Sunday, 12 August 2012

Memories as sweet as Honey...

Yesterday was yet another Wykeham Forest spectacle! I was there last year and those of my long time loyal followers (I thank you) will remember that I had a pretty spectacular time with Honey Buzzards flying over my head on several occasions just feet above my head; one bird appearing to actually look down the barrels of my bins from above. This year was equally as fantastic, views were not as consistent as last year with birds constantly overhead but instead my view of the day was brief but unforgettable; more on that later. 

The day started off with the typical distant views of Common Buzzard, but raptors were up in the air so that kept the hopes up. We had to wait for maybe 1 hour before the first distant Honey Buzzard came into view, views were poor but adequate to assign the bird to a Honey. Smiles all round! We then had a spell of inactivity with nothing but buzzards for ages, then from the viewpoint just over the trees to the right a hawk appeared, Michael who picked the bird up stated Sparrowhawk and switched his attentions back to scanning the distance. I lifted my bins and the bird turned; "That was streaked....wasn't it?" was my reply. A few seconds later it came back around and sure enough I was right; but it was joined by a second bird also a juvenile. Then shortly after another bird; 3 Goshawks! 3 juvenile Goshawks at close quarters showing superbly, I won't be forgetting that any time soon! We didn't have to wait long before the shout went up someone had picked up a distant Honey Buzzard which I struggled to get on for a few seconds. When on it I have no shame in admitting I was quite taken back; it banked to the side and was extremely white underneath. This was the palest Honey Buzzard I had ever seen, but still clearly a Honey Buzzard. Great, but not as great as when you realise there are 4 raptors having a go at it! There were numerous shouts going up and we had what appeared to be a Hobby, 3 Kestrels, and 1 Sparrowhawk at different times mobbing the Honey Buzzard! Mental! We also had a cream crown Marsh Harrier distantly before it went down into the Forest, I needed that for me "Birds seen going down into a forest from a raptor viewpoint" list. As if I would keep such a list *cough*. 

Later on in the afternoon we had yet another distant Honey Buzzard over some caravans, then shortly afterwards we had an absolutely incredible moment. People got very excited as they had picked up a Honey Buzzard, I was scanning distantly then was told it was coming toward us. I scanned and found the bird; it was seemingly very close, it then got closer, then ridiculously close. So close it passed at eye level some 30ft infront of us. In scope and bins the whole time....yes, it was rather good! Now that is what you call MEGA VIEWS!!!!!! 

Yes, it was close!

 (Honey Buzzard - copyright Sam Viles)

(Honey Buzzard - copyright Sam Viles)

Being content with that view we left for The Marshes, nothing much of note apart from a Whimbrel on Greatham Creek. Still, it was an 'OK' bird. 

Great end to a truly memorable day.

Until next time, Foghorn out!

No comments:

Post a Comment