Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The Moors.....Sunday 26th October.

With the prospect of a full day out today and the attraction of a couple of good birds i headed over to the superb Crowle and Thorne Moors NNR.
 I arrived at the car park bright and early,got the gear together and headed onto the NNR.
 It was a tad breezy,but fairly mild for the time of the year and as i headed towards the bailey bridge over to the Thorne side of the NNR,i added the first of several flocks of Pink-footed Geese,2 Willow Tit,4 Redpoll and 4 Redwing.
 After crossing over the bailey bridge,the welcome sight of a patrolling male Common Hawker was a nice late record,but better was to come later as i recorded a further three species including 6 Black Darter,7 Common Darter and a personal best,regarding my latest record of Southern Hawker,with a female being seen hunting and then perching along one of the paths,superb stuff.
 Back to birding and as i walked along the network of pathways,raptors began to feature well in my sightings with 3 Sparrowhawk,5 Marsh Harrier,a single Peregrine and 3 Kestrel providing plenty of entertainment.
 A passing flock of Golden Plover,contained a small wader which was identified later as a Ruff from my distant record shots.
 A few mammals were recorded as i walked,with a single Weasel and unbelievably only two Roe Deer.There was also still plenty of signs around the reserve that the Red Deer are still present in good numbers,with lots of tracks and wallows were the Deer had been gathering,but i didn't manage to see any today sadly.
 It seems this winter is going to be a good one for Stonechats and today was no exception,with at least 5 birds being seen which included 2 pairs and a single male.They always brighten a days birding and are usually confiding,hopefully their numbers will build back up again after the winter of 2010/11 hit them pretty badly.
 As well as the previously mentioned Dragonflies,two species of Butterflies were recorded with singles of Peacock and Small Copper,the Peacock was watched looking for a hibernation site.
 Back again to the birds and as the afternoon wore on a very impressive pre-roost count of 72 Carrion Crow were seen and as i walked along the final stretch back to the car,6 Bullfinch and 32 Redwing were seen to bring this excellent days birding and wildlife watching to an end.
Doe Roe Deer.

Lovely autumn colours from this Dogwood.

Male Stonechat.

One of the many paths.

Record shot of the female Southern Hawker.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Worlaby Bits And Big White Heron......Saturday 25th October 2014.

After finishing my 12 hour night shift i travelled home,caught a few hours sleep and then decided to do the patch at Worlaby.
 It was a fairly bright morning and after parking at the top of Carr Lane,i began my two mile walk down to the Ancholme.
 After leaving the car,the sound of an approaching flock of Canada Geese had me seeing a single Pink-footed Goose in amongst the flock of 29 Canadas.
 The section between the car and the Soak Drain,saw a few notable sightings in the form of 7 Grey Partridge and a couple of Common Buzzard catching earth worms.
 The first of 3 Marsh Harriers was seen shortly after this,an adult male,which showed nicely before heading off towards Bonby,a further 2(Juv and adult female) being seen near to the river later.
 After reaching the river itself,a nice flock of 1500 Golden Plover was watched on a field just over the river on the opposite bank and put on a great spectacle as they occasionally flew around after being flushed by passing Buzzards etc.
 On the return leg of my walk and after just crossing over the railway,a Merlin was seen dashing over the nearby fields before perching briefly and then continuing on its hunting sorties,possibly the same bird from my last visit.
 After seeing several flocks of Pinks passing in the distance towards the Humber a flock of 98 birds passed overhead in the same direction.I love to hear these Icelandic breeders and it is a big feature of our local winter scene here in North Lincs,just superb.
 A flock of mixed gulls on the fields back towards the car,saw me at last adding Med. Gull to my patch list,when i found a cracking adult feeding and loafing with the mixed flock of Black-headed and Common Gulls.I know this is a regularly recorded species  nowadays,but they are still a cracking species for me.
 Some impressive totals for the visit included 14 Common Buzzard and at least 10 Kestrel being seen and a flock of 11 Long-tailed Tit was a notable record.
 Non bird sightings on today's visit included 5 Common Darter,including a pair in cop and a male and female Roe Deer.
Rooks,Worlaby village.

Grey Partridges.

Sentinel of the Carrs.

Male and female Roe Deer.

Distant Merlin.

Adult Med Gull.

Adult Med Gull.

Great-white Egret.

Great-white Egret.

 After visiting the patch and hearing on twitter that birding friend Chaz Adland had found a Great-white Egret near to Thornton Abbey,that is where i visited next.
 After arriving at the pond at the back of Thornton Abbey,the Egret was seen straight away,but it was soon apparent it was very nervy and took to flight on a couple of occasions before settling each time back to its fishing.The only other notable sighting here was 3 Little Egret.
 It was really nice to see this bird,as it was only a stones throw from my old patch at Goxhill/East Halton and wasn't that far from home.
 A cracking day out and about in the local area today.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Vis Mig At It's Best........The Spurn Area,Sunday 19th October 2014.

After another long week at work and missing all the constant reports of good birds through the week,it was the usual scenario of wanting to get out and about.
 Today's destination was again an easy choice,with a few scarce migrants still being reported the previous day and the chance of a good visible migration in the South West wind.
 On the journey out a couple of birds were seen near to Patrington,a Grey Heron and Barn Owl,the former scaring me briefly as it appeared in the headlights!.
 I began by parking in the usual spot at the Bluebell and planned to walk up Beacon Lane to Beacon Ponds and then on to Kilnsea Wetlands and back up to the Crown etc.
 Along Beacon Lane a hand full of Goldcrests,Redwings and Blackbirds were observed and overhead the first flocks of Tree Sparrows and Goldfinches flew south.As i reached the ponds a single Swallow flew south and a few more Goldcrests and 2 Chiffchaffs fed in one of the hedgerows.
 On the ponds itself good numbers of Wigeon and a small number of D.b.Brents loafed and fed.
 On the wetlands only a single Little Egret was seen,while distantly the main flock of Dark-bellied Brents were seen towards Sammy's Point.
 A good scan from Long bank revealed no sightings of note apart from the resident gang of Roe Deers,with 8 seen today.
 As i walked back along the road towards Kilnsea,more flocks of south bound Tree Sparrows made their journey south with one flock containing 67 birds!...this is a phenomena i have only seen in the Spurn area and ringing returns have revealed birds ringed at Spurn being retrapped as far away as Oxfordshire,with birds originating further north.Similarly Goldfinches have been recovered from a variety of locations including Northern Ireland and Belgium.
 I walked along the side of the triangle and watched in amazement as a huge cloud of Knot lifted off the estuary and a couple of Little Egret battled against the strengthening wind,at least it was warm.
 After a quick chat with Adam,i walked past numpties along the shore back towards the Bluebell and it was much more productive along here.The first nice bird was a cracking 1st winter Wheatear which i managed to get some nice images of as it searched for food on the beach and cliff and this was quickly followed by the best bird of the day,as a Great-grey Shrike flew past me along the beach.To see one actually migrating was brilliant,as the bird was seen to fly down the peninsula as one had already done earlier in the morning.
 Further on and beside the borrow pits a pair of Stonechat were seen and showed nicely and then a single female was seen,which flew when i approached and nearly ended up in the middle of the North Sea with the blustery South Westerly,but it managed to battle its way back to land.
 Other birds seen passing south included a couple of Rock Pipits,125 Pink-footed Geese,House Martin and several flocks of Skylarks.
 A few insects were noted today,the best of which was a Red Admiral.
So another great day enjoyed watching migration at it's best at this superb site,i just wish it was nearer home.
Loafing Mute Swans near Kilnsea Wetlands.

Roe Deer,Long Bank.

Reed Bunting,near to Numpties.

Wheatear along the beach,near Clubley's Field.

Wheatear,along the beach near Clubley's Field.

Male Stonechat.
Female Stonechat.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Arctic Stunner.....Sunday 12.10.2014.

After reading reports on the excellent find of an Arctic Warbler near to Stonebridge car park at Donna Nook on Saturday,this was my destination for my days birding.
 I left home in thick fog and hoped it would be clear as i neared the coast,sure enough after reaching North Somercotes,apart from a few wisps of mist it was looking good for a bright morning,the only down side being,a clear night might mean 0 Arctic Warbler.
 After arriving at Stonebridge car park just as it was beginning to get light,thankfully i was the first there,so got parked easily,but i was soon joined by others coming to look for this 9th for Lincolnshire.
 As it got light properly several of us searched and after about thirty mins,someone shouted it out,thank god for that!.
 It was watched at first feeding in a willow at the entrance to the car park giving some really nice views before flying to the area it was seen in on Saturday.At first it was a real pain to see,but we managed to get some cracking views of it in the bins,getting some good photos was another thing while i was on site,but i got some brilliant shots of Hawthorn branches.
 I spent at least 4 hours watching this eastern rare,before the amount of visitors got too much and i decided to make a move.I was really pleased i had made the effort as this was a NEW bird for my Linc's list and what a beauty it was too.
 Other sightings while i was on site here,included 72 Pink-footed Geese south,1 Grey Wagtail south and hand fulls of Dark-bellied Brents.
 So after visiting Donna i decided to drive over to Anderby Creek to look for the adult Rosy Pastor,along with several other like minded birders and twitchers.
 Sadly after looking for at least 3 hours there was no sign of the Rosy,bugger.
Apart from one grumpy local who's garden the Starling had been visiting,the rest of the people were really helpfull,what a shame it had done a bunk.
 Other sightings while looking for the star bird included a good southerly passage again of Pinks,with flocks of 77,76,62,35,54,64,160 and 231.Most of the flocks flew south over land,but a couple actually cut in from the sea from the east.A single Chiffie was seen near the garden where the Starling had been and a Brambling was near the toilet block at the car park.
 On arriving home i found out that late afternoon a Radde's Warbler had been found by a visiting birder from Essex back at Donna,completing a good weekend by Linc's standards for rares.
 A good day out and about in some cracking autumnal weather today.
Arctic Warbler,Donna Nook.

Arctic Warbler,Donna Nook.

Arctic Warbler,Donna Nook..note you can just make out the start of the first wing bar on this photo,on the median coverts.

Arctic Warbler,Donna Nook.

Dark-bellied Brents,Donna Nook.

South bound Pink-footed Geese,Anderby Creek.

Starling,Anderby Creek.

Saturday, 11 October 2014


An aborted attempt to visit the Carrs this morning because of all the fog,saw me heading over to Barton and switched to thoughts of finding a Yellow-browed Warbler instead,with all the east coast records recently.
 En route over the Wold top at Elsham,a flock of feeding gulls following a plough,included a cracking adult Med Gull,unfortunately it didn't pose for any pics though.
 After arriving at Water's Edge,i decided to check the viewing area first,a site which has been pretty productive over the years,with me seeing 2 Firecrest,2 Wood and 1 Marsh Warbler over my many visits here.
 I checked all the suitable habitat and didn't get too bad a return,albeit no YBW.But i managed to find a pretty late Spotted Flycatcher,which was watched sallying flying prey in one of the mature sycamores.This is my latest personal record of this lovely flycatcher and are always great to see.Other species noted included 3 Chiffie and 5 Goldcrest and a few finches.
 A similar search around the wooded area on Water's Edge only revealed 3 Chiff's and 1 Goldcrest,a poor return really considering i have seen 3 Yellow-browed's here over the years.
 Vis Mig today included a decent passage west of Pink-footed Geese,with flock's of 44,32,41,36,84,85,32,45 and 35 and this included a collared bird,but i could'nt make out any lettering on it.A few Skylarks,Alba Wags and a single Redpoll sp. moved over in the same direction.
 Not a bad few hours out and about today,looking forward to a full day out tomorrow.
Robin,Water's Edge.

Robin,Water's Edge.

Spotted Flycatcher,Humber Bridge viewing area.

West bound Pink's including the neck collared bird.

Adult Black-headed Gull,Water's Edge.

Adult Black-headed Gull,Water's Edge.

Canada Geese,Water's Edge.

Adult Common and Black-headed Gulls,Water's Edge.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Full Moon.....08.10.2014.

A stunning full moon last night,sadly the full eclipse of the moon couldn't be seen here in our country,but it is still an amazing sight to see.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Sunny Clee.....Sunday 5th October 2014.

After spending a cracking morning at Worlaby,Trace and myself decided to have a drive out to Cleethorpes and after a lovely carvery lunch we decided to have a wander around the boating lake.Here are a few of the images i managed to take will we enjoyed our walk.
Adult Black-headed Gull.

Adult Common Gull.

Adult Common Gull.

Adult 'Argenteus' Herring Gull.

Adult 'Argenteus' Herring Gull.

Adult 'Argenteus' Herring Gull.

Juvenile-1st winter Cormorant.

Female Mallard.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Worlaby Carrs....05.10.2014.

A spare morning today saw me heading to Worlaby Carrs for a change,parking at my usual spot at the top of Carr Lane.
My plan was to walk down to the Ancholme and back as i often do at Bonby and see what i could find.
It was decidedly cold today,with a slight ground frost and a fairly cold 5 degrees C as i arrived and i decided to get wrapped up with scarf and gloves on.
As i walked past the first stand of Poplars near the old chicken farm,a Great-spotted Woodpecker fed unconcernedly and a Kestrel left it's perch as i approached too close.As i approached the first of the open fields a couple of Roe Deer,a Doe and Fawn,were watched grazing on the edge of the field.As i quietly watched them,they gradually came closer and closer until the female spotted me and they quietly made their way in the opposite direction.
 As i neared the Soak Drain the first 2 of the mornings 10 Common Buzzards were seen patiently watching from their perches as 2 Mute Swans fed in the drain itself.
 It was a real shame to see the wet pasture field ploughed up,but there are still plenty of good feeding areas for birds in other areas in the vicinity.
 It was apparent as i enjoyed my walk how many Skylarks were about today with birds in every direction and a guesstimate of at least 100 birds being present,which was great to see.
 As i passed over the railway crossing,i saw a raptor approaching and it was quickly identified as an adult female Marsh Harrier.She flew closer and closer giving some superb views before making her way south along the Ancholme inland.Another raptor was seen shortly after the Marsh Harrier,a Merlin as it attacked a feeding flock of Gulls and Plovers on the fields just over the river and it was joined by a Peregrine which disappeared in the direction of Bonby chasing an unseen target.Its always an adrenaline filled sight to watch these stunning falcons hunting,one which i enjoy on a regular basis down here thankfully.
 On the return leg back to the village,other avian sightings added to the mornings notes included a decent sized flock of 175 Linnet and 25 Mipits feeding on a weedy field,a Kingfisher along one of the drainage dykes,32 Pinks flew south overhead and a Chiffchaff sang in the village as i neared the car.
 A few dragonflies were hanging on today and included 4 Migrant Hawker and a single Common Darter.
 A cracking four hours out and about today.
Roe Deer.

Mist along the Soak Drain.

Female Roe Deer.

Adult Female Marsh Harrier.

Adult Female Marsh Harrier.

Carrion Crow mobbing a Common Buzzard.

Southbound Pink-footed Geese.

Mating Migrant Hawkers.