Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Local Crossbills - 30th Oct 2007.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Great Grey Shrike - Stocks Reservoir, Lancs - 28th Oct 2007.
30 mins later we arrived at Champion Moor Flood where 21 Wigeon & 3 Teal were present.
It was whilst here that I received a phonecall from Margaret Breaks to say that She and husband Brian had located a Great Grey Shrike in the classic 'Shrike-field' opposite Dalehead Church adj to nearby Stocks reservoir.
Five minutes later we were onsite. The Shrike was perched prominantly against the skyline atop one of the isolated Hawthorns scattered around the field, but against the light.
We walked around the field edge up by the Island viewpoint where some excellent views were had of the Shrike in superb light revealing strongly patterned underparts indicative of first winter plumage - a new Great Grey Shrike to the area following on from an adult present in four of the past five winters, and a very welcome injection of 'new Shrike blood' at that, assuming it stays on to winter of course.
Above: Male Hen Harrier - Bowland, Lancs - 28th Oct 2007.
Long-tailed Duck - Upper Roddlesworth Reservoir, Lancs - 27th Oct 2007.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
Filey, Flamborough & Spurn - 24th-26th Oct 2007.
This female Long-tailed Duck was easily located off the south side of the Brigg, but I could not locate either the Grey Phalarope or Slavonian Grebe, both of which had been reported earlier. Other birds seen offshore included; 24 Common Scoter, 1 Eider, 5 Dark bellied Brent Geese, several Razorbill, 1 Shag, 7 Red-throated Diver, 1 juv Gannet and 1 G.C. Grebe. 40 Knot were on the Brigg end.
There had been no sign of the Bluetail and now mid afternoon I saw no rush to get to Flamborough and so made my way slowly calling at a few sites enroute.
First port of call was Bempton which produced nothing of any note. c500 Golden Plover were thoroughly 'grilled' in fields nr Speeton before they were flushed by a fem/imm Merlin.
North Landing at Flamborough was quiet migrant wise with the exception of c40 Blackbird and a few Redwing.
With the light now beginning to fail I parked at the lighthouse car park and walked the outer head, flushing a nice Woodcock from the outermost hedge in the process. A few Guillemot, Razorbill, Eider and Red-throated Diver offshore brought the day to a close and I headed off in the darkness bound for Spurn. Another Woodcock flew in front of the car at Danes Dyke and a Barn Owl was on roadside fenceposts just outside Ottringham.
Once at Spurn Obs, conversation with other birders revealed a day total of 29 Woodcock and two Yellow-browed Warblers at the point. The concensus being that the weather had looked promising, but had disappointed thus far.
25th Oct: The day started with a wander around the Warren area where several Goldcrest were present in the Sycamores. 3 Brambling > S and 3 Lesser Redpoll were grounded. Blackbirds, Fieldfare & Redwing were present in small numbers, some coming in-off. A Sparrowhawk flew along the 'Big Hedge'.
I decided to drive to Easington, starting at the Cemetary. Decent numbers of mixed Thrushes, mainly Redwing and Blackbird with some Fieldfare, were present in and around the village and 3 Goldcrest, 1 Brambling and a Woodcock were noted at the Cemetary.
News then came through of both Dusky & Pallas's Warblers at the Point, so off I drove spending the next five hours mainly in and around the Point Dunes. Several nice binocular views were had of the Pallas's, but frustratingly I didn't see or hear the Dusky Warbler at all. 3 Woodcock, 3 Brambling & a Reed Bunting were grounded in this area.
Thrushes were visibly leaving the Point, with c250 Redwing, c200 Blackbird and small numbers of Fieldfare involved. A Swallow 'blogged' around the area and a cracking adult male Black Redstart appeared very 'new-in' as it perched on Elders in the middle of the Point Dunes before discovering the area around the point buildings and adj Humber shoreline, an area long favoured by this species at Spurn. A truly beautiful bird.
Above: Fem/imm Merlin - Beacon Lane, Spurn - 26th Oct 2007.
By now it was late afternoon, so it was time again to check the Golden Plover flocks between Easington & Kilnsea. Alas, there was again no sign of the AGP amongst several hundered of its commoner relatives. A juv Ruff and 3 Black-tailed Godwit were noted amongst a Curlew flock, drawing to an end an enjoyable three days on the east coast.
The Observatory day total for Siskin was 654. Not bad considering there was no dedicated narrows watch from mid-morning.
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Local birding - 19th-20th Oct 2007.
20th Oct: Three hours late am - early pm saw me indulge in a little vis at Wells Lane, Brinscall, totting up 260 Fieldfare > E/SE, 1 Brambling > E/SE, 2 Skylark > E/SE and 3 Reed Bunting >E/SE in 40 mins. A pair of Stonechat were also present. Three hundred Fieldfare were in hedgerows on the north side of Abbey Village.
A walk along the SW side of Stones Bank Plantation nr Belmont revealed plenty of cones on the trees with 2 male Brambling the highlight, 10 Siskin, 8 Lesser Redpoll, 20 Chaffinch and 30 Fieldfare noted, but no Crossbill. A Raven flew north.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Raddes Warbler - Leasowe, Wirral - 16th Oct 2007.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Spurn, East Yorkshire - 8th-11th Oct 2007
Above: Barred Warbler - Canal Scrape car park, Spurn - 8th Oct 2007.
Whilst enroute on Monday morning, news came through on the pager of a Dusky Warbler on Vicars Lane, Easington, so this was my first port of call. After only a short wait the Dusky gave good binocular views and called frequently. A Great start.
Two vocal Yellow-browed Warblers were showing in the Crown & Anchor car park and a Barred Warbler gave excellent views in the Canal Scrape car park bushes. Once checked in at the obs and gear dropped off, a quick chat with the warden, Andy Gibson, as to where the recent Sibe Stonechat had been seen revealed that it had not been recorded for a couple of days. I still thought I would check the area just in case and so headed off down to the point.
On approaching the stretch of road at the Narrow Neck, I noticed a birder walking back north along the road and a small passerine at the roadside edge just beyond him. The birder was making no attempt to flag me down as I approached, but I still wound the window down to ask him if he had seen anything of note. Upon doing this, and without even stopping in his tracks, he told me in the most casual fashion " Little Bunt on the road" and carried on walking! - The passerine was still visible with the naked eye from the car, so I drove a little further, admittedly slightly scepticle given the birders extremely laid back attitiude and 'binned' the bird.... Strewth! It was a Little Bunting!! - I can only assume the finder has seen a few hundred more Little Buntings in his time than I have? The bird remained on the road for a further ten minutes before flying to the beach as other birders arrived, whilst the finder had long gone! For the remainder of my stay at Spurn the Little Bunting remained on the seaward side of the road, in the Marram Grass, as far down as Wire Dump, delighting many observers. A little Gem. Two Wheatear were on the Humber shoreline in this area.
Above: Birders search for the Little Bunting - 8th Oct 2007.
Above: apparent Atlantic White-sided Dolphin washed up just north of Spurn Lighthouse - 9th Oct 2007.