Saturday, 15 September 2018

Barton Visit.....Saturday 15th September 2018.

A change of scenery today and a visit to my old patch at Barton,saw me concentrating my efforts around the western clay pits area,the following is what i encountered during my visit.
 I parked today at the visitor centre and after getting all the kit together,began proceedings by looking around Barton Reedbed reserve first.
 First nicety to enter the notebook,although a commoner one these days,a male Cetti's Warbler blasted out his song on the edge of the dipping platform as i passed by and overhead a juv. Marsh Harrier slowly quartered the extensive reedbeds looking for it's first meal of the day.
 As i walked,the hoped for sound greeted me,which i had been wanting to hear,the distinct 'wink wink' call of Pink-footed Geese.I watched as my first 11 birds seen this autumn,slowly made their way west up the estuary.It was really great to hear and see these beauties,one of my fave bird species.
 The westerly passage of Pinks,was a feature of the visit,with other flocks of 16,43,5,4,31 and 15 and also a flock of 19 birds which dropped onto the Pursuit Pit for a well earned wash and brush up after the long journey from their Icelandic breeding grounds,just great to see.
 I continued my walk in between showers of drizzle,in pretty poor conditions at times,passing by Western Approach Pit which held a single Wigeon in amongst the local Shoveler and Gadwall,another sign of autumnal migration.
 I eventually made it to Ness Lake hide as another shower passed over and spent some time drying out as i watched more Gadwall,Tufties,Shoveler,a single Chiffchaff and heard 5 more singing male Cetti's Warblers.
 As the rain stopped and i had dried out,i walked around to the elevated hide which overlooks the old scrapes and enjoyed some nice views of a fishing Kingfisher,which caught several fish before disappearing onto Ness Lake.
 Distant views over the Humber bridge,saw me watching a Peregrine as it chased something before perching on the overhead cables.
 I carried on walking as it rained again,but this time i managed to get some reward,as i got some cracking views of a male Cetti's Warbler as it flitted about in a nearby Hawthorn hedge.They are such smart birds and it's a real pleasure to watch them when they do show well.
 After walking along the edge of the new pits and logging singles of Blackcap,another Chiffie and a Reed Warbler i arrived at the old visitor centre car park to the lovely sight of Hummingbird Hawkmoth buzzing around some Red Valerian before it shot off out of sight,a nice addition to the days sightings i thought.
 Down the edge of Hotel Pit and more warblers in a tit flock contained another Chiff and this time a pristine Juvvie Willow Warbler,as well as a Goldcrest and a Treecreeper.
 The final stretch back to the car saw me seeing 2 Bar-tailed Godwit as they motered east along the estuary and some superb views of 6 Bearded Tit as they 'pinged' in the reedbed next to the visitor centre buildings.As i have mentioned in the past,Male Beardies really do rank as one of our most stunning native birds.
 Well what a nice morning out and about,despite the dodgy weather,this hobby is great!.
Pink-footed Geese Heading West In The Murk.


Bar-tailed Godwits Bombing East.

Female Bearded Tit.

Male Bearded Tit.

Nice Moustache!.

What A Cracking Bird These Males Are.

Male Bearded Tit.

Monday, 10 September 2018

Falcon Overload......Saturday 8th September 2018.

Back to the local patch today and a dawn start saw me arriving as the sun was just rising over the north bank of the Humber.
 Parking at my usual place at Winter's Pond,to the sound of the local Greylag flock and calling Black-tailed Godwits in the gloom as i got my gear together.
 I waited for a while scanning around the pit as it began to get lighter and then began my walk down the side of the hedgerow towards the Humber bank.
 The pit was alive with birds and a couple of scans revealed a Green Sandpiper & 9 Black-tailed Godwits feeding around the margins and overhead,100+ Sand Martin and at least 75 Swallow hawking insects.Not many passerines were noted,but the resident male Cetti's Warbler gave a couple of bursts of song and singles of Whitethroat and Reed Warbler were noted.
 Half way down the hedgerow and suddenly i could hear a Carrion Crow scolding something and there it was,a Peregrine.This juvenile was getting mobbed by both a single Crow and also a Kestrel and he or she quickly escaped east,towards Killingholme Haven.
 I eventually made it onto the Humber floodbank and began to scan the estuary when all of a sudden i heard a call overhead a 'Sle' followed by a 'chu' phrase.A quick look on the Collins Birdguide app. on my phone had me stopping in my tracks,as it was what i had been listening to earlier in the week,after several birds had been turning up in the country,including 2 at Spurn,an Ortolan!.If only i had seen the bloody thing,potentially the first record for the Upper Humber,talk about frustrating.I didn't put the news out as i hadn't seen the bird,but after tweeting it out on Twitter as a possible it was on RBA.
 I carried on walking,with a very notable flock of 53 Tree Sparrow entering the notebook around the old tilery buildings at Winter's and as i stopped to attempt to photograph the Hirundine flock they all scattered as a Hobby flashed past towards the Skitter....3 species of Falcon in a couple of hours was pretty good to say the least.
 The shore was pretty devoid of birds between Winter's and the Skitter,apart from a few Curlew and as the tide dropped further,several flocks of Black-tailed Godwits and Redshank flew west from their high tide roost at Killingholme.There was also a small flock of 6 Yellow Wagtail feeding along the sea wall.
 As i reached the Skitter,i saw the final Falcon species for the day,a cracking Merlin,the first i have seen down here this year and a very welcome sighting all the same.I hope he or she sticks around for the winter period,as there is plenty of passerine food usually in the wet grassland here.
 In the Haven,several Redshank,Black-tailed Godwits,2 Bar-tailed Godwit and singles of Common Sandpiper and Little Egret were feeding and on a large stubble inland of the Skitter 4-500 Golden Plover were feeding and resting and a good sized flock of 65 Curlew held more Black-tailed Godwits in amongst them.
 The promised rain sadly arrived as i headed inland along Skitter Road,noting a single Lesser Whitethroat and 2 Whitethroat.
 At the small bridge over the beck,i stopped to watch more Swallows hawking over the water and edge of the small wood and watched a juvenile Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff as they chased each other around the wood.It's amazing to think,that all these birds will be making an epic journey all the way to Africa very shortly.
 It continued to drizzle and the walk along Skitter Road was brightened by a covey of 14 Grey Partridge feeding on a stubble field near Red House Farm,my first recorded on the patch this year. 
 The final stretch towards Winter's passing the famous 'Shrike Hedge',saw another sighting of the juvvie Peregrine over the fields and as i neared the car, some fantastic views of Black-tailed Godwits were feeding on the grass pasture at Winter's including a colour ringed bird,which was ringed as part of a project in Iceland on the birds breeding grounds.I'm waiting for details from Iceland supplied by Professer Jenny Gill who is one of the writers along with Graham Appleton on the excellent Wader Tales Blog.
 So what a cracking visit today,a possible Ortolan,4 species of Falcon and 3 additions to the patch year list.


Some Of The Hirundine Flock At Winter's Pond.

Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit,Winter's Pond.

Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit,Winter's Pond.

Colour-ringed Icelandic Black-tailed Godwit,Winter's Pond.

Saturday, 1 September 2018

Frampton Mega Yank.......Wednesday 22nd & Sunday 26th August 2018.

Thursday 23rd August

After a very kind text message from Tim,saying that a Stilt Sandpiper had been found at Lincolnshire's premier wader hotspot that is Frampton Marsh RSPB near to the South Lincolnshire town of Boston,i planned my visit while seeing out the last few hours of my shift at work.
 As i arrived at home,every thing was ready for me and Trace and myself headed off.
 The journey south wasn't too bad and it wasn't long before i was watching my first Stilt Sandpiper,albeit at long range as it associated with a flock of Icelandic Black-tailed Godwits.
 Even at long range you could make out the barred underparts and long,blunt tipped bill and striking supercilium.Unfortunately the bird didn't show any closer,but at least i had seen this mega rare wader for the county.

Sunday 26th August

After seeing this cracking wader was still present and because of the views gained last Wednesday,i decided to make another visit and hopefully see the bird a lot closer on this occasion.
 I arrived for first light,got the scope and pack up ready and headed for Reedbed Scrape.
 To start with,there were no sightings of our target,but then some brief glimpses of the bird in amongst the Black-Wit flock and before long it was feeding out in the open at the front of the flock giving some lovely scope views,but still too far for my camera set up unfortunately.
 It was really nice to study this smart wader which was most probably breeding on the Canadian arctic tundra a few weeks earlier,what an amazing journey to be blown off course on the wrong side of the Atlantic.
 After spending a good couple of hours watching this beauty on and off.i decided to explore the rest of this fantastic reserve.
 Other niceities observed during the visit included a juv. Wood Sandpiper,juv. Little-ringed Plover,Common and Green Sandpiper's,Merlin,juv.Marsh Harrier and 2 lovely juv.Whinchat,but the best of the lot were 3 precious Turtle Dove.It really is sad to that this,our most beautiful of Doves has declined so much,i really hope they make a recovery.
 So after a succesfull visit again today and 78 species of bird in the notebook which included a very impressive 20 species of wader,i made my way back north through the wolds to north Linc's.
Spot The Stilt Sandpiper,extreme crop,the bird is in the centre of the photo infront of the Black-tailed Godwit,22.08.18.


A Little Closer On 26.08.18.

Stilt Sandpiper,Still Not Close Enough!.

Heavy Crop Of A Cracking Bird.

Living Up To Their Names!.

Juvenile Whinchat,One Of Two Near The Farm Res.



Thursday, 23 August 2018

Holiday Season Is Over......

At last our holiday taking season is now over and hopefully i can get back to some proper birding,as a taster here are a few recent photos after an evening twitch to Gibralter Point for the cracking Juvenile Spotted Crake and our stay in Filey last weekend.
Juvenile Spotted Crake,Gibralter Point,Lincolnshire.


Juvenile Spotted Crake,Gibralter Point,Lincolnshire.

Juvenile Spotted Crake,Gibralter Point,lincolnshire.

Spoonbills,Gibralter Point,Lincolnshire.

A Lovely Stock Dove Outside Our Hotel In Filey,North Yorkshire.

Juvenile Green Sandpiper,Filey Dams Nature Reserve,North Yorkshire.

Juvenile Green Sandpiper,Filey Dams Nature Reserve,North Yorkshire.

Juvenile Common Sandpiper,Filey Dams Nature Reserve,North Yorkshire.

Adult Great-white Egret,Seamer Tip Pools,Scarborough,North Yorkshire.

Adult Great-white Egret,Seamer Tip Pools,Scarborough,North Yorkshire.

Adult Great-white Egret,Seamer Tip Pools,Scarborough,North Yorkshire.

Adult Great-white Egret,Seamer Tip Pools,Scarborough,North Yorkshire.

Adult Great-white Egret,Seamer Tip Pools,Scarborough,North Yorkshire.

Sunday, 29 July 2018

Blogging Catch Up......Sunday 29th July 2018.

Due to several factors,mainly dragonfly recording and holidaying,the birding blog has taken a bit of back shelf lately,so i thought i would do a quick summary of where i have been for the last month or so and some of the birds,wildlife and wildflowers we have seen on our travels.I will just post a series of photos,as it will take me forever to write everything down,the following are a selection of some of the many highlights.
Roe Deer Doe,Goxhill Haven,Lincolnshire.


Lapwing Chick,East Halton Skitter,Lincolnshire.

Xylota sylvarum,Thorne Moors NNR,South East Yorkshire.

Early Instar Heather Bug,Crowle Moor NNR,Lincolnshire.

Jay Feather Found On Crowle Moor NNR,Lincolnshire.

Scarce Vapourer Caterpillar,Thorne Moors NNR,South East Yorkshire.

Female Adder,Crowle Moor NNR,Lincolnshire.

Kittiwakes,Marine Drive Scarborough,North Yorkshire.

Kittiwake,Scarborough,North Yorkshire.

Juvenile Swallow,Scalby Mills,Scarborough,North Yorkshire.

Large Heath,Crowle Moor NNR,Lincolnshire.

Stonehenge,Wiltshire.

Stair Hole,Lulworth,Dorset.

Man O War Beach,Dorset.

Durdle Door,Dorset.

Lulworth Cove,Dorset.

Lulworth Skipper,Lulworth Cove,Dorset.

Female Four-spotted Footman,Lulworth Cove,Dorset.

Chalk Carpet,Lulworth Cove,Dorset.

Golden Samphire,Lulworth Cove,Dorset.

Long-winged Conehead,Lulworth Cove,Dorset.

Male Grey-bush Cricket,Lulworth Cove,Dorset.