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