Bird Watching

For wildlife and nature fans nothing quite beats a bit of bird watching and luckily there are plenty of fab places to do just that along the route. Before you go you may want to buy a bird book, or familiarise yourself with some of the key species you might find (the RSPB website is a great fountain of knowledge for helping to identify different species). There is a wide array of birds which can be found along the route, from coastal favourite: the puffin, birds of prey such as peregrine falcons and game birds such red grouse so always keep an eye on the skies, you never know what you might find! You may also want to venture out in the early hours to experience the wonders of a dawn chorus or head to one of the places listed below as some of the top places to watch birds in Yorkshire.

Bempton Cliffs is an RSPB owned nature reserve, famous for the many seabirds which gather their in the spring and summer to raise their chicks. Birds you might see include puffins, gannets and guillemots. Bempton cliffs also has the added benefit of being by the sea and staring out to sea is another great way to help find inner peace! Beware though, the cliffs can get busy!

RSPB Bempton Cliffs

Bempton (Section A)

This nature reserve is all the more impressive as it is the last remaining marsh of its size in the area. It is a haven for many migratory wading birds and wildfowl.  You may spot a garganey, tufted duck or sedge warbler or one of the other more than 200 species recorded on the site since 1985! It is best to visit between June and September when you can make the most out of the bird hides on the reserve.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Filey Dams

Filey ( Section A/B)

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The ponds at Burton Riggs are a haven to many birds, particularly in the autumn and winter, acting as an oasis in the surrounding industrial landscape. In spring and summer an early morning walk may reveal migrant birds such as the chiffchaff or balckcap. Grey heron and little egret are other visitors, along with the tufted duck and pochard who gather there in the winter.

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Burton Riggs

Seamer (Section B)


The centre at Sutton Bank has a 'bird bistro', bird feeders just next to the cafe seating offering a relaxing and restful place to watch many garden birds. In addition to favourites like the goldfinch and blue tit, Sutton Bank is also a known location for seeing the refined turtle dove, who visit the area in the spring and early summer. 

Sutton Bank National PArk Centre

Sutton BAnk ( Section F)

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Bolton-On-Swale is a nature reserve owned by Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. ALthough the lake is no natural (it has formed because of the quarrying of sand and gravel) it is a fantastic place for watching wetland birds, whose numbers increase in the winter. A path leads to two hides which look out across the lakes and from which you may spot lapwings, coots and  wigeon (for which it is an nationally important site).

Yorkshire Wildlife Trust Bolton-On-Swale

Catterick ( Section G)

Malham cove is famous for its pergrine falcons, and during the summer the RSPB and the Yorkshire Dales National Park have partnered to make these impressive birds by running a viewpoint. However there are other species to be found as well, including swifts, curlews and green woodpeckers.

Malham Cove

Malham (Section L)

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