Monday, 28 February 2022
Sunday, 27 February 2022
Thursday, 24 February 2022
My trip didn't turn out as intended with yet another inaccurate forecast for the dark side. Mind you, growing up over there I should have known it would be wetter than predicted!!
I did visit Samelsbury, albeit briefly but a combination of parking issues and weather meant I didn't linger. A definite long shot for the BK.
Deep into Texas 22 planning now. With COVID restrictions thankfully easing, I am gaining confidence that my 14th visit will indeed take place this year at the THIRD time of asking. Apologies for repeat information!
We'll be heading South initially from Houston to (click sites for details)...
South Padre Island which is a migrant "Hot Spot" on the Southern Gulf Coast. Two iconic sites are the Convention Centre (364 species) and the Birding and Nature Centre (358 species). Small areas of landscaped gardens are a magnet for tired migrants which are easily viewable under relaxed conditions. There are also walkways over mangroves enabling stunning close views of the waterbirds.
...before returning North to...
There will be no charging around (as if I could these days), just a relaxed accumulation of species around the Coast. However, I WILL attempt to add the occasional Species to my Lists (ABA/Texas...or both) should the opportunity arise. As I write there are a few additions available...
BAT FALCON (1st record)
Limpkins have recently colonised the State and should be a "nailed on" addition.
Wood Stork - always rare in my time window...but possible
...and maybe something else?
Tuesday, 22 February 2022
Scored with a beautiful male Hen Harrier (P.82) this afternoon at Patrington Haven. A brief pass, in a strong wind (again) but a mighty fine sight all the same! I've said it before and I've said it again...so fortunate to have opportunities to see such a species locally.
Big day out tomorrow over the dark side/wet side. A couple of targets in mind but I'll need plenty of luck to see either?
BIG news in Texas recently when a couple of HARLEQUIN DUCKS turned up at Port Aransas. Only the third occurrence for the State. Click here for video.
Saturday, 19 February 2022
Friday, 18 February 2022
Early start on Wednesday, arriving at NDC at 9. John Heaton was just going into the GS Hide as I arrived. He'd been down at Garganey Hide watching the Whooper Swans leave their roost. I just managed to catch the last few...
He also mentioned there were a good number of Curlews present. We had a good chat and thanks again for the kind words about the Blog...much appreciated. The usual fare was on show but I did add Fieldfare (51), Redwing (52) and Little Grebe (53) to the Year List before departing for my Mother's at 11.
A very pleasant lunch was had at the Swan and Cemetery on Manchester Road...
|Fish Finger Sandwich|
Up early again on Thursday morning to take on the M60 madness. My intention was to try for the BELTED KINGFISHER again but on receiving information on another LSW Site, I was tempted to the Warrington area. I was given the information in strictest confidence which I will be adhering too. I spent 5 hours at the site with a few other "in the know" hopefuls but the bird didn't show, as it had done the day before. It was good to bump into an old pal though which helped pass the time. I got great views of Nuthatch and numerous Treecreepers. A Peregrine also flew over high Marsh and Willow Tit are both present here (unusual) but I didn't try the area they frequent, for fear of missing the Woodpecker! I saw Mistle Thrush (singing) and Siskin on my way back to the car.
Tuesday, 15 February 2022
We decided to have a drive out West yesterday. I thought I'd shape myself on Valentine's Day and treat the good lady to a nice Pub Meal...hopefully. I'd not been to this area since the LAMMERGEIER occurrence. I used to come here many Years ago to try for Goshawk but I fear those days are gone due to persecution? The forecast was grim...but we went anyway.
We arrived around 11.30 and it was still persisting it down. I'd booked a table for 2 but we decided to eat earlier if possible...which it thankfully was. We enjoyed a wonderful couple of hours by a log fire enjoying a top meal and desert. I think I scored major points! Thoroughly recommended...
|The Strines Inn|
Thankfully the rain had stopped by 2 which enabled us to go for a walk...
|We even managed a Rainbow|
The only birds of note seen were c100 Fieldfares by the car park. It didn't matter, we'd had a great day.
Thursday, 10 February 2022
Another clear, crisp Winter's Day here on the East Coast of Yorkshire. Time for a good walk. I went North first then doubled back through the Clifftop scrub and headed South to Old Hive.
Frequent scanning of the Sea failed to produce anything until 9.38...
Not what I was expecting to see...but grateful for it! I make it 91...my honest estimate would have been 100
More, even more distantly at 10.03...
An estimated 4 miles out, just in front of the Wind Turbines. This group numbered 58 but I'd have estimated more! Early return? Just shows...keep scanning. I didn't see anymore. Bouyed by this sighting I continued South to Old Hive. I reached the "rough stuff" hoping something might pop out. Again...it, or more accurately, they did. A small group of birds took off and bobbed around before decending back into the vegetation. Not Snow Buntings and didn't "feel" like Linnets? They gave the brief impression of..."dainty". I wonder. I couldn't locate them for a good 10 minutes in the thick stuff. When I did, they flew off again. Eventually, I managed to spot one and grab a pic...
Small head, pale bill,wing bar, buff face and throat = Twite! 8 of them!!! (P.81, H.67). Possibly/probably the same group Richard had in November? Only my second record after a single bird sat on a fence at dusk at the bottom of School Lane (14/10/2016)...
I've had worse days...
I left home early yesterday (6.30) as I was heading over to Duff for an early "sesh" before heading over the tops to visit "mi Mum". I arrived in the Geoff Smith hide at 8. You may remember I waited till dark last week hoping that the Whooper Swan (plus 2 Bewick's) herd would come into roost from the adjacent fields...they didn't.
I could hear the Swans immediately I opened the flaps. There were plenty out there (c80). I decided to go down to Garganey Hide for a closer look and maybe get some flight shots as they departed? Swans were starting to leave as I walked the path but there were still plenty lingering as I reached the Hide on a stunning February morning...
Monday, 7 February 2022
Friday, 4 February 2022
Wednesday, 2 February 2022
Left Holmpton at 5.45 and arrived at Howden for 7. After minor confusion I picked Haydn up and we headed for Lound. We made our way to the site seeing Mistle Thrush and Treecreeper on the way. The pools held Red-crested Pochard (14), Great Crested Grebe and a male Goldeneye. There were good numbers of Siskin around (c80) and a few Redpoll. There was intermittent drumming which was checked out but all we were getting was Great. We strolled around the whole area but by 11 we still hadn't found our elusive target.
We persevered but alas to no avail. We enjoyed the challenge though on a pleasant,still morning.
Time to move on to our second site but not before Fish and Chips at the Codfather! We arrived at Martin Lane, Bawtry around 1. As I'd been there the previous week, I parked in the same spot and we walked the Lane, eventually in both directions. We soon picked out a large flock of Brambling, albeit distantly. The were a wide variety of plumages present amongst these beautiful birds. They ranged far and wide during our 2 hour visit making close observation and an accurate count difficult. We eventually concluded that that they were well into three figures! Rare sightings come in many guises, it's not just about the individual Rarity. This was the largest group of Bramblings either of us had ever seen...by quite some distance.
The light worsened unfortunately and we decided to leave them be at 3. This example highlights the subtleness of the species plumage...
So, a great day in excellent company.
Tuesday, 1 February 2022
Made it over to Duff for 1 and an afternoon session in the sun...and out of the wind!
The main drive was to wait for the Wild Swans which would hopefully come into roost from the fields opposite. 2 Bewick's Swans were with the Whoopers. I finally managed to find some Gadwall (37) and Redshank (38). The afternoon passed without further sightings of note and as it approached 5 I was definitely in "expectant mode".
Alas it was a "no show"? Maybe they come in after dark or roost elsewhere. Significant compensation was had in the form of 3 Marsh Harriers (39) giving a 20 minute show before descending into the vegetation...
|One bird had a brief glide down the Reserve|
...plus a distant Barn Owl (40). 5 Shelduck (41) also materialised from...somewhere!