After dipping Honey Buzzard in Norfolk two weeks ago, daily reports of them from the Wykeham Raptor Watchpoint in North Yorkshire this week were too good to miss out on.
With a planned trip with some of the Magnificent Seven later this month now not possible because of work, it was worth a punt. And with a Monty's Harrier and Osprey also seen, it was too good to pass over.
A journey that appeared to take twice as long as it needed to (108 miles in over two hours) ended with arrival at 9:00 am and straight into a Goshawk. Good start!
Also seen/heard were: Siskin, Garden Warbler, Turtle Dove, Jay, Chaffinch, Crossbill, Swift, Wood Pigeon and Buzzard. Others noted Peregrine and numerous Corvids with the odd Gull.
The guy who had seen the Harrier and Osprey (within 45 minutes of each other) was amiable and explained that he had been there every day this week. Whilst the weather was cool and grey, the visibility was good and there was a breeze too. 'Only rain puts them off', he whispered 'and 10:30 am is the key time.'
He was wrong!
He was wrong!
At 10:34 am, Honey Buzzard No. 1 approached from the right, low and pretty damn close. Lifer 274 and a cracker! By now, about ten birders were present.
In the next hour or so, two in one scope view, three in the sky together, and some breath-taking displays of wing-clapping. They appeared to favour the far right, whilst the Goshawk views tended to be centre and left (I saw them three times).
When I left, there were 20 birders at the Point and others arriving as I got in the car.
216 miles in total, £30 in diesel and four hours of driving - BUT DEFINITELY WORTH IT!