Rain Did Not Stop Play At The Cricket Pitch – Day One Yorkshire Tour For Two

A Hoopoe in the rain on a cricket pitch - wonderful start to our latest Tour for Two.

We picked up Mike and Rachel from their home on Saturday 3rd October, one of the many advantages we can offer on our Tours for Two, and we set off for our Yorkshire Migration Special.

As we drove east the weather got worse by the minute and the rain was torrential at times but we kept going and by the time we reached Yorkshire the rain had eased off to drizzle. On the way east we had heard news of a Hoopoe at Collingham, not so very far off our route so of course we headed there. The bird had been seen on the local cricket pitch and we soon found the car park here and pulled on our waterproofs and headed out to look for the bird. Rounding the corner of the cricket pavilion we could see the pitch and three people with cameras and the bird! Our first view was distant as this wonderful visitor from the Mediterranean walked about on the short grass right out in the open, what a wonderful start to our tour.

We joined the other Hoopoe admirers and had the best possible views of this amazing crested wonder bird! Hoopoes are one of those very special birds that everyone just loves to see and we were all thrilled with these ever so close views of the bird feeding away on the manicured grass of the cricket pitch. To add to the surreal feel a noisy football match was taking place just fifty yards away and by now the Hoopoe was attracting a bigger crowd as more people arrived to enjoy this so beautiful bird. The Hoopoe was non-stop in its search for food pottering about quickly and almost constantly probing the soft ground with that long de-curved beak. Regularly the bird dug out a grub, pecked at it several times and then threw into the back of its throat and repeated the process over and over again, amazing to watch. Good to report that all observers and photographers behaved very well giving the bird plenty of space to feed and it was nice that several passers-by also came to see what we were watching and loved seeing this stunning bizarre bird on their local cricket pitch. We watched the Hoopoe for a long time, such a treat at close range and out in the open even in the drizzle. A lovely if late pub lunch went down very well indeed after all that Hoopoe excitement.

Next we headed for Hornsea Mere just inland of the coast west of the town of Hornsea and always a place with lots of birds, and not far from our B&B for the tour. Sadly the rain was now heavier again and the light poor as the afternoon slipped by but Mike and Rachel are “good campers” and were well prepared for weather and we headed off to see what we could see. The lake held lots of duck shaped things in the murky light and with the help of the telescopes we picked out Wigeon, Shoveler, Gadwall, Pochard and Tufted Duck along with Great Crested Grebe. The hedgerows here held a few birds too and we had good looks at Goldcrests and a lovely Treecreeper amongst other species. In a ploughed field we had a real surprise a flock of 159 Barnacle Geese! What a wonderful sight these pretty geese made and perhaps dropped down by the poor weather on their migration? We enjoyed watching these lovely birds before heading off to our cosy B&B to dry out before enjoying a great meal in the village pub, super start to this Tour for Two.

Come and join us for a “Tour for Two” – very small group just two guests with two guides, tailor made itinerary, low risk in these COVID-19 times and of course lots of birds and an excellent chance of enjoying them all. Do drop us a line and we can make all the arrangements be it a day trip, two days, three day or as long a tour as you wish.

We are so lucky to have so many species and habitats within easy reach here in North Wales we would love you to join us for one of our Best of North Wales Birdwatching Trips days out. We expect to enjoy a lot of birds during these relaxed pace tours and we can tailor make the day to suit you.

We would love you to join us on our Birdwatching Trips in the future just drop us a line to arrange a custom tour and please see our tours pages for set departure trips. If you have any questions at all please fire away here….


We look forward to enjoying wonderful birds in beautiful places with you soon!

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