Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Bonby Carr's....A Superb Visit...Sunday 12th November 2017.

With half a day free today,i decided to visit the Ancholme Valley and one of my fave spots,Bonby Carrs again.
 I arrived just after dawn in the hope of seeing some Owls,but unfortunately didn't see any again today,but the rest of the birding made up for it.
 After parking in my usual spot beside the Soak Drain,a 360 degree scan revealed 2 Grey Heron,35 Mallard and 2 Mute Swan feeding in and along the banks of the drain,while over towards Worlaby,the local Rooks were leaving their night time roost and spilling onto the fields to search for their breakfasts.
 As on my last visit there were decent numbers of passerines present and this included at least 3500 Starlings,350 Fieldfare,21 Yellowhammer,8 Corn Bunting,15 Reed Bunting and a bit of a rarity down here,2 Bullfinch.
 The Starlings and Felfares were scattered all over the place and i never did see the culprit which was upsetting them until i reached the river later.
 On the wet pastures there were still good numbers of Teal & Wigeon present and surprisingly a big flock for here,35 Mute Swan.It was a tad confusing at first,as i could hear Whooper Swans bugling,but couldn't see any at first,but then the 2 adults from my last visit were seen in amongst the Mute Swan flock eventually being joined by another 2 adults.The second pair were very vocal and put on a great show of head bobbing and bugling,what a great sound!.
 A sight i hadn't witnessed before was a Little Egret feeding at the same pool and it seemed a little strange seeing Whooper Swans and Little Egret together.
 As i carried on and eventually made it to the River Ancholme,a single Buzzard,juv type Marsh Harrier and a very brief Kingfisher made for some nice sightings to keep me interested,but better was to come.
 As i scanned the fields and bushes towards Appleby Carrs,first a Merlin was seen,no doubt the bird which had been flushing the Starlings & Fieldfares earlier,but i then turned around to see 10 Redhead Goosander go bombing past along the river,followed by another single.Eleven Goosander is the most i have seen along here and was a very welcome bonus and certainly made the trip out worthwhile.
 As i wandered back towards the car again,4 Little Egret fished on the pools and overhead at least 150 Pink-footed Geese flew north along the valley towards the Humber.
 More of the same was observed on the wet pastures and surrounding farmland and the only additions not mentioned before were 5 Roe Deer.
 So another nice visit to this local area was enjoyed again today and i headed home contented at another great trip out.
Sunrise Over The Carrs.

Rooks At Dawn,Leaving Their Roost.

Carr Lane.

A Slightly Muddy Juvenile Mute Swan.

Adult Mute Swan.

Part Of The 35 Strong Mute Flock.

More Lovely Mute Swans.

A Female Reed Bunting Trying To Hide.

Some Great Grassland Habitat Here.

The River Ancholme.

Redhead Goosander At The River.

The Noisy Pair Of Whooper Swans.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Arctic Waifs....Saturday 11th November 2017.

With a north westerly airstream and heavy showers overnight,i was hoping my WEBS count sections between Barrow Haven & New Holland may produce the goods today,the following is what i saw.

After arriving at dawn and getting prepared for my day in the field,i made my way along the mouth of Barrow Haven and began my survey.

Barrow Haven - New Holland

Species seen along this first section consisted mainly of species flying west,with 22 Chaffinch,1 Rock Pipit,10 Redwing,15 Reed Bunting,3 Greenfinch,5 Bullfinch and the highlight 2 Brambling all passing over.On the Humber 57 Redshank was a decent count and 2 beautiful adult Whooper Swans were the stars watched cruising along the shoreline here.

New Holland - Goxhill Haven

This is the largest section of my counting area and usually turns something up of note and today was no exception with some excellent sightings.
 The most notable,was a stunning flock of 15 Snow Buntings watched feeding along the shoreline between New Holland & Goxhill Tilery.These birds showed fairly well before they were eventually flushed by some moter cyclists and flew west up river,but i did manage a few shots thankfully.This recalls the single bird myself and Charlie had last year on November 20th in relatively the same area.
 Other niceties along here included at least 8 Rock Pipit,22 Meadow Pipit and a pair of Stonechat watched hunting along the hedgerow and bushes near the old boatyard near Goxhill Haven.
 On the river,43 Goldeneye were lovely to see off New Holland Pier,but sadly,are drastically down in numbers compared to years gone by and 12 Black-tailed Godwit fed near to Goxhill Haven itself.

The return walk saw a total of 8 Whooper Swans feeding in New Holland dock with the local Mute Swans and consisted of 3 adult birds and 3 juv's,hopefully they will stay around for the winter.In the same area a respectable count of at least 300 Mallard was a great sight to see also.

So not a bad return at all today,with just over 8 miles walked and some great birds seen,i will look forward to my next visit in December.
Dawn Breaks At Barrow Haven.

Looking Along The Shoreline Towards Goxhill Haven And Victoria Dock/Salt End In The Distance.

Part Of The Snow Bunting Flock Near Goxhill Tilery.

Adult Male Snow Bunting,Goxhill.

Adult Male Snow Bunting,Goxhill.

Adult Male Snow Bunting,Goxhill.

Goxhill Haven.

Roosting Redshank At High Tide Near The Old Boatyard At Goxhill Haven.

New Holland Boatyard.

Mallards In New Holland Dock.

Adult Whooper Swan,New Holland Dock.

Adult Whooper Swans,New Holland Dock.

Looking Towards New Holland Bulk Terminal.

Looking Towards The Humber Bridge From Near Barrow Haven.

A Sunny Barrow Haven Pits,A Complete Contrast To The Dawn Photo Above.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Burnsall To Grassington,What A Walk,Sunday 5th November 2017.

As visitors to my blog will no doubt know by now,that my wife Tracey and myself have a love of the Yorkshire Dales,so today a short blog with some photos from a fantastic walk along the banks of the River Wharf taking in Hebdon Suspension Bridge,Linton Falls & Grassington.
 Of course,as always,some lovely birds were seen and this included 3 Dipper,3 Kingfisher a couple of Grey Wagtail and at least 10 Goosander.
 The Dippers showed particularly well and included 2 singing males at Linton Falls and at Hebdon,but today the scenery was the star turn and it's not that often i say that over our feathered friends.
 The following are a selection of photos from our day.
The Start Of The Walk At Burnsall.

The River Wharf At Burnsall.

Fantastic Dipper Habitat Along Many Stretches Of The River.

A Glowing Horse Chestnut.

The River Wharf At Grassington.

The River Wharf At Linton Falls.

The River Wharf At Linton Falls.

Some Stunning Riverside Scenery Near To Hebdon.

Riverside Reflections At Burnsall.

The End Of The Walk Back At Burnsall.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Bonby Carrs,Saturday 4th November 2017.

After a fairly wet start to Saturday,the promise of the weather clearing saw me heading over to Bonby after lunch to see what avian delights i could find,the following sightings are what i encountered.
 After parking at my usual place beside the Soak Drain,i set the scope up and had a scan around,with nothing too exciting on view i began my walk towards the Ancholme.
 There seemed to be birds all over today,with a good sized flock of Starlings feeding in the wet pasture,totalling an approx. number of 3000 birds,an impressive sight and sound when they all took to the wing.It would be great to know where these beauties had originated,perhaps Scandinavia or maybe further east in Russia.
 The hedgerows seemed to hold more Reed Bunts and Yellowhammers as well and after spotting a couple of chunky Corn Buntings as on my last visit,i managed an excellent count of at least 35 birds today.The Bunts were all feeding in the wet stubble field as you walk down to the river and gave some nice views through the scope,i just love their 'Pit pit' flight calls,fantastic.
 Further on and scanning the wet pastures it was apparent wildfowl numbers had built up also with at least 400 Teal being seen and also the 10 Little Egret were still present.
 Best bird species of the day was seen next and as readers of my blog know,Whooper Swans are a personal favourite.Two birds flew in and past me as i neared the river and i managed a few flight shots as they passed me by and it looked like they landed,so more views later i hoped.
 Scanning of the river and bank side revealed a couple of Common Buzzards as they patiently watched from their perches for any movement below and overhead the first decent flocks of Fieldfare totalled at least 150 birds in several fragmented flocks.
 Walking back on the return leg towards the car,saw more of the same being recorded and thankfully the Whooper Swans were still present with them giving lovely views in the late afternoon light.A juvenile Marsh Harrier put in a brief appearance before it headed towards the river and off to roost no doubt at Whitton Sand or Reads Island.
 As i neared the car a flock of 80 Pinks flew in from the south and a quick scan revealed a White-fronted Goose in the flock and also a neck collared Pink.The former looked interesting and quite dark in appearance,with quite extensive belly barring,but to me the bill looked pinkish,very frustrating and massively cropped to see any detail on the back of the camera also,if only they had been closer.I also couldn't see any lettering on the Pinks neck collar.I will continue to look for these two birds throughout the winter and it would be nice to confirm the White-front as a Greenland,but I'm not certain it was one to be fair.
 Non bird sightings today included a massive count of 17 Roe Deer in the area and a single Brown Hare in the wet pastures at dusk made for a cracking visit,perhaps a tad frustrating regarding the Geese,but what a great place to visit.
Looking North Along The Soak Drain.

Part Of The Starling Flock.

The Two Adult Whooper Swans.

Some Great Cloud Formations Today.

A Great Scene As The Sun Disappeared Behind A Cloud.

The Pink Flock Containing The White-front & Neck Collared Bird.

White-fronted Goose Centre Of Photo.

Huge Crop Of The White-Front,Certainly Not Cut And Dried With Regards To ID.