Monday, March 12, 2012

Scarboro And Troutsdale,11.03.12.

Scarborough Harbour.

Mating Common Frogs.

Troutsdale Valley.
With the prospect of some superb conditions for watching raptors,Chris,Dave and myself made our way to North Yorkshire,firstly to Scarborough and then to the best place to watch raptors in Northern England,Troutsdale and Wykeham Forest.After arriving at Scarborough and parking up at Marine Drive,we firstly looked for the Peregrines on their breeding eyrie,but today couldn't see either of the pair.Fine compensation was had in the form of some fantastic views of at least 20 pairs of Fulmar which were now in residence on their cliff top ledges,with much calling and displaying being involved.Also nearby a raft of about 50 Kittiwake were calling and bathing on the sea and we also enjoyed some great views of at least 10 Common Porpoise,1 with a small calf.We then made our way to east pier to look for the roosting Purple Sandpipers and sure enough there were 38 birds all huddled on the rocks as on our last visit,abeit in smaller numbers this time,but a great sight all the same.Finally,before we left for Troutsdale,we had to indulge in our stop off at the 'Teapot' Cafe for a Hot Chocolate and bacon sarnie and very nice it was too.So after stuffing our faces we made the short journey to the beautiful Troutsdale.Who could ask for a more picturesque place to enjoy watching birds and wildlife and today in some cracking weather too!.It was only 10 mins in and we had just met up with our 'Scarborough area' contact Dave Mansell,when we were watching our first Goshawks,with first 1,then 2 and then unbelievably 5 birds over the valley,with one making a great,close flypast,stunning stuff!.This has to be the best place in the country to enjoy views of this majestic raptor and we soon managed a further 3 species with at least 8 Common Buzzard,4 Sparrowhawk and a couple of Kestrel thrown in for good measure.After our first stint,(no pun intended)at watching these avian predators,we decided to walk the short way down to the Derwent to look for Dipper and Grey Wagtail.With much searching we didn't see any Dippers,but found 3 Grey Wag's and 2 new fish,Stone Loach and the amazing,Prehistoric looking River Lamprey,of which i found 2 while searching for White-clawed Crayfish.The Lamprey where a real surprise and something i thought i would never see,truly amazing looking fish,more Eel like than anything else with those large sucker mouths,which they use to hold on to stones and their parasitic hosts,from which they feed.Other sightings around the river included several more Siskins of which we saw quite a few through the day,our first Butterflies,2 Peacock and 3 Small Tort and a mating pair of Common Frogs and a single male Common Toad.After our enjoyable diversion down at the river,we made our way back to look for raptors again,enoying 3 more Gos sightings and several more Common Buzzard and our first Chiffie of the spring,which gave superb views as it caught several flies.But before long,it was sadly time to leave this fantastic place and make our journey home.Another brilliant visit to this lovely part of the world,with some great company.

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