Yorkshire Seabirds And Raptors Special Day Three The Raptors

Corn Bunting 1

Corn Bunting singing from a wire, the local bird was very faithful to his spot.

A pre-breakfast walk again produced some nice birds including Corn Bunting and Yellowhammers.

We then set off north to Wykeham Forest, only about half an hour’s drive from our lovely base. Walking through the forest, adding Coal Tit and Goldcrest to the trip list, we came to a wonderful viewpoint overlooking a valley. Here we could see for miles and made the perfect location to look for birds of prey. Our folding camping chairs are perfect for this type of birdwatching, no point in being uncomfortable while you scan. Amazingly we didn’t have to wait long for the first shout of “Raptor” Alan had a Goshawk in view within minutes of us arriving. This muscular hawk was carrying prey, presumably back to a nest, so did not stay in view long but a super start. The next shout soon followed and this time Alan had spotted a Honey Buzzard the other main target species here and we hadn’t been on site for more than fifteen minutes! It is not usually like this! The Honey Buzzard stayed in view for a good time and was briefly joined by a second bird, just brilliant. Crossbill, Siskin, Bullfinch and Great spotted Woodpecker all added to the scene.

Honey Buzzard this one photographed on one of our tours in Spain.

After a short pause in the raptor viewing we again picked out a Honey Buzzard this one soaring low over the horizon on those characteristic flat wings showing the long tail and small head, fantastic view in the telescopes. Then a second bird joined it and the two Honey Buzzards soared high into the sky allowing us very prolonged views, so lucky. Then the male, a very pale bird we knew from previous visits here, began to display and a what a thrill to watch! The male Honey Buzzard displays by clapping his wings above his back rapidly over and over, glides across his territory and the repeats over and over again, just wonderful. Arms were aching with holding the binoculars up for so long watching this fantastic behaviour by one of our rarest breeding birds. More sighting of Honey Buzzards followed along with another brief Goshawk and some Common Buzzards to add to the raptor list. Late morning we decided we had seen an amazing array of sightings so we would move on. As so often with birding just when you decide to leave something happens! A female Goshawk soared over the valley and soared and soared allowing everyone plenty of time to use the telescopes to soak up the views of this huge barrel-chested hawk, what a fantastic finish!

The nearby hotel provided us with a real delicious lunch and we then set off for the coast. We spent the afternoon at nearby Filey Brigg, a narrow headland jutting out into the North Sea. We had some fun and games parking but this did result in us seeing a Peregrine Falcon chasing an Oystercatcher almost right overhead!

Parking ticket eventually acquired we parked near the headland and Alan almost immediately spotted a Yellow Wagtail in the small pond by the car park. A great bird to watch, feeding with Pied Wagtails, Linnets and Goldfinches in the warm afternoon sunshine. Further out on the head we enjoyed watching lots of seabirds including Puffins and Gannets. Both Rock and Meadow Pipits were showing off on the cliff top along with more Linnets. At the end of the Brigg we scanned the rocks below and added Whimbrel to the trip list, Jane spotted a flock of Common Scoter low over the sea and luckily these black sea-duck circled around in the bay allowing everyone a good look.

In the evening we enjoyed a lovely dinner at a restaurant in Bridlington that overlooked the harbour. Of course the binoculars came along and there were plenty of gulls to watch from the window including Kittiwakes and a very smart full-breeding plumaged Mediterranean Gull – new for the trip. Back at base Alan announced that he was going to look for a Little Owl, not knowing any were around, Jane and Richard join him on the bank outside the barn. Two minutes later “there’s one!” Amazingly a Little Owl was perched on a chimney pot on the other side of the field and good views were had in the scope. Of course the others were called to join in the Little Owl watching and Malcom then spotted a Barn Owl hunting over the fields! What a fantastic end to a super day!

If you are looking for a short break this Autumn our North Wales tour might be of interest. We have a great selection of birds and habitats all within a few miles of our home here in Llandudno. Come and join us in September for our five day “Best of North Wales Tour” where we visit a wide range of habitats enjoying over 120 species of birds at a pace that gives us plenty of time to really enjoy the birds. The tour is based at a lovely country hotel with lots of birds around the hotel, great food throughout too! For all the details or to book your place please email us.

Please email us here to arrange your very own Birdwatching Trip…..


We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds and great fun with you soon!

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