Saturday, February 13, 2010

Crowle And Thorne Moors...

After hearing last autumn that a Great-grey Shrike had been seen at Thorne Moors and had been seen through the winter period subsequently,i decided to make a trip to this great area.This would be my first visit here at this time of year,as i only usually visit in the Spring/Summer months.
 I arrived at Crowle just as it was getting light and nearly had a road casualty,as a Roe Deer shot across the approach road,my first of an impressive 19 individuals seen today!!.After i had calmed down after the near miss,i had a quick drink and got my gear together as a squally sleet shower passed overhead,then i was off.I saw very few birds on the Crowle section on the journey out,apart from a couple of Jays and Great-spotted and Green Woodpeckers.The first notable species i came across was a nice group of 4 Goosander seen on Will Pitts after i crossed over the Yorkshire/Lincolnshire border onto Thorne Moors.They were watched as they nervously swam about on the lake,giving great views,the male being particularly smart and i always think what a long duck they are,perfectly evolved for underwater swimming.I then carried on across this huge reserve and eventually made it to the viewing platform from which the Great-grey had been seen,but after a good hour or so and no sign and with only 3 Marsh Harrier for my troubles i decided to explore this area more.The highlight of the day was seen next,just as it had stopped raining,but only briefly,a stonking male Hen Harrier.Thankfully,i saw it again about an hour later,on the Crowle section on my return journey back to the car,this time it was much closer,they are a stunning species of raptor,what a beauty!!.The only other highlight seen,was a Woodcock flushed from the side of one of the many drainage dykes,giving a peculiar grunting noise as it took off,no doubt in disgust as to me flushing it from his or her roost.A really enjoyable day despite not seeing the Shrike and great to see the reserves from a differant perspective,ie with no vegetation as in my usual visiting time.

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