Saturday, January 29, 2011

Coast and Forest.....

Some bird spotters,Chris,Dave and Sheepie.
Troutsdale and Wykeham Forest.
1st winter Iceland Gull,Scarborough Harbour.
A day out today with my fellow birding mates,Chris,Dave and Al to North Yorkshire,saw us enjoying a very good day in this great part of the country.Our first destination was the harbour at Scarborough and after enjoying the best hot chocolate in the country,we began to look around the area.The first goodie was the Juv. Great-northern Diver watched feeding in the South Bay,it didn't show as closely as i have seen them in the past,but was great to see all the same and was the first i had seen since february of last year.Also in the South Bay was a flock of 8 Common Scoter,4 Great-crested Grebe and 16 Purple Sandpiper watched flying past and several Fulmar and 2 Razorbill were just off Marine Drive.The main highlight at Scarborough was seen next,the cracking 1st winter Iceland Gull which i saw perched on the side of the fish quay.Luckily the bird was flushed by an aggressive Herring Gull and it landed on the harbour side allowing a close approach and some chances for some record shots,it then put on a great show as it came to bread,tussling with the local gulls and gave superb flight views,what a beauty!.Also seen in the harbour area was a lovely female Red-breasted Merg which showed brilliantly too,not a duck species we see very often in Linc's.After all this excitement we made our way to the forest,stopping off briefly at the Forge valley feeding station to see the local Nuthatch and Marsh Tits,seeing a couple of Nuthatch and a single Marsh Tit,both lovely species.After we arrived at our forest location,we began to scan the valley and forest seeing at least 7 Common Buzzard which included at least 4 perched up and then the target appeared over the forest infront of us a stunning male Goshawk!.We watched this bird on and off for about 30 minutes,seeing him perched on 2 occasions,but the best views were gained when he suddenly stooped into a cloud of Wood Pigeons scattering them in all directions,awesome stuff!!.In all we saw at least 4 birds,what a brilliant place to enjoy the hobby.After a timely text message from one of our local contacts(Thanks Dave),we dashed round into Wykeham forest to successfully twitch a Great-grey Shrike,one of 3 in the area!.The bird was seen briefly perched atop a large Silver Birch and was also seen in flight on the edge of the same location i saw one 2 years ago,talk about another great day out!.Also seen here was at least 25 Common Crossbill,which gave good fight views,giving their distinct 'Glip,glip' calls as they passed overhead.Other highlights today included both a Barn Owl and a superb Ermine just outside of Driffield.A superb day out with the lads again.

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