Trip reports

Wykeham Forest 21/06/14

Wykeham Forest 21/06/14
Golden-ringed dragonfly - Holly Page

Saturday, 21 June 2014

We began by setting up at the raptor viewpoint in Wykeham Forest. Most of us had brought folding chairs with us so we each picked our spot and settled down in front of the scopes, searching the valley for birds of prey. The conditions seemed ideal - the sky was blue, the sun was shining - and this gave us hope that we would find our quarry.

The first raptors seen were buzzards, slowly circling up the rising thermals. Soon after a distant goshawk was spotted and luckily it soared closer allowing everyone to feast their eyes. We stayed at the viewpoint for 3 hours but didn't manage to spot any honey buzzards. Our attention was diverted for a short time by a golden-ringed dragonfly which settled nearby and posed for pictures.

After having our lunch we drove a mile further down the road to the tree nursery and went in search of turtle doves. We wandered through the fields of young trees which were alive with skylark, lapwing and greenfinch. In the end the turtle doves were spotted in an area of fully grown trees but sadly not all the group arrived at the spot before the birds took flight and disappeared. They were briefly located again before moving on, out of sight, once more.

A juvenile tree pipit was found sitting in a tree right next to a path before flying off as we walked underneath.

We returned to the raptor viewpoint for another hour but still had no joy with the honey buzzards so we headed home. Two out of three isn't bad!