Jul 142020

A juvenile Lammergeier from the re-introduction program in the alps arrived in the channel islands during mid-May, having spent sometime wandering across Belgium. It wasn’t long before it was discovered cruising over the West Midlands on the afternoon of the 26th May.

An hour later it was seen heading north over the A50 in South Derbyshire, then went missing for a few days before being located on the high moorlands of the Peak District, from 30th May. It has been there ever since staying faithful to an area of the Howden Moors, regularly roosting on a cliff ledge at Crook Clough.

Overlooked by Back Tor, Lost Lad and Cartledge Bents, these names aptly describe the remoteness of the area that the bird has chosen to settle down.

The bird is a first summer now in its second calendar year (so was born in 2019) and is in heavy moult. Loss of many tail feathers and wing feathers, some very heavily worn. It has a very obvious pale yellow iris, a dark chocolate brown coloured head that contrasts with the paler underparts.

A strenuous walk of some 3 miles across the moors to reach the viewing site that overlooks the roosting area. Its a very safe distance from the bird and it shows very well on the clough and in the air, although I only saw it roosting on its favoured crag, close to an old Ravens nest.

A unique experience for UK birders and in fact for anyone interested in wildlife. I never thought I would see a Lammergeier in Britain.

Photos were taken of the bird at approximately half a mile range and are therefore heavily cropped.

Sunrise over the Peak District National Park – 13th July 2020
Back Tor in the background – The viewing point on Howden Moor
Crook Clough – the favoured roost site
This image was phone-scoped
 Posted by at 12:03 pm

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