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Tuesday, 31 May 2016

From Ibis to Orchid

On a picnic with the Mrs on Sunday the 29th to Bolton Abbey where a short walk in the woods got me a fair few Spotted and Pied Flycatchers and two possibly three Wood Warblers, a better year for them this year, then on Monday the 30th it was off to North Cave with Mark where a couple of Glossy Ibis’s that had turned up on the Sunday were still present with one showing really well, we enjoyed them until mid morning when they both suddenly flew up, gained height and drifted off south, we spent the rest of the morning looking round the reserve with a Med Gull on the Main Lake and a few Damsel and Dragonflys the only things of note. Having heard a snippet of news on some Burnt-tip Orchids near Pickering we did a bit investigating and after lunch having worked out where we thought they were we thought we’d have a bash, it’s an amazing thing fate, after ending up in the wrong place after following the wrong grid reference we got back on track but still couldn’t work out where we needed to be, we ended up dropping back to the Quarry near the NYMR crossing where we knew there was a public footpath that looked like it might take us to the right area, we weren’t sure though but after having been distracted by a Spotted Flycatcher we spotted a couple of naturalists making their way back and after quizzing them they revealed they had just been to the Orchid site and gave us good directions and a rough estimate of distance which was just as well because we’d have never found them otherwise, but find them we did (three in all) and were surprised at just how small they were, also a few Early Purple with them and an imm Broad Bodied Chaser on the way back.
this one was very obliging

spooked by Gulls

it flew off

but soon returned

its mate though kept a discreet distance

other general stuff around the reserve included Grebes

LRPs and Avocets

Common Blue Damselfly

Spotted Flycatcher at the Quarry

Orange Tip

Early Purple Orchid

and the dainty Burnt-tip Orchid

Monday, 23 May 2016

A closer Tern by a Whisker

Sunday the 22nd and I went up to Teesside again mainly for a photo session with the long staying Whiskered Terns at Saltholme that I had seen distantly when they first turned up, they had been showing quite well recently, an imm Little Gull was seen as I scanned Saltholme West before I went in, on the reserve the Terns didn’t disappoint showing well on the Main Lake then later from Paddy’s Pool Hide although not that easy to photograph (there was a lot of deleting to do), it was fairly quiet otherwise so upon hearing there had still been a couple of Dotterel at Danby Beacon on Saturday evening I decided to head off there, I arrived just as the forecast Showers did so it was a case of driving up and down the road a couple of times then sitting out the rain, it certainly wasn’t looking very promising but as the rain eased off Vince and Geoff from Leeds who I had seen earlier arrived and said when they had seen them a couple of years ago they'd had to walk out on to the moor, we gave it a go and hats off to Geoff who obviously had a bit more belief than us and wandered further in eventually coming across a lone female, a very smart and confiding bird. It was late afternoon by this time and I decided to finish off at Sutton Bank as the Turtle Doves had been reported back in, almost abandoned it after driving through some pretty heavy rain over the moors but it cleared as I reached Helmsley so I carried on and into a nice sunny evening, two Doves were purring away in the conifers near the car park when I got there and they did eventually drop down into the trees near the feeders but never really settled and soon returned to the conifers, oh well another time maybe.

Common Tern

and Water Rail from Phil Stead Hide

unusually marked Green Veined White

Star birds, its incredible how long they have stayed

a smart drake Gadwall

a GC Grebe was loitering in front of the Hide

Oh yeah there were a few Common Terns around as well

young Stonechat at Dorman's

Golden Plover on the Moors

and this little beauty, well done Geoff

purring away at the top of a conifer

they did come down briefly but never settled