Hornsea Mere, Yorkshire’s largest freshwater lake, is a delight to walk round, fringed by extensive reedbeds and mature woodlands. Reed Warblers breed in spring and summer, providing a chorus of varied song and in turn attracting predatory Cuckoos. Little Egrets, Kingfishers and Water Rails are resident. This is also a good time to observe the breeding birds of the woodlands – Marsh Tit, the less common Willow Tit, Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Treecreeper, Goldcrest and Tawny and Little Owls.
At migration time the occasional rare or scarce bird can turn up, such as White-winged Black Tern or Red-backed Shrike. Little Gulls congregate in autumn, often in their thousands, while in winter the Mere can attract large numbers of wildfowl, including Whooper Swan, Gadwall and Goldeneye, as well as scarcer species like Smew, and Slavonian and Black-necked Grebes.
Flowering plants recorded at Hornsea Mere include Green-winged and Burnt Orchids, Grass of Parnassus, Fen Bedstraw, Sneezewort, Crosswort and many rushes and sedges.