Our 6-night tour of northern England began on my birthday with the initial drive north from home.
Our final destination for the day was an Airbnb on the edge of Knaresborough but a call-in at New Swillington Ings on the way seemed in order as it wasn't far off route. Despite the conspicuous absence of the Franklin's Gull there (despite much searching) it was still a very worthwhile visit to this new site for me. Apparantly there are 12 pairs of Black-necked Grebes on the reserve and it didn't take long to find a nice close adult feeding a large youngster in a dyke. Another was seen later on too. Cetti's Warblers were really numerous and it also looks like Pochard breed in reasonable numbers too. The place was a frenzy of breeding activity as I continued with my fruitless gull-scanning. On the walk back a new plant for me, Salad Burnet livened things up. Then, back by the carpark on a pile of old railway sleepers by a massive mining relic a Little Owl showed really nicely.
After that we made our way to Knaresborough and had a mooch around the picturesque town followed by dinner and birthday cocktails at the lovely 'Six Poor Folk' bistro in town!