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Monday, 10 March 2014

Moors to Coast

I was out with Mark and Paz yesterday and it was a lovely Spring day, we decided on a trip up into Bransdale then move on to the East Coast, our first stop down Bransdale was at Cowhouse Bank where a Sparrowhawk was enjoying the early morning thermals and a few Siskins flitted between the trees, a bit further on another of our favoured stops added Nuthatch and Green Woodpecker to the list, we then took a steady drive through the moorland photographing some rather splendid Red Grouse with plenty of Lapwings and Curlews back on territory but no Golden Plovers yet, a stop at the top of the Dale for a scan round produced the mornings best sighting though when a Goshawk flew out from the trees displaying before rapidly gaining height and heading off, a couple of Buzzards were also seen as we headed back down the other side. Early afternoon found us at Long Nab, Burniston where we bumped into the York Bird Club on their field outing, they had changed venue from the proposed Leighton Moss, after exchanging a few pleasantries about the mornings sightings, they had been down Troutsdale, we went off in search of the wintering Lapland Buntings, they weren’t easy but we eventually got onto at least four birds as they scurried about the ploughed field just beyond the sea watching hut, as we got back to the car our first Chiffchaff of the year sang and hopped around the bushes there. Next stop was Filey where a small flock of Snow Buntings were in some set aside along the cliff path, we were lucky enough to drop straight on to them and several birds were looking rather smart as they were moulting back into summer plumage, a bit shocked at the parking charges for the Country Park this year though. We ended up at Bempton Cliffs where all the Auks etc are back in although most were just sat on the sea and not many Puffins as yet after another disastrous winter for them, there was also a Short Eared Owl hunting near the car park and a Stonechat and several Grey Partridges in the same area. It was certainly a very pleasant Spring day and lots of Butterflies and Bumblebees were flying about as well.

very high Goshawk, first I've seen in Bransdale

Snow Buntings at Filey

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