OTHER WILDLIFE

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - JOHN MILES

THIS WHOLE SITE is su­perb for birds at any time of the year and very good for drag­on­flies in sum­mer and au­tumn months. This Na­tional Na­ture Re­serve is part of the San­dring­ham Es­tate and in­cludes mire acid bog, green sand­stone heath, wood­land and reedbed. Its mire is very rare in this part of the coun­try and the open ar­eas at­tract a good pro­por­tion of the UK’S Night­jars to breed here. Evening is the best time to come and look for them, chur­ring from dead stumps in the bog, and there should be a mix­ture of owls, such as Tawny, Barn and even Long-eared. The other no­table species here is Wood Lark, from Fe­bru­ary on­wards. Other birds to look out for in­clude Tree Pipit, Grasshop­per War­bler and Stonechat. The sandy ground is ideal grow­ing for Scots Pine, so look out for Cross­bills at any time of the year, but, again, the males sing from Fe­bru­ary on­wards. Scan rap­tors from the high ground. Sum­mer sees the re­turn of the Hobby, with so many drag­on­flies to hunt, and 2015 saw breed­ing Marsh Har­ri­ers for the first time. Look out for dis­play­ing Goshawks in spring, along with Spar­rowhawk and Buz­zard, plus pass­ing Osprey. Win­ter has seen a roost of mixed har­ri­ers but also hunt­ing Rough­legged Buz­zard and Mer­lin, while au­tumn once held a Black Kite of the east­ern sub­species. Great Grey Shrikes have win­tered on the bog, while a Lesser Grey Shrike has also oc­curred, along with Hoopoe. Spend some time with the drag­on­flies – a camera will help you ID them at home

Nightjar Hobby

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