Thursday, 31 December 2020
I wanted to make the most of the final day, especially as it was a cracker. Love clear, albeit cold, sunny Winters days with little wind. I started with a 2 hour Sea Watch from dawn which produced...nothing!
I then tried the Sewage, walking South to the Llama Farm. As I walked over the frozen ground I received a message off Richard informing me he'd found c20 Snow Buntings near Mill Hill, just South of the Village. I continued to the farm hoping to find some myself. It wasn't to be but a couple of Stonechats were present...
I dropped Bud off at home and then walked South to look for the Snow Buntings. It was now 12.30. The light was superb and I scanned the path and field at regular intervals as I walked. As I approached Mill Hill I slowed so I could peep over the top of the brow without disturbing anything that might be present. This is the area that the Shore Larks favoured in early April. As I looked over the brow I couldn't initially see anything, then I noticed movement on the path. First thought Snow Buntings...too dark...Meadow Pipits?...NO...SHORE LARKS!!!
You may remember I thought I'd "missed the boat" in April only to re-find them a week later. This was the icing on the cake though to find my own. So glad I reacted quickly with the camera, as they flew into the field after a few seconds and I couldn't re-locate them by dusk, despite extensive searching. I did sneak a Black-throated Diver (H.137. P.152). I also had a flock of 58 Golden Plover over...
...couldn't string one into a Lapwing!
What a terrific end to the year! What it's all about really. All those hours of coverage and then...BOOM!
Further luck was had with my last drive down Snakey when 2 Mute Swans crossed the sky in the twilight and a Merlin zoomed low North!
No prizes guessing where I'll be at dawn tomorrow. Wouldn't be a bad start to the Year List.
Let's hope next year's better...
Tuesday, 29 December 2020
Couple of Stonechats near the first pill box yesterday...
Still can't find anything "new". However, spectacular views of a Barn Owl at dusk tonight was consolation indeed. Sunset in these here parts is 3.47. This pic was taken at 4.17 and involved a convertor. 15th of a sec' exposure...apparently. Sounds like I know what I'm talking about lol! Thing is I never cease to be amazed at what modern digital cameras can produce. No award winner but not bad considering my equipment and the circumstances...
c300 Pink-footed Geese North over Snakey at 9 this morning was also rather nice. A fine sight and sound indeed!
Monday, 28 December 2020
After my not so remarkable prediction of "White-winged Gulls"...an Iceland Gull was seen by Gavin at the Sewage this morning! I was just getting in the car, so I gave it a go but the bird had flown North. It was earlier seen at Easington. A remarkable 115 Ringed Plovers were present, which apparently equals the Yorkshire record count, Richard informs me!!
Still no December additions to the Holmpton Year List. So I'll narrow it down a bit...lol!
Tuesday, 22 December 2020
|In a different light|
Monday, 21 December 2020
The shortest day...light. We're on the up now! Still no December additions here.
I'm in the process of doing a write up for 2020...then we can get it out of the way. Let's hope 2021 will be better...it can't be any worse...can it?
Optics issues at the moment with my trusty Leica APO 62 finally showing signs of age! Very surprised and obviously disappointed as I was hoping it was "for life". The coating on the objective lens has started to wear away, rendering the scope useless, as the view is now "cloudy". Could prove expensive!! Not a great time for a substantial outlay. A Birder needs a scope though.
Corn Buntings are still showing well on Snakey...
Thursday, 17 December 2020
A stretch up at Out Newton this morning in the sunshine produced nothing of note. However, as I was leaving there were 5 Grey Partridges on the road...
I then headed for the Humber. 22 Whooper Swans are still present...
A lovely walk along the floodbank produced a distant female Hen Harrier...
male Marsh Harrier...
and 4 Short-eared Owls.
That livened the constitutional up!
Tuesday, 15 December 2020
Sunday, 13 December 2020
Woke up early so gambled on a visit to the River Derwent. As I reached the hide at NDC...a message...
8.52 FRANKLIN'S GULL Thorganby Ings this morning
That's handy...I thought! The Geoff Smith Hide would have been handier...but I'll take it. Ten minutes later I was in the car park and soon joined a small group (6) looking out onto the Ings. One of them was Tim Jones who informed me the bird was still present and kindly allowed me to look through his scope. Result!!!
|It's the dark Blob!|
Jono Leadley had amazingly (it's a large area with limited viewing) re-found the bird after first being found by Oliver Metcalfe yesterday afternoon at NDC. Jack Ashton-Booth and Duncan Bye were also present.
The weather was grim, heavy rain and very cold but that didn't seem to matter. I contacted Haydn to let him know it was still showing, albeit distantly. The bird was resting on a small island. After around 20 minutes it took flight but soon settled again on an adjacent island. I was looking for Haydn to arrive? Around 15 minutes later the bird suddenly took flight and flew low North up the river...just as Haydn arrived. He'd missed it! I gave him the bad news which he took well...as he always does. I stayed and searched for it with him until he had to leave.
I then decided to head back to Duff hoping the bird would return there for my Duff tick. I stayed till dusk but the bird never showed. The weather was diabolical but at least I was dry in the hide. It was seen briefly at Ellerton...but that was that. Hopefully it will linger in the Valley so Haydn can catch up with it and I can get my NDC tick.
A quality addition to the York Area List. I'll have to have a count up! Almost certainly the same bird that's been seen around Yorkshire over the recent past.
Pete Piringer (who lived in Thorganby) would have loved it...
Saturday, 12 December 2020
Thursday, 10 December 2020
Checked out a few of the local haunts the first couple of hours. Another brief Corn Bunting encounter on Snakey, when I stopped at a pull-in and heard that familiar chip...
Has to be the best Winter since I've been here (8 years) for this species...or maybe I haven't been looking hard enough! Just as I was about to pull away I saw some Swans flying towards me..always a reason for excitment here. Turned out to be 6 Whoopers...
|Possibly two juveniles?|
I may have mentioned I love this species...once or twice!!
Next I checked out "the Sewage" hoping for a Grey Wagtail...or a Jack Snipe...or a Water Rail...or something...but I could only manage a couple of Pied. I also scanned the sea for an hour but nothing passed by. There had been some Velvet Scoter earlier.
After lunch I drove down to Skeffling to check out the Whooper Swan herd. It was pleasing to see they were still present. As I counted them it became apparent they had increased in number...18 yesterday...6 over Snakey this morning = 24?
It was now time to drive up onto the floodbank to give Bud a stretch. As I reached the bend in the road I was greeted with this sight...
An estimated 500 birds were present. The light was poor (no change there) but a bird at the front of the group stood out. I pulled off the road and looked through my bins...
Wednesday, 9 December 2020