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Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Windy day, good for flying Kites

Went up to Nunburnholme for the Red Kite roost after work, the weather forecast said it was supposed to be a nice sunny afternoon if a bit windy but they got it wrong again, after a couple of brief sunny spells early afternoon the dark clouds rolled in with frequent squalls, however the Kites put on a good show, there were up to 30 in the air together at one point although none came particularly close, a good supporting cast included several Buzzards, Sparrowhawk and Kestrel.
Red Kite country

there was a great deal of Pheasant shooting going on and
several birds were like this, just makes you think

Monday, 28 January 2013

White Wingers and not so White Wingers

Me and Mark headed off to the East Coast this morning taking a scenic route over the Wolds trying for Partridges, we managed a few Red Legged and also two or three Buzzards, one feeding on a Hare, we arrived at Scarborough Mere just as the last of the showers passed through, a tame drake Mandarin has replaced the tame Red Crested Pochard and posed nicely for the camera, we carried on to the Harbour hoping for yesterdays Glaucous Gull but with a very low tide there wasn’t much about at all, we checked out Scalby Mills getting brief views of the Peregrines off Marine Drive on the way, a few large Gulls were loafing on the rocks  but there was no sign of the Glaucous there neither. We decided to cut our losses and headed off down the coast to Barmston for the Kumlien's Gull, it was posing nicely down on the beach, a smart looking bird and as stated certainly on the pale end of the spectrum but as they are basically a hybrid there must be a fair amount of variability.  We headed back up to Filey next, very windy here and very quiet, nothing in the Bay just a couple of Gannets passing the end of the Brig the only thing of note so we soon carried on back to Scarborough calling at Holbeck first where a 2nd winter and two adult Med Gulls showed well then noticing the tide had come in we dropped back down to the Harbour to try for the Glaucous Gull again, there was certainly a lot more Gulls about than this morning but still no sign of the Glaucous, on the plus side a Red Throated Diver was showing well this afternoon. We went on to Forge Valley but it was a bit late in the day for there really, a couple of Barn Owls were seen on the way home.

a torrent of snow melt at Scalby Mills

the beach at Barmston looking to Flamborough Head

accompanied by a few small Waders

went for a fly around

off again

looked to have a damaged lower mandible

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Local News

I can't believe how quiet the Ings are at the moment, I was hoping the recent hard weather might have brought a bit of stuff in but it hasn't apart from on the river where apart from the usual Mallards and Geese there has been Coots (rare on the river), Teal, Tufted Ducks and Goosanders plus up to six Cormorants blogging up and down, the Cornfield NR is virtually birdless even the few Tree Sparrows and Greenfinches from a few weeks ago have moved on and there is only a handful of winter Thrushes in Clifton Park, still I suppose things can only get better.
a snowy Flood Basin

Cornfield NR

Rawcliffe Ings

Clifton Ings

Snipe searching out unfrozen bits of water

Sunday, 20 January 2013

A cold wintry day

Out with Mark today and we decided on a trip to North Lincs, it was a very cold day with a fair amount of snow still on the ground, we started at Far Ings which was largely frozen but a couple of ice free areas held a good selection of wildfowl including a female Red Crested Pochard but no Smew, we also had a Bittern fly across the main lake although it soon disappeared back into the reeds. We then headed to Worlaby Carrs hoping the Short Eared Owls might be out early, they weren’t, just a couple of Kestrels and a Buzzard in the very bleak conditions, we gave it a bit of time then early afternoon decided to head off to Blacktoft for the Raptor roost. We called in at Ashby Ville Lake on the outskirts of Scunthorpe en route on the offchance the recent Great Northern Diver might be still present, again there was a good selection of birds on an ice free patch but it would seem the Diver was long gone, a very frozen Blacktoft was very quiet but the roost produced a Barn Owl, several Marsh and a male Hen Harrier.
Snipe on the ice, Far Ings

a bleak and owlless Worlaby Carrs

Blacktoft roost