The forecast was promising, well at least until early afternoon when the wind was going to "pick up". No pre-planning, no specific route, just an ad-hoc day on the Patch relying on experience. I did check the tide times which weren't favourable to a wader fest. Also, I had obviously noted what had been seen recently that was "unusual". Unfortunately there had been a clear out of "rare Geese" but no matter...let's see what I can see. I felt 70 was a reasonable target.
I started pre-dawn down Snakey (after picking up GS Woodpecker outside the Cottage) hoping for Barn Owl. 3 runs and no luck. On my final run back towards Holmpton I saw a pale shape disappearing over a hedge. I took the side road and there was "my" Barn Owl quartering the meadow. Nice start! I also added Kestrel and Buzzard....I reckon I saw at least EIGHT birds at various locations, how times have changed...
Yet more luck with a pair of Mistle Thrushes high over the Village.
Next it was up to Out Newton to check the sea. As I got out of the car I could hear Pinkfeet! Two decent skeins were heading north out to sea...
More good luck. I counted 10 Red-throated Divers on the sea. Otherwise it was dead apart from the usual Gulls.
Next it was Withernsea. No sign of any Sanderlings or Turnstones but I did score with a lone Lesser Black-backed Gull. The Sewage produced Pied Wagtail (no Grey) and Meadow Pipit (no Skylark - which was a surprise). A big bonus here was a flock of 10 Ringed Plover flying North.
I then decided to head for Skeffling. Still decent numbers of waders around but I couldn't find any Godwits. A pair of Pintail sneaked onto the daylist. Here I was to connect with the bird of the day...MERLIN!
I also had a distant cc Marsh Harrier. I pushed my luck hoping for a Hen but it didn't materialize.
Back home for a quick bite and another check of the roadside hedges. This paid off with a lucky strike...Long-tailed Tits! While I was watching them I noticed a movement in the hedge by the car...
|Can you see it?|
The wind was strong by now which didn't bode well for further sightings and so it turned out with no sign of Hen Harrier or Short-eared Owl at Welwick. However, I did fluke a late group of Red-legged Partridge to finish off. Well nearly, as the hoped for calling Tawny Owl performed on cue on returning home...despite the wind!
That was that. Some nice surprises and some glaring omissions (winter thrushes). Fun though.
Species seen 63