Friday, 5 February 2016

Great Skua at Wheldrake Ings

I'd seen the report on the pager at 1pm yesterday. It didn't give much detail however...had it stuck or was it just a fly through?

Last night I read on a fellow bloggers site that the bird had been present until dusk. Some great photos on there on a clear blue afternoon.

I have to admit I didn't think there would be any chance of it being present today. Another admission is that I've been feeling the pace since returning from Cyprus. As usual I gave it all I've got. Trouble is I haven't got as much these days! Louise was brilliant as usual, putting up with my exploits with no complaints at all. I'm a lucky boy!

The combination of travelling to the birding sites, posting a blog each night (and having the time to check through it) and giving her the attention she deserves was a tricky balancing act. Still, that's my choice and I ain't complaining about it.

This morning consisted of a tidy up after the trip and some exercise with my 4 legged friend. The exercise was weighted heavily in fido's favour. 10.50...a message "N.Yorks Bonxie still Wheldrake YWT on floods" Well there you go. I'd arranged to take the car in to the garage in Hull at 3. What to do?


Problem was I was still in Holmpton and I had to get through the joys of the Hull traffic. Fortunately it wasn't too bad and I arrived at the Wheldrake Ings car park (which I know very well) around 12.20. There were 4 cars in the car park and one chap (apologies for not remembering your name) was just getting out of his car. I thought I recognised him and after a short chat we made our way down the familiar swamp like path towards the hide.

As we approached the hide we picked up "the skua" high over the flood. Great stuff! Well pleased I'd made the effort. A MEGA York Area (5th record) and LDV tick. It was obviously causing havoc amongst the usual fayre. There were large numbers of Lapwing present. It then started to head south down the river so I tried to capture a record shot...

It drifted effortlessly amongst the lapwings and had a sinister presence, but it had now disappeared. Onto the hide. As I sorted my position out a birder in the corner turned to make himself known. It was my mate Vince. Great to see you pal. He told me he'd been there 30 minutes or so and it had disappeared previously before returning.

Sure enough after around 20 did...

Distant in very dull conditions but a great record.

On the way back to the car I met Paul Herrieven. We've sort of known each other for a while through social media but it was great to actually meet face to face. Pity we didn't have more time to chat. I had to be back in Hull and he had to back home to do the school run!

Pity it wasn't on NDC! Just kiddin'.

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