1st July – Orchids and Alpine Wanderings‏

Posted: July 8, 2012 in Bird Watching, Birding, Rochdale, Rossendale, Twitching
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Last Sunday the 1st of July saw me begining my “convalescense” after a nasal operation, with a trip to Waitby Greenriggs in Cumbria to look for Orchids. After an early start on a damp misty morning we headed up the M6 and reached our first port of call just as the weather began to “buck up”. The small area was a disused railway cutting that  was steep sloping and had the correct type of soil, rock etc for the growth of various flowers,plants. We soon found Common Spotted Orchid along with Marsh Orchid ( not sure on type) and a few, past their best Fly Orchids?? Further along the flat bed of the old railway line we found a well protected Frog Orchid then Fragrant Orchid, Butterfly Orchid (possibly Greater & Lesser?) Greater Twayblade and then a few Marsh Helleborines that were very impressive.

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The only birdlife was a Spotted Flycatcher and a few Willow Warblers just entering into their mournfull little autumnal calls. Onto Leyburn Glebe in Yorkshire but, unfortunately no sign of our quarry the Burnt Tip Orchid, lots of Bee Orchid to look at and photograph though. News was beginning to filter out that the Alpine Swift was still present at Buckton Cliffs just north of RSPB Bempton Cliffs, so, as one of our team needed this species we headed across country, all on A & B roads until we reached Buckton. What followed was a rather difficult walk along Hoddy Cows Lane reaching the cliffs and still having another mile to the trig point, all uphill! We all eventually got there and enjoyed close views of this half metre long wingspaned swift. It came fairly close and some photographs were taken, it was worth the effort. Lots of seabirds were calling and flying around with a large number of Puffins present. A Peregrine Falcon put in an appearance and tried to spook the birds. Well the route march back to the car began and we didn’t have much time left for our trip to Wykeham Forest once we got back to Buckton. We called into the forest and only saw a Buzzard and no sign of any Turtle Doves, no change there then ! We headed for home and one of the lads said, “Well I didn’t expect to see an Alpine Swift today ” But it just shows what an unusual hobby it is that we all pursue and why we enjoy it so much. Reached good old Rochdale by 7pm. Certainly a different day out.

Oz

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