Monday, 25 July 2016

WEBS Count,Saturday 23rd July 2016.

As i have recently taken over a section of the south bank of the Humber Estuary which i used to count in previous years,today was the day to carry out my survey and to be fair was pretty productive to say the least.
 I began proceedings by parking at Barrow haven to walk the first 2 sections which take in the adjacent clay pits as well as the estuary between here and New Holland bulk terminal.
 Sightings along this first section of Humber bank consisted of 3 Common Sandpipers and 54 Lapwing on the estuary and 2 singing male Cettis Warbler,a Kingfisher and the rarest of all,a singing male Willow Tit seen around the surrounding pits and scrub.The Common Sands obviously actively migrating to their wintering grounds in Africa an amazing journey for such small birds.
 After negotiating the terminal itself,it was on to section 3 of the survey and the usually most productive section of my WEBS count and today was certainly no exception.
 Although,not a species to have anything to do with my survey,the next species was highlight of the day for me.After a brief sighting of what looked like a raptor,maybe a Kestrel out the corner of my eye,the bird was quickly found and not a raptor at all,but a superb juvenile Cuckoo.Thankfully i had my camera ready and managed to get some nice images of the bird as it perched on a nearby fence,what a cracking species these are and another south bound summer visitor on its long journey to tropical Africa.
 I continued my walk and as i neared Goxhill Tilery,a small goose flew past me east,this was soon identified as a Dark-bellied Brent Goose,but in July!,certainly a first for me at this time of year.After talking to  fellow birder Simon Brebner who watches Paull on the north bank,it had been seen there the previous day.
 Carrying on,i eventually got to my destination at Goxhill Haven and along the way had added a further 6 Common Sands,2 lovely Whimbrel,a single Knot and 11 Golden Plover to add to the days tally,not too bad really and more than i had expected to see.
 The return leg back to Barrow Haven had one more surprise in store,after hearing that distinct 'Kirrick,Kirrick' call a party of 12 Sandwich Tern were watched steadily making there way east.This was a brilliant sighting for myself,as this was the largest flock i have ever seen on the Humber,so i was pretty chuffed to say the least.Simon later saw the same birds off Paul and finished on 15 birds for the day,so no doubt there was a bit of a movement of the species in the estuary on this big tide.
 The only notable highlight on the rest of the walk was another Kingfisher and i managed to see the Willow Tit again at New Holland.
 A cracking morning out and about and i look forward to my next WEBS count!.
2 Of The 9 Common Sandpipers Seen During The Visit,These 2 Where At Barrow Haven. 

Juvenile Cuckoo,New Holland.

Juvenile Cuckoo,New Holland.

Oystercatcher,New Holland.

Dark-bellied Brent Goose,Heading East At A Rapid Rate Of Knots.

Whimbrel,Goxhill Haven.

3 Of The 12 Sandwich Terns Seen Off Goxhill Haven.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Bempton Seabirds,Saturday July 2nd 2016.

With the prospect of an ideal days weather i headed for the seabird mecca that is Bempton Cliffs RSPB reserve situated at the northern end of the great white cape that is Flamborough Headland.
 I try and visit this fantastic place at least once a year to see that sight,sound and unfortunately smell,of the the thousands of seabirds which call this place home.
 The conditions today were perfect,as it was pretty windy which seems to help with photographing,particularly,the Gannets as they seem to hang in the wind more.
 Not only is it a great place for birds,but the towering cliffs are a sight to behold also and make for a very impressive scene to enjoy.
 The following are some of my better efforts with the camera from my visit today.
Fulmar,what a stunning species.

Adult Gannet,supremely beautiful birds.

Adult Gannet.

Puffins,a visitors favourite.

Razorbill,my personal favourite of the Auk family.

Adult Gannet and large chick.

Adult Kittiwake.
Impressive Scenery.

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Sir David At 90,A Lifelong Inspiration!.

After the very kind offer from birding buddy Tim Cowley to go along to a talk at York University by the man himself,Sir David Attenborough,i literally jumped at the chance.
 So along we went to see the great man in the flesh,with a packed house listening on every word from this living legend and it got me thinking what a great inspiration this man has been to me.It is Sir David along with my gran who is no longer with us sadly,who both drove a fire inside me to be interested in the natural world.
 So thanks to them both for giving me the start in this lovely hobby from watching Sir David in the ground breaking series Life On Earth in the late 1970's to walks in 'Little Switz' at Hessle with my gran learning about birds,insects and wild flowers and i owe them a great debt and have many fond memories.
 So here i am 40 plus years down the line still enjoying this fantastic hobby and hopefully a little bit more knowledgeable.
My Gran Looking After Her Roses In Her Garden,Great Memories.