5th August – Sooty’s & Honey’s‏

Posted: August 10, 2012 in Bird Watching, Birding, Rochdale, Rossendale, Twitching
Tags: , , ,

A trip out in the “quiet period” for birdwatcher’s just has to have a focus, ours was, to see a Turtle Dove!!. So when a possible Little Shearwater was seen at Flamborough Head on Saturday, we thought of a trip to the east coast and then Wykeham Forest. Myself driving along with Bob K and Chris B set of from a foggy Newhey at 6-00am and as we crossed the open plains of Yorkshire the weather did not improve much. It was only as we nearly got to Flamborough the the fog lifted. There was hardly any wind and it was a really nice morning on the head. We met Brett Richards, and he told us that there was nothing much to see due to the weather conditions. There were lots of Kittiwakes, Gannets, Puffins and other auks still moving about the place though. We sat around for a couple of hours and managed to see 2 Sooty Shearwaters and 2 Arctic Skuas, yes Brett was right! It was time to head for the Wykeham Forest, and on arrival the weather was perfect for raptor watching, sunny and next to no wind. We searched most of the nursery fields, that we know off, for Turtle Doves, but,we never found any (are we looking in the right place we asked each other?) Time to ring a friend and he said, yes, we were in the right place and a bit of time and patience might be needed. Up at the viewpoint 5 Common Buzzard’s were soon seen, followed by a pair of Sparrowhawks. Then it went a little bit slow, until, a rather large Goshawk flew almost over our heads and gave stunning views for a couple of minutes. A little later we picked up a distant raptor that was “wing-clapping” and as the bird got a little closer we identified it as a Honey Buzzard! It was later joined by 2 other Honey Buzzards, and they all remained in the air for an incredible 10 minutes. We decided to have a last bash at trying to see the, now mythical, Turtle Doves at the nursery. We tried down a different track and as I was driving slowly along, a Turtle Dove flew across the track about 20 yards away. To quick for me to get the other 2 lads on the bird. Don’t you feel very doubtful of yourself when that happens? After a search of the area, a sudden downpour put paid to further searching. Time to head for home, an excellent day out with most of us adding 5 new species to our year lists and seeing some cracking birds.

Dave O.


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