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Saturday, 28 September 2013

Warblers plus a Pipit or two

Out with Mark today and as he needed it for a lifer and I hadn't seen one for a while we went up to St Abbs Head just over the border in Scotland this morning for the Sardinian Warbler found there in the week, it was calling and showing regularly right from us getting there although typically they were only brief sightings before it dived back into cover, also a couple of Peregrines noisily announced their presence and several Yellow Browed Warblers were calling from the trees alongside Mire Loch. Next we decided to head back to Whitburn Coastal Park where a bit of stuff had been reported this morning, one or two things had swiftly disappeared but two or three Richard's Pipits were still showing well in the field opposite the entrance gate with a Whinchat. After a late lunch and with more goodies on offer at Hartlepool we carried on South and were soon watching a very showy Barred Warbler by the Memorial Gardens there but a stiff breeze had picked up this afternoon and it seemed all the other stuff had gone to ground. We finished off with a short seawatch but it didn’t produce anything apart from a load of Gulls following a couple of fishing boats back in.

two for the price of one

Friday, 27 September 2013

Yellow Browed

Took the day off today as the weather looked good for migrants and indeed there had already been a bit of stuff arriving along the East Coast over the last couple of days particularly Yellow Browed Warblers, I was joined by Mark and news of a fall of stuff on Carr Naze, Filey yesterday afternoon prompted us to start there this morning, it was very quiet though and seemingly everything had cleared out with the weather being fine and sunny which was surprising considering other stuff was still being reported from other East Coast sites. With nothing forthcoming after searching for a couple of hours we cut our losses and headed off to Flamborough calling in at Bempton on the way which proved a good move as there were five Yellow Browed Warblers present there and at least two of them were showing very well, after spending a bit of time with them we carried on down to the Old Fall Plantation at Flambrough where three more Yellow Brows, single Pied and Red Breasted Flycatchers plus Lesser Whitethroat and a few Chiffy's were present but as opposed to Bemptons showy birds they were all pretty elusive, the Autumns first Redwing also flew over. With nothing new reported from anywhere we ended the afternoon pottering around back at Bempton.

still plenty of Gannets around

plus other stuff flying past

Monday, 23 September 2013

Crakes and Egrets

I started at Blacktoft Sands this morning as a Spotted Crake had been found there yesterday evening, another one of those birds that used to be a far commoner passage migrant 15-20 years ago but has become quite scarce now, much to the relief of the assembled throng it was still present this morning and showed briefly several times down the central channel from the Singleton Hide although a bit distant and in the shade and as I only had my bins with me it wasn’t the best of views, there were also a few waders here that included a couple of Curlew Sandpipers plus a Buzzard and the Marsh Harriers hunted nearby. By late morning it seemed to have gone to ground and as there hadn’t been any sightings for over an hour or more I decided on a change of scenery and headed into Lincolnshire to try for the Cattle Egret at Tetney Lock, the last report of this bird from last Friday had been from along the Louth Canal north of Thoresby Bridge so I thought I would try there first, I parked up and walked along the Canal for about half a mile or so till I came across a field full of Cattle, unfortunately they weren’t being accompanied by any Egrets so I thought I’d head back to the car and check out around the Village itself, however on the way back I passed a pond by the side of the Canal with a couple of Mute Swans and Coots on and while giving it a quick scan I came across another white blob in a small patch of reeds on the edge and there it was, I managed to stalk quite close to it and got some really good views and pics of this nicely plumaged bird, the thing with birds like this is if they're on private land and you don't have permission you're trespassing but if they're on a public right of way as this bird was, then eventually other people come along and flush it which is what eventually happened. I returned to Blacktoft to see if the Spotted Crake would show any better this evening, it did, in fact it performed very well and as I had taken my scope this time I got some really good views although it was still too far away for a decent pic.
a few waders present

plus a Buzzard was something different 

a pond with a couple of Mute Swans

and another white blob in the reeds

the first time it was flushed it flew to a tree at the far end

but then several groups of walkers came along
and that was it

a very distant Spotted Crake

here with a Water Rail running left