Despite living in the Selby area for many years, it took a few posts at Birdforum(see the "Your Local Patch" forum) to bring it to my attention. I am grateful for
those posts because this is a great place for bird spotting, at least during winter/spring.
on the North side of the A163 twixt North Duffield and Bubwith (Map ref:SE706367)
it has it's own car park which is clearly indicated as "Lower Derwent Valley Nature
Reserve". This leads to the Duffield Carrs section of the valley which has a hard
path and wellies are not generally required.
There are two good quality large hides
here the first of which is the Geoff Smith hide only a few yards from the car park
and beside a small feeding station for land birds. It should be easily navigable
for wheelchairs. The second hide is at the end of the path just a few hundred yards
further on and is the Gadwall hide, the larger of the two with a 90 deg angle. I'm
not sure I would try to take a wheelchair to this one though, unfortunately. Both
are excellent and a log book is kept at the first hide to record your sightings and
read what's about.
During Winter and Spring the water levels are high and expansive
so a 'scope is almost essential as the birds are widespread and often distant. From
a photography point of view, you will need long lenses. I use 500mm and nothing came
to within 'frame filling' distance. Digiscoping is probably a better bet here!. There
are more bird pictures on my web gallery .
There are just sooooo many species of birds together here it would be a superb spot
for enthusiasts but perfect for anyone just 'getting into' birding (ME!) or to encourage
children although it would be wise to take a bird handbook.
On a good day the following
are usually spotted, Heron, Mute and Whooper swans, Greylags, Widgeon, Teal, Mallard,
Pintails, Gadwall, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufteds, Kestrel, Peregrine, Red Legged Partridge,
Pheasant, Coot, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, Curlew, Redshank, Wood pigeon,
Redwing, Rook, Reed Bunting etc and that’s not even starting on the smaller land
birds like Yellowhammers, tits, finches etc around the feeding station and hides!.
Regular sightings of Marsh Harriers, Peregrines and Barn Owls are now almost common
place most of the year round.