Monday, 27 June 2011

Yorkshire Hol's

Spent the week up in sunny Yorkshire staying in a converted barn near Pickering in a village called Allerston. The cottage had great views over the surrounding countryside and as a bonus had some great local wildlife. Every night we saw up to 3 Hare's, one even came up to the window and looked in at me watching telly! On top of that we had 3 species of Wagtail visit Grey, Yellow and Pied with the latter two being a daily sight, the garden also had some Little Owls which had nested in the roof of the old farm house, the young had fledged and spread them selves around the garden and could be seen and heard every night.
The lane by the cottage also held alot of interesting bird life Yellow Hammer, Red Legged Partridge and to top it all off singing Quail, we didn't get to see them but often heard them in the near by Barley fields.

Yellow Wagtail

Red Legged Partridge

Little Owl

Yellow Wagtail
Yellow Hammer

Wykeham Wood were only 15min down the road so we often popped along to try and see the Honey Buzzard and Turtle Dove. We never saw the Honey Buzzard but did to get to watch a Turtle Dove feeding by the nursery area for around 5 minutes plus a fly over example latter in the week. Other birds seen there were Crossbill, Red Legged Partridge, Chaffinch, Wood Pigeon and Pheasant, also plenty of Hare's again in the fields.

Juv Crossbill at Wykeham Wood

Spent a pleasant morning at Bempton Cliffs to get the sea birds missing from our year list the birds to saw were Fulmar, Kittiwake, Gannet, Razorbill, Guillemot, Puffin, Rock Dove, Meadow Pipit, Sky Lark, White Throat, Reed Bunting, Starling, Tree Sparrow, Kestrel and Sedge Warbler.

Meadow Pipit at Bempton Cliffs

Rock Dove at Bempton Cliffs

Razorbill at Bempton cliffs

Gannet at Bempton cliffs

Kittiwake at Bempton Cliffs

Gullimot at Bempton Cliffs

Gannet at Bempton Cliffs

Sedge Warbler Bempton Cliffs
We also visited Filey Brigg just down the coast on another day, a nice place to for a quick walk, saw Puffin, Razorbill and Guillemot all bobbing around and feeding around the cliffs plus nesting Kittiwakes. Plenty of Meadow Pipit on the cliff tops with Gannets flying past on their way to and from Bempton.

The all mighty class 37! 37264 looking great in large logo blue on the North York Moors Railway

Class 24 D5061 working a short rake of coaches on the North York Moors Railway

On our final day in Yorkshire we visited Whitby and for a chance of seeing some moorland birds we came back via the Roman Road that runs nearby towards Thornton le Dale. We managed to find a great little spot by a ford which got us Whinchat, Pied Wagtail, Whitethroat and Reed Bunting plus unusually we also saw a family of Redstarts. Also seen while driving across the moor were Curlew Red Grouse and Lapwing. We though didn't see any raptors or corvids looks like the game keepers have got rid of the lot which is a shame and means the place has lost a bit of its soul.

Female Whinchat on the North York Moors

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Various Wanderings

Have not posted anything for a while so I thought it was catch up time.
Have not been doing that much birding over the past few weekends although I still have tried to get out and about.
On the 28th May I popped along again to try and see the elusive Turtle Doves that show on and off at Aqualate Mere but I have still to see them but there is always next time as they say, was a rather windy and dull day so I would rather be huddled down than calling from some tree top. I did hear a Cuckoo though, birds that were seen were White Throat, Willow Warbler with young near the hide, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Reed Warbler various ducks and I think what was a young Pheasant.

Great Spotted Woodpecker Aqualate Mere

Juv Pied Wagtail Aqualate Mere

Moorhen Family

Young Pheasant
The following day was spent trying some where new, settled on Copmere on the map it looked like a promising place a public foot path and road running round a large pool with smaller pools and fields surrounding it.
Well I can safely say don't bother trying here, its not worth the petrol.
The only things worth pointing the camera or binoculars at were a few Damselflies and a old water mill.

Old water mill at Copmere

Common Blue Damselfly

The weekend of the 04/05 Jun were a cultured weekend going around Natural Trust properties, have to try and get our monies worth out of the membership.
Did manage a quite divert on the Saturday on the way to Cannons Ashby to DRIFT to get a shot of my name sake aka a gronk in the form of 08913 in a unique Malcolm Logistics colours.
At the property I did see this really nice wasp, well nice to me not the spiders it was hunting.

Class 08 shunter aka gronk number 08913 at DRIFT, Daventry

Ruby Tailed Wasp
The following day was spent at Dunham Massey, a really nice place and well worth a visit if just for the park land. With plenty of Fallow Deer and bird life there . We managed to see a family of Nuthatch feeding on the ground which was a first, a couple of Tree Creeper plus others, made me want my bigger lens.

Fallow Deer Dunham Massey