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Wednesday, April 29, 2015

My second Spring, out and about in the Wolds, North Cave Wetlands, atmospheric Barnies and Common Cranes in Yorkshire!

Ist Swallow, Thornton Ings, 5apr2015
Back from my Iberian travels and straight back into a typical stop start UK Spring - not too dissimilar from Spain really... blowing hot & cold! Great to be back into the swing of things with YWT but ain't there a lot to do when you return from a long trip! Almost feel as if the Spring is passing me by such have been the twin demands of work, catching up with folk and a distinct lack of 'get up and go' after so many foreign and exotic adventures. I've had a few trips out though and had some good moments in my 2nd Spring!

Barn Swallow, Wheldrake Ings, 20apr2015
Swallows were back in my neck of the woods first week of April and who knows, some of them might have flown past me when I was in Spain - highly unlikely but a nice thought!

Snakes Head Fritillary, Wheldrake, 20apr2015
Spring flowers are popping up everywhere with these Snakes Head Fritillaries on the sheep field at Wheldrake being my favourites of the month

Snakes Head Fritillary, Wheldrake, 20apr2015

Closely followed by these gorgeous Primroses high up on the Yorkshire Wolds nr Bishop Wilton

Primroses, Bishop Wilton, 10apr2015

Lovely indeed but the morning I took these was the day a shed load of poor air drifted in from the continent on SE winds and that wasn't so lovely!

Poor air quality over Bishop Wilton, 10apr2015

I had my first Willow Warblers singing on the 15th and a rare treat of a passage Ring Ouzel close to my local patch on the top of Garrowby Hill on the 10th, a full on male, but frustratingly shrouded in twigs till it flew off north.

Yellowhammer (male), Fangfoss, 5apr2015

My local birds are looking resplendently colourful and there are singing Linnets, Yellowhammers, Greenfinches, Skylarks and Thrushes down my back lane here at Fangfoss and both Sparrowhawks and Common Buzzards have been performing their aerial courtship displays with gusto!

Common Buzzard, Fangfoss, 5thapr2015

Talking of raptors, there's a prospective pair of Peregrines on York Minster. I hope they breed and with luck I'll get some pics. They seem to be doing alright and this is one of several in the Lower Derwent Valley where they nest in the big electricity pylons there ...

Peregrine Falcon, LDV, 17apr2015

After a superbly successful breeding season last year and a relatively mild winter I'm pleased to see so many Barn Owls on the wing. I've struggled to get a 'gripper' pic but its always an atmospheric moment when you watch a 'ghost bird' hunting and I'm well pleased with the artsy feel of these...

Barn Owl, Wheldrake, 20apr2015

Barn Owl, Millington, 6apr2015

Barn Owl, Wheldrake, 20apr2015

Got my first Swift yesterday (28/4) at North Cave Wetlands, along with Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Common Tern and Yellow Wagtail (all first for the year). Failed to get decent pics of any of them but the Avocets were easier ... I so hope the Black Headed Gulls don't take all the young this year as they have done in previous years.

Avocet, North Cave, 28apr2015

Avocet, North Cave, 28apr2015

I didn't see a single Common Whitethroat all the time I was in Spain, couple of weeks too early, but pleased to see and hear so many in the hedgerows again ....

Singing Common Whitethroat, North Cave, 28apr2015

I've saved my best birds till last and hopefully you've scrolled down this far. I've had more than my fill of Common Cranes in France and Spain over the years but not seen many in the UK, so to see a small bunch turn up in a field in Yorkshire recently was a bonus. Not entirely surprising as they're expanding as a breeding bird with small but successful numbers of breeding birds in Norfolk and Somerset. For obvious reasons I can't reveal the location and don't bother asking, just enjoy the pics ...

Common Cranes, Yorkshire, Spring 2015

Common Cranes, Yorkshire, Spring 2015

Common Cranes, Yorkshire, Spring 2015

More than a little hint of courtship going on so hope they're successful.



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