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Post Info TOPIC: Wykeham Forest Raptor Viewpoint - North Yorks


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Wykeham Forest Raptor Viewpoint - North Yorks


Sunday 6th Aug.
Morning visit with Simon Gough and Chris Chandler. Nice to see Darren Ward and the Yorkshire crew.

Raptor Watchpoint
- Honey Buzzard 1 (at first)
Finally showed late morning, and show it did, in all its glory flying right over our heads at the Viewpoint after being harassed by a Goshawk that in turn was being harassed by a Kestrel at the same time.
It gave a clapping display before flying off, only to return within a short time to display again.

- Goshawk (???)
Not sure how many altogether but we saw 3 up together at one point with 2 displaying and having mid air tussles. We had plenty of sightings all morning that could've been repeat birds, who knows.

- Marsh Harrier 1
Fooled a few people at first and Black Kite was called out, but after watching it for a while we all steered away from that and although I wasn't 100% sure we came to the conclusion it was most likely a Marsh Harrier.

Other birds at the viewpoint included..
- Common Buzzard 4 at least
- Sparrowhawk 1
- Siskin 1
- Bullfinch 3
- Crossbill heard

Cockmoor Road Plantation
- Honey Buzzard 2
Viewed these from the car as we drove through the plantation area.
They didn't look like Common Buzzards so I stopped the car and alerted Simon and Chris, which I'm glad I did as they were indeed Honey Buzzards, 1 of which was the male from earlier with the 'missing feather' from the trailing edge of each wing.

Also here...
- Goshawk 1
- Common Buzzard 2
- Crossbill 2 (1m 1f)
- Lesser Redpoll 5
- Siskin 1
- Spotted Flycatcher 3
- Goldcrest 1
- Willow Warbler 1
- Treecreeper 1
- Yellowhammer 2 (100yds down the road)
...and a Field Vole ran out infront of the car and turned back again along Cockmoor Road.

A quality day all round

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 7th of August 2017 12:24:33 PM

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Had a couple of sessions at the watchpoint this weekend. Highlights as follows: 

3 Honey Buzzard,  including extended views of their 'butterfly' display today on 2 occasions at 12.20 and 13.20. 

Also 1+ Goshawk, 5 Common Buzzard, 1+ Turtle Dove, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 3 Crossbill on Saturday at 4pm, 2 Bullfinch, Siskin, Kestrel, Red Legged Partridge on road up from Wykeham, Goldcrest. 



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Rob Creek and I headed up on Saturday 8th July. I'm posting on this thread so that people can see the sightings from this year [2017] in the context of the sightings from previous years.

2 Honey Buzzards, 1m and 1f, the male displaying. We had one long sighting of both birds for around 5-10 minutes in around 3.5 hours at the Watchpoint.
4 Goshawk, 1f, 2m and one distant probable male. Really enjoyed the business of ID'ing these birds, and one which lifted up from just in front of the viewpoint showed beautifully as it quickly circled and gained height.

Other raptors were predictably Buzzard, Kestrel and Hobby. Also from the viewpoint Spotted Flycatcher, Bullfinch, Siskin.

We certainly benefitted from the great conditions. When you are limited to birding at the weekend you really want the weather to help, and it really did on Saturday.

No sign of Turtle Doves for us and a suggestion that no more than 1 or 2 were present in the Forest. Thought-provoking when posts from a few years back talk about double-figure sightings

Answers on a postcard why a visit in the same week in 2016 with similar weather produced a single Goshawk and no Honey Buzzards. It was great to connect well this year.

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Visited yesterday, arriving at 10.15 and drew an absolute blank. Not only no Honey Buzzard or Goshawk but hardly anything else at all. Only bird worthy of note being Siskin with a small party of around half a dozen birds. Left for Bempton early afternoon before returning to Wykeham for about an hour on the way home.

Disappointing obviously but that's birding. Cracking location though with great views northwards. A couple of spots across the valley look good for Nightjar where tree felling has taken place.

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It's been about 10 or 15 years since I've been to Wykeham, so thought I'd give it a go today.

Better weather over there than we had in Manchester. No rain and about 50/50 cloud and blue sky, plenty of sunshine and a decent breeze.

Disappointing, as no Honey Buzzard. Saw about half a dozen Common Buzzards, a Peregrine and a couple of Goshawks, including an aggressive female that was scrapping with a party of 3 Buzzards. Good opportunity for size comparison at close range.

-- Edited by Richard Would on Sunday 4th of August 2013 08:09:59 PM

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Saturday 25th August:

Raptor viewpoint:

The clouds were low and the weather not so great for it so no honey buzzard (my second attempt). but a Goshawk flying low and close to me coming out of the conifers was a good second best.
Also, when I was driving past the Wykeham nursery I spotted a Turtle Dove on a telephone wire in a farm field. Great close up views. Not a bad morning after all.

Rob

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Watchpoint only - 10.00am - 3.30pm

At least two Honey Buzzards knocking about (we had two up at once), had distant prolonged views of a Goshawk mobbing one of them. In the afternoon a single bird flew right over the watchpoint about 50yds up.

Several gosses, at least two juveniles - if every bird I saw had been a different individual I'd have seen twenty two!

Many Common Buzzards, two Kestrels and a single Sparrowhawk. I picked up a very distant Hobby, later another flew right over the watchpoint.

Other birds around the watchpoint, heard only in most cases, were Willow Tit, Treecreeper, Crossbill, Siskin, Goldcrest, etc.

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Morning visit yesterday with Riggers and Karen Foulkes (Mr Rayner opted to stay behind and watch men in lycra climaxing on the Champs Elysees)

Honey Buzzard 1
Common Buzzard 1
Sparrowhawk1
Red Kite 2
Kestrel 2
Goshawk 2

18 other species around the watchpoint, including Crossbill, Siskin, Bullfinch, Goldcrest, Coal Tit, with Linnet, Yellowhammer and Whitethroat on the approach road.

Also see:
Ringlet - in good numbers
Ribband Wave
Migrant Hawker
Common Spotted Orchid
and a single specimen of Common Centuary

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Hi Chris

Well done on getting the nightjar and Goshawk. I was surprised how many common crossbills there were which is always good to see. Just wish I couldve got a honey buzzard. Nice to meet you Chris.

Rob

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Hi Rob.
Don't think anybody saw the turtle doves.have to be content with hearing them although while I was looking for them a goshawk got chased over the tree line by crows.it then soared for 5 minutes before a pigeon flew past.at which point it turned and stooped at some speed after it.didn't see what happened as they went behind the trees.birds seen through the day were:
Garden warbler 3
Tree pipit 3(1 singing)
Goshawk 3
Buzzard
Kestrel
Sparrowhawk
Hobby
Bullfinch
Crossbills(several parties flying over)
Skylark7+
Pied wagtail
Jay carrying an unfortunate chick
Coal tit(100+!just a guess but they were everywhere)
Goldcrest
Siskin
Yellowhammer 10(one of which was displaying in the road and only moved when I got out of the car)
Grey partridge(surrounding farmland)
G.s.woodpecker
Red kite(on the way up in the car)
Plus other warblers finches tits etc.
Hares and a roe deer buck that seemed lost.
After a miserable few hours of rain and nearly heading for home I set myself up in a likely area at 9.00.at 9.15 a woodcock started Roding and was soon joined by another(and didn't stop until I left at 10.40!).10 minutes later a nightjar started churring in the tree behind where I was stood.it then flew out right past me calling then perched close by and started singing again(got some footage but quite dark).it was then joined by the female which later on flew round my head about six feet away sending me dizzy.magical.apart from that it was rubbish...(this post is for yesterday 30/6/12)

-- Edited by chrisdorney on Sunday 1st of July 2012 07:27:47 PM

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01/07/2012 - A single brief Common Buzzard was the only raptor myself, Phil Owen and Alex Jones saw between 12pm-2pm. Other stuff seen:

1 Tree Pipit
c40 Common Crossbills
5+ Siskins
1 Yellowhammer

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An OK morning's birding at the raptor viewpoint:

1 Hobby close to the viewpoint
12 Crossbills flying from the woods behind and out in front of the viewpoint
2 Common Buzzards
Goldfinches
Chaffinches
No sign of Honey Buzzard but they had been seen before we got there
No sign of Goshawks but they had been seen before we got there

Nursery Area:
No sign of Turtle Doves
1 Spotted Flycatcher

A good days birding but not much look on finding the rarities. Plus was limited on time.

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late report for saturday, 5 common buzzards, 2 honey buzzards 1 showed really well with a low flyby in the valley, a distant goshawk, 7 crossbills flying past, mainly females, 1 male,

from the nurserys area around 10 turtle doves minimum, probably more, all feeding and sunbathing in the feilds

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Spot on, Rob, I agree wholeheartedly, a cracking rule of thumb that works throughout the bird world....... usually

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I agree with paul re Montys, but there is another rule of thumb you can use wheen seperating problem species such as Common & Honey Buzzard, Sparrowhawk & Goshawk and Hen from other Harriers, provided that you are fairly familiar with the commoner bird, if you think it is the rarer one it probably isn't, you'll just know when it is. Sounds simplistic, but it does work!



-- Edited by Rob Smallwood on Thursday 16th of June 2011 12:41:16 PM

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You're welcome, John, I hope that you DO have the chance to put it into practise very soon. It's not the definitive guide of course, just a few pointers to try out when faced with a ringtail harrier species

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Thanks Doc, very interesting and informative. I hope I get the chance to put the information to the test !



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UK Life List 314 at 9th Dec 2014


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Shame about the Montys guys, but it is a brilliant place & seems like your estimate of the Turtle Doves was about the same as ours, Sid. There's probably more, in recent times I don't know of anywhere else where the population is so high and they're so easy to see.

For ID of female Montys it is usually down to jizz, John, they are a slimmer, longer winged more 'dainty' bird than Hen Harrier. They also, to me, appear to be more well defined in their markings, just somehow cleaner. The underwing banding seems to stand out more clearly and the face pattern looks more 'severe'. Some folk have a rule of thumb way of seeing whether to consider Montys - if it gives an accipiter-like first impression (broader, slightly blunter wings) then it's a Hen, if it gives a falcon-like first impression (narrower, more pointed wings) then it's a Monty.

Counting visible primaries is a clincher but often not practical, and the slower more elastic flight of a Monty is distinctive, but if there's no other bird to compare it with that is difficult to be definite about, as can be structure as even a Hen Harrier looks dainty when you've been watching Buzzards!!


-- Edited by Doc Brewster on Wednesday 15th of June 2011 10:00:53 AM

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Great day in beautiful country, must go back for the Montagu's ( not sure looking at the reference books though how you would tell a female from a female Hen Harrier at distance )
Any tips ?

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UK Life List 314 at 9th Dec 2014


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My second visit to the forest in five days today in the company of Nick Isherwood and John Barber. We arrived at the view point at about 09.30 to find approximately 40 birders present. We had good views of at least 3, probably 4 Honey Buzzards and two common Buzzards for comparison. Like the Doc we watched two of the Honeys give "wing clapping" displays. The Honeys were a first for Nick and John. We left the view point at 12.00 only to find out later that a Montagu's Harrier had been seen ten minutes after our departure

Off into the forest to find Nick and John's second life-time first in the form of the Turtle Doves. Thought I did well last Wednesday but today there were possibly 10 separate birds either seen or heard. Also seen during the visit Willow Warbler, Red-legged Partridge, Siskin, Garden Warbler and Yellowhammer.

On the way home at Snainton, a Barn Owl flying across the A170.



-- Edited by sid ashton on Tuesday 14th of June 2011 06:56:03 PM

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A quick visit around lunchtime gave me good views of 2 Honey Buzzards including a male indulging in some wing-clapping.

Also seen:

5 Common Buzzards
1 Goshawk
1 Kestrel
1 Garden Warbler
1 Turtle Dove

Bumped into Messers Ashton, Barber and Isherwood in the car park who must have only just have missed the Montagu's Harrier by minutes (presumably the same ringtail bird that was reported last week) and was again seen by several birders at the watchpoint who mentioned it to me on my arrival there.

Good to chat with one or two familar faces at the watchpoint and I will certainly be revisiting soon.





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Seeing that the weather forecast was for rain by lunchtime an early start meant that we were at the raptor watchpoint by about 9am this morning, in bright sunshine with conditions perfect for our hoped-for species. On arrival at the watchpoint three raptors were already circling, two Common Buzzards but also a dark female Honey Buzzard, the latter bird being seen several times subsequently. Thereafter Honey Buzzards were on view almost continuously, with a max of 4 birds showing fantastically well at times, low over the watchpoint itself. One of the low flyovers involved a prolonged 'wing-clapping' display flight by a male Honey.

A Goshawk also showed very well 'buzzing' a flock of Wood Pigeons and demonstrating, by size comparisons, what a large, muscular raptor this species is. A fly through Turtle Dove completed the notable species seen at the watchpoint on a red-letter day there

We then headed to the Wykeham Nurseries area and were rewarded with views of at least 10 Turtle Doves including 4 feeding together on the ground which I managed to photograph, whilst 2 more pairs were in nearby trees purring away. In this area we also had another Honey Buzzard low over (as Jonathan reported too) - I never expected it to get on my 'seen from the car' list!! Also seen here were 2 Crossbills and a Tree Pipit.

As the forecast rainclouds rolled in we left to head home westwards over the M62. For anyone who hasn't been to the raptor watchpoint I would highly recommend it, so far I have a 100% record here for seeing Honey Buzzards, but this year the sightings were my best ever

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Quick late evening visit after dipping that bloomin Robin yesterday saw:

At least three pairs of Turtle Doves
Tree Pipit
Crossbill
Siskin
Woodcock roding
and a fantastic male Nightjar at around 8.50am so plenty of light to observe it by.

Also two Roe deer, one rat [!], a few Hares and bats and plenty of rabbits on the access road back out of the forest at dusk.

Too late for raptors sadly - and beware if approaching the viewpoint from the North with satnav - we had an interesting long reverse down a tarmac track which suddenly ran out... probably best just heading for the main road and the village then heading back north.

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At least three honey buzzards showing today (at one point we had one displaying above us whilst two were circling) between 9.45-10.30am. Also had two goshawks, one distant bird chasing a pigeon. Several turtles doves around the forest, excellent views of one bird by the nursery - also had great views of another honey whilst looking for doves. Tree pipit, cuckoo, crossbills, siskins, etc also seen. Pity it went misty and started to rain at dinner time, otherwise I'd have stayed for the nightjars.

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Today, 09.00 - 11.00 - weather damp

Visited the Viewpoint on the way to Filey/Bempton - apart from hearing Honey Buzzard calling a couple of times we had no sightings of any raptors . We did have overflying Crossbills and in the forest Willow Tit and Siskin but otherwise very quite.

A little disappointed with the Viewpoint this visit, looking at some photos from two years ago the trees to the right of the viewing area have grown, as trees do, obscuring the valley in that direction which was where we had great views of the Honies on that visit and from where today's calling was taking place. There was also evidence of camp fires and on one, the remains of one of the benches disbelief.giffurious.gif.



-- Edited by sid ashton on Friday 23rd of July 2010 11:45:12 AM

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5th & 6th June 2010

Sorry for the late post, I've been busy!

Raptors were almost non-existant, mainly down to poor weather conditions (mist on Sat, rain all day Sun). Managed a hobby and a gos, plus several common buzzards and a spar between 12.00-1.00pm on Sat, just a single buzzard and a kestrel in 4 hrs on Sunday! Had a good wander around the forest on Saturday afternoon though, which was excellent. Usual woodland birds; nice tree pipit and garden warbler showing well by at the watchpoint; found several turtle doves (saw three pairs, two singles and had two birds calling too); loads of garden warblers, easily outnumbering blackcaps, and a couple of green woodpeckers. Best bird was probably a singing wood warbler, I don't think they're regular in the forest? Found a couple of spots that looked good for nightjars and went back in the evening. Superb views of a male wing-clapping as it flew around me around 9.40pm, at least two males and a female in the area. Still enough light left to nip up to the other spot I'd found and again got superb views of what looked like a female (quite dark by then!) as it hunted up and down the lane just feet over my head. Two males churring and another bird calling. An unseen roe barked at me from a couple of yards away as I headed back to my car - scared the living daylights out of me!

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Mark

The HBs will (probably) still be there but call the warden Brian Walker 01751 472771 to confirm. The Goshawks will definitely be about - they live there!!!

Cheers

Sid

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Thinking of trying for the HBs this weekend if the weathers ok. Does anyone know if they're still showing, or have i left it a bit late?confused.gif Cheers, mark

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Finally managed our first visit to the watchpoint yesterday (Sunday) - got there about 10.00 and stayed to 2pm. Weather conditions seemed ideal and we were well pleased to see (several times) a Goshawk soaring up from the trees behind us, best views I've ever had, and then from midday onwards, the HBs came out, with 2 at quite close range, and another 2 at a greater distance further up the valleybiggrin.gif. Several Common Buzzards also present for comparison, as well as Crossbills, Siskins, Jay, Kestrel. Apparently someone reported a Red Kite but we missed that. Did see 2 Hobbies from the A170 on the way home though.

Loads of people there yesterday - just 3 others when we arrived, but nearer 40 when we left!

Ended the day at Blacktoft with Marsh Harriers, another Hobby, Green, Curlew and Common Sandpipers, 1 Bearded Tit, several Yellow Wags, usual Tree Sparrows etc.



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For anyone going to the viewpoint it is worth noting that the Goshawks sightings we had were over the trees behind the benches - so don't sit there admiring the view the birds may be behind you!!!!! The Honey Buzzards came up the valley but we had those behind us as well.

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No further details I'm afraid - but you would not expect anyone to report 7 individual sightings as 7 birds - but who knows!

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Rob

Was that 7 separate Goshawks or 7 separate sightings? I ask because having spoken to the warden before we went and a local chap when we were there I didn't get the impression that there were so many in the area.

-- Edited by sid ashton at 11:07, 2008-07-22

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BG's were reporting 3 HB's and a staggering 7 Goshawk yesterday - quite amazing.

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A cracking day's birding and thanks to the driver for a safe journey and the good company - cheers Mike




You're very welcome Sid - thoroughly enjoyed the day and just sorry I mucked up the directions for the Bonxie and the Arctic Skuas - not to mention the Porpoises!

The views of the 2 Honey Buzzards were fantastic and the 2 Goshawks were not far behind. First visit for me to Bempton & Flamborough - in the words of Arnie - I will be back!smile.gifsmile.gifsmile.gif

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Mike Baron and myself arrived at the view point this morning just after 0830 and within 5 minutes we had our first views of the Honies - a local lad reckoned they were the best views he had ever had. Then a Gos appeared over the hill - fantastic two lifers for me within half an hour. So that was it target birds ticked - what to do for the rest of the day? We gave the Crossbills and the Turtle Doves a fair chance to come out to play but no joy so off to Bempton - although quite good - with the young Puffins chucking themselves into the sea and Gannets galore - this spot does not compare for me with South Stack as a location - then off to Flamborough Head where Mike found Arctic and Great Skua and I may have done so as well had there not been two oil platforms next to one of which the Skuas were making Sandwich terns cough up their dinner! I of course was looking at the wrong platform.

A cracking day's birding and thanks to the driver for a safe journey and the good company - cheers Mike

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nice work chaps and you didnt miss anything in Wigansmile.gif

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Nice one Geoff. It sounds like a great spot.
I've been looking for years for Goshawk and not got lucky so far, so well done and I'm very jealous!
Thanks. Henry.

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just back from a very pleasant trip to this easily found spot,7.00 start from wigan had us in breakfasting in Pickering at 9.00 found the raptor watch point at 10.00 and settled in on the benches for a session,what a result

1 goshawkbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gifnever ever thought i,d see one
1 red kitebiggrin.gifbiggrin.giflifer for me cos it,s a sheltered life
2 common buzzard
1 kestrel
3 curlew
6 crossbills
1 male siskin that looked like it had a paint job
lots of gulls corvids and hirundines etc to keep you on your toes during a marathon(for me anyway)stake out at a crackin site,we also met 4 'birds' in the cafe who,s vernacular grammer made it a memorable meal.

,2 lifers for me 1 lifer for mr woosey,no honey buzzard, we,ll be back for,it apparantly one flew through with good views 20 mins before we got there furious.gif

nice day but i,m birded out GOSHAWKbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gifcheers geoff/ian/jimmy


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The latest report says no sign but Red Kite present.

2 bird theory, or perhaps just a grubby red Kite - watch this space! confused.gif

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Black Kite near Knaresborough per BG's.



http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=435500&y=457500&z=6&sv=435500,457500&st=OSGrid&lu=N&tl=~&ar=y&bi=~&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf

There was one further north on Saturday so looks like it is lingering and may be worth a detour on your trip.

Might be one of the escaped London Zoo birds though.......

one near the landfill site ENE of Knaresborough, 1,500m north of the A59, east of the A168

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Gentlemen thanks for input,biggrin.gifit,ll save a load of internet trawlingwink.gif we,ll let you know how we get on of course,yawn.gifas for the hide situation on the flashes i,ve got some ray mears type 'tarps' stashed around that fit the screens just nice if it turns nastywink.gif
the flashes borders will be closed on saturday by the wayblankstare.gif

cheers geoffbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

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Geoff/Ian, keep your eye on the bird sightings for the North East this week, Filey Brigg and Filey Dams probably be worth a look, might get a few terns at the brigg, other than that its the usual places like Blacktoft for waders, Top Hill Low, Old Moor(spoonbill currently there) and you could always end up at Thorne Moors for Nightjars and a pie smile.gif

Think I will head down to wigan flashes on Sat, im sure Mr Adderley predicted a county mega for this Saturdaywink.gif

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If the weather is bad youur chances of raptors will be very low - the site benefits from a great 180' view but you are relying on soaring birds.

Nearish there is Filey Dams which has two hides, and places you well for to move for a sea-watch off Filey Brigg where there is a small sea-watching hide.

Bempton is a must even if weather is poor - knocks South Stack in to a cocked hat for views of the three auks, Gannet, Fulmar & Kittiwake.

After that, Tophill Low might be a possibility?

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Geoff, you`ve blown our credibility now disbelief.gif ...................Wiganers don`t do hides ! (or go out-of-county). However, you are right - soggy pies are a no-no......fear.gif

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please help if you can biggrin.gifus wigganers are off to the raptor watch point on saturday ,the weather forecast doesn,t bode well but were going regardless,can anyone suggest a site nearby with a hide or at least a shelter so the pies don,t get soggy and we can see some birdsweirdface.gif(still think out of county birding is a sin)

cheers geoffbiggrin.gifbiggrin.gif

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Indeed - but in 4 hours we didn't even see a Sparr!!

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Goshawk also reported.

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If you go in the afternoon ,or can have a really long day out, apparently it is also good for nightjars

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Cheers pal, might take a trip there soon. Just remembered I`ve got the `Where To Watch Birds In Yorkshire` book somewhere, so I`ll see if it`s in.

Thanks for info wink.gif

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Well known & publicised so I'm not giving away any secrets!

http://www.forestry.gov.uk/website/WildWoods.nsf/LUWebDocsByKey/EnglandNorthYorkshireNoForestWykehamForestRaptorViewpoint

We arrived 9:15 expecting activity from 10:30ish, and stayed to 13:15.

Like any similar site you can spend hours there without success, so I'd say we were lucky - but it was a planned assault!

Up to 3 have been seen - our first bird was probably not one of the pair that showed well. Very easy to get to, 1 hour 45 from Birch Services to being sat on one of the benches.

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