An afternoon in East Yorkshire.12/6/2016

Posted: June 13, 2016 in Bird Watching
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By way of a change four A Teamers did an afternoon/evening/night trip in search of a few birds that we would have normally seen on our annual Norfolk trip. We are not going this year unless something “good” turns up. The weather forecast was not to promising as we departed Newhey at 3pm and headed along the M62 into Yorkshire. Our first stop was Sutton Bank visitor centre, we had hoped to see some Turtle Doves that usually come in to feed around the centre after it closes. After a discussion with the centre manager, who told us that he has not seen the doves since earlier in the week we decided to check the area out. Lots of Yellowhammer and a few Siskin were the highlights. We met a fellow birder by the main road that passes Sutton Bank, who informed us of a place to see Turtle Doves and told us that where we were stood will be a good spot to watch the Nightjars in the evening, thanks for the information!!

We reached the place that the birder had told us and we immediately saw a Turtle Dove sat on overhead wires, result! We searched around the area and counted up to six adult birds flying, calling etc. We all really enjoyed the birds as they perched up and “sang” to one another, at one stage we had four birds all perched together. We obviously kept at a safe distance from them, not wishing to upset their “courting” habits. A Yellow Wagtail and more Yellowhammers were also seen in this unusual location. Wood Pigeon, Stock & Collared Doves were also present. We managed to prise ourselves away from this spot and headed for the coast.

At Bempton Cliffs, Chris B hurriedly saw the seabirds that he wanted to get on his list for the year, then suddenly stopped and said, ” I had forgot what a stunning place this is to watch the birds”. With the reserve having been given a major facelift it is much easier to see the rows of Kittiwake, Razorbill, Guillemot, Gannet, Fulmar and of course the star of the show Puffins. With no wind and an eerie mist just hanging off shore it gave the place an unusual feeling about it.

Last call of the day was back to Sutton Bank for the promised Nightjars. We had originally planned to call at Wykeham Forrest to look at any birds of prey in the area, but, the low mist and negative reports by birders had us heading for Sutton Bank. We all looked for a chippy that was open, in any of the small towns etc that we passed through without success. As we climbed up towards our final stopping place light rain was falling and it was misty. We all did not give ourselves much chance of seeing / hearing the birds, but all said “Well they have to feed”. After a ten minute wait listening to Woodcock, a Nightjar began “churring”, excellent. Up to three birds flew around in front of us in pretty grim conditions. Wonder what its like on a warm, dry night? We left the birds at around 10-45pm and reached Rochdale by 12-15am. We must do that trip again,soon!

Dave O.

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