Thursday, 13 June 2013

The Moors and the Fens

Yesterday we had a very long walk on moorland. There was no doubt that the highlight was a brown bird which fluttered up from the side of the central entrance path. It flew over the top of some thin silver birches before disappearing from view. It was a Nightjar in broad daylight! Not everyone was looking in the right direction, as it rose very quietly, but those that did, had a brief view of something that is normally seen only at dusk or can be glimpsed in complete darkness - in other words a very crepuscular bird. We also enjoyed a very close view of a Buzzard, and before that 2 male Marsh Harriers seemed to clash before heading off in opposite directions. There were snatches of songs from plenty of Warblers, and the song of the male Cuckoo was almost a constant soundtrack. Swifts were whipping through the site all day, and they were probably the most obvious bird. 

Nightjar [taken at Spurn] (c) 2013 Mick Sharpe
 Buzzard (c) 2012 Aileen Urquhart
 Marsh Harrier

 Record shot of Marsh Harrier
Unfortunately, apart from a pair of Cuckoos in the afternoon things became noticeably quieter. The pm crowd endured the long walk, so had plenty of exercise, but they didn't really have the interesting sightings to go along with it. An exhausted and slightly sullen group trudged back to their cars.
Cinnabar Moth
 4 Spotted Chaser (c) 2013 Aileen Urquhart

I was heading back home and circumnavigating the first roundabout when 3 vehicles came roaring off one of the slip roads. I realised they weren't going to give way, so even though I had the right of way, I slowed down. I then saw that 2 police patrol cars trying to force the leading vehicle to slow down or stop. However, this silver-grey car joined the M18 where he continued to play havoc with the traffic. I tried to see what was happening, but lost track of events as they neared the junction with the M62. Cars ahead of me were applying their brake lights suddenly, and the road was scarred with tyre marks, so it seems the chased vehicle wasn't giving up easily. Presumably the problem was heading back towards Leeds!

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