Wednesday, 20 February 2019

The Local Patch.....It Feels Like Spring!....Sunday 17th February 2019.

After picking Trace up after here night shift,i dropped her at home and then headed over to the patch for a full day,the following is what i saw over the 7 hours or so on site.
 As i arrived at my usual parking spot at Winter's Pond,i got out of the car to the sight of 9 Canada Geese on the grassland adjacent to the main lake,not the most exciting of starts i know,but these were my first of the year here and so the 88th species recorded so far.
 After all the excitement of the Canada's i was on my way and decided to check the small pit at the back of the main lake first.
 Quite a concentration of birds were seen on here and included 32 Gadwall,11 Tufted Duck,a pair of Pochard,14 Wigeon,a Little Egret and the resident pair of Mute Swans.Incredibly,still no Shoveler or Great-cd Grebes so far this year,but i guess it's still early regarding the grebes returning.
 I had a quick walk down to the shore in front of the pits and walked along by the chimney and old brick kilns and enjoyed some lovely views of the local Tree Sparrows which seemed to be very vocal today,with much chasing and checking nesting sites out which was great to watch.
 Along the shore towards the Skitter 47 Teal and 4 Shelduck were feeding and as i retraced my footsteps 4 Shelduck,10 Teal and 24 Curlew were on Winter's.
 I then headed into the mitigation site and walked along the perimeter towards the Skitter.It was quite productive with the usual 4 Roe Deer in evidence,showing really nicely,at least 9 singing male Skylark,with several other birds sparring and chasing,6 Meadow Pipit,a single Cream crown Marsh Harrier hunting distantly and the best of the bunch 3 Stonechat.The latter were challenging as always to get a photo of,but showed nicely all the same.
 A good walk around the Skitter and pools revealed little in the way of surprises,but 3 Water Pipit were still in residence and 8 Snipe were flushed as i walked.
 A change of tack today,saw me heading inland and then along East Marsh Road towards Goxhill Haven and i put in some serious effort looking for an early Black-red around the Pig farm,but no such luck I'm afraid,but the resident Rooks at the Rookery were in fine voice and showed really nicely although i got the usual noisy reception as i walked by.Other niceties along here included 13 Yellowhammer,3 Common Buzzard and another group of 3 Roe Deer.
 After arriving at Goxhill Haven,a quick check of all the suitable areas for any passerines didn't show up anything out of the ordinary but between here and Dawson City some interest was provided by a flock of 20 Black-tailed and 3 Bar-tailed Godwit as they fed along the shoreline and overhead 3 Peregrine chased each other with much calling and fake talon grappling,a great sight to watch.
 On Dawson it was a continuation of the raptor theme,with 2 Marsh Harrier,a Common Buzzard and Kestrel and further along i walked out to the shoreline with some impressive numbers of wildfowl and waders including 400 Wigeon,at least 300 Curlew and 1500 Lapwing making for a great spectacle.
 The section between Dawson and the Skitter was less productive today,with only 20 Pink-footed Geese seen and a Cetti's Warbler spluttered it's alarm call as i passed the small fishing pond near to the ruins.
 The final section of my visit took in Skitter Road,the beck and the road back to Winter's with again,a few notable sightings which included another NFY species in the form of a Great-spotted Woodpecker calling in Red House Wood.Other species noted included a Little Grebe,Common Buzzard and 2 Teal along the beck and 19 Curlew,36 Mallard and the impressive sight of 85 Stock Dove in the wet field just before you reach Winter's. 
 So with a good 10.9 miles walked today and 2 more additions to the year list,another great visit to the patch was enjoyed....onwards and upwards to the 100 species mark.
Chimney Nesting Tree Sparrows,Winter's Pond.

Roe Deer On The Mitigation Site.

Me And My Shadow.

The Lovely Sight And Sound Of A Male Skylark On The Mitigation Site.

Water Pipit,East Halton Skitter.

Water Pipit,East Halton Skitter.

Rook,Goxhill Marsh.

Rook,Goxhill Marsh.

Peregrines,Goxhill Haven.

Wigeon And Mallard,Goxhill Marsh.

Robin,East Halton.

Monday, 18 February 2019

The Scarborough Area,Saturday 16th February 2019.

After seeing several reports and a cracking forecast for today,i decided to head up to Wykeham Forest for a visit to see one of our most enigmatic raptors the Goshawk.
 The journey up from home,was mostly traffic free and was broken up by the lovely sight of 2 hunting Barn Owl,one between Driffield and Langtoft and another hunting the grass verges just outside Wykeham village.
 As i arrived at the raptor viewpoint i was greeted to the sight and sound of 6 Crossbill as i got out of the car and prepared my gear for the visit,a nice start i thought to myself.
 A short walk and i was at the viewpoint and i had it all to myself,heaven!.
 It was decidedly nippy to start,with a blustery south west wind,so i kept all the warm gear on until it warmed up.
 There were several small flocks of Crossbills chipping around overhead,a single Brambling and then i got onto my first of at least 9 Goshawk as it flew along the treeline on the opposite side of the valley.As i have said many times before,it is such a privilege to have these fantastic raptors just over an hours journey from home.
 I carried on watching and a nice group of displaying and sparring Common Buzzards showed nicely as they tumbled and mewed overhead.It was hard to gauge the numbers present today,but i had 7 in the air together at one point and birds were moving along the valley also.
 It wasn't long before i was joined by several other birders and more great sightings included a Red Kite,only my 3rd sighting here and at least 2 pairs of displaying adult Goshawks,earlier we had watched an immature bird also displaying.Added interest amongst the Crossbill flocks,were 2 wing barred individuals.
 It was now time to move on and i made my way around to Troutsdale Valley,parked up and had my lunch,before walking up to Hilla Green.A walk around the area here revealed a lovely singing Marsh tit,2 Brambling and singles of Dipper and drake Mandarin.
 As the good weather was continuing i drove over to Scarborough,making quick visits to both the Marine Drive/Harbour areas and then onto Holbeck for the Med Gulls.
 Some cracking views were enjoyed of one of the Peregrines as it flew in with prey to it's cliff side perch and proceeded to pluck it and around the harbour a small group of Purple Sandpipers showed well.
 At Holbeck,the Med. Gulls eventually showed brilliantly and today's group consisted of 5 adult birds(Including polish ringed PNN5) and a lovely 3rd calendar year bird also.
 So after another superb visit to this bird rich area i travelled back home through the wolds,contented at another great days birding.
A Panoramic View From The Raptor Watchpoint,Wykeham Forest.

Male And Female Common Crossbills,Wykeham Forest.

2nd calendar year Female Goshawk,Wykeham Forest.

2nd calendar year Female Goshawk,Wykeham Forest.

A Huge Crop Of The Red Kite As It Passed Along The Valley.

Troutsdale Valley.

Troutsdale Valley.

Hilla Green And The River Derwent.

Peregrine,Marine Drive,Scarborough.

Purple Sandpiper,East Pier Scarborough.

Adult Mediterranean Gull,Scarborough.

Adult Mediterranean Gull,Scarborough.

Adult Mediterranean Gull,Scarborough.

Adult Mediterranean Gull,Scarborough.

Adult Mediterranean Gull,Scarborough.

3rd Calendar Year Mediterranean Gull,Scarborough.

Sunday, 3 February 2019

More Patching And Winter At Last!.....26th January & 2nd February 2019.

With two visits summarised here and the patch year list now on 86 species,the following is what i recorded on my 2 visits to this superb local patch i have.


Today's visit started well,with a hunting Barn Owl along the approach road to Winter's and a further 2 hunting the mitigation site at dawn,but no Short-eared Owl's seen today.
 Grey Partridges also featured early on in the visit with 2 near to Winter's and then a further 7 on a field near to Red House Wood.
 A walk along East Halton beck added 3 woodland species to the year list,with 2 Treecreeper,Jay and Goldcrest seen.
 A nice flock of 30 Yellowhammer were seen,not far far from the Pig Farm along East Marsh road,which was the largest flock i have seen this winter on the patch.
 A watch from Goxhill Haven while i sat and ate my lunch saw 4 Pintail head west,then back east,later being seen off Dawson City,with at least 50 Goldeneye passing west,as the tide swept them down river.
 The Dawson City area was pretty productive today,with 2100 Pink-footed Geese,220 Curlew,200 Wigeon,140 Mallard and 2 different male Marsh harriers,making for some nice viewing.
 A concerted effort finally paid off at East Halton Skitter,as a single Jack Snipe was flushed and a pair of Stonechat were also seen,both species new for the year.Also around the Skitter area were a Little Egret and 3 Water Pipits.
 Finally,as i headed back towards Winter's a lovely hunting Merlin was seen on the mitigation site along with the usual 4 Roe Deer.


The first visit to the patch this winter with some snow on the ground and the water bodies partially frozen.
 Winter's was a hive of activity today,with a lovely pair of Goosander showing really nicely along with 35 Wigeon,9 Gadwall,85 Mallard and 25 Lapwing.
 A flock of 6 Grey Partridge were on the adjacent fields along with at least 60 Stock Dove.
 First goodie seen today,was a pretty unseasonal one going by sightings over the past 2 years,with 2 Avocets being seen,1 flew east towards Killingholme Haven and another was watched feeding along the tide edge between Winter's and the Skitter,always nice to see in my opinion.
 The Skitter area held some nice bits,with a good flock of 510 Dunlin and 96 Teal on the shore and 7 Water Pipit around the pools,the latter included 4 birds feeding together.A Peregrine was seen flying off west from the fields here also,but only seen in silhouette,so it was difficult to say whether it was the usual bird.
 Only small numbers of Pink-footed Geese were logged today,with 350 on the usual pasture near Dawson and 200 Wigeon were seen on the sand bank nearby along with 7 Grey Plover.
 43 Fieldfare were in a mixed flock with Starlings near Grange Farm and 2 Goldcrest,a Jay and a Brown Hare were at Red House Wood. 
 The sheep fields near to Winter's were quite productive today with 76 Lapwing,20 Golden Plover and 20 Curlew feeding on them,but this was all put to an end when a Peregrine appeared and they all scattered.
 This latter bird,looked different to the one seen at the Skitter earlier,so I'm going to record it as a second bird.
 On returning back to the car,an old type female Marsh Harrier was seen,certainly a different bird than my last several visits.

A couple of decent visits,particularly the 26th Jan,we really need some prolonged cold weather to push some different species in.
2nd Calendar Year Great black-backed Gull,Goxhill Haven,26.01.2019.

2nd Calendar Year Great black-backed Gull,Goxhill Haven,26.01.2019.

2nd Calendar Year Grey Heron,Goxhill Marsh,26.01.2019.

Black-tailed Godwit's,Goxhill Haven,26.01.2019.

Goldeneye,Goxhill Haven,26.01.2019.

Pintail,Goxhill Haven,26.01.2019.

Female Stonechat,East Halton Skitter,26.01.2019.

Male Stonechat,East Halton Skitter,26.01.2019.

Little Egret,East Halton Skitter,26.01.2019.

Meadow Pipit,East Halton Skitter,26.01.2019.

Distant Record Of The Merlin,26.01.2019.

Avocet Heading East,02.02.2019.

Avocet Feeding Along The Tide Edge,02.02.2019.

Roe Deer,Sheltering From The Weather,East Halton,02.02.2019.

Dunlin,East Halton Skitter,02.02.2019.

Argentatus Herring Gull,East Halton Skitter,02.02.2019.

Goosander Pair,Winter's Pond,02.02.2019.

Record Of The Adult female Marsh Harrier,Winter's Pond,02.02.2019.