Saturday, 8 May 2010

Notterel (No dotterel)

I had a trip to Danby Beacon yesterday, one of the key migration stop offs at this time of year for Dotterel. A sharp NE wind was blowing and it felt freezing! May? Maybe not! No sign of any Dotterel although sightings have been coming in from the Yorkshire Dales, Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire. However, I did see some striking sumplum Golden Plover, with their mournful cries and Lapwing, Curlew, Meadow Pipit, Skylark and Red Grouse of course. Several Wheatear around the rockier area to the east of the beacon itself too.

Red Grouse female

Red Grouse female

On the way up/across I took time to check Sleddale. Again, plenty of Wheatear on the Commondale side of the cattle grid uphill from Percy Rigg. Also Pied Wagtail, Lapwing, Curlew, Meadow Pipit and not a single raptor...

Finally, on my way home, I took an excursion via Swainby, Osmotherly and Hawnby, stopping off in the Arden/Hawnby estate following a tip-off from Lapland for Pied Flycatcher, which was exactly where I'd been told. No Redstart though, so perhaps I'll try Ashberry YWT again this year or Garbutt Wood YWT soon.

Pied Flycatcher

Pied Flycatcher

Sunday, 2 May 2010

In Beds again

Saturday 1 May 2010

Kept things a little more local with a trip around Flitton Moor, which runs into Flitwick Moor BNCPWT reserve. As I passed Flitton Church, I noticed a Kestrel perching on the De Grey Mausoleum. There were plenty of warblers along the river and around the pond with Common and Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff all noted. A Grey Heron was taking a break from nest building on the moor itself. Two Grey Partridges were accidently flushed and seen in flight. The main highlight was a Cuckoo calling and with a little patience, seen in flight then perching in trees and on wires nearby, always a little too distant for a decent photo frustratingly!

Sunday 2 May 2010

A return to Rookery Pit, in the hope of seeing more Hobbies and perhaps catching up with a long staying RC Pochard. I was unlucky on both counts... Pochard, Tufted Duck, Shoveler and GC Grebe all seen as well as Coot, Moorhen and several gull species: GBB, BH etc. A couple of Common and Arctic Terns, but no Black today. Again a Cuckoo heard towards Stewartby chimneys.

No sign of the Turtle Doves along Green Lane between the station and Scrapyard Corner, but I did see a Weasel crossing the road in the cul-de-sac by the yard.

A quick check around the Millbrook side of MVCP for Whinchat or any other seasonal arrivals and empty handed again... All in all though, some very enjoyable birding and great to meet a few Beds birders including Lee Evans, Martin Palmer and Neil Wright.

Back soon!