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Monday, 25 August 2014


There had been some good seawatching conditions during the week and although it had tailed off a bit towards the weekend with just light North-westerly winds forecast for this morning, me and Pete Watson decided to give it a go anyway, Flamborough Head being the obvious choice. We spent the morning there and as expected it wasn’t particularly thrilling although there was a steady Northerly passage of Manx Shearwaters and a juv Long Tailed Skua that flew in and sat on the sea for a while was a nice bonus. Midday we went back for some lunch then headed for the Bay Brambles to look for this mornings Barred Warbler, unfortunately that had gone to ground or gone so we carried on to Old Fall, there had been some interesting Gulls coming to the temporary Flashes there recently but nothing out of the ordinary there today while we were looking, a couple of Knot and a Dunlin accompanied the Gulls. Mid-afternoon the wind changed to a more Easterly direction so we decided to head back to the Headland for another seawatch, a good move, we had just got settled down when someone shouted “four Skua’s flying North” and while scanning for them I got onto a large Shearwater, its been a long time coming but I was soon enjoying good views of my first British Cory’s Shearwater, it was mid distance so too far to discern its yellow bill but upper and underwing patterns were seen quite clearly and as it was briefly harassed by a GBB Gull and a couple of Gannets flew past a good size comparison was had, I got Pete onto it who it was also a tick for then a couple of hours later either that or another was picked up flying North but it was a bit further out and passed through quite quickly that time, otherwise it was much the same as this morning, a steady passage of Manx although there were a few more Skua’s mainly Arctic’s but also a single Bonxie.

Friday, 22 August 2014

Flutterbys and Dragons

I went out after work last Thursday the 14th to North Cave Wetlands, it was relatively quiet although a couple of Little Grebes were posing nicely on the main lake.
three or four juv Kestrels were making a racket

imm Migrant Hawker


Out with Mark on Sunday and with nothing much around we decided on a Butterfly trip to Chambers Farm Woods in Lincolnshire, Brown Hairstreak being the main target. It was a nice enough day if a bit windy but we were surprised how few Butterflies were about, plenty of Red Admirals though and a couple of Brown Argus were a nice find, we staked out the main area for the Brown Hairstreak and eventually a female came along and indeed visited several times over the next few hours although it never settled for long, disappearing for long periods, there were plenty of Dragonflies to keep us entertained in between visits though. Very few birds, several roving Tit flocks, Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers heard, a few Buzzards over and a nice bonus of a Hobby over, no doubt hunting the Dragonflies.
Southern Hawker

Migrant Hawker

lots of Red Admials

a couple of Brown Argus

and the star of the show, female Brown Hairstreak

Communal resting, there were up to nine together at one point

Sunday, 10 August 2014

A rainy day at Blacktoft

I chose Blacktoft Sands today because with a forecast of heavy rain I needed somewhere with hides plus there was always a chance of something good dropping in (no such luck), there was a decent selection of Waders present including a Wood Sandpiper plus still a good number of Spotted Redshanks although only single Black Tailed Godwit and Little Egret today. It was not really the weather for Raptors but it fared up for a couple of hours mid-afternoon enticing the Harriers out and an immature Peregrine went through as well.

quite a few Green Sandpipers around plus a couple of Commons

adventurous juv Water Rail

leucistic Greylag

Green Sands and Ruff

Wood Sandpiper, never came close

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

A day in deepest Lincolnshire

I was out with Pete Watson last Sunday and after the original plan of going for the Pacific Golden Plover at Drayton Bassett Pits was scuppered when the bird disappeared Saturday evening we decided on Frampton Marsh instead as a White Rumped Sandpiper found on the Saturday was still present that morning, we arrived to news that it had been showing really well and were shown frame filling photos but a couple of Peregrines had just gone through and flushed everything and although we stayed into the early afternoon it was never reliably seen again, Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper amongst the many other Waders present were year ticks though, interestingly several Brent Geese were still around as well as good numbers of Little Egrets and a Glossy Ibis was feeding on a little pool. Early afternoon we headed off to do the second part of our revised plan, Chambers Farm Wood for the Butterflies, there has been some interesting sightings over the last few weeks but we had probably left it a bit too late in the day and even though there were masses of Dragonflies about and quite a few of the more common Butterflies we had missed Brown Hairstreak by half an hour and the only other sighting of note was a rather tatty White Admiral.
juv LRP

juv Avocet

many Little Egrets

bad light but looking nice and Glossy

Common Darter

Southern Hawker

Common Blue Damselfly

Small Skipper


Green Veined White

a rather tatty White Admiral

a new Moth for me, Blood Vein