While the cold winds being experienced across Yorkshire might be bad news for anyone hoping to soak up some late summer sun, they brought a once-in-a-decade treat for visitors at Tophill Low this week.
A spotted crake, usually found in Eastern Europe or Scandinavia, was guided to the nature reserve in Driffield by the Easterly gusts, the first time the spotted little bird has been seen at the site since 2004.
The elusive creature, which can only be found at one other location in the whole of the UK at present, has drawn bird-spotters to the Yorkshire Water-owned site in their droves as they hope to catch a glimpse of the animal.
But staff at the site are urging anyone else keen to see the spotted crake to visit Tophill Low as soon as possible because the bird isn’t likely to hang around for long.
Richard Hampshire, Warden at Tophill Low, said: “The winds might have brought an early autumnal feel to the region but they have also brought some great news for us at Tophill Low in the shape of this spotted crake.
“It’s such a rare sight if you’re a bird watcher anywhere in the UK, never mind Yorkshire, so people have understandably been excited about its arrival. The message for anyone who wants to see what all the fuss is about is to get out here as soon as you can or it could be another ten years before you get another chance!”
Any visitors planning on visiting Tophill Low over the bank holiday weekend either to see the bird or for a relaxing stroll can also book themselves on to a pond dipping activity.
The courses are free with admission and will give visitors the chance to explore the wildlife-rich water at Tophill Low, spotting dragon fly larvae, diving beetles and even water scorpions.