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Monday, 24 February 2014

Hawks down the Dale

Out with Mark and Paz today and we decided we'd do the Goshawks down Troutsdale this morning then maybe potter along the East Coast this afternoon, we called in at Wykeham Lakes on the way up where a Black Throated Diver had been seen over the last few days, this is a private site really but we had just found out there is a public viewing platform accessed from West Ayton, we found it and had a scan around, the last report from yesterday was that it had flown off but we were hoping it had just been for a fly around and come back, we weren't disappointed Paz eventually picked out the bird on the far side of the lake and we got some decent scope views, there was also a good selection of other wildfowl on the lake and the bonus of a couple of Egyptian Geese in a nearby field plus a Red Kite went over, another stop at Hackness Lake found an impressive 18 Mandarins present. Down Troutsdale we had a quick look at Hilla Green where we year ticked Grey Wagtail and Dipper before moving on to our usual stake out point a bit further along the valley, superb stuff, up to five Goshawks and a couple of Buzzards were showing very well right from us getting there and a large female Sparrowhawk came over for a nice bit of comparison, we spent an hour or so with them before dropping down into Scarborough, down Marine Drive we had hoped to add Peregrine to our days Raptor tally but in the increasingly windy conditions there was no sign of them or anything else on the cliffs, a Rock Pipit was another year tick though. There was nothing much at the Mere so we soon headed up to Holbeck and had lunch with the Med Gulls, one or two are now attaining their black hoods. After lunch we headed further up the coast to Hunmanby Gap where half a dozen Little Gulls entertained as they fed along the tideline, a few Ducks and Grebes were on the sea as well as handful of Gannets flying around, a scan of the nearby Flamborough Cliffs found them covered in white dots, we carried on to Barmston to see if we could find the Kumleins Gull but there was no sign of it this afternoon, we then took a steady drive back over the Wolds to see what we could find taking in Millington Pastures and ending up at Nunburnholme, a few Red Kites at the latter site but it was a bitter wind and almost dark so we didn’t stay long, no hoped for Grey Partridge or Barn Owl.

there was a pair, this one looks to be carrying nesting material

getting their black hoods

almost there on this one

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