Saturday 3 January 2015

Saltholme with the kids

I had a bit of a wander with my two daughters today around Saltholme then up to the creek to see the seals. Stumbled across a Common Chiffchaff presumably overwintering around the verge between the visitor centre and the wildlife watchpoint and was able to photograph it from the hide on the fence to the left of the feeders.

We also dropped into the Phil Stead hide by the car park and encountered a pair of Lesser Redpolls on the feeders.

No sign of the Green-winged Teal today - it may be tucked up in the channel though on Back Saltholme?

The Long-eared Owls were showing, but a bit tricky with a buggy. Here is a shot from last year instead.

I came across a few noteworthy birds on Cowpen Marsh between the Teesmouth NNR car park and the creek - Spotted Redshank, Kingfisher, Red-breasted Merganser (redhead) but unfortunately  no sign of the Waxwing that has been around there recently. 39 Common Seals on show at high tide.

Thursday 1 January 2015

Little Bustard, Fraisthorpe

An unexpected tick in the form of Little Bustard at Fraisthorpe near Bridlington, seeing as the last Yorkshire record was in 1956! Glad the bird had stuck out the night after turning up when I was at work yesterday, but too late to get there before dark.

A popular bird on day 2 as you can see!

Saturday 1 November 2014

Eastern Crowned Warbler, Brotton

A family trip out to Brotton today for my second ECW. Who would have thought lightning would strike so close after the Trow bird back in 2009? T-shirt weather and blue skies in November. fantastic!

Working through the sycamore canopy, pausing at times momentarily.

A quick trip up to South Gare for a distant Grey Phalarope on the Coatham Sands side of the breakwater rocks and a flightly finch flock with this lovely Twite.

Sunday 11 May 2014

Hoopoe hurray!

I finally caught up with one of my UK bogie birds today - not eaxactly the rarest but undoubtedly splendid. My daughter and I caught up with this Hoopoe at a private site near Beverley which the gracious owner had been kind enough to release news and allow birders onto his drive to view the bird on the manicured lawn at point blank range.

We spent a good while watching it after an initial brief glimpse and a hasty retreat to the car during one of several torrential showers, which each sent the bird over a hedge out of site. Maybe it had found a gazebo?

Hoopoe, Beverley

Hoopoe, Beverley

Saturday 15 March 2014


Owls have been a bit thin on the ground, but after locating a pair of Tawny Owls on Tuesday evening, I only have Little Owl left for the year list.

I saw SEO on Cowpen Marsh a few weeks ago and Barn Owl on Greenabella Marsh.

This LEO was taken at RSPB Saltholme recently.

One day I might see a Snowy Owl. I thought this winter might have been the one...

Prince Caspian

1W Caspian Gull will have been seen at Lingham Lake, Nosterfield Quarry for 4 months tomorrow. Quite an achievement for what would have been considered a rare bird not so long ago in this neck of the woods!

1W Caspian Gull, Nosterfield Quarry 15/03/14

A Chiffchaff was seen near Flasks lake.

A taste of spring on the reserve this morning with both Skylark and Meadow Pipit back, but I missed each. i did catch up with a sleeping Ruff though, so a three year-tick day.

Friday 3 January 2014

Winter Swans, Sadberge

A party of four swans have favoured a field just north of the Dogs Trust in Sadberge since December.  The group is made up of 3 Whooper Swans - one adult and two juveniles along with one adult Bewick's.

Although the two species have extensive overlap, there are still no definitive cases of hybridisation in the wild. Hybrid offspring would be difficult to recognise due to the similar morphology and bill markings. The book 'Bewick's Swan' by Eileen Rees describes incidences of other Bewick's hybrids though.

Family party of Whooper Swans, Sadberge

Bewick's and Whooper together

Bewick's Swan, Sadberge

Whooper Swan, Sadberge