Tuesday, 8 May 2012

May bank holiday - Yorkshire

I was Yorkshire bound for the wknd and managed three days of walks and saw some really good birds.
I managed a walk down the lane to the River Wharfe a couple of times with mum which were nice, we saw and heard so many birds, I was in awe at the variety of species so easily seen from our house and nearby, I have to list them!

May 5th - 7th, 2012
Redkite, several

Redkites at home, not as many flying around - hopefully all busy nesting!

Buzzard, flushed it by accident from a tree about a meter away at head height. Initially I just heard an unusual calling, didn't know what it was, because the call was unrecognisable but was convinced it sounded like a chick of some description. I figured it might be a Rook chick from the sounds, but then it flew out from the tree and showed off its buzzard plumage, but weirdly no tail feathers. Didn't see it again, but deffo Buzzard.

2 Goosanders, down on the River Wharfe, male and female. I first saw them on the river back in Feb, so they must have stayed around and made it their country residence.
I'm not just saying this, but I saw the Goosanders twice, once near Castley and then the next day near the bridge at Pool and both times, I SWEAR, the Goosanders were just about to swim within meters of me for super fantastic close up shots and both times they were spooked. First by a dog jumping into the river and then by two boys running down to the river.
Female and male Goosanders, River Wharfe, Castley

Goosanders, (male left, female right), quite a bit smaller than a Mallard. Near Pool bridge.

Female Goosander - was swimming happily up river towards me when a dog jumped into the river and spooked her.

2 Oystercatchers, again down at the river, on a shale/pebbly bit of the bank (never seen Oiks down at the river).
loads of Swallows, Swifts and Housemartins - all flying around the fields and over the river
Sandmartins - loads nesting in bank of river

Sandmartin, River Wharfe

Chiffchaffs, several, seen and heard

Chiffchaff, Yorkshire

Willow warbler, didnt see, just heard
Carrion Crow

Carrion Crow, Yorkshire - not something we see in Ireland, except for the odd hybrid here and there.

Mistle thrush
Song thrush with chicks
Robin with chicks
House sparrows with chicks
Long tailed tits

Long tailed tit, Yorkshire

Long tailed tit, Yorkshire

Great tit
Coal tit
Goldfinch with chicks
Bullfinch with chicks
Starlings with chicks
Wood pigeon
Reed Bunting - never seen one outside of Ireland, so it was nice to see a male singing from a tree (and hear another) along the river
Kingfisher - along the river Wharfe

I know - amazing quality right? You try taking a photo of a Kingfisher in flight and get back to me.

Skylark!! Never seen one at home and was just saying to another birder I met along the river how I'd never seen a Skylark in the area, yet it was prime location. He was saying he used to see them all the time but hadn't seen any in at least 3 years - so it was great to hear the familiar song, look up and see the Skylark making its display flight.

Treecreeper - amazing camouflage. I think this might be my best Treecreeper shot.


Me and mum also thought we heard an owl down where I saw the Little owl last year, but we both thought it sounded more like a Tawny but we didn't see anything, so we'll never know.

Also saw woodpecker holes in a couple of nearby trees and then by the bridges in Pool I saw an actual woodpecker fly from a tree and land in another. I watched through my bins for quite a while which was a treat. Saw it move around the tree similar to how a Treecreeper does, but saw that it drops down and crawls up over and over, rather than crawling up like a Treecreeper.

Greater spotted woodpecker, drops down the tree and climbs up, drops down again and climbs up.
Adult female Greater spotted woodpecker, Pool, Yorkshire. A male would have a bit of a red patch at the back of his head and a juvenile would have a completely red cap.
So with Greater spotted woodpecker that's 41 species and I'm sure I'm forgetting some.

A really great weekend.