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Sunday, 29 March 2015

East Yorks Wetlands

With nothing much about and not wanting to go too far I opted for two of East Yorks wetland reserves today, started at North Cave Wetlands and the new viewing area where a couple of Bramblings have been attending the feeding station there, not this morning though but then a couple of birding mates came by and told me they had just been watching a flock of 80+ in Hotham Hall Park about half a mile away, I went for a look and although they had moved across the field and become distant there certainly was a lot of them.  I returned to very busy North Cave Wetlands and headed up to the top end where a look over Dryham Ings found my first Little Ringed Plover of the year, also a good number of Sand Martins there and a pair of courting Mediterranean Gulls, a bit later after sitting out a heavy shower and most of the mornings visitors had departed I took a stroll down to the Turret Hide spending a bit of time at the feeders by the Maize Field that had also been attracting Bramblings, two females were in attendance. After lunch I went to Blacktoft Sands where the usual culprits for this time of year entertained on a bit brighter afternoon, a large female Peregrine was down at the Ousefleet end but not many Harriers about today.

two or three Chiffy's about

calling for his mate

lots of noisy Black Headed's

female Bramblings at the Maize Field feeders

the usual culprits at Blacktoft

quite a lot of Greylags

coming and going

Monday, 23 March 2015

Harpham Dipper and Flamborough delights

Me and Mark headed off for the East Coast yesterday morning calling in at Harpham on the way for the wintering Black Bellied Dipper, I've been quite laid back about this bird as I saw the Tophill bird in 2008 but as it was still there thought we'd have a look, glad we did it was a superb area with a lovely crystal clear stream and although the Dipper gave us a run up and down it posed nicely on a couple of occasions, we carried on to Flamborough and had a look from the cliffs at Sewerby for the recent Red Necked Grebes, we found what was a good candidate but the tide was right out, it was very distant and the light was bad so we decided to return later when hopefully conditions would be better. South Landing was next and we were soon scanning through a load of Rock Pipits and managed to pick out at least three or four of the Scandinavian race littoralis coming into their summer finery, a Peregrine was patrolling the cliffs. After lunch we went on to Bempton Cliffs, a good number of seabirds are back on the cliffs now but we couldn’t find any Puffins, we ended up walking to Buckton and after a bit of searching found at least three possibly four Short Eared Owls, also a Barn Owl in the area and we had distant views of the Grindale Rough Legged Buzzard hunting further along the cliffs. Late afternoon found us back at Sewerby and sure enough with the tide in at least two Red Necked Grebes were closer in and showing well through the scopes, one of them looking splendid in full summer plumage.

the atmospheric backlit shot

didn't have a choice really with the path right next to the stream we'd have flushed it trying to get past


Seabird City, Bempton, apparently Springwatch were there

not often you see them in trees

it would be nice at times to be a bit taller

didn't get chance of many flight shots but here are couple

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

North Wales

Out with Mark yesterday and we decided on a trip to North Wales picking up Darren (Leeds) and Dave (Huddersfield) on the way, we headed out to South Stacks first, a Sand Martin over Holyhead was the first of the year for us all, at South Stacks a few Auks were back in, there was a Peregrine sat on the cliffs, a couple of Ravens croaked as they flew high above us and our main target, Chough were soon located and a pair performed well for us. We then headed back to Holyhead Harbour but unfortunately failed to find any Black Guillemots so carried on round to Cemlyn Bay for a very showy Lapland Bunting, a bit early for any Terns to be back in there but a Little Egret and Greenshank were on pools by the car park. After a late lunch it was back to the mainland, a Red Kite flying along the coastline near Llanfairfechan was unexpected and posed the question are the Welsh birds expanding their range or was it a wandering English bird, we called off at Conwy RSPB as there had been a Firecrest wintering, we had a quick look but apparently there had been no sightings since last Thursday, fairly quiet otherwise so we ended up further along the coast at Pensarn where an immature Iceland Gull treated us to some mega views, an enjoyable day.

hiding in the grass

flew up onto a nearby wall after being flushed by a dog

also Little Egret

and Stonechat

very confiding Iceland Gull