Wednesday, 6 May 2009

O is for.....

Record shot of Cuckoo
Record shot of Cuckoo about to be mobbed
Sedge Warbler singing in its arbour
Record shot of Barn Owl
A very "worn" Holly Blue
The 'ah' factor - Mallard Duckling

It can’t be can it? It must be a large gull, isn’t it? Is it a Heron? On no, oh my Gawd, it is, it’s an Osprey!!! The first one we’ve ever seen during the classes, and the 1st I’ve ever seen in Yorkshire. It sure beats driving all the way to Bassenthwaite & seeing those tiny dots thro’ the RSPB x70 telescopes. This one was less than 50 feet above our heads! I almost needed hospital attention after this one, and it took a while to come down from Cloud 9. In November 2007 our class was the first to identify the first, & to date, the only Little Auk ever recorded at North Cave Wetlands, and last March we had a Lesser-Spotted Woodpecker at Skipwith Common – a “lifer” for everyone present, but this raptor is the single highlight of any class so far.
Away from the OMG experience we had 2 male Cuckoos gowking, and a female bubbling, so there were at least 3, and possibly 4. There were at least 2 Turtle Doves purring, and possibly 3 seen flying together, which I’ve never seen before. The site was crawling with finches; Linnets, Goldfinches and Chaffinches were the most numerous, but one Greenfinch was doing his ‘butterfly’ display flight & a pair of Bullfinches gave brief views before hiding themselves away. The site was overrun with warblers: Reed, Sedge, Willow, Chiffchaff, Lesser & Common Whitethroats – several pairs of each. 2 Swifts flew through mid-morning & all the hirundines were represented, including (at last for this spring) a single House Martin. Meadow Pipit numbers were down this year, though we did see one at the end – and the last minute Barn Owl was a nice end to the afternoon - until it was frightened off by a dog on the loose. The morning was the most exciting class since that Thursday in September at Spurn & all within 15 minutes of home – brilliant!

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