Monday, February 01, 2010

The North Riding.

Another trip up to this part of the world in the freezing conditions today with Nige didn't disappoint with several good birds being seen again at the two sites we visited.
 Our first port of call,was a very cold and stormy Filey Brigg where the temperature when we arrived was a finger numbing -5,but the birds didn't seem too bothered.The main highlight was a flock of 16 White-fronted Geese which flew north,a very rare bird by Filey standards,as we where later informed after a chance meeting with one of the local birders who told us he hadn't seen the species for 15 years!.Other goodies here were a couple of Great-northern Divers,the resident group of 3 Long-tailed Duck,female Goosander,1 female Velvet Scoter,40 Common Scoter and 19 Eider.Also seen where a decent flock of Redwing,with 120 birds being observed and a flock of 74 Pinkies which flew north,following the White front's seen earlier.After enjoying our 2nd visit here in as many weeks,we made our way to the forest.
 On arrival at Hilla Green,we parked in our usual spot by the River Derwent,seeing a few Siskin in the riverside Alder's before walking up to our usual spot to scan the valley.There had been quite a bit of snow here and the scenery was impressive to say the least!.After about 45 minutes Nige spotted our first Goshawk,a male which had flown out from a larch plantation nearby,he then flew across the valley and began to soar around giving brilliant views,eventually being lost over the raptor viewpoint at Wykeham.We then enjoyed good views of 4 Common Buzzard over the forest,with one perching up after some unwanted Corvid attention and i spotted another Gos,this time a huge female crossing the valley from left to right,with that distinct slow flapping direct flight,what a powerfull bird.The last sighting before we left was of a male,probably the earlier bird,displaying at pretty close range,close enough to see the distinct head pattern,with a broad 'super',the underparts gleaming with reflection from the snow,what a stonker,he then disappeared into the forest where there was much vocal activity.We then decided to make our way home after an aborted attempt to get up to Langdale end as the road was a little slippery to say the least!.Another fantastic day in this beautiful part of the world.

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