Wednesday, 27 February 2013

A grand day out

Woke up to find bright sunshine and no wind...AT LAST!!

This inspired me to get out there and enjoy it.

I started by driving the loop around Sunk Island were I spotted this Peregrine...

Next I decided to give it a go down at Welwick Marsh. Mainly due to the much drier conditions for Buddy to walk through!

As I got out of the car I noticed a large bird flying fast on my right...Male Hen Harrier!! I reached back into the car and grabbed my camera, turned it on and fired of a few quick shots. Not brilliant, but you get the idea...

Really pleased I managed to grab some sort of image of this superb bird.

I then made my way up onto the floodbank and walked towards Patrington Haven. As I climbed up the bank a Kingfisher (P.98) flew swiftly along the channel...

Can you see it?

A distant Marsh Harrier was also recorded.

I returned this afternoon and had a very pleasant couple of hours. No more Harrier sightings but a distant SEO was nice...

Watched the sunset...

...and the geese (inc 3 Barnacles) going to roost...

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Role on Spring!

Had enough of Winter now. Bitterly cold east wind here today. I braved the clifftop for an hour at the sewage works this morning and re-located some Snow Buntings (7). They were very flighty and teased me as they floated up and down the stubble strip. This was the best I could manage in the wind...

After lunch I had a drive down to Sunk Island/Patrington Haven. It payed off with close but unfortunately brief views of a large female Peregrine keeping her eye on a decent group of Fieldfare (c100).

Also had a ghostly Barn Owl at Skeffling...

Finished off at Out Newton with my little friend. This photo was taken at 5.35pm...impressive this technology...sometimes!!!

Patch year ticks hard to come by at the moment.

March on Friday...

Friday, 22 February 2013

Rarities...home and away!

My pal Tony Dixon made the long pilgrimage north and connected with the PINE GROSBEAK this morning. Maybe I'll see day?

Over the pond VARIED THRUSHES are still being found in the east...not far enough east for us however!!

Phil Jones had three Snow Buntings at the sewage works this morning. Good to know they're still around.

Must have had at least 30 Barn Owl sightings this week cruising the highways and byways of South Holderness...Nice.

Back to the States. As preliminary plans take place for my forthcoming return to my beloved Texas, I found this amazing photo of High Island (living up to it's name!) taken in September '08 after Hurricane Ike.

Floodwaters surround High Island, Texas, USA on 14 September 2008 following the destruction along the Texas coast. As Hurricane Ike slowed to a tropical depression after carving a path of destruction through Texas, rescuers were using everything from dump trucks to boats and helicopters to reach stranded residents. The victims, many of whom had ignored mandatory evacuation orders, were trapped on rooftops or amid debris in unstable houses without electricity or clean water.  EPA/SMILEY N. POOL/ POOL

Thankfully, this fantastic migrant oasis survived, unlike many old Oaks in Galveston, unfortunately killed by the salt water.

This was the scene along the Bolivar peninsular...

A single house is left standing on the waterfront near Gilchrist, Texas, USA on 14 September 2008 following the destruction along the Texas coast. As Hurricane Ike slowed to a tropical depression after carving a path of destruction through Texas, rescuers were using everything from dump trucks to boats and helicopters to reach stranded residents. The victims, many of whom had ignored mandatory evacuation orders, were trapped on rooftops or amid debris in unstable houses without electricity or clean water.  EPA/SMILEY N. POOL/ POOL

More here...if you're interested.

It will be fascinating to see what it looks like 5 years later?

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Post Work

As I left With' after work I glanced through the flood defence gate and spotted 6 Eiders close in, flying south!

Had a walk around the village with Mum, who's over for a visit, this afternoon. Added G.S. Pecker (H.51) and Goldfinch (H.52) to the village year list...about time!!

White-tailed Sea-Eagle in Norfolk. Always worth a visit...

Monday, 18 February 2013

Quieter day...but relaxing!

The weather was cloudy but still, giving a "dead" feel to the day. No sign of the singing Corn Bunting this morning.

However, I bumped into Phil and his mate at the Sewage Works (no Snow Buntings) and he told me he thought he'd had some in the same area.

It was a bit fresh on the clifftop and the local wildlife was wrapped up well....

He sent me this pic...he was right...

Even better news!!

This afternoon I went down to Kilnsea and had a walk along the Humber Bank. The Brent Geese looked well, packed tightly in an adjacent field...

Dapper birds

The day continued in quiet mode but finished well when I obtained better views of the Little Owl...if it was a tad dark...

Sunday, 17 February 2013

Fat bird of the Barley

Great moment yesterday morning as I did my usual reccie down Snakey. Half way towards Patrington I noticed a plump bird singing the "jangling keys" song in the top of a bush...

Corn Bunting (H.50, P.95)

Great sighting locally...hopefully more to come?

This morning we had a good walk down to Beacon Ponds from Easington. Superb weather and a real sense of Spring in the air. Skylarks heard singing for the first time. As we approached the ponds I noticed a rather dapper bird on one of the Easington lagoons...

Red-breasted Merganser (S.71, P.96)
A Little Egret floated over...

Making my way home at dusk I was very pleased to see the silhouette of my old friend the Little Owl (P.97)at Out Newton.

Bonus day off tomorrow...

Friday, 15 February 2013

Raptors re-visited?

Finished at 1 (started at 5.30!) and went down Patrington again to see if I could re-locate any of the Birds of Prey I'd seen yesterday. Gave it 2 hours and covered all the roads between Sunk Island and Pat' but not a sniff.

It just re-enforces the fact that you have to appreciate your sightings when you see 'em!

Yesterday was a great day. To see 3 quality raptors locally was a privilege indeed.

Geese of unknown origin were seen down Outstray lane...

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Winter Raptors

Had a lie in this morning then went out for an hour before lunch but nothing seen of note.

This afternoon I decided to spend a few hours down at Pat' Haven. Had a good walk down to the estuary but again fairly quiet with just the usual fare seen. However, as I looked out over Welwick saltmarsh I spotted a cc Marsh Harrier...

Nothing else of note except several flocks of Lapwing heading south...

I then decided to continue on towards Sunk Island (a touch of route learning). Within 2 minutes I picked up a superb male Hen Harrier (P.93)...

Dis-appearing into the gloom
Thing's got even better when I picked up another larger raptor at Sunk Island perched on an Owl box...

Small-headed, long-bodied?

Red Kite! (P.94)

Just shows that great birds can be found even late on a February afternoon. If you're out there looking of course!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

A Breather

Day off tomorrow, so hopefully something to post about.

6 Barn Owls seen over the past 3 days "On the Buses".

Sunday, 10 February 2013


I like to think I'm pretty keen and will venture out in all weathers. Today though, it was brutal out here on the East Coast.

Highlight was adding Little Grebe (P.92, S.70) at Beacon Ponds this morning.

Wimped out this afternoon and watched Super Sunday!!

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Spring like inclinations?

Nice walk with Bud down to Beacon Ponds from Easington this afternoon to have a look for the reported Scaup. The weather was superb accompanied by a calm sea.

I made my way around to the floodbank to get the sun behind me. The view was stunning...

No sign of the Scaup but the LTD's were still present, though distant...

The bonus came in the form of this SEO which drifted south over the ponds...

As we made our way back north we passed various Mute Swans cruising in the winter sunshine...

Well, looks like I'm doin' OK in the new job! So, no point hanging around. If I'm going to be earning a crust I'm entitled to a holiday, right? So last night I booked us 3 weeks in the Texas spring sunshine!! The birding should be pretty good fact, I can't think of anywhere better...

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Snow Buntings

Had a look for the Snow Buntings this afternoon after work. Phil had seen some there earlier in the week. It didn't take long to locate them although they certainly blended in...

They were very mobile and often perched on the cliff edge...

Sometimes altogether...

A nice tonic after a day's graft.

Monday, 4 February 2013

Bus list growing!

Added Grey Heron (H.48) to the village year list this morning when one flew over the Bus!

PINE GROSBEAK on Shetland...I'll have to wait for the next one...hopefully on the mainland?

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Kumlien's Gull YES...Hawfinch NO (but the 2 Waxwings were nice!)

Having read about the Hawfinch at Ampleforth yesterday I decided to leave "the Patch" and have a go. After all, it would be a York Area Lifer!

I decided to go via Barmston. I arrived around 11 and almost immediately connected with the Gull as it was loafing offshore. I confess to being lazy and not walking down the beach, I just took some pics from the clifftop...

passable from 100yds

Onto Ampleforth.

Gave it 3 hours and met Jonathan the finder. He showed me where he'd seen it yesterday but it wasn't to be.

Amazingly however he did pick out a couple of Waxwings in the distance!!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Depends where you see it!

Route learning on the Bus yesterday had a few bonuses. A couple of Barn Owls on the With'/Holmpton road early doors were a nice start to the day plus cracking early afternoon views of a SEO on Channel road near Sunk Island!

This morning meant a trip down to Spurn and a walk along the canal...the target...a Coot!! Spent about 30 minutes patrolling the full length with no joy. The Brent Geese were showing well due to high tide...

Then, just as I was leaving, one last glance...

P.91,  S.68
It only showed for c20 secs!

Also witnessed an early sign of Spring...

The winner!