ON Thursday, October 8, seven members of the group met in beautiful sunshine at the Lower Ure Conservation Trust reserve at Nosterfield in North Yorkshire.

When we arrived, spraying was being undertaken to control an infestation of New Zealand pigmy weed, so no birds were present on the pools in front of the hide.

But more distant views were had of a small flock of pink-footed and Canada goose and several ruff.

A flock of lapwing and golden plover and some curlew were also identified.

After a time the workers finished, and almost immediately a flock of teal landed on the water and coot and moorhen emerged.

The land around the pools was being grazed by rabbits, a red-legged partridge was seen and a mixed flock of goldfinch and tree sparrow was feeding.

We then moved about a mile for our lunch to Nosterfield Quarry.

Here we were met with a huge number of birds, mostly lapwing and golden plover, but interspersed with ruff, oystercatcher, a single dunlin and another wader which caused much debate, but which was later identified as a pectoral sandpiper.

The open water had a good variety of duck, mallard, gadwall, tufted, pochard, teal and a shelduck.

A local birder told us of a possible site for little owl, so we walked to find this (without success) and to look over several other ponds.

From here we moved the 60 miles to our hotel in Redcar.

The hotel overlooked the sea, so we spent an hour before registering looking at waders on the sandy foreshore.

Large flocks of sanderling scurried about, along with many oystercatcher piping nervously and turnstone foraged among the more stony areas.

On the sea we had a mixed flock of eider and a pair of common scoter.

The next morning, dawned bright and clear and we set off to South Gare, about five miles from the hotel.

Birds were not abundant, though we had skylark, linnet, reed bunting and maybe 10 stonechat, many meadow pipits and starlings.