Saturday, 23 July 2022

The Thickest of Knees

Spent a fantastic day at Snaizeholme with the Woodland Trust, discussing their plans for rewilding this super little valley west of Hawes. Their ambition is great and logic sound and I can't wait to see how it develops from a sheep-grazed desert into a mosaic of upland habitats rich in wildlife. I saw my first wild White-clawed Crayfish in the stream here, rescued a Barn Owl that was trapped against a window in a stone barn and got bitten to death by Horseflies. 


Snaizeholme: It doesn't look much....yet!

On the way back, news came through that a Stone Curlew that had been found early morning at Fairburn Ings was still present. This was a potential Yorkshire tick for me and they're just damn cool birds, so I carried on down the A1 a couple of miles and nipped into Fairburn. A line of birders were arranged along the edge of the road scanning New Flash and I was pleased to find that the bird was still present, sitting along the dry muddy shore at the back of the flash. Not exactly prime thick-knee habitat, but it seemed happy enough. A very kind birder from Driffield (thanks man!) let me have several looks through his scope and even let me take a couple of pics, which was great as I hadn't got mine with me. After a bit, the bird revealed those thick knees, standing up, having a bit of a preen before stalking a little way along the shore, like a big feathered reptile. It was a smart bird, a juvenile in pristine plumage. Very nice.


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