Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Soil Hill

Its been a while since this was updated, but with shorter daylight hours and a huge increase in workload, it has been impossible to get out birding. Those few trips I have made have seen nothing new or out of the ordinary and so have not been posted.
 But now, with the Christmas holidays here, I was finally able to get out and about. Granted, this only happened when the weather was decent, and that has not been particularly often. I've been up to Soil Hill in the hope of landing a few nice things, but that has not been the case and right now any birds would do...

20.12.2015
Having arrived back on Friday I would have hoped to have got out a few times, but sadly not as a result of relentless rain. However there was a clear spell on the Sunday and I made my way up. It was nice to bump into Brian Sumner up there as well, although he had not seen much either. I did flush a Common Snipe which I was pretty pleased about, although to present its the only decent bird I've seen up there this time...
Species List
Soil Hill: Common Snipe, Meadow Pipit, Carrion Crow, Magpie, Goldfinch, Starling, Black-Headed Gull

24.12.2015
Whilst the rain might have let up, the wind never did and continued with impressive force
Species List
Soil Hill: Blackbird, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Common Gull

27.12.2015
Another Sunday afternoon up. Saw Brian up there and there was a marked improvement in the numbers of birds, despite the wind still being incredbily strong. The highlight was an impressive number of Fieldfare flying over the hill, around 40 birds in total, which is the largest flock I have seen up there.
Species List
Soil Hill: Goldfinch, Lapwing, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Meadow Pipit, Fieldfare, Common Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Feral Pigeon,

29.12.2015
A last trip to Soil Hill before storm Frank hit. Sadly not a single bird on the top and a general shortage of birds within my recording area too.
Species List
Soil Hill: Magpie, Carrion Crow, Feral Pigeon, Common Gull,

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Bolton Abbey

Today was actually sunny for once, and we decided to go for a family walk along the river at Bolton Abbey. I can't say I was expecting a great number of bird species, but there were a few nice things to be getting along with.
On the walk up there was a smart male Goosander fishing close to the shore. I got the camera ready but a couple walking on the beach spooked it and it swam to the far bank. On the walk back there were a number of nice things to be getting along with. A smart Male Mandarin was grazing with mallards along the riverbank. There was also a Common Buzzard soaring, presumably enjoying the fact that it was not hunkered down with the rain. And finally there was a smart Little Grebe fishing near the road bridge. This is the first time I have seen this species here, and a patch tick is always nice.

Species List
Bolton Abbey: House Sparrow, Robin, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Grey Wagtail, Goosander, Mallard, Jackdaw, Blue Tit, Woodpigeon, Feral Pigeon, Grey Heron, Common Buzzard, Mandarin, Little Grebe, Pied Wagtail, Nuthatch, Redwing, 

Monday, 9 November 2015

Chesterfield

You know whats coming. 
As soon as the news of a Crag Martin in Chesterfield broke on the Sunday I was off like a shot, but due to public transport the bird left for its second and final time 5 minuets before I arrived on site. I was pretty gutted but waited 3 hours til dark to see if it would roost. It did not, and I considered that that then...
Until this morning, when I awoke to see it had been seen again, despite not being seen to roost. I waited for a second news update and then went again. This time though I was in luck, and as soon as I rounded the corner to the famous crooked spire I could see the bird. Sadly the weather and light were appalling, but when the bird flew with the church spire behind it you could make out the features on it and when it banked the tail 'windows' showed up very nicely, a real stunner. 
I tried to get some photos but the bird was just moving too fast and the light was not helpful. The situation took a turn for the worse after nearly 400 photos when my camera viewfinder blacked out. I thought I had broken it, but as I found out when I got home I just flicked a switch by accident, It was a bummer though, as the light did improve as the morning wore on.  
-Crooked Spire of Chesterfield
-Crag Martin
It spent most of its time whizzing round the spire at some speed. On two occasions it did land briefly, but briefly would be putting it mildly as it was not long at all. It dissapeared for an hour between 12 and 1, but it came back better than before, flying low over our heads, and giving pretty sweet views through the bins. 
-Crag Martin
What a day it was, and over the course of the day I got to bump into a few NGB and a few of the Spurn birders which was a nice addition, especially yesterday when I thought I missed it. Shout-out to Clive who gave me a lift back to Sheffield after. What a super day
I thought I had made it back for my lectures, but as it turned out I had got the times wrong and ended up missing them anyway, so compensated by spending the rest of the day in Library trying to finish my essay for Wednesdays deadline. The things we do for birds...

Species List:
Chesterfield: Feral Pigeon, Woodpigeon, Crag Martin, Pied Wagtail, Grey Wagtail, House Sparrow, Blue Tit, Herring Gull, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Sparrowhawk, Long-tailed Tit

Saturday, 31 October 2015

Orgreave Lakes

Another chance to go out and do some birding at long last. I thought I might get a couple of patch ticks when 20 mins before I arrived Mark tweeted that he had a a SEO and a couple of YLG. Sadly I connected with neither, despite searching through the gulls desperately. A juvenile gull had me for a moment, as it appeared to have a pale rump. Sadly in photos though it was not a clear rump, and the bird was just a Herring Gull. There were a few adult Herring Gulls but they were distinctly pale and it was possible to rule out YLG without even seeing the legs themselves. There were quite a large number of Lesser Black-backed Gulls, the majority of which were adults.
-Lesser Black-backed Gull
Other birds on site of note included an impressive number of Redwings feeding on the berries at the south side of the site. There was a massive flock of around 50-100 Linnet with a couple of Goldfinch feeding on the thistles. I though I had heard twite, and saw the birds calling but they only called once and I could get nothing more on it, and as such I do not intend to make anything of it, whatever they were.
Species List:
Orgreave Lakes: Blackbird, Black-headed Gull, House Sparrow, Carrion Crow, Kestrel, Woodpigeon, Lapwing, Skylark, Goldfinch, Magpie, Long-tailed Tit, Canada Goose, Greenfinch, Redwing, Jackdaw, Pochard, Mallard, Grey Heron, Graylag Goose, Coot, Gadwall, Wigeon, Starling, Feral Pigeon, Tufted Duck, Meadow Pipit, Common Gull, Linnet, Teal, Mute Swan, Jay, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Shoveler, Herring Gull,

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Orgreave Lakes

Sadly I have been unable to get out birding as much as I would like, but when the weekends come around there's not been anything to twitch, and so the patch has been the only thing on the agenda. Its been a little slow but there's been plenty of birds and that's all that's needed after a hard week in uni.
Highlights included a nice female Goosander, as well as plenty of other wildfowl, especially Pochard. An approachable stonechat was only the second I have ever seen on patch, and the same is true of a pair of Siskin that flew over. I also got to patch tick Redwing, as there were a large number 'seeping' in the bushes at the south end of the site. Overall a nice day out with a patch tick and a host of other birds to show for it. 
-Stonechat
-Redwing
Species List:
Orgreave Lakes: Kestrel, Skylark, Magpie, Blackbird, Black-headed Gull, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Wren, Carrion Crow, Jay, Lapwing, Common Buzzard, Canada Goose, Graylag Goose, Coot, Pochard, Teal, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Woodpigeon, Goldfinch, Grey Heron, Linnet, Stonechat, Feral Pigeon, Cormorant, Goosander, Reed Bunting, Gadwall, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull, Mute Swan, Redwing, Siskin, Greenfinch, Great Tit, Robin,

Monday, 12 October 2015

Updates

Apologies for the lack of activity recently. Its been pretty much all deadlines since arriving back at uni for my third and final year.
The Library has been pretty nice Peregrine wise, with at least one bird still chilling around the rooftops that can be seen from the fourth floor. Its been pretty awesome, though I've not seen it nail a pigeon, which is something of a disappointment.
Apart from that there has been nothing much. I have been down to Orgreave Lakes a couple of times but each time has been a pretty familiar set of species and as such not really worth writing a piece on. A few quick highlights:
30th September for a quick afternoon look. Had to collect insects for my field course but I managed a few bits and pieces, such as Bullfinch and a very late calling chiffchaff. Also a Kingfisher which was nice.
10th October and back down mainly to try and catch insects but also to see if there was anything about. As I was leaving I got a couple of nice things, first a Peregrine flew over the grassland and then a Snipe flew overhead and over the river. Not too shabby.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Orgreave Lakes

With nothing really on the cards to go any distance for I decided to take a trip down to the local patch for my first spot of birding for the new semester. Granted, it was a little quiet, but there were still a few nice bits and pieces.
Highlight of these was a Little Egret. One had been seen the previous week but had since moved on. I was pretty surprised then when I spotted it on the small island. It moved between the two lakes a bit whilst I was there, Still scarce in Sheffield, but no doubt one that will become far more abundant in future.
Another patch tick were 2 Siskins that flew over the trees alongside the river. That being said, they are so abundant this year that its hardly a surprise they turned up here as well. Other species on site were plenty of Pochard, a few Great Crested Grebe, a few large gulls and the usual suspects. A bit of a slow start to the year, but plenty to build on.
-Little Egret

Species List:
Orgreave Lakes: Grey Heron, Little Egret, Coot, Mute Swan, Great Crested Grebe, Pochard, Gadwall, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Graylag Goose, Canada Goose, Cormorant, Black-Headed Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Great Black-Backed Gull, Woodpigeon, Siskin, Long-Tailed Tit, Linnet, Goldfinch, Meadow Pipit, Skylark, Magpie, Carrion Crow,

Monday, 14 September 2015

Portsmouth and New Forest

Granted this was a long time ago, dropping my brother off in Portsmouth for his year long placement. On the day when we dropped him off I headed to Titchfield Haven due to the fact he could only have two visitors. Few bits and pieces, a flock of Pale-Bellied Brent Geese was pretty nice and a set of very unwary turnstones which were running around only a few meters away. Pretty awesome. 
For the afternoon we headed down the coast where there were a few Sandwich Terns, and a juvenile tern with them which is probably a Common. There were also a few Med Gulls around, which are always nice to see.
The next day we headed into the New Forest, first time for me. It was pretty cool, a very beautiful place, but the weather was a little off being overcast all day. Birds were at a bit of a premium, but we saw a few goodies, if not regular species such as Common  Buzzard and Little Egret. Insects were a little better with Migrant Hawker and Hornet on the agenda looking lovely.
We were sposed to be staying til Wednesday but as it happened there was a severe rainstorm on Wednesday night and the caravan awning collapsed on me, drenching all my clothes and leaving me with nothing for the rest of the week. With that in mind, we decided to call it quits and go home early.
-Pale-Bellied Brent Geese
-Turnstones
-Common (?) Tern
-Migrant Hawker

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Spurn Day 9

It was my last day before I had to go home. With the easterlies continuing I hoped for one final bird to drop in, but alas only a handful of scarce migrants came down. As usual I started with a seawatch, which was probably the slowest of my time. The highlight, and real oddity really, was a pair of Avocets that flew south quite far out really, when all things considered.
I did my usual wander around the warren, the triangle and beacon lane, and had good numbers of Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher, Wheatear and Redstart. Late morning and a red breasted flycatcher was found in the crown car park, but only showed briefly and was not seen again, so I missed it. Other than that, the birdlife was mainly composed of the regular ducks and waders.
-Wheatear
In the late afternoon I went with Tim to Sammies point where we continued to have good migrant numbers, including around 10 Whinchat and the same number of Redstarts. Sadly though I had to cut my time short to get a lift back. It was not quite the haul I had hoped for but made for a nice end to my time at Spurn.

Species List:
Seawatching: Sandwich Tern, Avocet, Wigeon, Teal, Common Scoter, Gannet, Red-Throated Diver, Black-Headed Gull, Common Gull, Fulmar, Great Black-Backed Gull, Herring Gull, Wheatear, Swallow,
Warren, Triangle, Beacon Lane: Wheatear, Reed Bunting, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Yellow Wagtail, Spotted Flycatcher, Whinchat, Swallow, Great Tit, Starling. Carrion Crow, Dunlin, Redstart, Moorhen, Green Sandpiper, Teal, Wigeon, Mallard, Little Grebe, Snipe, Magpie, Feral Pigeon, Willow Warbler, Sanderling, Redshank, Greenshank, Black-tailed Godwit,
Sammies: Whinchat, Stonechat, Wheatear, Redstart, Pied Flycatcher, Ringed Plover, Little Egret, Great Tit, Blackbird, Dunlin, Carrion Crow, Willow Warbler, 

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Spurn Day 8

I was kinda supposed to go home on Tuesday but with the oncoming easterlies I decided to stay and cancel my driving lesson. This turned out to be one of my greatest calls in my birdwatching time, as Wednesday turned out to be one of the best days birding I have ever had.
It was a muggy, overcast day, but as per usual the day started at 6.00 for me. Paul was down ringing and there were five of us up at Seawatching, one of those being Tim who was commuting between Seawatching and Ringing. Ducks were the only things really moving, but numbers were down on the previous seawatches.
Tim called out to get on this at around 7.20. The bird he had seen was very Fulmar like, but was flapping far more frequently. He quickly followed up his initial alert with his identification of a probable pterodroma petrel. It was about three quarters of the way out, but even at that distance, as it approached north, you could almost make out the ‘W’ mark on the wings, and the black underwings were obvious. After a short while, as it came further north we all watch and discussed, until Tim made the call that it was indeed a Feas-type petrel. He began to film it, so I decided to borrow his film rather than try any photos of my own. It sheared only occasionally, but was clearly a Feas Petrel. Tim ran down to get Paul and wake Ed and when Ed arrived I lent him my scope so he could see it, but by now it was well north and had moved further out, and whether he got it or not is not overly clear. 
video
-Fea's Petrel (Video and Screenshot: Tim Jones)
To say we were all buzzing after that was an understatement. One of the lads in the hide had come up from Southampton for a meeting, but that had been cancelled and had gone to spurn instead. Apart from that we were all Spurn regulars. It’s a bird I never expected to see, and never as well as that. Obviously you can’t twitch them, so it’s all down to luck. And thanks to Tim we had indeed got that slice of luck.
Buzzing after the morning, and with easterlies in the air, I decided to wander around to see if any migrants had dropped in. The birds were a little thinner than I would have hoped, the only real migrants were not Autumn but Winter, with 2 Brent Geese on the ponds being the highlight. I thought it was a Pale-bellied and a Dark-bellied but was not sure, so I was pleased when Tim confirmed my identification.
-Pale Bellied and Dark Bellied Brent Geese
I decided to walk along the beach by the ponds to see if any snow buntings had dropped in. They had not but a large flock of gulls up by Easington Lagoons drew my attention. There were a few Mediterranean Gulls but no others of any note. I had a quick look round the boatyard and then set off back. A few more large gulls seemed to be arriving on the beach, so rather than return by long bank as had been my initial plan, I set off back via the beach again.
This was well founded, as on my first scan through the gulls I picked out one which seemed to had an odd shaped bill and white head. I immediately thought Caspian and as I approached my suspicions did not dim. Sadly though all the gulls were then flushed into the water by dog walkers, and the subsequent bird then got up and flew south leaving me with nothing expect a few poor photos to go on.
I called it out, rather timidly, and set off for long bank. Doubts were running through my head. And though I felt confident about my identification I remained unsure. Imagine then, the horror I felt when the bird I had called out thinking would now be in Lincolnshire rocked up on wetlands. I was mortified. I called out its new location rather reluctantly, followed by a request if someone could come and check I was right. 
Ian Smith came up, more to photograph it than anything else, and together with a few others in the hide, we discussed the points of the bird. The more we looked the more points we saw for Caspian, but the more we saw against it too. In the end, we took a tonne of photos and decided to ask Tim.
The first person I saw who asked was Rael, and when he looked at the photos he thought Yellow-legged. My heart sank. And when I showed Tim in the evening he said the same thing, although when I mentioned we had flight shots he requested a look, as they would prove conclusive. And conclusive they did, as the bird clearly showed an extended white rump and white underwings, which are diagnostic for Caspian Gull.
I had kinda hoped when I lifered Casp, I would get a stonking and obvious first winter bird with small eye and long beak, not had a dubious bird that around 10 birders couldn't work out for sure. That being said, I learned an awful lot from it, especially now I had more diagnostic features to go off for future. In addition to it being a lifer, my first truly self-found lifer for a long time, its also my first Yorkshire description species and my name in the Spurn report. All in all, its been a very exciting, nerve wracking and educational day... 
-1st Winter Caspian Gull
Still unknowing the true identification of my gull I headed back down the canal for a bite to eat at the Warren. Half way down Tim collard me. He had caught yesterdays kingfisher and asked my to run it up to Churchfield. I was pretty thrilled, so delayed lunch. My surprise when I heard a kingfisher calling a little way back up the canal, was perhaps a little uncalled for given what was in my bag, but all became clear when I spotted a second Kingfisher hunting the top of the canal. That makes two Kingfishers in one day, and just yesterday it was a new bird for me at Spurn. Of course it goes without saying that in the hand it looked simply fantastic. Beautiful.
-Kingfisher
I spent the rest of the afternoon eating my lunch/dinner, before heading up for a relaxed spot of seawatching. Not so. Soon after we arrived we saw a aisled fulmar on the water, and it eventually crashed into the beach. Ed collected it as we assessed its health to see if we could revive its fortunes. Sadly, it died during the night.
-Fulmar
It was quite a day, with 2 lifers and a host of other goodies. I think its safe to say that staying on an extra couple of days was a very good idea...

Species List:
Seawatching: Wigeon, Teal, Fulmar, Common Scoter, Fea's Petrel, Arctic Skua, Gannet, Red-Throated Diver, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Common Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Herring Gull, Swallow, Dunlin,
Canal: Woodpigeon, Swallow, Mallard, Wigeon, Magpie, Meadow Pipit, Kestrel, Reed Bunting, Turnstone, Redshank, Little Egret, Greenfinch, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Blackbird, Shelduck, Dunnock, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Spotted Flycatcher, Robin, Gadwall, Teal, Graylag Goose, Mute Swan, Greenshank, Lapwing, Curlew, House Sparrow,
Ponds, Lagoons: Peregrine, Curlew, Dunlin, Cormorant, Black-Headed Gull, Carrion Crow, Woodpigeon, Little Grebe, Meadow Pipit, Linnet, Yellow Wagtail, Starling, Brent Goose, Mediterranean Gull, Common Gull, Herring Gull, Great Black-Backed Gull, Ringed Plover, Sandwich Tern, Sanderling, Wheatear, Kestrel, Pied Wagtail, Caspian Gull, Reed Bunting, Kingfisher, Whinchat,

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Spurn Day 7

Day 7 in Spurn, and the wind was now well and truly east. Sadly, for the best of it, I would not be around, but I hoped something good might drop in during the day. I was not disappointed, as during the seawatch Paul popped up to tell us that he had caught a Wood Warbler. We went down and had a look at a very nice specimen in the hand.
-Wood Warbler
 The sea was very quiet, but there were very good numbers of duck moving, with both Scoter and Teal passing north in abundance. Among their ranks were other ducks, including a few Wigeon and at the last 2 Shoveler in a large Scoter Flock. It has made a real difference having a scope, and being able to determine the features on the ducks for myself. Two Grey Wagtails also made a welcome addition to the morning.
-Common Scoter
 Same as the previous days, I wandered around the triangle, then Beacon lane before Wetlands and Ponds. It was a pretty reasonable haul of species but nothing really stands out as being unusual or irregular for spurn. Rob had found a second Wood Warbler in Canal Hedge, and seeing this bird was probably the highlight of my stroll around.
As the afternoon wore on, Paul and Tim tried again to capture the Red-backed Shrike in Cornerfield. After quite a while it finally crashed into one of the nets and we finally got to see the bird in the hand. Once Tim had drawn his fingers away it was very placid, but initially it would not remove its beak from his finger. I’ll let the photos do the talking, as it was pretty awesome to see. 
-Red-Backed Shrike
By the time we had finished with the Shrike, the evening had drawn on. As a result I headed down for tea. Post-tea I headed up to Seawatching but it was very quiet, so did not stay long. Even so, it had been a pretty awesome day, and seeing the Shrike in the hand was definitely one of the highlights of the week.


Species List:
Seawatching: Common Scoter, Wigeon, Teal, Gannet, Red-throated Diver, Fulmar, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Sooty Shearwater, Sparrowhawk, Arctic Skua, Tufted Duck, Wood Warbler, Razorbill, Grey Wagtail, Mallard, Kittiwake, Shoveler,
Triangle and Beacon Lane: Wren, Whinchat, Red-backed Shrike, Magpie, Little Grebe, Mallard, Reed Bunting, Swallow, Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Starling, House Sparrow, Carrion Crow, Robin, Goldfinch, Collard Dove, Blue Tit, Dunnock, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Meadow Pipit, Pied Flycatcher,
Wetlands and Holderness Field: Grey Heron, Woodpigeon, Yellow Wagtail, Starling, Mallard, Willow Warbler, Magpie, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Feral Pigeon, Linnet, Greenshank, Teal, Black-Tailed Godwit, Ruff, Sandwich Tern, Wigeon, Shoveler, Mute Swan, Cormorant, Black-Headed Gull, Lapwing, Little Egret, Common Gull, Curlew, Little Grebe, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull

Kilnsea and Canal: Skylark, Swallow, House Martin, Blackbird, Linnet, House Sparrow, Woodpigeon, Wren, Turnstone, Dunlin, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Little Egret, Pied Flycatcher, Oystercatcher, Shelduck, Whitethroat, Wood Warbler, Reed Bunting, Snipe, Meadow Pipit, Whinchat, Great-Spotted Woodpecker, Robin, Willow Warbler, Red-Backed Shrike,

Monday, 7 September 2015

Spurn Day 6

Now the festival was over, we had nothing more to do but enjoy the birding on offer and relax. The remaining birders on site settled down in the Seawatching hide for a regular seawatch of just chilling out and seeing if there was anything moving.
There were a few things on the sea, but nothing major. Sooty Shearwaters still moving through were the highlight really, as well as a few ducks on the move. The seawatch was interrupted by the call of a ‘probable corncrake’ on Clubleys. We all rushed over and tried an organised flush, initially we failed, but then flushed the offending bird: a female pheasant! Still, for our efforts we did see a Short-Eared Owl and the first Pale-bellied Brent Goose of the autumn, so not bad at all.
-Pale-Bellied Brent Goose
Afterwards we headed up to Westmere to help do the final things for the festival. We were driving up with Tim and Ed, when I spotted something large and grey in a bush on the side of the road. We were moving at 40mph, but without thinking I called out Barred Warbler! Immediately the car slammed to a halt and the others both looked at me like I had gone mad. I knew I had made a pretty bold claim but insisted, so the car went into reverse and we went back to have a look. And there it was, sat out in an elderberry bush, a Barred Warbler. It dived in not long after we had the identification confirmed, but it showed occasionally during the day. I got a few plaudits for that, Barred Warbler id at 40!
Once the wrapping up had be finalised I had a wander round the triangle and then round Beacon Lane and then round the wetlands and ponds. Without doubt the best bird was a Kingfisher which flew past me at the top of Beacon Lane. Spurn tick! There had been one around, but this was the first time I had managed to connect with it, and I was pretty pleased with that too. A few regular things were the best of the rest. A Marsh Harrier was nice, as well as a few waders on the wetlands and ponds such as a greenshank and ruff.
The best of the walk was in Cornerfield. Of course the Red-backed Shrike had been around all week but the chance to get a decent photo had been restricted by the bird’s mobile habits and the light often being against me. But on this occasion it was perched up nicely and was in decent light so I was able to grab a few shots. It was catching insects, first a Small Tortoiseshell Butterfly, then a Rosels Bush Cricket, which were in abundance. A nice bonus was that Adam and I located the Harvest mouse nest that was in the field and had been found by Tim. It’s quite a miniature marvel, as I hope the photos show. 
-Red-Backed Shrike
-Rosels Bush Cricket
-Harvest Mouse Nest
In the evening it was Seawatching again, and again there were small numbers of seabirds but events were largely dominated by ducks, with Scoter and Teal moving. A few Sooty Shearwaters also made an appearance, as did both Great and Arctic Skua

Species List:
Seawatching: Sooty Shearwater, Dunlin, Teal, Common Scoter, Mallard, Gannet, Arctic Skua, Great Skua, Red-throated Diver, Fulmar, Sandwich Tern, Guillemot, Brent Goose, Short-eared Owl,
Traingle: Goldfinch, Skylark, Pheasant, Meadow Pipit, Barred Warbler, Mediterranean Gull, Common Gull, Black-headed Gull, Red-backed Shrike, Linnet, Woodpigeon, Starling, Dunnock, Whitethroat, Yellow Wagtail, Kingfisher,
Holderness Field, Wetlands and Ponds: Black-Tailed Godwit, Common Gull, Mallard, Black-headed Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Feral Pigeon, Yellow Wagtail, Swallow, Woodpigeon, Linnet, Starling, Little Egret, Greenshank, Ruff, Herring Gull, Mute Swan, Wigeon, Teal, Curlew, Graylag Goose, Lapwing, Oystercatcher, Sandwich Tern, Cormorant, Marsh Harrier, Little Grebe, Yellow-legged Gull, Ringed Plover, Turnstone,
Seawatching: Arctic Skua, Great Skua, Teal, Common Scoter, Sooty Shearwater, Fulmar, Gannet, Red-throated Diver, Razorbill, Guillemot, Kittiwake, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull,

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Spurn Day 5

The second day of the festival, for me, was just a bit of blogging about really. Given yesterday’s seawatch success that’s where I started, but there were not as many birds, only a few Skuas and the like.
Still early into the morning there was a radio message called out that a funny looking Redpoll had been caught at churchfield and would Martin go and have a look. Martin was otherwise detained by breakfast but I got a lift up with Clive and we went to go and check it out.
The reason for the interest was that the bird showed characters of being a Mealy Redpoll, in that it was larger, greyer and had more white around it. We were not convinced but when in the hand next to a Lesser Redpoll the contrast was obvious, and when we had a look at the photos later it was pretty clear that it was indeed a Mealy Redpoll, only that a number of its characters were not as pronounced as we would like. Either way, it was an interesting start to the morning, and Mealy Redpoll was a lifer for me, so there we go then.
-Lesser and Mealy Redpoll
-Mealy Redpoll
 The rest of the day passed without real incident. In the late morning I did a little bit of the triangle and watched a Barred Warbler crashing through some bushes along Beacon Lane. I had left my camera in the warren, as I had been trying to gather my things from the previous night (Left in Tims Car) and so only had the scope. It was a shame really as it was the best view of the species I have ever had.
That being considered, in the afternoon I headed up the Westmere Farm to photograph another, different Barred Warbler which was frequenting the hedges along the back of the barn. It was more distant but at times just as showy and I got a few photos of it sat atop the hedge.
-Barred Warbler
 As the festival began to die down I headed up to Steves for a BBQ to celebrate the festival. I was a little early so wandered up the wetlands and to scan the fields at Sammies. I was pleasantly surprised to see a Short-eared Owl quartering the fields at Sammies, whilst on Wetlands there were 3 Ruff feeding. A really nice end to the day and the festival.
-Short-Eared Owl

Species List:
Triangle: Spotted Flycatcher, Barred Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Lesser Redpoll, Mealy Redpoll, Siskin, Mediterranean Gull, Black-Headed Gull, Great-Spotted Woodpecker, Herring Gull, Woodpigeon, Ruff, Short-eared Owl, House Sparrow, Starling, Carrion Crow,