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.
|Great black backed Gull|