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Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Goosanders in the Park

I decided on a day in Teesside yesterday and starting at Hartlepool Fish Quay I was soon onto a juv Glaucous Gull flying around, it never landed though and flew off around the corner, I hung around for a while and managed another brief flight view but never got it on the deck. I had a look around the rest of the Headland but the best I managed was a female Velvet Scoter off Parton Rocks, there was nothing at Jackson’s Landing so I went off to photograph a couple of obliging drake Goosanders in Ward Jackson’s Park, several Ring Necked Parakeets also noisily announced their presence. I spent the afternoon pottering around Saltholme with nothing much to report.
not an easy subject with the contrast between dark head and bright body

making a splash

a fine drake Pochard as well

some nice light in the afternoon

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Shore Birds

Upon hearing the Shore Larks on the Cleethorpes Coast had been showing quite well yesterday Me and Mark thought we’d give them a go today, after eventually finding the right car park we dropped on to the beach and soon located the two Larks although it was a bit breezy today and they proved rather flighty often flying from one side of a creek to the other, a short hop for them but a long way round for us and we never managed to get particularly close, there were also some Twite and Snow Buntings in the area but we didn't bother searching for them this time. Lots of Waders on the beach at the Humberston Fitties end plus a small flock of Dark Bellied Brents flew over and as we were leaving we spotted a group of Barnacle Geese pottering around another car park but judging from them allowing a close approach and an intermediate Ross's Goose or hybrid in their midst I think it was fair to say they were feral. We called in at Far Ings on the way home, it was fairly quiet but there was a nice little Starling roost and a Cetti’s Warbler burst into song a couple of times.
such smart little birds

a few Gulls sharing Mark's lunch

a few Waders predominately Knot

feral Barnacle Geese

plus this intermediate Ross's or some type of hybrid

Monday, 15 December 2014

Derbyshire Dip but Pipit comes good

Out with Mark today and we headed over to Carr Vale NR on the outskirts of Bolsover in Derbyshire first thing where a Ferruginous Duck had been found yesterday, unfortunately there was no sign of it this morning, it was a pleasant little reserve though, good for Willow Tits, and we had a little wander around. Late morning we headed back north and thought we’d have another session with the Blyth’s Pipit, after showing well without being prompted yesterday it was back to having to be flushed today, several flushes took place during the afternoon giving the usual flight views then late afternoon it flew up into a willow and allowed us a fairly close approach as it just sat there calling, absolutely amazing views much better than we could have hoped for, all that was missing was a bit of sun but we were well chuffed, we ended the day at Pugney’s CP for the Gull roost, it was a bit of a slow start but among the many Herring and Great Black Backs we also saw 1st and 3rd winter Yellow Legged and 2nd winter, 3rd winter and adult Caspian Gulls, a good end to the day.
Buzzard at Carr Vale NR

a few birds attending the many feeding stations

initially quite happy to have got some flight shots

but then it posed for us


Wednesday, 10 December 2014

One good Pipit deserves another

Day off today and fresh from watching the Richard's Pipit at Scalby last weekend I went out to Pugney’s CP to see the recently discovered Blyth’s Pipit, first for Yorkshire, it was on a bit of waste ground adjacent to the Calder Wetlands and as such needed to be flushed to see it, three birders were in there when I arrived and they flushed it a couple of times giving me some flight views, as more birders arrived, including Paz, a couple more flushes ensued and on one it landed briefly on top of a hedge before dropping over the back, as we made our way round it was found in short grass along a wide drainage ditch, scopes were set up and I managed a brief scope view of it on the ground, a bit later after it returned to its favoured field I was lucky enough to have it fly towards me calling and drop down five or six yards away then sit up for a few seconds although not quite long enough to get the camera on it, good bird although not easy. Spent the afternoon pottering around Pugney’s avoiding the heavy showers then moved on to Angler’s CP where a Fox showed well hunting in front of the hide and an adult Yellow Legged Gull was in the roost.

not conclusive for any kind of ID but shows the bird as it was feeding along the drainage ditch

a showy if rather wet Fox