Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Waters Edge 21-9-11

Today saw Mandy & myself at Waters Edge to meet up with Roger Hatcliffe who kindly agreed to let Mandy have a play with his 7D for a few hours.
We set off towards the visitor centre end of the board walk to try and get the Yellow wagtails again,Mandy managed a few shot before they disappeared into the goat field,then we walked upto the haven to try for some flight shots of gulls but none around so we carried on along the humber bank and back onto the park to check out the pools for any waders but failed.
We could hear the Little Grebes calling so gave them a try but too distant so we headed for the dipping pond for some Dragons and found 1 Migrant Hawker resting and a couple of Common Darters.
Having a look on the back pool plenty of Tufted Duck with a few Shoveler & a Great Crested Grebe.
We then headed back to the Little Grebes but still keeping their distance we sat & had a coffee when Roger came & joined us for a while before he headed back off to the board walk and we headed off for the wood,this brought us our first Siskins of the Autumn in with a tit flock mainly Long-tailed & Blue Tit.
We walked along the pool to the back end where a Green Sandpiper took flight and 2 Grey Herons came into land,Mandy carried on ahead leaving me to try and photograph a Migrant Hawker in flight but only managed a couple of ok shots before giving up and catching Mandy back up,we continued with the woodland walk adding Bullfinch to the day list & Great Spotted Woodpecker.
This brought us back up to the Visitor Centre and meeting back up with Roger and handing him his camera back  and had a chat for a while,with the wind picking up we called it a day while Roger decided on staying for another hour or so.
Migrant Hawker

Common Darter

Monday, 19 September 2011

Far Ings 19-9-11

With us both up by 4.30 this morning we decided on going to FI for a few hours.
We reached Ness hide around 7.30 just missing out on the Kingfisher so we waited for a while before it re-appeared perching on the posts but to far for me which ended me deleting all the pics.
After a few hours boredom set in and decided to go for a walk around leaving Mandy in the hide,I headed for Chowder Ness where I could hear Curlew calling and knowing the tide was still quite high around 150 Golden Plover,38 Dunlin were the only waders present.
On completing my round trip other birds noted were.
Shelduck,Gadwall,Shoveler,the usual gulls,3 Fieldfare & 1 Redwing.
2 Bearded,Blue,Great,Willow & Long tailed Tit.
Few Chiffchaff & House Martin still present
Green,Gold & Bullfinch.

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Spurn Point 18-9-11

With the Nuneaton and District Birdwatchers Club arriving at Barton to pick myself & Mandy up for a day at Spurn.We arrived mid morning at the point and set about going through the Sea Buckthorn straight away I spotted a bird sitting on top of a bush and called Mark Maddox over with his scope and sure enough it was a Whinchat just as I thought not a bad start,Mandy and myself broke away from the group and split up ourselves,I headed for the beacon with not much about only a single Goldcrest flitting about but I got round the corner I spotted another bird sat on the bush top It was a Spotted Flycatcher but only managed a record shot before it flew off.On reaching the beacon there wasn't anything else around so I headed off back towards the rest off the group who where still watching Whinchats and Whitethroats,I then spotted Mandy who had been photographing Wheatear,Whinchat & Common Whitethroat.
Next stop was Chalk Bank where I split from the group again going to the second hide and again a mistake due to missing out on Little Stint.But I managed Sanderling,Knot,Curlew,Redshank,Oystercatcher,Dunlin & a single Common Tern with everyone back on the bus we headed halfway back along the road and pulled in to scan through the large wader flocks which held again Sanderling,Knot,Curlew,Redshank,Oystercatcher,Dunlin,Turnstone,Golden,Grey & Ringed Plover & a few Ruff with that done we headed for the Warren to do a bit of a seawatch and on arriving Mr Colin Green asked the most stupid question of what are we going to see here and Mark replyed well we did have a Barred Warbler once in that bush!!!
Others went their own way and Mandy went back to photograph some Knot & Turnstones with some cracking shots.
From the Seawatching hide Myself,Nicknav,Mark Maddox and Roger Shilton scanned the sea it wasn't long before we picked up a Arctic Skua heading south and a few more shortly followed,also a few Great Skua's went by with 1 bird right along the foreshore also a few Gannets were picked up,with time for us to head back to the bus for our next stop at Kilnsea and a walk upto Beacon Lagoon where 2 Lapland Buntings were hanging around,we set off on our mission only stopping when we caught Bob chip fat Wale & co up who had picked out some duck on the sea which turn out to be 5 Velvet Scoter a lifer for Mandy also a single Red throated diver flew by,everyone headed off to the far side of the lagoon so Mandy and myself headed for the hide as we had noticed the storm closing in on us which we just made it in time but the lagoon was empty apart from a pair of Brent Geese & a few Mallard with the storm passed over we headed back for the bus with no Lapland Buntings seen,On arriving at the carpark we noticed the minibus was missing but I knew that they must of headed for the Crown & Anchor for more waders and I was right with the only new wader present for me for the day was a Greenshank giving nice views.
Spotted Flycatcher

Roe Deer

Saturday, 17 September 2011

Waters Edge CP 17-9-11

With the morning spent in Hull and the weather being kind for once Mandy and myself decided on going down to Waters Edge too spend some time photographing the wagtails but with only 3 present the rest must have pushed on with their migration.
Other birds noted
Meadow Pipit,Sparrowhawk,3 Black-tailed Godwit,3 Grey Plover, the usual 5 gull species & the usual wildfowl.
Pied Wagtail

Yellow Wagtail

Thursday, 15 September 2011

Far Ings 14-9-11

After getting everything sorted which took up most of the day & my better half  Mandy already at Far Ings since 9.30,I decided to just take a walk up without any gear what a mistake that was,after being in ness hide I called skua with only getting a bad view through Mandys bins we watched it head towards pursuit pit which looked like it went down and 2 minutes after a old chap came in and said are you taking photographs because there's a Pom skua on Target pit and that he had been watching it for 15 minutes,on that note he walked back to Target pit with me but it had flown must of been the bird we had seen,On returning back to ness hide mandy and myself headed for Pursuit pit but it had gone.
A quick check on the Humber but no sign on there either.
Only other bird of note was a single Common Tern.

Saturday, 10 September 2011

Barton-upon-Humber area 10-9-11

With a Sabine's Gull being reported on Birdguides yesterday at Barton,I had to go and check it out for myself
searching all areas from the Humber Bridge down to pit 25 near Barrow Haven,but with this done no sign of the Sab's.
I started of at Waters Edge checking a couple of pits that I know get some gulls on but only 2 Lesser & 1 imm Great black backed gull present,I continued my search along the Humber with Common,Black headed,Lesser & Great black backed Gulls when a single juvenile Common Tern flew around the out fall showing some brown & grey mottling on it's back when I thought to myself I wonder if some body with less expirience had mistaken this for a juvenile Sabine's Gull? we shall never know.
With upto 200 martins flying about and plenty more flying up and down the Humber with a lone Swift in with them which is nice to see late Swifts but when I reached the Sailing pit I had around 20 Swift flying above me a nice surprise,but with no gulls present I went straight to pit 25 and again no gulls,with no sign of anything that even resembled a Sabine's Gull I headed back to Waters Edge to check up on the Little Grebe family which allowed me to grab a couple of shots
Other birds noted
Gadwall,Teal,Tufted Duck,2 Ruddy Duck,3 Black-tailed Godwit,2 Redshank,3 Curlew,3 Sparrowhawk & 1 Kestrel.

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Alkborough Flats 3-9,Bridlington RSPB skua cruise & Bempton Cliffs 4-9-11

With Mark Maddox phoning me the other day to say he was going on the RSPB Skua cruise on Sunday and asked if we would like to also do it we soon got our tickets booked as Mandy had never been on it before,I phoned Mark back inviting himself & Nicknav up Saturday to stay at ours overnight rather than driving up on sunday morning.
The arrival of Mark & Nick on saturday afternoon saw them having a tea break and deciding on where to go for a few hours birding and decided on going to Alkborough flats.
After a 15 minute drive or so we reached the top of the hill leading down to the flats and could see that the water levels were a lot higher than the previous visit meaning less waders.
We reached the first hide with mainly Shelduck & Lapwing in front of us,we didn't stay too long but as we left a flock of Godwits came in mainly consisting of Black-tailed.
We made our way to the second hide picking up Little egret & Greenshank on the way with a Male Marsh Harrier over the distant reedbed,we reached the next hide which over looks the river Trent with only more Lapwing on show until Mark spotted a single Golden Plover in the scope which kept going into a hole and decided it was a Puffin Plover :) but I confirmed it as a Golden but when something flushed the birds we noticed there was around 300-400 Golden Plover and not just a single bird :).
With not much happening apart from a lone Kestrel and a few meadow pipits we gave up and made our way back to the carpark but getting near the first hide again we noticed the water levels had dropped and waders were closer in so had a quick investigation adding Ruff,Snipe & Bar-tailed Godwit to the list.
With light fading we made our way back home for Mandys cooking which was a gorgeous 3 course dinner which we all enjoyed so much washed down with 2 bottles of wine ( Thanks babe xxx ).

Sunday morning with the alarm set for just after 5 we rose out of bed about 6 :) with Nick also awake we set about coffee,tea and crumpets guess who was still in bed.
with it gone 6.30 I had to wake the Mr Maddox up with a cuppa tea seems we were leaving at 7.
With everyone washed,watered and fed we set off for Bridlington for the Skua cruise on arriving with a couple of wrong turns a dent in marks bumper and the ticket machine swallowing 5 pound coins and giving no ticket we all met at the harbour to board the Yorkshire Belle,I noticed a face I knew from Nuneaton Brian Manners (aka Granddad ) who soon pointed out Colin Green,Bob chip fat Wale & Derek Walsh all members of Nuneaton Birdwatchers Club also Mandy introduced me to John Sadler cool another facebook tick good to meet you John,On them coming back and telling me that 2 Purple Sandpipers in with the Turnstones on the harbour wall,Mandy and myself went off to try and grab a couple of shots.
We all boarded for the cruise with Mr Maddox still not present I started to wonder if he would miss the trip altogether but he managed to board in time and told us about the greedy ticket machine and that he had left a note in his window.
We set off on our 3 hour cruise out on the North Sea picking up the usual seabirds but best of all was a Balearic Shearwater that sat on the water for a while and within seconds the commentater shouted Sabine's Gull at 3 o'clock and managed to get straight onto the adult flying away from us with me also getting Mandy onto it giving her 2 cracking birds on her first ever trip.Only about 10 years ago my good friend tried getting me onto a Sabine's gull following a boat but didn't manage to pick it up so this was even better than the Balearic Shearwater.
Other birds noted were
Red throated Diver,Manx & Sooty Shearwater,Great & Arctic Skua,Common Scoter,Black,Common & Arctic Tern & plenty of harbour porpoise which I only managed a distant record shot 2 did come close to the boat but the wrong side for me :(.
We got back into Bridlington and headed straight for Bempton Cliffs but didn't stay too long with only Gannet and a few Fulmar left but we did add Yellow Wagtail and Marsh Harrier too our list.
A great weekend for all and a big thanks to Mark Maddox for driving see you in 2 weeks for Spurn can't wait :)
Shots from today some distant record shots at that.
Purple Sandpiper


Arctic Skua


Sooty Shearwater


Harbour Porpoise


Great black backed Gull


Herring Gull


Herring Gull


Thursday, 1 September 2011

Winteringham Haven 1-9-11

Today saw Mandy & myself setting off a few mile from home to a site I have never been before at Winteringham.
On arrival the sun was out  the heat building up set for a nice morning out,we walked down the road to the sailing club onto the Humber Bank with lots of wagtails in the flooded field consisting of Yellow & Pied's,while we sat on the nearby bench for a coffee a pair of Kestrels were hunting with 1 catching a vole as we sat and watched a pair of Marsh Harriers came along the reedbeds.
Continuing our walk to the sluice we noticed a flock of around 100+ Golden Plover in the ploughed field with no Pacific or American amongst them we carried on walking with a few Reed Warblers still hanging around before migrating,Pheasant & Red-legged Partridge in the stubble fields.
We sat at the sluice watching for anything flying past a few Curlew and several flocks of Barnacle Geese came by with up to 50 in total,Yellowhammers also present with a few Linnet and we had watched a female Sparrowhawk along the track.After a coffee and snack break we walked the road way back taking us back through the fields with more Yellow Wagtails and a flock of 50+ Linnet.We also noted a juvenile Marsh Harrier sitting in a field and 3 Common Snipe were flushed by the farmer in his Harvester.
Back near Winteringham we noted a Kestrel mobbing a Sparrowhawk also the Marsh Harriers flushing the Golden Plover which gained height and went off,with the heat haze and heat we set off for The Bay Horse pub for a cold drink but stopped serving food so had to settle for a packet of cheese & onion crisps each.
A great morning birding out.
Yellow Wagtail