough.

    Jan - The snow came sooner than expected here. Archie loves playing in it.

    Joanna - I have some feeders in the lilac tree right outside my window so that I can sit and watch the birds feeding, it's so relaxing.

  8. Lovely photos, I love the giant dragon fly. Our spaniel would have howled and howled at the swans.

  9. Archie was really good with the swans, Lorna, but they didn't seem to like him.

  10. Jo, we have literally FLOCKS of goldfinches in our garden (11 at one time for the Big Bird Count) because they absolutely LOVE sunflower hearts! I found that out by accident when I bought a bag of them (Stephen Smith's Garden centre at Otley) and now I can't not buy them!
    Put them out and they will find them!

  11. Thanks, Clare. I do offer a variety of seeds and nuts for the birds, I know that goldfinches also like niger seed. I've had them visit a few times but they don't come regularly.