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.

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

Humber WEBS Count,Sunday 24th December 2017.

After being on nights for the past 2 weeks,i eventually found time to complete my WEBS count today between Barrow Haven and Goxhill Haven.Thankfully the tides were just right and i managed to complete all my sections on a high and falling tide.

Barrow Haven - New Holland

Very little of note along the first sections of my count area,but a flock of 18 Curlew feeding on a grass pasture near New Holland was nice and also 68 Pink-footed Geese flew out east as well as a summer plumaged Great-crested Grebe on the Clay Pits.The only notable passerine was a single Coal Tit with a tit flock near Windmill Pond,a species i don't usually see along here.

New Holand - Goxhill Haven

After meeting up with Chaz we made our way through the bulk terminal seeing the lovely Whooper Swan flock along the way.Only 6 birds present today which consisted of 3 juv's and 3 adult birds,but they are always a privilege to see,what a lovely species they are.Also in the dock were a hand full of Redshank and at least 77 Mallard.
 After negotiating the terminal,we walked along the bank top seeing the first of 7 Rock Pipits seen between here and Goxhill Haven,with one bird beginning it's moult to spring plumage already with grey feathering being visible on the birds lesser coverts which was interesting.It was also a pretty confiding individual showing well enough to get some images of it.
 Other birds observed along here included a decent count of at least 175 Goldeneye in their usual wintering area off the bulk terminal.This is the highest count i have achieved for 2 winters,but is still way off the big counts we used to get off here in years gone by.
 As we neared the old boatyard near to Goxhill Haven,a quick scan of the horse field revealed a pair of Stonechat flycatching from the hawthorns distantly,no doubt the pair i had along here back in November.
 We decided to carry on walking past the haven up to Dawson City seeing a single male Marsh harrier as we approached the reserve and as has happened in the last few years,the Pink flock were watched nearby on the grass pasture they have been using.Today a guesstimate saw at least 2700 birds present and they gave the usual pleasing sights and sounds of a feeding Pink flock,just great!.

The return leg back to Barrow Haven was hard work to be fair in the strengthening south westerly blow and nothing of note was added to what i had already logged.
 Pretty hard going at times today and incredibly mild for the time of year,but some rewarding sightings all the same and i look forward to my next visit.
Juvenile Whooper Swan,New Holland.

Whooper Swans,New Holland.

Whooper Swans,New Holland.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit,New Holland.

Monday, 25 December 2017

Fabulous Filey.....Saturday 23rd December 2017.

Not really a trip out birding today,but a day out with Trace to Filey,always gives you the chance of seeing some nice birds and today was no exception.
 After some lovely lunch at the Coble Bar & Bistro we made our way along the beach and up to the Brigg seeing some very tame Sanderling which i took full advantage of with the camera.They came incredibly close and just walked past us,what a great encounter with these lovely little birds.
 A lovely male Kestrel showed nicely along the cliff edge as we made our way down the Brigg side and a quick scan of the sea saw a monster Great-northern Diver showing fairly well on the bay side of the Brigg and a couple of Common Scoter also.
 The light was fantastic today and gave us the chance to take some great photos of the brilliant scenery along this part of the coast.
 After a well earned cuppa we sadly headed back through the Wolds after another great visit to one of our fave seaside towns.