North Yorkshire Forests
A delightful area to visit, the forests of North Yorkshire are arguably the best place in the country to see the rare and awe-inspiring Honey Buzzard, which can give stunning views as it wings over the trees. Goshawks are another speciality raptor of the area and Long-eared Owls also breed in the forest. The purring song of the increasingly-scarce Turtle Dove can be heard on summer days, while the onset of dusk in clearfell areas brings the weird churring of the Nightjar, heralding a fly-past and sharp wing-clap by this mysterious bird in its display flight.
Pied Flycatcher, Redstart and Tree Pipit breed, and exotically-coloured Crossbills come down to drink at puddles on the forest tracks. Lesser Redpolls and Siskins can frequently be seen or heard. Nuthatches and Treecreepers probe for insects in the bark of mature trees and there is even a Heronry. Otters swim the rivers and streams in the early mornings and evenings and Common Sandpipers are sometimes seen foraging near the banks, while Dippers and Grey Wagtails bob andfeed in the faster-flowingsections. A flash of turquoise downstream may be all you see of a Kingfisher, though if you are lucky it will perch for a while on a low branch above the water. Both Red and Roe Deer can be seen in the forests and Adders, Slow Worms and Common Lizards in the more open areas.
Two iconic butterfly species of the area are Pearl-Bordered Fritillary and Duke of Burgundy Fritillary and there are many interesting flowering plants, including rarities such as Pugsley’s Marsh Orchid, Bird’s-nest Orchid and Toothwort.