Saturday, 17 March 2018

Spotted Sandpiper,Holme Pierrepoint,Nottinghamshire,Sunday 18th Feb. 2018.

After not posting for what seems like ages,due to a few health problems,well iam getting on a bit now,i have eventually got around to posting my account of  visiting the superb 1st calendar year Spotted Sandpiper which was residing nicely in its Nottinghamshire riverside home,before the 'Beast From The East' hit.
 As it was only 65 miles from home and the fact i had never seen a 1st winter bird before,only adults,i made the relatively quick journey to the national watersports centre at Holme Pierrepoint alongside the River Trent.
 My target as mentioned above was the wintering Spotted Sandpiper and after getting the scope and camera together it wasn't long before i was watching this cracking little bird.
 At first it was a bit shy,but with patience and when people acted sensibly the bird showed impeccably,usually when there was only a few of us patiently waiting for it to come nearer for some photos.While it was further away,it gave me a great chance to study the subtle features of a 1st winter,with the plain tertials,yellowish legs,more distinct 'super',pale bill with a dark tip and shorter tail than Common sand.
 The bird spent a great period of time just feeding casually along the grass banks of the canoe slalom giving some really good relaxed viewing being disturbed a couple of times by clueless birders,who appeared on the birds skyline and promptly flushed it,but all in all i couldn't complain with my views and a few half decent shots also making for a very worthwhile trip.
 On the way back to the car,a bonus 1st winter drake Long-tailed Duck was really nice to see near the rowing course finish line,a fine way to end the visit,unfortunately too far for my camera.
 I travelled back north towards Lincoln contented in my day out in Nott's for a change.

The Spotted Sandpipers temporary home.

Saturday, 13 January 2018

Patchwatch2018......The Story So far.

My first two visits to the patch at East Halton/Goxhill has seen me reach a respectable total of 79 species so far with some nice highlights which have included 3300 Pink-footed Geese,adult Med. Gull,Barnacle Goose,Goosander,3+ Water Pipits,up to 4 Marsh Harrier and Whooper Swan.
 It really is nice to be regularly watching this area again after a long absence and as mentioned before,this is where i cut my birding teeth after moving over to Goxhill from East Yorkshire in 1981.
 I was a bit late getting into birding properly,not starting until 1986 when i got my first pair of binos,but i was brought up with the natural world,thanks mostly to walks with my gran and grandad and learning about nature and plants from gran who was a fountain of knowledge....bless her.
 So 32 years down the line and here iam watching my old patch again and hopefully i will be able to find a rare or two,so watch this space.
Sunrise Taken From East Halton Skitter Looking Towards North Killingholme.

Mute Swans,East Halton Skitter.

Record Shot Of The Barnacle Goose,From The 7th Jan.

Female Stonechat,East Halton Skitter.

Female Roe Deer,East Halton Skitter.
Adult Mediterranean Gull,East Halton Skitter,This Bird Had A Green Colour Ring,But I Couldn't Make Out Any Lettering.

Adult Whooper Swan,Winter's Pond,East Halton.

Friday, 29 December 2017

2017......A Review Of The Year.

2017 was a pretty productive year with some really nice birds being seen which included such niceties as Pine Bunting,Black-throated Thrush,White-billed and Pacific Divers,male Pallid Harrier and the summering White-winged Scoter in Aberdeenshire,but also for the fact i have returned to my birding roots watching my old patch at Goxhill/East Halton along the banks of the Humber Estuary where it all began in April 1986.
 The following is going to be a selection of photos from 2017 of some of the fantastic wildlife/birds and places I have visited throughout this last year,enjoy.
Record Shot Of The Male Pine Bunting From Dunnington In North Yorkshire From January.

The Stunning 2nd Calendar Year White-billed Diver From The River Witham At Kirkstead Bridge In South Lincolnshire In January.

The Unseasonal Male Bluethroat From Willow Tree Fen In South Lincolnshire In February,Looking A Little Worse For Wear On My Visit.

Male Red Grouse From Upper Swaledale In February.

The Iconic Tan Hill Pub,Taken In February.

Dales Scenery Near To Reeth,Taken In February.

The Stunningly Beautiful Male Eastern-black Redstart From Skinningrove Back In March.

The Impressive Grounds Of Ripley Castle At The Gateway To The Dales In March.

The Fantastic Sandstone Shapes Of Brimham Rocks Taken In March.

What An Impressive Scene,Taken At Gordale Scar In The Dales From March.

The Beautiful Little Waterfall,Janet's Foss Near To Malham In The Dales From March.

A Fantastic Male Adder Taken In Early April At Crowle Moor.

A Record Shot Of The Cracking Male Western-Subalpine Warbler From Spurn In April.

A Lovely Female Hawfinch Taken At Kew Villa In Kilnsea,From Early May.

A Cute Juvvie Stonechat From Embleton Bay In Northumberland Taken In May.

The Fantastic Male Pallid Harrier From The Forest Of Bowland,Bird Of The Year For Me!.

A Female Common Lizard Taken At Messingham Sand Quarries Back In July.

Incredible Close Views Of This Balearic Shearwater Off Scarborough In July.

Beautiful Cave Dale At Castleton,Taken In August.

A Lovely Female Adder Taken In August At Crowle Moor.

A Cracking Male Black Grouse From Arkengarthdale In September.

A Stunning Adult Male Red-breasted Flycatcher From Spurn In September.

Male Snow Bunting Taken On The Patch At Goxhill Haven In November.

The Confiding Juvenile Red-necked Phalorope From Covenham Reservoir Taken In November.

What A Great Way To Round The Year Off,With This Brilliant Male Desert Wheatear Taken At Whitby.

Desert Beauty,Thursday 28th December 2017.

After hearing the male Desert Wheatear was still present at Whitby,Trace and myself made the journey north to one of our favourite seaside towns to go and see if we could get some good views and hopefully a few photos as well.
 The bird has been frequenting a series of fields just south of Whitby Abbey,so was in some stunning surroundings.
 We decided to park in the town as we were going to have some lunch later and after getting the kit together and traversing the abbey steps,we arrived at the birds chosen field.
 Unfortunately he was only showing distantly,but that was soon remedied as everyone walked around to the far side of the field he was in.
 At first he kept his distance frustratingly feeding in a ploughed field,but then bingo...he came closer and closer,until he was ten feet away from the assembled crowd...what a cracker!.
 This is my sixth sighting of this stunning species which breeds as close as North Africa,with this consisting of 4 males in Yorkshire and 2 females in Linc's,the last,a male being seen at Bempton Cliffs RSPB reserve in December 2011.