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Saturday, 31 December 2016

A grand end to the year

A grand end to the year with a twitch down to Stow-on-the-Wold in Gloucestershire with Mark K and Mark & Ellis Lucas for a Blue Rock Thrush that although had reportedly been present quite a while had only come to light at the start of the week, as we headed up the hill into Stow it was unfortunately shrouded by fog and it never really lifted much during the time we were there which probably accounted for the Thrush being less active and showy than on previous days nevertheless we had two very good prolonged views of it sat in bushes for a while before dropping back into the garden and out of sight, I suppose it will be regarded as a “the jury’s out” bird but still worthwhile going to see and if accepted the last new bird of the year.
first view through the fog

second view was a bit closer and a little brighter

but only to have been a foot taller

A Happy New Year to all my readers

Friday, 30 December 2016

Frosty Fairburn

It was a cold and frosty day at Fairburn Ings yesterday the 29th although pleasantly sunny and it did warm up a bit in the afternoon, from the Kingfisher screen a large shoal of little fish were being very active and a Water Rail was taking advantage of the feeding bonanza as it regularly emerged from the vegetation, dropped into the water, caught a fish and took it back into cover, the Kingfishers however were not with just a single brief sighting further back along the dyke during the time I was there. Late morning I headed to the Lin Dyke end in search of the recent Great White Egret but the reserve was largely frozen and although I found Grey Herons and Little Egrets there was no sign of the Great White, a walk round to Hickson’s Flash was rewarded by a couple of fairly confiding Bullfinches. After some lunch I returned to the centre and decided to have a stroll around the Coal Tip Walk which offers some amazing views over the reserve, a Green Woodpecker showed well and about halfway round looking out over the Moat there was the Great White Egret feeding along the edge of some open water, I also bumped into Fairburn regular Vince who I hadn’t seen for a while so we had a bit of a catch up, as the sun dipped down we had a good count of 60+ Goosanders which roost on one of the top Pools and a small murmuration of Starlings looked impressive against the reddening sky, all in all a very pleasant day.
Frosty Fairburn

do you ever get the feeling your'e being followed

the fishing Water Rail

going fishing

that didn't take long

at the feeders

a bit of frozen veg

Bullfinch looking good in the sun

plus Reed Bunting

the view over Lin Dyke end from Coal Tip Walk

Good views of Green Woody if just a little distant for the camera

and found the Great White Egret at the last

the obligatory sunset

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Xmas at Scarborough

Me and Mark had a trip out to Scarborough on a cold and windy day today although not quite as windy as expected, we started at Peasholm Park where a Red Throated Diver had been posing recently, unfortunately it had been found dead this morning, a White Fronted Goose that had joined the local feral Geese there offered some photographic recompense. We went to the Harbour next where we soon found the two Black Necked Grebes and although I managed a few pics they weren’t really playing ball today, a couple of Red Throated Divers were in the Bay and a handful of Purple Sandpipers were on the outer wall, a Rock Pipit posed for a while but it was otherwise rather quiet. We headed to Holbeck for lunch where we were joined by up to six Mediterranean Gulls amongst the many Black Headed then a bit later we dropped down to Seamer Road to search for Waxwings but although there were plenty of berry laden trees around the B&Q car park there was only a single Mistle Thrush this afternoon, we followed up with a quick look round Seamer Tip Pools, no sign of yesterdays White Fronts just a single Barnacle Goose with the feral flock then at a loss what to do next we decided to call it an early day, well it was Christmas Eve.
confiding White Front at Peasholm Park

always photogenic Turnstone at the Harbour

Cormorant and Purple Sandpipers on the outer wall

Rock Pipit

and Black Necked Grebes

My most photographed Gull species

but when they look this good why not