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Thursday, 28 March 2013

A ray of hope

I made an afternoon visit to North Cave Wetlands after work today and although its still very cold there was a definite warmth when the sun shone, there had been a report of a couple of Little Ringed Plovers from this morning but all I could find this afternoon were a couple of Ringed, up to 10 Avocets were also on the reserve and the redhead Smew was still present but still keeping its distance, the new workings seem to be attracting a lot Oystercatchers in and a Buzzard was up over the ridge.

a couple of views from the new hide, this one over the new workings
and below looking over the old part of the reserve to the ridge.

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Roll on Spring

With nothing much around at the moment and Winter refusing to loosen its grip with plenty of snow further afield I decided to stay local today, I started with a look through the Gulls at Poppleton then Rufforth Airfield and although there are a few smart looking Lesser Black Backs around now there were none of the rarer Gulls about this morning, after making a short detour down Common Lane at Heslington to year tick Little Owl, I headed off to the LDV starting at East Cottingwith then making my way round to North Duffield Carrs, there is still a good selection of Wildfowl present but numbers seem well down, I suppose stuff is starting to move north now, god knows why, highlights were a drake Scaup on the river at North Duffield Carrs and a few Whooper Swans on Bubwith Ings. I had a wander round the bottom end of Skipwith Common next, a Barn Owl was out hunting but there was little else then it was on to Thoganby and Bank Island but apart from a Buzzard en route there was nothing more to add to what had already been seen.
LBB Gull at Rufforth Airfield

Little Owl keeping an eye on Grey Squirrel

LDV from Aughton Church

Skipwith Common

Monday, 18 March 2013

Winters not finished yet

Its that awkward interim period while waiting for Spring to get going and me and Mark were not sure what to do today then with an unexpected bright start to the day we decided to head up to Wykeham to try for the Goshawks again, success this time we had a couple of birds displaying mid morning but they were very distant, right over the other side of the valley, we later took a tour of the forest area but only managed another brief sighting, Buzzards were performing well though with eight up in the air together at one point, we had also hoped to find some Crossbills but we didn't, they seem to be thin on the ground this Winter. After lunch we dropped into Scarborough but a rather heavy shower kept us in the car so we didn’t see much then with news that the Caspian Gull found yesterday at Flamborough was showing we headed off there, it would seem that it was an erroneous report though, we bumped into some of the local birders scanning through the Gulls and they told us the bird had not been seen today and they had been watching the area at the time it was reported, we joined them scanning the Gulls for a while but nothing was picked out. We went back to Filey but it had become quite windy on the cliffs, a bit bleak to say the least and a quick scan of the Bay revealed nothing so we soon moved to the Dams which was also very quiet. We headed for home and were surprised to find a light covering of snow inland then a busy A64 prompted us to detour via Strensall, the Common looking very surreal in the late evening light with the ghostly form of a Barn Owl out hunting.

six Buzzards and a Crow

a Wintry Strensall Common

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Wolds Raptors on a not so sunny afternoon

It was supposed to be a sunny afternoon today so I nipped up to Nunburnholme after work to photograph the Red Kites, they got it wrong again though and by the time I got up there it was becoming increasingly cloudy, however several Kites showed well even though the light wasn’t particularly good but better still was a rather showy Barn Owl that teased and tantalized for most of the afternoon, also of note were two or three pairs of Buzzards that were busy displaying and a pair of courting Green Woodpeckers plus an ermine Stoat ran across the road.