Sunday, February 24, 2013

Stunning Med's and the Big G......23.02.13.

Adult male Mediterranean Gull.

Adult female Mediterranean Gull.

Adult Female Mediterranean Gull.

Adult female Mediterranean Gull.

Adult male Mediterranean Gull.

Distant record shot of female Goshawk.

Distant record shot of Female Goshawk and Carrion Crow.

Male Yellowhammer.
Day two of my four days off,saw Chris and myself heading for the superb Scarborough area for a cracking days birding.On our journey over the wolds we saw a Peregrine near Langtoft as it began to get light,a nice start to the days bird sightings.We arrived in dull conditions at Marine Drive to the sound of displaying Fulmars and we watched as they wheeled around their cliff top home as we got our gear together.These birds are always the first of the cliff top nesters to arrive back to their spring and summer homes,a great sight to see.Also here were the expected pair of resident Peregrines,showing their aerial prowess as usual,as like the Fulmars,surveying their coastal kingdom and a single Red-throated Diver winged its way past north over the sea.We then made our way down to the harbour area seeing a few Rock Pipits on route and then visited the Harbour view cafe for the biggest fryup i have had in a long time.....but it was brilliant!.After the monster brekkie we had a brief look around the harbour,but as it was low tide nothing of note was seen so we made our way back to the car and headed over to Holbeck for the Med's.On arrival at Holbeck all the gulls were down on the beach,but unbelievably just after throwing some bread on the grass we were suddenly surrounded and treated to superb close views of at least 5 adult and 2 2nd winter Med's.Three of the adults were starting to acquire their stunning black hoods now and one of the 2nd winter birds was starting its moult into 2nd summer plumage.They gave some superb views and one of the adults,a male was displaying to the others with much strutting around and head throw back display,great to watch and fairly comical as he chased the females without much success.It was also interesting to note the distinct size difference between the male and female birds as they were observed side by side.We managed to get some decent images,but the light was dire,but it was great entertainment watching these beauties.By this time it was 11'o clock and we made our journey over to our second site of the day.As we arrived the weather began to break and we saw the first sun of the day and enjoyed some welcome warmth.After parking up we got the gear together and walked to our fave spot to scan the valley and forest,seeing along the road a lovely male Yellowhammer,which glowed in the sun,with his yellow head like a beacon,stunning!.It wasn't long before we saw our first Goshawks of the day,when firstly 1 male and then 2 were seen in the air together,displaying and sparring,the no doubt resident male seeing off his intruder after much chasing.After a false alarm of a Jay perfectly mimicking a Goshawk,a female was heard calling and after a short while appeared out of the forest to perch in full view in a dead larch,she was receiving some unwanted attention from a pair of Carrion Crows,but they stayed their respect full distance,this was brilliant,although too far for the camera,but great through the scope,but better was to come.She was flushed from her perch by a farm vehicle and disappeared,before reappearing on another Larch at the very top of it,calling her head off,attempting to get some attention from her mate,she then flew again and landed partially hidden,but every so often we would get a glimpse of her head and to our amazement she was then joined by the male,2 Goshawks,and a pair perched together,this was amazing viewing!!.These birds really take some beating and what a privilege to watch,the best views i have had yet of perched birds.Other raptors seen included at least 6 Common Buzzard,3 at the eastern end of the valley and 3 at the western end and a single female Sparrowhawk.No Crozzers or Siskin were seen today,but a north bound flock of 80 Redwing passed over the valley and 3 Mistle Thrush were seen close by.Another fantastic day out in this stunning part of the world.

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