Monday, 30 September 2013

Surprise ending

After an initial search locally which produced nothing of note I decided to head down to Spurn for the morning. Bright and very breezy! I called in at Kew to pay my subs but there wasn't any sign of life. Then, over the radio came a report from Adam Hutt of an RB Fly down the peninsular. I started to drive down and bumped into Andy Roadhouse...subs were duly paid.. It was very windy on arrival and there was no sign of the bird. Then another was reported at Easington off Vicars lane! I figured this one might be a better bet and maybe a bit more sheltered?

On my way back along the peninsular I noticed a Redstart on the road. It flew into cover but I managed a decent pic through the bushes. Chuffed with the camera performance in poor light...

When I reached Vicars lane Steve Webb was searching for the bird but it had disappeared...there's a theme developing here! I gave it 30 minutes then drifted off for lunch back home.

Later in the day I spent some time in the village exploring possible decent spots for migrants...ever optimistic.

I finished off searching the clifftop bushes although the wind was strong. Then from nowhere appeared a very welcome sight. A little jewel of a Goldcrest (H.96, P.157) to brighten up the wild scene...

50th of a second
Again, impressive image under the circumstances as it was only in view for a few flighty seconds.

As we made our way back to the house a large, dark yet slightly silvery thrush flew over...RING OUZEL!!!(H.97). A village lifer no less!

A brilliant end to the day...

Sunday, 29 September 2013

That's better!

After yesterday's depressing post I was hoping today's report would be more positive!

The day started well with a stunning sunrise...

The early stint mooching around the cliff produced nothing of note. I was joined by both pets...

I went back to pick Louise up and we headed off to Spurn. The best moment being a fly past of Brents...

After lunch I returned to the clifftop. On the way down I noticed a bird...yes a bird...on the road. A flash of red in the tail. No, not a Rufous-tailed Robin (topical joke......maybe not that I have tomorrow off!) but a fine Redstart. As I entered the field adjacent to the cliff another bird, a flash of white on the rump...Wheatear...

On the roof...

On the wall...

and on the dung...

4 birds (all in view at once) seen.

That's better!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

The (local) drought continues!

More fruitless searching locally this morning. Mobility limited, so sit and wait technique also applied. All techniques failed. Constant messages on the pager of YBW elsewhere didn't help! I'm puzzled and just a tad frustrated. Surely there must be some here? Maybe I'm just not looking hard enough. It won't be added to my list until SEEN.

I did have a Merlin (H.95) over the garden.

I shall continue...

Update 6pm...still nothing here...still being reported on the pager along the coast. Plenty of coastal habitat and lots of sycamores? Just an observation you understand! I even saw a group of birders this afternoon...more birders than birds.

Am I really only a few miles from Spurn?

Try again tomorrow...

Friday, 27 September 2013

Heard but not seen!

Early night and early rise this morning. Gave it some time around the cliff but nothing and I mean nothing seen!

Met my solicitor at 10 in Hull to discuss leg issues which I won't bore you with.

Phil joined me late afternoon and we tried around the farm. It paid off when 2 YBW were eventually heard, one quite close for a brief time, but no views were obtained.

It's a start...

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Nearly there!

Last day at work tomorrow before a break...and I'm ready for it. Hopefully it will co-incide with an increase in migrants! Yellow-browed Warblers have arrived in good numbers today...must be one here somewhere?!

The easterly drift looks set to continue...

Monday, 23 September 2013


From tomorrow...but very light. Still, gives some hope?

Best sighting from yesterday...

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Snow Bunting

We took Bud for a swim down at Spurn this morning and had a short stroll along the beach. A nice surprise was an early Snow Bunting (S.114)...

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The shape of birds to come...

Trying not to get too giddy I've added some links to migration hotspots (see right hand column) in anticipation of (hopefully) exciting times to come?

Baltimore Oriole just been found on Shetland I see...

Locally, managed to add Greylag (H.94) to the year list this morning as 3 flew south...

Another Med' Gull was loitering on the beach...

Westerlies dominating at the moment but a chance of a swing to the east on Tuesday?

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Sniping comments!

In the aftermath of the sad demise of the Great Snipe at Kilnsea, it got me thinking. Always dangerous! On-line discussions rage on the cat/bird issue. I've learnt over the years not to air opinions on these sites because I usually upset someone! Slaty-backed Gull on Birdforum springs to mind!!

I will say this on here however...

Many birders or birders better halves have cats...fact. We have a Siamese cat. You can't train a cat, although I've seen many comments to the contrary, from owners. The only way to make sure your cat doesn't kill things is to keep it indoors...permanently. Is this fair on the animal?

Regular readers will know I'm a Dog person!

Any bird that obviously has no fear of humans or seemingly anything else is always in danger of predation by any number of predators...sadly. Granted cats are not native and kill movement rather than for food...which I detest.

Anyway, ours won't kill anything...because we've got him a bell...

Monday, 16 September 2013


Rather quiet in the village! So, acting on news that the Great Snipe was still present, it seemed rude not take another look.

Taking it easy after yesterday's excitement...

News came through of a Red-backed Shrike on Peter's lane. When I arrived a small crowd had it in view, but distant. Eventually they all departed as it flew over the hedge. I decided to hang around for a while. It proved to be a good decision as shortly after it returned...

Sunday, 15 September 2013


Popped down the road this morning to hopefully get a peep at the "big Snipe" (P.156, S.113). Bumped into a few familiar faces and timed it perfectly for the bird as it was showing down to 5 yards!!

The frightening thing was that when I added it to my records I discovered it was TWENTY YEARS since I had my other Spurn (19/9/1993). This was re-inforced when I bumped into Andrew Kinghorn who informed me he was one year old when I saw it!! There's nowhere quite like Spurn.

Now then...I wonder if there's another hiding on my clifftop?!

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Quality never quantity!

Your intrepid birder is persevering with local seawatching. The idea being that seeing my "own" birds is far more rewarding than seeing other people's.

I ain't seeing big numbers...not compared to Mecca down the road BUT I AM seeing stuff...eventually!

This morning was a case in point. Gave it a couple of hours. A steady stream of Gannets, a few Sandwich and Common Terns but quiet...again!

Then...SOOTY SHEARWATER (H.92, P.154)...reasonably close, heading north. Nice!

Half an hour later I picked up a Diver heading south that revealed enough of itself to convince me it was a GREAT NORTHERN (H.93, P.155).

A good morning...with patience!

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Buzzard down Snakey

Today involved a trip to Teeside for ongoing Hip issues. The day started with a significant bird sighting in the form of a Buzzard (H.91, P.153) along Snakey lane. We watched it playing in the wind for a good 10 minutes. I wondered if it was possibly one of the pair seen by my neighbour a couple of weeks ago?

Got back home around 5. Took Bud up to Out Newton were I did an hours seawatching. There was a strong North Westerly blowing but the only birds I saw (literally, not even a gull)) were 8 Common Scoter flying North!

Just took my tablets for the England game. Frank's hundredth cap. Couldn't happen to a nicer chap...hope he notches to cap (sorry) it off...

Monday, 9 September 2013

Seawatching could be productive tomorrow...

Sunday, 8 September 2013


Still relatively quiet on the sea but there was a tad more activity this am. Managed to set up by 6.30. Phil joined me around 8. A good number of Gannets passed both directions! Four Red-throated Divers flew south.

Then, my first Arctic Skua (H.88, P.151) followed closely by a couple of Manx Shearwaters (H.89, P.152). The latter was a Holmpton was the female Mallard (H.90) that flew south with a couple of Teal...try not to laugh!!

Late afternoon/evening was spent between Holmpton and With' sewage works. Med Gulls are still in the area and I had a nice fly-by off School lane...

I joined Phil for the last hour at "the Sewage". Still many (c.40) Yellow Wagtails present... good numbers of Tree Sparrows.

A quiet weekend generally. Weather forecast looks promising for tomorrow...when I return to work!

Thursday, 5 September 2013

5 Teal (H.87) south while exercising the lad on the beach this am...

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Record count!

Walked north towards With' this glorious morning...

Swim in the sea...Bud that is!

On the way back heard the distinctive call of Whimbrel (H.87)...2 birds heading south.

I then checked the gulls and connected with this...also heading south...

I noticed it landed further up the beach near the car. When I reached it I was amazed to count SEVEN Med' Gulls!!!

Here's a couple that came relatively close...

Then they were joined by a first winter...

Late news from yesterday. I spotted this Canada Goose (H.88) preening in a nearby ploughed field. Not common in these here parts...

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Quiet here...BUT!

Westerlies have quietened things down here at the moment. Red-backed Shrike and Wryneck the remnants of last weeks excitement.

Wondered if the Hen Harrier juv that went through Spurn was the same bird I saw?

On the other side of the pond things (as usual) take place on a much larger (continental) scale!

Still, we're into September...and things will be interesting from now on...

Best sighting from this morning