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Sunday, 4 December 2011

December Chats

You could be forgiven for thinking I was discussing the recent arrival of Winter but this morning found me and Andy up at Seaton Common in Teesside where a first winter male Siberian Stonechat had been found late yesterday afternoon and it was showing well in the scrub by the start of the Zinc Works road right from us getting there, even on a couple of occasions coming right up to the perimeter fence, it went to ground though when a wintry shower passed through and unfortunately for the late comers it wasn't seen again, by that time we had moved up the road a bit where some large Gulls were loafing around, we scanned through them hoping to find at least one of the recent Caspian Gulls and I eventually picked out a rather interesting bird with a few good features like a clean white head with small dark eye and a longish bill but I was a bit perturbed by its pink legs however after studying books and photos when I got home it became apparent that immatures do have pink legs anyway, Andy had also independently come to the same conclusion that it was good for a first winter Caspian, there was also a flock of White Fronted Geese with a Pinkfoot nearby and then a pair of Peregrines came over flushing everything. There was nothing more at Teesside so we headed back down the coast to Bempton to try and get better pics of  the Desert Wheatear that was still around and had been very approachable during the last week judging by all the cracking photos of it, we called off at Lebberston as we passed as the Taiga Bean Goose had been reported again yesterday but there was no sign of any Geese at all today just a couple of Grey Partridges, it was a cold clifftop at Bempton, Andy had gone ahead and found the Wheatear but it had dropped over the edge of the cliff just before I got there however it wasn’t long before it was back up and affording us some really close views and even though the light levels were low it posed very nicely, a Short Eared Owl was hunting a bit further along clifftop path.

virtually uncropped but the low light levels meant I couldn't get a really sharp image

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