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Sunday, 22 February 2015

Weekend Wanderings

It was up to Teesside via Scaling Dam on Saturday, I was hoping the recent Brambling would still be around but I didn’t see it nevertheless it was a nice sunny morning and a Marsh Tit was in attendance, a fine male Merlin stirred things up as he dashed through and a couple of Buzzards went over. I carried on to Redcar and had a look from the seafront but the tide was well out and there was no sign of the recent Scoter flock so I soon moved on to South Gare, fairly quiet on the Gare but a Great Northern Diver and a pair of Red Breasted Mergansers were out in the Bay. Early afternoon I headed north of the Tees encountering an adult Yellow Legged Gull sat on a lamppost by the Haverton Hill Hotel but a search of the fields nearby failed to locate the Bean Goose, I went on to Dormans Pool to try for the Green Winged Teal, a group of birders by the road put me on it but it was right at the far end, I moved up to the top car park to see if I could get a better view but ended up having to carry further along then up the bank to get a better view of that end, well worth it though got some good views of the Teal. Went back for another look for the Bean Goose and with more Geese in the field I was fairly optimistic, sure enough a quick scan soon found it and the accompanying Pinkfeet, its being mooted as a Taiga the last couple of days and with the large size and longer bill I would tend to agree with that ID.
plenty of common birds around the car park at Scaling Dam

including this Marsh Tit but he didn't hang around long

easy to see how they got their alternative name "Green Plover"

Yellow Legged Gull on a lamppost as I passed Haverton Hill Hotel

got a bit closer but looking into the light

"Taiga" Bean Goose
Not a very good weather forecast for today but it was fine this morning so I went down to Beckfield Lane to see the Waxwing that’s been there through the week, not many around this winter so it was nice to catch up with one, it was feeding on a Cotoneaster at the junction with Norman Drive but was only coming down for three or four berries then it was back up the tops of nearby trees, it eventually moved off to another area so I took that cue to head off to Temple Newsam woods near Leeds to try for Lesser Spotted Woodpecker, it is an historic site for them but there has also been a few reports this year including yesterday morning but despite a good tramp around for a couple of hours there was no sight nor sound of any today. As I headed back to York I had a couple of Red Kites soaring over the Tadcaster by-pass, I called in at Askham Bogs, it was fairly quiet but there was a nice mixed flock of Goldfinch, Siskin and Lesser Redpoll, early afternoon the forecast rain started so I called it a day. 
York's star bird at the moment

down the hatch

Treecreeper at Askham Bogs

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