Saturday, 17 December 2011

Far Ings 16-12-11

Today I decided on a walk round my local patch to try and locate the male Smew but left the camera behind due to the bad light.
On my way I stopped off at a small wood and had a look for the Tawny Owl but to no avail,continuing onto Far Ings I entered Barton Reedbed and made my way to the monolith with nothing on the pool apart from a few coot I soon moved on to Beardie corner but not even a ping from them,moving on to pursuit pit where the Smew had been last seen I sat in Miles Hopper hide and had a scan with a few Pochard,Teal & Mallards present,I continued along the Humber bank towards the cement works and a look on the river with it being a very high tide but nothing on there apart from the usual gulls.
I back tracked on myself to Hotel pit where the Smew favoured in the past but again  no sign but did add Goldeneye & Tufted duck to the list,with a little desperation setting in and only needing 2 species for the 200 for my year tick list,I made my way to Ness pit and my last chance as this is the last of the large pits but after scanning the whole of the water a few times my luck had ran out.
With the usual wildfowl present I made my way home only stopping at ness farm for a quick look on the feeders adding Willow Tit,but a little bit of luck came my way as I was Walking along Far Ings road and had reached the western approach road a skein of 21 White fronted goose flew above my head heading off west across the reserve putting me on 199 for the year,this now leaving me 1 species to find in 15 days will I do it ????
Other birds noted
Bull,Green & Goldfinch
to name a few for the day

Bempton Cliffs 10-12-11

With good friend Dave Hutton arriving around 8am it was an early start for me,with the alarm set at 4.45am I actually woke up before it went off.
After a quick coffee we set off for Bempton and our target bird the male Desert Wheatear,we arrived around 10.30 and made our way to Staple Newk viewpoint where the Wheatear favoured,after an hour or so it flew into the field only giving distant views.With the strong cold wind we decided on heading back to the car for a hot drink & food.
By this time Colin Pumfrett had arrived and joined us for a second attempt for some photographs,after another hour of searching we called it a day and with the sun going down fast meant the light was getting worse by the minute.
Shortly after our departure the Wheatear put in another appearance,but we enjoyed good views of a hunting Short Eared Owl.
Other birds noted
Snow Bunting
Common Kestrel
Peregrine Falcon
Tree Sparrow

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Far Ings 6-12-11

With Mandy set off for Sri Lanka I decided on a visit to Far Ings seen as I have not been out for a while,so the alarm was set for 6am but didn't get out of bed until 7am.
Breakfast & a few coffee's later and a check on Mandys progress I set of in the cold with a ground frost down,On my way Mandy sent me a text and her words were just landed in the Maldives "WOW".
First stop was for the Tawny Owl at it's roost but no luck a few Redwing in the wood along with Goldcrest & Wrens,I continued up to Barton Reed Bed and the not forecast Rain started good old BBC don't give up your day job :).
I reached the Mononlyth but with only a few Coot & Mallard present I continued round to Beardy corner in the hope of them coming to the path for grit with the frost down thought I maybe in with a chance? I bumped into Dave Alan on my way and had a chat with him for a while until the rain cleared and the Sun came out.
On reaching Beardy corner I spent half hour or so but no joy so continued my search for my main target in the form of a Smew which I didn't find anywhere but thanks for the heads up anyway Howard :).
Carrying on along the Humber bank I thought that I would have a look in the Old Cement Works for any Waders on the Foreshore,but I spotted 6 Bullfinch feeding on the guelder rose after a few shots I went and took a look on the foreshore but it was just dead,so I carried on along the Hotel Pit track and spotted the Ferruginous  Duck swimming around on his own but to far for any photo's on approaching the hide a female Pintail was at the end of the channel but not visible from the hide but a Water Rail swam across the channel,only my second time seeing these actually swim.
On reaching Ness Farm and a hour or so to kill I went and had a look on Ness Pit with the Hide being empty apart from a Wren that couldn't get out without a little assistance I thought there maybe a chance of the Bittern showing but no luck with that either,with the cold wind blowing in and my hands freezing I called it a day.
I walked back to Ness Farm and Don Davis pulled up so I let him know about the Pintail & Fudge Duck hope he had better luck than I did with them.
Other birds noted
The usual winter Duck
Mistle Thrush
Reed Bunting
GC Grebe
Grey Heron

Saturday, 19 November 2011

Cleethorpes 19-11-11

With the weather forecast to be overcast for today I decided on not going to Worlaby Carrs today as Mandy was there yesterday,so deciding on having a day at Cleethorpes instead so the alarm was set for 4.45 am for a early start and catch the 7.00 am train.
This took around 50 minutes so we kept an eye out for any Barn Owls on the way but no luck,well the weather forecast was wrong yet again with only whispery cloud at the start the day was wall to wall sunshine with a light wind.
On arrival we could straight away see hundreds of mixed waders on the beach mainly consisting of Knot & Redshank,Mandy & myself walked down onto the beach where we could see some nearer Godwits,Turnstone & Redshank,I photographed a Bar-tailed Godwit which had half a leg missing & a few Turnstones but the Redshank were a bit flighty before the dog walkers made an appearance which in turn flushed everything up and emptied the beach :(
We continued to walk down the beach towards the boating lake so I could do some bush beating to see if I could find a late Warbler or something whilst Mandy checked out the boating lake for any Goosander but no luck on either side with me only finding a few Bull & Greenfinch but plenty of Dunnock.
Mandy managed to locate a Pink-footed Goose on the lake so we went round to get a few shots of it along with Tufted Duck & a Common Gull.By this time it was mid morning and with McDonald's over the road we decided it was breakfast time :)
After this we decided on going onto the Salt Marsh & Beach with a flock of around 50+ Linnets flying around I had hoped for some Twite but again luck wasn't on our side,we made it through all the mud & slush onto the beach,which only had a few mixed gulls,Dunlin,Sanderling & Oystercatcher being the most dominating Wader present.The only birds on the Humber were Cormorant so we walked into the small sand dune area and within a few minutes 3 Snow Buntings came and landed just behind us but was unable to get any shots,we went over to the foreshore to photograph the Sanderling which Mandy had never photographed before so was good for her :)
We walked back to the dunes where I found a plank of timber so decided to make a bench for us to sit and have a coffee and watch what would come over with 3 Brent Geese flying south and Sky Larks flying over,
I then noticed another Finch flock of around 30-40 birds thinking it maybe the Linnets again but picked my bins up for a quick nose at them and realised it was a flock of Snow Buntings I thought great another species for Mandy to get better shots of,this proved harder than expected with them only landing for a short periods but we gave it a go which resulted in only distant shots after half hour or so a Sparrowhawk came in low through the dunes causing them to scatter and make off.We continued to search around the area adding Curlew & Little Egret to our day list.
With time pushing on we decided it would be good to walk back up the foreshore back to the pier so off we set but after a short walk,we stumbled across some more Snow Buntings feeding where the tide had come up leaving titbits behind so we moved round to get the sun behind us and moved closer but noticed they were walking towards us so we got down low and let them come to us rather than the other way round and got them reasonably close for a few photos,before flying behind us but light was fading so we made our way back to the town for a well deserved cuppa & food before the train back home.

Pink-footed Goose

Tufted Duck

Common Gull



Snow Bunting


Monday, 7 November 2011

Far Ings 6-11-11

With some nice light this morning Mandy & myself decided on a walk up to Far Ings to see what we could find,seeing as I decided on not going to Spurn due to being in some pain.
We arrived at Barton Reedbed around 10am with a few Goldcrest & Long-tailed Tit flitting around there wasn't much else around with only Coots at the Monolith,We carried on to Beardy corner as I call it and spent a short while here to see if any Bearded Tit would come but no sign of them,we headed for the visitor centre when I spotted some fungi and Mandy wanted to take some shots of them so I continued to the pond dipping area,here were a few Reed Buntings and more Long-tailed Tits,Mandy caught back up and we sat at the feeding station to see what was coming in on the feeders mainly Goldfinch,Greenfinch,House Sparrow & a few Tree Sparrows the first time I have seen them at this end of the reserve.
Other birds noted were
c700 Golden Plover
Great spotted Woodpecker
Ferruginous Duck
A large flock of waders went down onto Chowder Ness consisting of around 150-200 birds looked about the right size for Black-tail Godwit.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Far Ings 30-10-11

With the clocks going back meaning it would be lighter a little bit earlier this morning and with high tide at 8.19 we decided on setting the alarm and having a look for any Skuas on the Humber first.
Off we set with some nice light and light winds we arrived a bit later than we wanted as the tide had started turning,we gave it a hour but nothing moving apart from around 400 Golden Plover.

We decided on heading for Far Ings,so started to walk along the bank to Barton reedbed which we checked in to see if any Bearded Tits were about but no luck but did have 1 Marsh Harrier fly over.
With the cloud not breaking to allow the sunny spells through as per BBC forecast it started raining thanks for the precise forecast idiots.
We headed for the Western Approach pit to at least get the male Ferruginous Duck which I pointed out for a chap who couldn't find it and I also noticed the immature female Scaup on her own.A great a patch tick in the bag.
With more rain and cloud coming in at us we gave up due to rubbish light and not much in the way of birds

Friday, 28 October 2011

Normanby Hall CP 28-10-11

With a day off work today due to having to go to the Doctors and giving blood samples to be tested,Mandy & myself decided that the weather forecast was good and we would spend the day at Normanby Hall to try and photograph Red Deer rutting.After a hour on the bus we arrived at our destination a place that I have not visited before so was a bit excited about seeing some rutting deer.
We made our way for the deer park and we soon found 2 Stags this looks promising I thought,so we grabbed some shots of them but no other deer appeared so we took a walk down as far as we was allowed in search for more deer but no luck and returned to the original 2 stags that didn't even make a half hearted attempt at a rut.
with these being the only deer seen I was more than disappointed a deer park with only 2 deer :( Mandy assures me that there is a whole herd of Red & Fallow deer.
Birds noted
Tree Creeper,3 Tawny Owls (Heard),Nuthatch,Goldcrest,Jay and lots of Long-tailed tit.
A real nice day out with my beloved partner and a nice change from birds.