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A Great Adventure

  • Wed 1st May, 2019

An early beginning, each eager to partake in the day's promise, raptors were first on our minds and as we piled into the wagons, we began our adventure.

The viewpoint affords a magnificent sight across the valley, and didn't disappoint, as raptors soared within our sights, first the glorious buzzard, making a game of the skies, while kestrels and peregrines swooped into the picture.

And soon the long awaited goshawk.

Northern Goshawk in North Yorkshire Forest © Richard BainesNorthern Goshawk in North Yorkshire Forest © Richard Baines

It was the knowing eye of our guide who caught her in his scope, expertly following her as she cut a rent in the sky, shooting across the tree-line, the intensity causing exhilaration to pump through our veins.

Our forest and River Birding Group watching raptors © Richard BainesOur forest and River Birding Group watching raptors © Richard Baines

A camaraderie of old was ignited and we grinned at one another as we carried on our journey.

Our path led us on the trail of the great grey shrike, treating us along the way to flutters of crossbills and brightly dressed yellowhammers. A pair of blushing jays permitted us a snap-shot of their private lives, as treecreepers flitted in and out of view, melding into the trees.

Brimstone © Richard BainesBrimstone © Richard Baines

With an eye to the glowing yellow sun-bursts of brimstone butterflies and an ear on the cheerful chiffchaff, we indulged in a full day of wildlife wonders.

Common Chiffchaff carrying nesting material © Richard BainesCommon Chiffchaff carrying nesting material © Richard Baines

At the adventure's end we were gifted with more unrivalled views of the crooked-beaked crossbills displaying beautifully and allowing us a fascinating glimpse into their enchanting behaviours.

Male Common Crossbill © Richard BainesMale Common Crossbill © Richard Baines

The day was over far too quickly, but we had enough memories to fill a week!

A huge thanks to Richard and Margaret for a fantastic day, without your expert eyes and ears I wouldn't have seen half as much!

Susie O'Neill

Susie works for the RSPB based at the Bempton Cliffs Reserve. She is also a local author. We are very pleased at YCN to welcome her on to our writing team, look out for more encounters on our news section soon! You can read her YCN profile Click Here.

To join one of our Forest and River or Coastal Birding Days Click Here