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Monday, 26 March 2012

A nice day on the east coast

Me, Andy and Pete Watson decided on the east coast yesterday hoping for some early migrants, we started the day at Northstead Manor Gardens in Scarborough where a showy drake Garganey had been found on the small lake there at the beginning of the week, it was still present and showing extremely well early morning, it was a nice sunny day so we headed round to Marine Drive next and spent some time photographing the Peregrines next to Post 57, we then went on to Holbeck but it looks like the Med Gulls have gone now, then on to Filey, a walk along Carr Naze searching for Wheatear was fruitless but a couple of distant Velvet Scoters were in the Bay we also checked out the Dams but there was nothing out of the ordinary there neither just a Barn Owl sat out sunning itself. Bempton was next and most of the seabirds are back in now although not many Puffins yet and it took a while to find one then we had a quick jaunt along to Flamborough but a sea fret started rolling in, there was no sign of any migrants, so we thought it was time to head back inland and decided to finish off at Tophill Low, there was a good selection of common stuff around the reserve and at Watton Borrow Pits there was a pair of Little Ringed Plovers and two Snow Geese although the latter were quite likely escapes plus we came across a Grass Snake out sunning itself on a grass mound, we thought there may have been some Hirundines over the Reservoirs but they still seem to be thin on the ground up north.

Tufties and showy Garganey at Northstead Manor Gardens

a Sparrowhawk landed in a nearby tree but just a bit far for the camera really

Peregrines put on a fine performance

Fulmars too

Scarborough from Holbeck

Filey Brig looking from Bempton

Tophill Low

of dubious origin


Saturday, 24 March 2012


There's no doubt Spring is here now, the first Chiffchaffs arrived this week and many of the resident birds are well on with things now, the first Butterflies were noted with Brimstones and Small Tortoiseshells on the wing and Bats were also taking advantage of the good weather. I nipped down to Strensall Common this morning hoping to connect with a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker seen recently, bit of a long shot really and sure enough there was no sign of it today, a few Great Spots were very active and a couple of Jays showed well plus a Wood Lark was back on site and singing although only intermittently.

Sparrowhawks were displaying early in the week

Mallards searching for suitable nest sites

Long Tailed Tits nest

Strensall trees minus Lesser Peckers

Monday, 19 March 2012

Teesdale to Teesside

Out with Mark and Andy today and we decided on Teesdale for the Black Grouse calling off at Nosterfield en route on the off chance the long staying Common Crane might be showing, it wasn’t and it would seem it hasn’t been seen for a couple of weeks now, there were several pairs of Ringed Plovers but little else of note so we soon carried on. In Teesdale we thought we’d try last years site near Balderhead Reservoir first, there were plenty of Red Grouse here but no Black and surprisingly even though it was a nice morning there were no Raptors up neither, we had a good search around but ended up going to the traditional site at Langdon Beck and even here we had to do a lot of scanning before we eventually picked up a couple of birds on the other side of the valley. We then headed over to Teesside and first port of call was Haverton Pools, we got to the viewpoint to be told the Glossy Ibis had just dropped into a ditch and been lost to view, it was to be 20-30 mins before it showed itself again, we saw it well enough but it was fairly distant, next up was Dorman’s Pool as Andy still needed Green Winged Teal for the year however there was no sign of it this afternoon although a Short Eared Owl showed well plus a Marsh Harrier put in a brief appearance. We ended the day at North Gare where another Shortie was out hunting but there was no hoped for Wheatear.
Balderhead Reservoir

Selsett Reservoir

Golden Plover back on territory

Red Grouse showing well shame the Black weren't

some Butterflies about, a Tortoiseshell

a good number of Curlew on Seaton Common

Shortie hunting over the Golf Course at North Gare