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Dawn Chorus, Roulston Scar 7th May 2017

led by Keith Gittens

Dawn on Roulston Scar

Our second meeting of the season took place at Roulston Scar near Sutton Bank, a 5am Dawn Chorus on International Dawn Chorus day. Seven hardy members set off from the White Horse Bank Top car park where birds were already singing and a sparrow hawk flying low over the gliding club airfield. With Keith's extensive knowledge of birdsong and acute hearing we made our way along the edge of the airfield towards Roulston Scar, descending in to the woodland below, along to the car park below the White Horse and ascending the bank on the return journey. Good views of the rock face were gained from above and below the scar although trees are increasingly restricting views from below.

Whilst many of the birds were visible others, like the yellowhammer and redstart, were heard but not seen. We were disappointed not to have heard the wood warbler which had been singing in the days previous in the vicinity of the lower car park. There was a last minute appearance of a male bullfinch in the car park at the end of the meeting. A total of 28 birds were encountered and with slightly warmer weather this may have been higher but the cold north wind may have kept some birds at bay. One hare was seen on the airfield. There was a botanical bonus of early purple orchids on the descent from the scar into the woodland.

It is quite usual to be unaccompanied on our annual dawn chorus due to the early hour but not this time. There was the last stage of the Hardmoors ultra marathon ongoing from Kingston upon Hull to Helmsley, with participants attempting 200 miles – or just 110 miles from Filey! Although tempting we did not partake in the lifesaving refreshments being offered to participants in the lower car park. However, Nick saved the day with Rita’s home-made brownies for breakfast at the end. Thank you.

Bird List

Willow Warbler
Garden Warbler
Tree Pipit
Meadow Pipit
Blue Tit
Coal Tit
Great Tit
Marsh Tit
Song Thrush
Carrion Crow
Wood Pigeon
Herring gull

Dawn on Roulston Scar
Tree pipit

© Ryedale Natural History Society 2017, Photos © Nick Fraser, Jayne Smith 2017 Back to the Home page