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YORKSHIRE WILD


A birding blog, with sounds and film


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Crossbill to Goshawk and a Mediterrenean show off.

We started the day at 6.30am and drove directly to Wykeham. I know Wykeham very well having run camping rallies for 20 years on Downy Estates land including Wykeham Lakes. We went to the very top of Moor road, this is where many people sit and watch many woodland birds. There are some large stones and you often find seed or apples put out for the birds, people sit in cars and just watch as the day goes by.

We did some watching and at this time of year the birds we most often see look different. Immature birds can even look like different species and can be difficult to identify. Below are some very common birds that just look a little different because of their age. Some all new with new coats and some old hands bedraggled as the ravages of winter takes its toll.

A few days before we heard on Birdguids that
Crossbills had been seen in large numbers. We looked and listened for these often quite showy birds, but nothing near where we were. We started walking east and started to pick up a few chirps, after a few minutes I had seen and photographed my first year Crossbill, that's a first year for me not the Crossbill. A significant part of this blog has been removed after a growing concern for a particular animal seen on this trip. This decision has not been taken lightly and it was never my intention to suppress information. This decision is entirely my own and is the best way to ensure the welfare of the animal.

It wasn't long before brain was in gear and I was seeing a few more Crossbills, perhaps six in total but others had seen significantly more. We decided to go down to the raptor point and after parking we started talking to a few people coming back from the point, it was still only 9.20am and they were saying they had seen plenty of Crossbill and Goshawk. The weather conditions were perfect and as the reports of Crossbill were plentiful we walked slowly and quietly up the long path to the viewing point. Nothing, zilch, not a scooby. Where had all the Crossbill gone, well I don't know but they were not showing themselves to me.
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Juvenile Chaffinch, looking like an American G.I
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Sorry about the quality of the image but this Goldcrest was quite a distance away and as they do, moving fast to avoid detection.
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I just love the antics of Tits, especially Coal tits, the speed at which they can fly in, take some seed and be 100s of meters away in seconds is breathtaking.
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Often unnoticed Redpoll are a superb bird.
Steve Farley
Not a bird I see very often but when I go to Foxglove Covert there are hundreds of these mysterious birds. Redpoll and one of those birds that just go unnoticed, even if you hear one. Again sorry about the image quality but I love them and as usual there was a small flock in dense foliage.
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Making quite a noise this Crossbill was hard to miss even though distant.
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Above and below more Crossbill at the top of very tall trees.
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Purple Sandpipers on the seafront at Scarborough.
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The rather splendid Herring Gull above and below. Above the adult gull looking quite dapper and below the Juvenile Looking…well not so dapper.
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Mediterranean Gulls

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I don't usually take that much notice of gulls. I think the main reason is the same reason I don't play golf…I just can't do it. Gulls are difficult to ID, they are frustrating and embarrassing too. You take a photograph, take it home and look at it, get your Helm book of gulls out and open the pages. Page 1 to page 678 contains 3000 photographs of the same gull, this gull flies around the world being photographed in different poses, but it's the same gull and his name is Dave. He makes a fortune, this is Dave with his suntanned legs, red lipstick and old mottled black cap. That's how I remember.
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Med Gulls different life stages all together.
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