Total Pageviews

Monday, 4 February 2013

A full weekender

I had the rare opportunity for a full weekend birding this weekend, I was out with Mark both days and they were certainly contrasting in more ways than one. Saturday was nice and sunny becoming increasingly cloudy in the afternoon, we had decided on West Yorks again and started at Sands Lane Gravel Pits at Mirfield on the offchance of seeing the Ring Billed Gull that has been reported on and off from there this winter, it was a bit of a long shot that didn’t pay off, the pits have been opened up for fishing and there is probably too much disturbance now, a Grey Wagtail was a year tick though. We headed for the Dearne Valley next visiting Broomhill Flash and Old Moor Wetlands, there was a good selection of Wildfowl seen although we spent a lot of time around the feeders at Old Moor such was the selection of birds using them and it being good light for photography, birds included a male Siskin, four or five Brambling and up to 12 Waxwings. We then headed for Anglers CP calling off at Rabbit Ings en route where there are several Short Eared Owls wintering, it was our first time at this site and we got the gen on where to best to view from etc but with nothing showing and deeming it a bit early in the day we carried on to Anglers CP, we had a really good couple of hours here, again a good selection of Wildfowl present including the female Long Tailed Duck, two drake Scaup, a pair of Smew and a few Goosanders, a Green Woodpecker flew across in front of the hide then around 15-30 a few large Gulls started turning up with both 1st and 3rd winter Yellow Legged Gulls seen. We ended the day back at Rabbit Ings but apart from a distant Buzzard all seemed quiet then just as the light started to fade up to three Shorties appeared and started hunting, a good end to a really good day.

a bit distant

closer but didn't come out into the open

1st winter Yellow Legged Gull

and 3rd winter

Kestrel at Rabbit Ings
In contrast Sunday was dull and cloudy all day becoming increasingly windy and with reports of some good birds seen there on Saturday we decided on Teesside, we made a slight detour on the way to check out the churchyard at Ampleforth where a Hawfinch has been seen a few times recently but there was no sign of it early morning at least. At Teesside we started at Hartlepool Headland, the tide was in but there was just the usual suspects out on the sea so we headed back to Jacksons Landing which was birdless, no sign at all of the Black Throated Diver or Slavonian Grebe, the Med Gull was at Newburn Bridge as usual but there were very few Gulls on Seaton Common and no sign of Saturdays Glaucous or Caspian. We checked out Cowpen Marsh next but it was very windy, the Geese were distant and the Tundra Bean didn’t get found, Saltholme was again very quiet and at Dormans Pool we failed to locate the Green Winged Teal although we did manage to find a Bittern feeding along the edge of the reeds albeit a bit distant, not the best of days by a long shot, we tried a couple of the earlier sites again but to no avail so we called it an early day.

I thought they were all females but this must be an immature
drake with the yellow on the bill

No comments:

Post a Comment