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When this trip was planned the main objective was a birding visit for some sea watching, and possibly to catch up with some east coast migrants. For the objectives to be achieved much depended on the weather, and the birding gods were not with us as Sunday dawned fine, but with a gentle SW wind. What we really needed was an onshore easterly, and it was frustrating to know that three days earlier the right conditions had brought in record numbers of Siberian yellow-browed warblers all along the Yorkshire coast, including Crookness. Perhaps Ryenats members were watching the forecast as only three members turned up.
Initially we walked north to the former Coast Guard Station at Long Nab, but sea watching from the Nab only resulted in seeing cormorants, and the usual gulls, but it was good to see quite a lot of gannet activity in the middle distance.
We also photographed a large fungus later identified as Parasol Mushroom Macrolepiota procera, but failed to photograph a grey seal that dived as soon as it saw the camera.
We then walked the cliff edge stubbles furher north where Lapland buntings had been seen earlier in the week, but to no avail despite the leaders attempts to turn the many skylarks into longspurs.
Returning to the Ness only one of us decided to take a quick look down to the sea. Again the only passerines seen or heard were robin, chaffinch and blue tit, but in the sheltered valley there were speckled woods, red admirals and tortoiseshells. However walking back up, two great white egrets floated overhead on the cliff edge breeze. They were only seen briefly as they passed over the valley, and it seemed hardly credible until two were reported having earlier passed north at Filey. So what an end to the visit (unfortunately the egrets were not seen from the car park at the top of the valley).
Bird list; gannet, cormorant, heron, curlew, oyster catcher, black-headed gull, herring gull, black-backed gull, carrion crow, magpie, rook, chaffinch, robin, pied wagtail, skylark, blue tit, goldfinch, great white egret.
Mammals: grey seal, hare.
Butterflies: speckled wood, small toroiseshell, red admiral.
Fungi: parasol mushroom Macrolepiota procera.
|© Ryedale Natural History Society 2016, Photos © Tom Denney, Pauline Popely 2016|