Friday, 14 July 2017

Scarborough Seabirds And Honey B.....Sunday 9th July 2017.

A good forecast today,albeit the wind in the wrong direction really for searching for seabirds,saw me heading bright and early up through the Wolds to lovely Scarborough on the North Yorkshire coast.
 I had booked to take a trip out with local Scarborough birders Nick Addey and chief chummer Micky Mcnaghten and others to attempt to see what seabirds we could attract in and find off this cracking coastline,with a lovely concoction of rotting fish,fish ice pops and bread.....i can still smell it now as i write!.
 To be fair we didn't see anything out of the unusual on the 4 hour trip,but it was certainly an enjoyable one all the same with superb views of the local Fulmars,a couple of Puffins,Razorbills,Guillemots,Kittiwakes,Gannets and loads of Gulls which included an adult Herring Gull ringed near York earlier in June.
 A few land based migrants were also seen which included a couple of hundred Swift south along the cliffs,a Peregrine and a juvenile Kestrel which was seen flying in off the sea 2 miles off the land.The latter sighting was an interesting one and who knows were it originated.
 As we sailed back along the coast past Long Nab,the lads beloved local patch,it was great to see what a lovely untouched coastline there is,with some cracking habitat,who knows what was lurking along there last autumn!.
 After arriving back on dry land i picked the car up and headed the short distance over to Wykeham Forest where i spent the next couple of hours with Chris and James looking for raptors.
 To be honest,it was a bit later in the day than i normally like to visit but we still managed to see several Common Buzzard,at least 2 Goshawk and the cracking pale male Honey Buzzard briefly also.This latter bird was only seen for a couple of minutes as it displayed high over the viewpoint before disappearing out of view,but what a great sight to see again.
 This place and area is such a favourite of mine and i have enjoyed fantastic views over the years of the special species that call it their homes.
 So,sadly it was time to head back through the Sunday traffic after another excellent day out in this superb part of the world.
A Sunny Scarborough Harbour.

Marine Drive As We Headed Out On The Boat.

Hide And Seek Amongst The Waves.

2nd Calendar Year Puffin.

Surfing Puffin Style.

A Stunning Immature Lesser black-back attracted into the melee.

Fulmar...Words Can't Describe How Much I love These Birds.

Fulmar,What A Bird!.

Fulmar Close Up.

Colour-Ringed Adult Herring Gull,Ringed Near York In June Of This Year.

One Of The Local Herring Gulls,Wanting More Fish.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Recent Highlight's,25-26th June & 01.07.2017.

Because of the high volume of Dragonfly recording and the lack of birding lately,i have again decided to put together a bit of a compilation of sightings and added some of the photo's taken on my visits to both the cracking Crowle Moor NNR and fantastic little reserve at Messingham Sand Quarries.
 To be honest,bird highlight's have been few and far between,but a lovely sighting at Crowle on the 25th June saw the confirmed breeding of Cetti's Warbler,as a pair were seen feeding fledged young and yesterday a cracking 2nd calendar year Hobby was watched hawking dragons at Messingham. 
 The following is a selection from the above dates of some of the fantastic  highlights observed on my visits to both these amazingly diverse reserves.
Horsefly Sp. Hybomitra maculata,a scarce species apparently,Crowle Moor NNR,25.06.2017.

Hoverfly Sp. Eristalis intricarius,Crowle Moor NNR,25.06.2017.

Hoverfly Sp. Helophilus pendulus,Crowle Moor NNR,25.06.2017.

Female Field Grasshopper,Crowle Moor NNR,25.06.2017.

Hoverfly Sp. Sericomyia silentis,Crowle Moor NNR,25.06.2017.

Vestal Cuckoo Bee,Crowle Moor NNR,25.06.2017.

Black & Yellow Longhorn Beetle,Crowle Moor NNR,25.06.2017.

Large Heath & Large Skipper,Crowle Moor NNR,25.06.2017.

Conopid Fly Sp. Sicus ferruginous,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR,26.06.2017.

Brimstone larva,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR,01.07.2017.

Sarcophaga sp.,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR,01.07.2017.

Pisaura mirablis,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR,01.07.2017.

Small Skipper,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR,01.07.2017.

Female Common Lizard,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR,01.07.2017.

Lunar-hornet Clearwing,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR,01.07.2017.

Lunar-hornet Clearwing,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR,01.07.2017.

Lunar-hornet Clearwing,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR,01.07.2017.

Lunar-hornet Clearwing,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR,01.07.2017.

Friday, 16 June 2017

Wykeham Forest Raptor Fest,Sunday 11th June 2017.

After a good forecast today and an organised meet up with both Tim and Neil,the raptor viewpoint in the fantastic Wykeham Forest,was my destination for the day.
 After a nice steady drive up through the Wolds,i eventually made it up through North Moor and to the raptor viewpoint car park.
 It looked like there had been a substantial down pour overnight and as i got me gear on Neil arrived.
 Neil had travelled specially to finally add Honey Buzzard to his life list,so the pressure was on a bit to try and find one for him today.
 We made our way down the track,arriving at that fantastic vista infront of the viewpoint....are there any better raptor watchpoints in the country?.
 It wasn't long before Tim arrived and then we all settled down and began to scan the forest and valley below.
 First raptors seen included a couple of Common Buzzard and then a male Kestrel and a flyover group of 4 Common Crossbill added some interest also.
 While scanning the opposite side of the valley we picked up on an interesting raptor coming in from the east and sure enough this was a last!.
 We watched as it flew steadily along the forest edge and a resident pair of Common's flew up to see him off,followed by a Goshawk,both the latter species obviously wondering what this stranger was doing back in their territories for the summer.
 The views were quite distant,but you could see what this bird was with it's distinct long tailed profile and languid Kite like flight,what a great bird.We then lost him behind the trees and we carried on watching for any other birds of interest.
 A very welcome sighting of two Red Kite,passed below the viewpoint,with us losing the birds behind the trees.These were only my second sighting of the species here and both birds looked to be immatures,with pretty scruffy plumage,but great to see all the same.Another very welcome sighting picked up by Tim was a cracking Raven watched making its way east along the valley,this being the first one i have seen from the viewpoint and also the first i have seen in this part of Yorkshire.
 A brief displaying male Goshawk on the opposite side of the valley was another welcome sighting and the cracking Honey put in at least four more appearances before finally drifting west past the viewpoint and that was the last sighting for us of this bird.
 The bird did look like a pale male and after talking to local Honey expert John Harwood,he thinks this male is a returning bird which has been coming back here for the past ten years,that's an incredible feat for one bird travelling backwards and forwards to the wintering grounds in Africa.
 Eventually after enjoying a great mornings watching,Tim,Neil and myself went our separate ways and i look forward to my next visit to this special area for birds of prey.

Saturday, 10 June 2017

MSQ Again & Crowle Moor NNR,Saturday & Sunday,3rd/4th June 2017.

With the dragonfly season in full swing now,i visited four sites over this weekend with a great variety of wildlife,wildflowers and birds as always encountered on my travels.So on this latest post i am going to do things a little differently to the usual and just post a selection of photos of the fantastic wildlife recorded over the two days.
Volucella bombylans,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR.

Cuckoo Flower,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR.

Scaeva pyrastri,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR.

Tropidia scita,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR.

Garden Chafer,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR.

Dog Rose,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR.

Xylota segnis,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR.

Dune Helleborine,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR.

Meliscaeva auricollis,Messingham Sand Quarries LWTR.

Common Broomrape,North Lincolnshire.

Common Broomrape,North Lincolnshire.

Common-spotted Orchid,North Lincolnshire.

Cream-spot Ladybird,Crowle Moor NNR.

Large Heath,Crowle Moor NNR.

Degeer's Longhorn Moth,Crowle Moor NNR.

Parhelophilus fruitetorum/versicolor,Crowle Moor NNR.

Sericomyia silentis,Crowle Moor NNR.

Platycheirus rosarum,Crowle Moor NNR.

Lizard Orchid,South Yorkshire.