Monday, 17 October 2016

Phyllosc Overload And Stunning Lark.....Sunday 16.10.2016.

The same scenario as the previous weekend,this weekend,with the continuing easterly airstream and with yesterday's unbelievable report of 9,yes 9 Dusky Warbler at Spurn amongst an array of other Siberian migrants,you can guess where i headed today.
 As i thought it may be busy at Easington first thing,i decided to visit the Sibe Accentor later in the day for second helpings and parked at my usual place at the Bluebell.
 As i arrived,i was a bit concerned,as it was clear skies with a super bright full moon and i thought to myself i may have made a mistake here,with no birds along the approach road.
 As it became light properly birds began to appear on the roadside verges down towards the Crown and i at least held hope that some of the previous days goodies may still be present.
 A quick look in Corner Field saw 3 cracking Mealie Redpoll,female Siskin and 3 Chiffies,i was feeling a little more optimistic now.
 After meeting up with young birders Darragh and Ellis we walked down towards the Church when a message came over the radio that a Dusky Warbler had just been trapped in Church field and was going to be shown shortly.
 While waiting for the Dusky to be shown,i spotted a Pallas's Warbler briefly appear at the back of the church yard before it disappeared again,a quick but very welcome sighting all the same.
 The guys arrived with the stunning little Dusky Warbler to show the small group,what a great privilege to see this cracking siberian warbler at close range,before it was quickly released,superb stuff.
 We all looked in the Crown & Anchor car park for a while with only a hand full of Chiffies being seen,when again a message came over the radio that a Radde's Warbler had just been found at the northern end of the canal,just a spit away from where we were stood.
 A few minutes later and we were stood where the bird had just been found by Pete Wragg.A little wait and the bird appeared briefly giving a tantalising view of its sulphur tinged undertail coverts,before dropping into the adjacent ditch.It gave us a bit of a runaround,but we managed super views eventually,but it was too quick to get photos for me,as i was too busy trying to study the bird.One feature about the sighting i was really chuffed about,was hearing the bird call,a soft 'Chuck' or 'Check',completely different to the harsher Sylvia like 'Tack' of Dusky.....amazing stuff and a personal first in the form of seeing Dusky and Radde's on the same day and within half an hour of each other as well.
 We all continued up to the Canal Scrape searching all the bushes,but i could only find half a dozen Chiffchaff,single Ring Ouzel and overhead 3 Bearded Tit migrated north towards the Warren,a great sight to see.
 The sky was beginning to darken as we sat in the Canal Scrape hide and then it began to belt down with rain.We were stuck in the hide for about an hour and a half as it bucketed down,but a few birds kept us entertained in the form of 2 Jack Snipe,a Rock Pipit,2 Snipe and a few flocks of Redwing.
 After a long wait the rain began to ease and i headed back to the car at the Bluebell.
 As the rain stopped and the sun came out i went and had a look for the Shorelark near to the car park.At first the bird didn't show that well,but for some reason it flew up,did a loop and landed right infront of me and then proceeded to run towards me.I managed to get some nice images of the bird,even though it was a little wet,but what a cracking species they are,my first for a few years.
 After watching the lovely Lark another circuit of the Crown and Triangle saw me gaining some cracking views of a Yellow-browed Warbler in the Crown car park and another brief view of the Radde's Warbler and a nice Lapland Bunting showed from the Canal Bank,thanks to Dean and Nicola for pointing this out.
 After arriving back at the car again and now 2 Shorelark on show,but more distantly now,was another great sighting to add to the already notebook full i had already seen.
 I then left towards Easington to go and see the Sibe Accentor,stopping briefly to see a flock of 9 Tundra Bean Geese on a stubble field along Easington straight,another great sighting to add to the notebook and part of a current grey goose arrival.
 I arrived at the Sibe Acc site to only a hand full of birders there and a much more relaxed affair than on Thursday and it was great just to study the bird through the scope as it fed at incredibly close rang at times,what a cracker.It had a comical feeding habit of searching through the leaf litter,throwing them in all directions as it searched,not unlike a Thrush sp,just great to watch.
 So after enjoying my fill of this beautiful Siberian visitor,i made a steady journey back home to North Linc's after another fantastic visit to this amazing area for birding.
Dusky Warbler,Church Field.

Bearded Tit,Migrating Over The Canal.

Chiffchaff,Canal Bank.

Redwing,Canal Scrape.

Shorelark,Kilnsea Cliff.

Shorelark,Kilnsea Cliff.

Tundra Bean Geese,Easington Straight.

Siberian Accentor,Easington.

Siberian Accentor,Easington.

Friday, 14 October 2016

Siberian Accentor......What A Bird!!!....Easington,Thursday,13.10.2016.

There i was chilling in the bath when my mobile starts ringing,had a look and saw it was Tim,i thought to myself 'I will ring him when i get out of the bath'.The phone then rang again,i got out the bath and it was Tim again and i thought that it must be bird related.I started to get dried off as i rang and imagine my disbelief when those words from Tim said 'SIBERIAN ACCENTOR AT EASINGTON NOW' holy @#*" i said,or something to that effect and we quickly said our good byes.
 It was headless chicken routine,a combination of grabbing my gear together and trying to get dressed at the same time,the wife thinking i was having some sort of epileptic fit or something,i said my goodbyes and i was on the road.
 The drive to Easington was a blur and i don't know how i got there so quickly,but i arrived at the gas terminal in about 45 minutes.
 I crashed out of the car,grabbed my bins and camera crossed over the road and there was the crowd of about 30 birders.
 I was welcomed by Dave Tucker  'it's over here' and there it was,the most stunning bird i have clapped eyes on in a very long time,at this point i couldn't stop shaking.
 At first i just kept looking at it through the bins and kept thinking to myself i can't bloody believe what I'm looking at.It was feeding on an old car park where the old school used to be adjacent to the gas terminal,just a spit from where i had been watching the Olive-backed Pipit the weekend before.
 I spent the next two hours watching this supremely beautiful bird as it fed quietly,picking insects and seeds from the ground showing more distantly at first,but then for the last 30 minutes or so before dark,about 30 feet away!
 The bird was most probably a first winter,as it wasn't as bright as the recent Shetland bird,with a slightly duller head pattern,but it was still a stunningly striking bird.
 The first record for Britain had only been found 4 days earlier on the afore mentioned Shetland mainland,so this was more importantly the first record for mainland Britain,Yorkshire,Spurn and a new species for nearly everyone present including myself.
 As i write this blog i still can't believe i have had the privilege of seeing this beautiful species,what an absolute cracker.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Little Beauty And Stunning Pipit...The Spurn Area.......Sunday 9th October 2016.

After a very uncomfortable and tortuous week at work,seeing the constant daily reports of good birds arriving along the Yorkshire coast i eventually got the chance to get out and attempt to find something,or at least see some of the goodies myself.
 So after the drive over from Barnetby,i began the last stretch of the journey through Easington and Kilnsea,to the sight of roadside Robins and Thrushes,it was looking promising!.
 I had organised to meet up with Mike today and after he arrived we spent the first few hours looking between the Bluebell,Church Field,the Crown & Anchor and Cliffe Farm.
 There were some decent numbers of birds about,with the most common species being Redwing,Chiffchaff and Robins.
 Perseverance paid off when we finally found our first goodies of the day,with 2 lovely Yellow-browed Warbler being seen around the Crown & Anchor car park,with one of the individuals showing very nicely,a lovely sight to see.
 Other niceties seen included several Goldcrests,Redpolls,Siskins,Blackcap,Song Thrushes,Blackbirds and Grey Wagtail.
 After hearing on the radio that an interesting Locustella had been seen down the point,Mike and myself went our separate ways and i made the long walk down along with Daz and Garry and a few others.
 The area were the bird had been seen was huge and dotted with bushes and to be fair the area was covered well with no luck unfortunately,but all was not lost as we decided to go and look for the reported Little Buntings near the Green Beacon.
 As we arrived,we timed things just right as Adam had just trapped one of the Little Buntings and after a short wait we had the great privilege of seeing this cracking bird in the hand.After the bird was processed we were given the chance to take some photos,before the 'Little' beauty was released back into the dunes,with a couple of 'Tick' calls as it flew.A big thank you to Adam and the guys for showing us this super bird!.
 A steady walk back saw me seeing some nice birds which included a fem/imm Black Redstart near to the Lifeboat jetty,a cracking adult male Redstart,Short-eared Owl,3 Stonechat,a Willow Warbler and 3 Wheatear.
 After eventually arriving back at the car,with a knackering 13 miles walked so far today i decided to have a rest and something to eat before paying the reported Olive-backed Pipit a visit at Easington Gas Terminal.
 The bird,from reports,had been showing well,but that was an understatement on arrival as it was only 20 feet away!.The bird gave stunning views as it fed quietly along an area of gravel interspersed with sparse vegetation,allowing all visitors the chance to study this siberian breeding species at close range,what an absolute beauty.It was really difficult to get sharp photos due to lack of light and the fact you had to try and take pics through two fences,but frankly i didn't care after enjoying my best views of OBP to date.
 So after another cracking visit i made my way home contented after seeing two very smart birds.
Common Snipe,Church Field.

Continental Robin,Cliffe Farm.

Yellow-browed Warbler,Crown & Anchor Car Park.

Dunnock,Cliffe Farm.

Goldcrest,Cliffe Farm.

Redwing,Middle Camp.

Male Blackcap,Middle Camp.

1st Winter Little Bunting,The Point.

1st Winter Little Bunting,The Point.

Male Redstart,The Narrows.

Female Stonechat,The Narrows.

Short-eared Owl Over the Humber At The Narrows.

Willow Warbler At The Breach.

Olive-backed Pipit,Easington Gas Terminal.

Olive-backed Pipit,Easington Gas Terminal.

Olive-backed Pipit,Easington Gas Terminal

Olive-backed Pipit,Easington Gas Terminal.

Olive-backed Pipit,Easington Gas Terminal.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Spurn Sprites!....Sunday October 2nd 2016.

After seeing the forecast for today and the windflow from Scandi,where else would you head for but Spurn!.
 I arrived slightly later than i would have liked today after dropping her indoors at home after her nightshift,but eventually got to Canal scrape car park for just after 9.
 Today i decided to give the sea a miss and try and concentrate on land birds as the wind just had that feel to it.
 After bumping into John we headed down to Kew where a Yellow-browed Warbler had just been seen and so i thought that would be a nice way to start proceedings.
 After a good look and only hearing the bird call on two occasions we decided to walk the Triangle along with Pete and James.
 It was apparent that there were quite a few birds arriving,with small flocks of Redwings,Brambling and a single Fieldfare being seen,all first records for the autumn for myself.
 Very little was seen along Canal Bank apart from a poss Ring Ouzel and after reaching Canal Car Park for the second time,we all went our separate ways.
 I then decided to walk up to the Bluebell and along Beacon Lane,very few birds were seen again,with only a few flocks of Redwings again overhead.
 At the top of Beacon Lane,a nice flock of 120 Pinks had briefly stopped to rest and refuel on a stubble field before flying off west,no doubt to the upper reaches of the Humber,what a great sight and sound.
 A brief shower around lunch time seemed to do the trick,with a small fall of birds which was nearly all Yellow-browed Warblers.
 I spent a good hour around Cliff Farm with several other birders and saw between 2 and 4 different Yellow-browed's giving superb views,along with 3 Chiffchaff and 2 Willow Warbler.Along the beach here,2 Grey Wagtail gave occasional excellent views also.
 Another Yellow-browed in the Crown And Anchor Car Park and 2 in Church Field brought the daily personal total to 7.
 I walked along Canal Bank again as earlier,expecting to see more Yellow-browed's and it wasn't long before i saw 2,possibly 3 more birds,with 2 in the Canal Bushes and one at the entrance to Canal Scrape hide,bloody hell,this was amazing!.
 With growing numbers of people around Cliff Farm, i then decided to attempt to see the Wryneck at Easington.After a very good search all along the length of the beach infront of the Gas terminal i could'nt find it sadly,but all was not lost,3 lovely Wheatear feeding along the beach here kept me entertained,with one bird being incredibly tame.
 On the walk back to the car my 11th Yellow-browed of the day was found feeding in Sycamores along the path which skirts the south side of the Gas terminal,what a nice end to another amazing visit to this great area.I travelled home with thoughts of how this stunning little bird from Siberia had made every ones day special!.
Arriving Redwings,Triangle.

Pink-footed Geese,Beacon Lane.

Yellow-browed Warbler,Church Field.

First Winter Male Wheatear,Easington Beach.

First Winter Male Wheatear,Easington Beach.

First Winter Male Wheatear,Easington Beach.
The Triangle.
Holderness Field.

Monday, 26 September 2016

Falco Subbuteo etc.....Sunday 25th September 2016.

As Trace was going to catch up on her sleep this morning and the overnight rain had eventually cleared,i decided to head over to Bonby Carrs for a change,it didn't disappoint.
 I parked in usual style by the Soak Drain and before i set off towards the Ancholme i had ten minutes of scanning the nearby hilllside and fields.This proved fruitfull,with 3 Common Buzzard over the wold top and a lovely doe Roe Deer in an adjacent field nearby.
 It was fairly breezy as i headed off,providing excellent conditions for raptors and the local corvids were all over the place,with a noisy flock of Rooks and Jackdaws feeding in one of the pasture fields.
 As i neared the first of the mature hedgerows,it was noticeable that there were quite a good number of Reed Buntings present,with at least 42 birds being counted along with smaller numbers of Yellowhammer and the best of the bunch,6 Corn Bunting.They were all seen flying into the adjacent stubble to no doubt feed on spilt grain,what a great sight to see,all three species together.
 Along the pasture fields a few flocks of both Meadow Pipits and Skylark were seen,with a couple of Pied Wagtail also.
 A few ducks were also seen in the wetter areas in the pasture fields and this included a lovely Pintail which was seen flying west towards Rowland Plantation.
 At the river,very little was seen apart from a couple of hunting Kestrel over the surrounding fields,but a lovely Kingfisher brightened things up,showing occasionally along the river and being very vocal also.
 The return leg back towards the car saw more of the same species with a further 3 Common Buzzards over the nearby woods and a decent passage of south band House Martins totalled a minimum of 78 birds.
 As i neared one of the hedegrows,i could see a pale looking falcon sat in the top and sure enough my suspicions were soon confirmed as i watched a lovely juvenile Hobby sat looking back at me.It then flew and put on an aerial performance over the pasture fields and nearby wood and i managed a few record shots,but it was too far for my lens unfortunately.What a fantastic little bird these are and it will soon be making its long,solo journey to Africa,following yesterdays adult bird at Goxhill,superb stuff.
 As i arrived back at the car more scanning revealed another distant Hobby and it was seen harassing a corvid over Worlaby Carrs and a stunning male Marsh Harrier hunted the fields in the same direction.
 So this morning provided me with an excellent few hours out and one i will be enjoying again in the near future.

Juvenile Hobby.

Juvenile Hobby.

Barrow Haven - Dawson City,Saturday 24th September 2016.

With the chance of a full days birding today and the forecast looking good,i decided to cover the Humber bank and estuary today,planning to walk from Barrow Haven up to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust reserve,Dawson City,to the east of Goxhill Haven.The following sightings are what i recorded during the day.
 After parking near to the train station at Barrow Haven,i packed my gear into my ruck sack and began by looking around the haven mouth first.
 It was just beginning to get light properly and streams of gulls flew east down the estuary and inland to their daytime feeding areas.
 At the haven,highlights included a small party of 5 Bar-tailed Godwit and a Cetti's Warbler blasted it's explosive song from the nearby clay pits.
 I began heading towards New Holland bulk terminal with a few more scattered parties of feeding Curlew on both the Humber and on the pasture fields.
 As i neared the outfall at New Holland a quick look on Fairfield Pit saw a single Little Egret fishing along the drain here and at least 8 Little Grebe on the pit itself.
 On the Humber beyond the outfall,a single Avocet was seen,a nice surprise and overhead a juvenile Marsh Harrier flew west towards Barrow Haven.
 After negotiating the bulk terminal i was back along the bank top and scanning the fields towards Goxhill Tilery,when i could see a distant falcon sat on the ground.At first i thought it must be a Peregrine or a Merlin,but later and as i got nearer,it wasn't either species,but an adult Hobby.It was just sitting on the field,no doubt catching insects,as i have seen them in the past feeding on craneflies or one of their favourite food,dragonflies.This was a very nice surprise and it is always a privilege to see these lovely falcons,this bird no doubt stopping off on it's long migration south to Africa for a refuel and rest.
 Back to waders and along the estuary up to the Old Boatyard and past the Tilery Pond where i started my birding career,species and numbers included 13 Black-tailed and 12 Bar-tailed Godwit and it was great to compare both species feeding alongside each other.There was also a lot of commotion on the pond itself as an adult Common Buzzard flushed the wildfowl feeding on the pit and this included 6 Wigeon,15 Gadwall,Teal and 2 Tufted Duck which all flew and settled on the Humber.
 I stopped at the Old Boatyard and sat and watched for a while as a few birds passed west and this included 6 Sand Martin,21 Swallow and a lovely Grey Wagtail.
 It was here at the Old Boatyard,where on March 3rd 1988 i had found a female/imm male Black Redstart and so began my bird finding,not a big rarity,but it fired something in me and it has stayed with me until this day.Incidentally,also that same day i found the biggest flock of Bewick's Swans i have ever seen to this day,19 birds,a big deal then and even more so now with the species declining as a wintering species.
 Anyway back to current birding,i carried on walking along towards Goxhill Haven,doing a double take,as i flushed a Common Buzzard from the bankside,this one being a juvenile and not the scruffy adult seen earlier.It flew slightly inland and settled in a Willow,so 2 for the day,pretty good stuff.
 At the haven itself,more waders included 49 Dunlin,66 Turnstone,16 Black-tailed and a single Bar-tailed Godwit,Ringed Plover and a gorgeous juvenile Grey Plover.The latter species,really are smart birds and i always like to see them,whether in summer plumage or not,just lovely.
 By now it was full sunshine and the bankside just glowed with colour with masses of Sow Thistle and intermittent patches of the beautifully blue wild Chicory.Several butterfly species along here included Painted Lady,Large and Small White,Speckled Wood,Small Copper and Small Tortoiseshell.
 A look around Dawson City revealed only 2 Goldcrest and a Chiffchaff,but another different Common Buzzard,made three for the day.
 After a rest and something to eat at Dawson,i made the return leg back towards Goxhill Haven and beyond,when i flushed a small bird along the bankside on two successive occasions,eventually seeing it perched,it revealed itself as a lovely immature Stonechat,but getting near it for photos was another matter as it was flushed off the bankside and along the inland hedgerows by two youths on motorbikes,typical!.
 It was a proper high tide now and i headed past the bulk terminal again and along the bank towards Barrow Haven,eventually arriving back at the car after 7 hours walking and 12.5 miles later.What a great day it had been and i look forward to my next visit to my old stomping ground,which holds many great memories from my birding youth.
Sunrise at Barrow Haven.

Looking Towards New Holland.

Goxhill Haven.

The Humber Bank Near To Dawson City,With The P&O Ferry Terminal At Hull In The Background.

Dawson City LWTR.

The Humber Bank Towards Goxhill Haven.