Saturday, 12 March 2011

Super Saturday

A realy nice way to start the day

With a day off and Lindsay working I decided to try and track down some Bewicks Swans in South Yorkshire and with a bit of a drive round in the area suggested I located th mixed flock of swans which contained 44 Whooper, 14 Mute and 7 Bewicks. A good result.

Photogenic Whoopers
 What happened next was one of those events some people would put down to destiny but for some unexplained reason I decided to head back using a different route and what a decision, as feeding totally oblivious to the world at large were thes two beauties.

A pair of Cranes
A single Crane
Short-eared Owl
With the rest of the day ahead I struck out for the Humber Estuary and Sunk Island and was rewarded with this supurb Shortie quartering the salt marsh.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Just like Buses

A bad picture of a Redhead Smew
Well you wait all winter for a Smew and then you see two in a day, typical. Started off with a cracking male on Flask Lake Nosterfield and then called at Fairburn and guess what first bird I clapped eyes on was another, this time a Redhead but still a lovely bird. Also scored with Water Rail and Cettis Warbler here as well. Thats 131 in Yorkshire now for the year, come on Norway, in the words of one of your sports commentators "your taking a hell of a beating" !!!!!.

Sunday, 13 February 2011

Saturday sunshine, Sunday misery

Well for once the weather forecasters got it right, sunshine all day Saturday gave way to a miserable wet and depressing day on Sunday. Nice log fire, rugby on the TV and a nap been the order of the day.

Taking full advantage of the weather I had a trip round over the moors and called in at Nosterfield GP and the Ings at Bishop Monkton on Saturday. The action on the moors was restricted totally to a few Red Grouse, no passerines at all.
Red Grouse

 After a break at the Cale household for a coffee and a biscuit it was onto Nosterfield GP to hopefully catch up with the Ring-necked Duck, this however did not show but on show was a fantastic selection of waterfowl including 119 Pochard and a flock of at least 2000 Lapwings which included 37 Curlew.


Tufted Duck

The Ings were VERY wet following on from the recent floods and I put in a lot of leg work before finally finding where the Snipe had bunkered down. In the end 17 Snipe and a Jack Snipe were seen. In total five new year ticks bringing me upto 127 and just a hint of spring with the first Lesser Black-backed Gull of the year.

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Weekend Update

With the Ticker enrolling the help of no other than the Trondelag Tick Master himself  (Tore Reinsborg) it his quest to take the Anglo-Norsk year list trophy back to Trondelag, I need to remain ahead of the game and pick up as many "winter" species as I can in this first winter period.

Whoopers near Yedingham
With this in mind I set off to try for the Wykeham GG Shrike and dipped again. Typically it had shown well all week and disappeared at the weekend, my only consolation was that no one saw it. I did manage three new species with Whooper Swan, Mandarin Duck and Grey Partridge taking me upto 121 for year.

With the combined force of the Trondelag Tick Twins scoring a nice "Brucie Bonus" with Ring-billed Gull the Mirfield bird having eluded me for three visits had to be seen. A very welcome text saying it was showing well on the island had Lindsay and the dog bundled in the van and a quick sprint down the M1 followed by a nervous few minutes before our goal revealed its self, result and now upto 122

Monday, 24 January 2011

Walk on the beach brings up the ton

With early morning mizzle putting an end to the planned ringing session, it was off to the coast for the three of us and a walk on South Gare beach. The rain followed us so we sat out the squall in the van and enjoyed a brew and watched the ships. It soon cleard and despite the brisk and chilly North West wind we headed out and were soon enjoying the company of a party of Sanderling

Sanderling, one of 23

All along the beach there were small groups of the usual waders, Curlew, Redshank, Knot and Ringed Plover with the odd Dunlin. Typically as we neared the car on our return a nice group of 17 Snow Buntings put in an appearance and treat us to a fine show as they foraged along the tide rack.

Snow Bunting, one of 17 and the ton up for the year in Yorkshire.

Nice male with his hareem

It was nice to bring up the ton after dipping twice already this year missing Ring-billed Gull and Ring-necked Duck. With me handicapped to only Yorkshire species this year by Ticker I need to score as often as possible or its curtains for me. I hate loosing, its going to be an interesting year. Ticker is already on 50 so the odd rare here and there is going to help. Might have to send Marit some chocolates to get him to do more DIY about the house on a weekend.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Big Dip then Harrier Flypast

On a day that always looked like rain, Lins and me set off regardless to look for the Ring-billed Gull at Mirfield. On arrival a quick chat with the lone birder gave us the news all birders dread "showing well five mins ago". It transpired that just before our arrival all the gulls had gone up in a big dread and a lot had left and scattered to the four winds. We stayed for about an hour and got soaked in a torrential downpour, net result, wet clothes and optics, no year tick.

We decided to blast down to Blacktoft and watch the harrier roost, as we sat in the hide we were treat to a flypast by a nice ring-tail Hen Harrier and two cream crown Marsh Harriers before the rain caught up with us again and the rest of the afternoon was spent discussing the virtues of eating Pike and wether the Slaty-backed Gull would make it to Yorkshire with the other hardy folk who had hope for the weather to clear up. It never did.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Every good harbour has an Iceland

A very pleasurable trip out to Scarborough on Monday with some nice sunshine and a gentle east wind. Main attraction was a fine Iceland Gull which was spotted right out in the middle of the harbour and far to far off for a picture. For once lady luck was on my side and a delinquent juv Cormorant flew into the harbour and nearly landed on it which caused the bird to take wing. I held my breath as it flew up and headed out into south bay where it promptly turned tail and flew back into the harbour and landed right in front of me, Kes and Lindsay......WOW what a view and some half decent pictures, the bird was much appreciated by the assembled birders and members of the public whos interest was aroused by the aray of optical gear pointing towards a "Sea Gull".

Delinquent Cormorant.....many thanks
Nothing much else to report on other than a recommendation, the chip butties are fantastic from the cafe in the northern corner of the harbour, plenty of home made chips (a rarity to rank alongside Whites Thrush) and a decent sized bun, coffee also rated good, nice and strong and hot. Much appreciated by all three of us.