Saturday, 25 August 2012


Well, just one more post under the circumstances! News broke at 4.19 and I was off like a shot. Unfortunately so was the second dip this year following the one on Thorne Moors.

I'll catch up with this species one day? More here


Up earlier this morning around 6. Lovely calm morning but not much use for Seawatching! Still, gave it a go...the world loves a trier, right?

Highlight was a Great Northern Diver on the sea, early doors...

Phil joined me for a while then news came through of a Spotted Crake at Beacon Ponds. After ploughing through the mud we joined the small group but the bird had re-located to thick reeds!'s holiday time! We're off to the States for 3 weeks on Monday based in Chicago. Our retirement from teaching trip. My lad's coming to look after the house with his doggy...

Can't see any security issues!
Great company for Bud and Smokey

This will be my last post from England but I hope to give updates of my trip from time to time from America.

I have a few ABA target birds, namely:-
Greater Prairie Chicken
American Woodcock
Cape May Warbler
Bay-breasted Warbler
Connecticut Warbler
Red Crossbill
Eurasian Tree Sparrow!

However, the Birding part of the trip is more about enjoying the fall migration lakeside and (hopefully) improving my 1w Warbler ID skills! Ready, of course, for when I find one at Holmpton on my return!!!

Friday, 24 August 2012

They all count

Set my stall out on the cliff at 7 this morning. Pretty quiet to be honest with a few Arctics, a couple of Fulmars and a few groups of our common waders...including my first Redshank! (H.103)

Going down for another session in the morning. CORY'S SHEARWATER?

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Med Gulls!

Managed to connect with 3 Med Gulls (H.102) this afternoon. I first picked one out flying over my head at the sewage works. Great views of this striking gull. By the time I'd sorted my camera out it was drifting off over Holmpton road.

It seemed to be loosing height and had possibly landed not far away.

As I made my way back to the car I spotted Phil who'd just pulled up. I put him in the picture and we both drove down the road to look for it. Sure enough it had landed in a ploughed field. A quick scan revealed a further 2 birds. This was my first multi-find of this species. Well chuffed!

Nice group of c20 Swifts over the fields. Also quite a few Common Terns, some flying inland.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Wryneck - No

I'd just set up for a seawatching session with Phil when the news came through of a Wryneck at Spurn! Despite giving it a good 90 mins, no joy. Phil did manage to see the Barred Warbler and I added Little Egret (91) to my Spurn year list.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Ruff justice

Finally connected with some passing Ruff (P.150, H.101) this morning as a tight group of 7 arrowed south. I knew they were Ruff as they were all different sizes!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Lucked in

Tried for the Barred Warbler (S.90, P148) this morning. Arrived around 10.45 and within 10 minutes we obtained cracking views of this usually skulking species.

Can you see it?
We then moved onto Beacon Ponds and connected immediately with the Black Tern (P.149). Bonus here being it was a Patch Lifer! (265).

Added a village tick on the way home in bizarre fashion as we watched a Common Sandpiper (H.100) waddling along the main road in front of the car!!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Spurn fest!

Spent the morning down at HQ. Tempted by ORTOLAN BUNTING (not so much by the super skulking Barred Warbler!).  Saw neither but still had a productive time mopping up some Spurn year ticks and enjoying the tropical weather (28C).

Goosander fem - 2nd record
Yellow-legged Gull - Spurn lifer
Lesser Back-backed Gull
Mediterranean Gull
Arctic Tern
Common Tern
Tree Pipit - Spurn lifer
Garden Warbler
Common Whitethroat
Willow Warbler

Quite nice catching up after the Op! Leg feeling a lot better.

Sneaked a Pied Fly at Cliff farm Thursday evening...


Wednesday, 15 August 2012

...and another 2!

Walked Bud up by the sewage works this evening. Phil Jones had seen 2 Stonechats (H.98) earlier in the week so I thought I'd have a look for them. As I got out of the car I could see one on the fence!

Both were still present. The bonus came in the form of 2 Yellow Wagtails (H.99).

Phil also had 4 Ruff past...nice!

Knot another!

Large numbers of Gulls and quite a few Terns on the beach this morning...

...which encouraged much scanning to try and locate something "good".

Bucket fulls of Little Gulls at Hornsea but I haven't found one yet!? Eventually I managed to find something different in the form of a summer plumaged Knot (H.97).

Still playing with my converter, sometimes using it (710mm), sometimes not (420mm). I know I'm biased but to say it's an old camera it will do me fine. It performs better than the current models I had and sold. Even the flight shots are decent and easy to take...both to locate and focus. Switch on time is very quick...and important. Point and shoot is all I require. Birder first...photographs a bonus.

c100 yards

Flight shots of fast moving Gulls

Monday, 13 August 2012

Summer Breeze

Superb afternoon. The local farmers are collecting the hay leaving the golden stubble, love it!

Constitutional down the cliff produced a raft of 13 Common Scoter...

I also checked out the Sand Martin Colony...

There are still birds present but most have left. Great to see locally.

On the way back I had a few distant Arctic Skuas plus 3 Ringed Plovers (H.96) flying south.

ELEONORA'S FALCON in Cornwall!!!

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Icterine Warbler

Spent a couple of hours down the peninsula this afternoon. Firstly, I made my way to Beacon Ponds to try for the WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER (P.137). Luckily I managed to find it pretty quickly plus the Curlew Sandpiper (P.138)...despite a strong wind and an over jealous photographer.

"The box" then alerted me to the fact that an Icterine Warbler (P.139) had been trapped at Kew and was to be released in 10 minutes...handy! I arrived just as the bird appeared with Paul Collins, or rather the bag did!

He produced it from the bag allowing the small admiring crowd to view and take their pics.

Back at Holmpton I hoped for a Pied Fly but alas not today.

N.B. A belated addition of Arctic (H.94, P140) and Common Tern (H.95, P141) to my year lists!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

For the record

Quite a few groups of Sanderling (H93) were making their way South this morning plus 4 Teal. Also decent numbers of Gulls/Terns loafing on the beach. Worth checking over the coming weeks.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Egret in the Mist

Below is a familiar morning sight for me as my mate surveys his territory! It was warm but misty this morning at 6.

Having completed my exercise and self-physio we were nearly back at the car when a ghostly apparition appeared out to sea...

Not a totally unexpected record I suppose with birds being fairly regular now at Spurn but still great to get one in the village (H91). Last scan of the briny brought my first Fulmars (H92, P136).

Thursday, 9 August 2012

More quality Seabirds!

Another session on the cliff top this afternoon produced some excellent pirate seabird action! I'm getting hooked on this seawatching.

The sea was calm and visibility was excellent. The dark shapes of Skuas are easy to pick out at great distance even with bins. After about an hour I locked onto 4 such shapes drifting North. Breathtaking action ensued with "the team" of Arctic's systematically homing in on fish carrying Terns. It was fascinating to watch how they harassed the terns as a team into dropping their catch...of course it was than a free for all!

Then the star of the show arrived...POMARINE SKUA!!! (H90, P135). Superb powerful bird, complete with spoons. It joined the Arctics and the structure difference was obvious and educational. The impression of power was also impressive. I watched them all for a good 30 minutes. Top bird...

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

...and there's more!

Got the Big One out this afternoon! Managed to acquire an APO 77 on Ebay...nice! I already have the 62 so I can share the eyepieces. Very impressed.
A couple of hours seawatching produced Arctic and Great Skua (H86, P131) plus a Turnstone (H87, P132) flying south with Knot. Hundreds of Terns still present with large groups of Oystercatchers moving south...

Nearly packing up when I scored heavily with Yellow-legged Gull (H88, P133) and 2 Roseate Terns (H89, P134). An excellent return.

...and so it begins!

Woke early and had a walk south down the cliff with Bud around 7. Glorious morning. Plenty of terns feeding close in. The fields being cut now but fortunately the cliff top rape remains in tact for the moment.

As previously stated I've been totally absorbed with the Olympics (Sky plus being a big help) but it's time to start looking for those migrants heading down the coast.

This being my first "autumn" on the coast I'm looking forward to seeing what I can discover here at Holmpton. There will be many trips down the road I'm sure but my main focus will be here. After all, I want to "find my own".

Anyway, the rape field produced Redstart (H85,P130), 6 Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat and a nice yellow 1st year Willow warbler. Good start!

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

For the record

Sneaked a couple of Whimbrel (S.73, P129) at Spurn this afternoon. Hoping for some Seabirds tomorrow...

Monday, 6 August 2012

Spurn tick!

Had a ride down to Spurn to try for the MEGA Green Sandpiper! Weather closed in badly but I managed to sneak an addition to my Spurn list...

Just won team GOLD at Show-Jumping. FABULOUS!!!

Peter Charles

Friday, 3 August 2012

Olympic Spirit

Just one more on the Olympics...for now.

Not everyone's into Sport BUT everyone should be into supporting our competitors.

Some great stories and some VERY moving moments.