Wensleydale has an excellent assortment of large and small birds. Buzzards are now quite common in the Redmire area and fly from the desolate and remote area behind Preston Scar.
Herons are surprisingly common along the river and the major tributaries. There is a modest heronry in the contour wood fir trees aboveSorrelsykes Park near West Burton. Curlew are very common indeed on the higher ground along with oystercatcher, lapwing and flocks of black headed gulls.
The rivers and tributaries have the usual mallard, coot, moorhen, sandpipers and dippers and there is quite a large resident population of canada geese on the river islands below West Witton and on Semerwater.
In winter and early spring there are many geese and a few shellduck to be seen on the river flood plain fields near Woodhall. Goosanders for some reason are not as common as in Teesdale and Swaledale no doubt to the benefit of the fish stocks. There is a very useful breeding ground for a wide range of species in the Flashes hill area between Hawes and Hardraw and redshank and wigeon can also be seen here around the small ponds.
The winter pond at New Bridge near Appersett over the Ure also has these species.
Semerwater has a range of birds including great crested grebe and tufted ducks. All the other common species are here in the dale particularly chaffinch.
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