Dear Reader, there are some birding experiences that simply take your breath away. Being ahead of Vipers is one (I jest, of course), and seeing a Lifer is another. And within that latter ornithologically orgasmic state must be some Lifers above others. This year has seen (so far) 18, and, yes Gaz, some have been better than the rest. The Hobby at West Hartford was up there, as was Nightjar at Slaley and Woodchat Shrike at Hartlepool to name but three. And today's addition was probably the best. As the Geordie Diva Cheryl Cole would say, it was 'utt-lee stunn-in'!
But what a palava!
A SEVENTY mile one-way journey to a place so close to Whitby I am surprised I didn't see Aidensfield CID there with Alf Ventress, taking over 1 hr 45 minutes, a few wrong turns, a few locals putting the train back on the tracks, and eventually, the sacred place described by Sir Foghorn of Durham (many thanks, the directions were spot-on) was located and as I neared, view No. 1, distant and to the north. And a duo of lady cyclists were duly consulted about my being at the correct place (as per the map) and as they confirmed I was, the second view as the bird banked to the north showing underwing and tail pattern. Su-f*ckin-perb!
After politely explaining why my advancing trousers were so excited, and apologising for my bad manners as the scope took precedence over the conversation, another couple of northerly views.
The fifth glimpse was over my right shoulder (SE) as the bird was being mobbed by a crow:gull combo over what the map says is an old quarry.
And that was it. Five all-too-brief glimpses of what was a top-notch bird, and one I will, in the future, drop everything to go and see again.
The terrain was VERY similar to Harthope, so a visit there with more time (and less miles) is called for ASAP.
If you can get there, do so, it's fan-f*ckin-tastic!