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Thursday, 28 April 2011

Local Patch update

Early update this week as going up to Speyside for the weekend tomorrow, there were more Swallows and House Martins in this week plus a Sedge Warbler at the Country Park pond and a Lesser Whitethroat by the Allotments from the 25th everything else just getting on with the breeding season.

Country Park scenics


Posing a little better

Horse Chestnut in flower

the river at the Southern end

Monday, 25 April 2011


Started the day with a quick look at a muddy pool on the new Campus at Heslington where one of yesterdays Wood Sandpipers was still present this morning along with a Green Sand and a pair of Little Ringed Plovers. We then headed off over the Humber Bridge to Tetney Lock village where there were five Dotterels in fields nearby, they were a bit distant at first but we sat by the edge of the field and they eventually came reasonably close. There had been news that the Black Kite had been seen this morning near Louth so we decided to try for that next, the area it was in was just South West of Louth centred on a little place called Oxcombe, our first vantage point was near Farforth where birders there informed us the Kite had drifted off but they had just had the immature White Tailed Eagle that has been touring Lincs over the last few days, we watched from here for a while but nothing more than a few Buzzards got up so we eventually moved to where it was thought the Eagle had gone down, it was near a village called Ruckland and there were already quite a few birders there staking it out, after around 30 mins a shout went out as the bird flew up from behind the wood just in front of us and showed really well as it circled round fending off a Buzzard before drifting off. We hung around for a while and tried some different vantage points in the hope of seeing the Black Kite but it was not to be, we called in at Far Ings on the way back where a drake Garganey had been seen earlier in the day but there was no sign of it this evening although I year ticked Common Tern and Lesser Whitethroat.

The Wood Sand at Heslington this morning

just a bit too far away and the heat haze didn't help

bird of the day

being mobbed by the local Buzzard

circled around

before drifting off

the action took place above this wood

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Local Patch news

Another glorious week weather wise and I recorded the first Swallows, House Martins and Whitethroats for the year, as I mentioned before the Sand Martin colony looks really good this year and they have thankfully moved away from the main sandbank they used to use where all the fishermen and kids gather and have found a new one a bit further up and across the river, dont know how many pairs there are but there is certainly more than I've ever seen before. A bit of unusual behaviour observed this week when a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew out over the flood basin in a slow gliding flight, hovered briefly before returning to the trees, I dont know what it was all about but it was more akin to the larger Kingfishers than Woodpeckers. Again the sunny weather brought hordes of insects out and as well as the Butterflies seen previously there was a profusion of Orange-tips out this week although no early Dragonflies but most unexpected were 12 Waxwings which flew up from the little pond on Rawcliffe Meadows this evening, they flew to the tops of some trees by the Paddock and looked to be feeding on the buds or flowers maybe.

On the river
A few patches of Bluebells appearing, remnants of an old wood again

A selection of the Butterflies this week

Although not much posing passerine wise

in the Cornfield NR

part of the Sand Martin flock over the river

trying for the flight shots again

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Larks and Tern

Thought I would have a change of scenery this morning taking advantage of the nice weather, my first Cuckoo of the year was calling and the air was filled with the sweet song of Wood Larks, one showed well as it foraged on the ground, plus Tiger Beetles hunted along the tracks then I got a phone call from Mark telling me about a Black Tern on the New Campus Lake at Heslington, I set off for work a bit earlier and got good views as it hawked over the Lake and also grabbed a few distant record shots.

Hoof fungus

Tuesday, 19 April 2011


Went up to Bamburgh on Sunday for the Black Scoter, lovely sunny day really bringing out the best of the superb Northumberland coast, the Black Scoter was with a large raft of Common Scoter and always remained distant (a lot closer than the Llanfairfechan bird though) even so it was quite easy to pick it out although there were one or two really bright Common Scoters for the unwary, there were also good numbers of Eider as to be expected plus two or three Long Tailed Ducks and an immature male Velvet Scoter and lots of Hirundines feeding over the nearby Golf Course plus two Buzzards over.

The beach looking to Stag Rocks

the distant Black

immature Velvet

got a bit closer to the Eiders

Bamburgh Castle

We drove back along the coastal route calling in at a couple of places although nothing of note was seen and arrived back at Teesside mid afternoon, we had a look from the new hide at Bottom Tank at Saltholme but a Little Egret was the only bird of note and that was right at the back then moved to Dormans Pool hoping for pics of Cetti's and Grasshopper Warblers, both species plus Reed Warbler and Whitethroat revealed their prescence but the only birds that posed were a pair of Stonechats.

looking from Amble Harbour

ready for take off