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Post Info TOPIC: Yorkshire


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RE: Yorkshire


The Desert Wheatear looks to have been taken by a predator yesterday as only tail feathers remain in the area it was. Comments and the general feeling on twitter is that photographers have changed its behaviour making it stay too long by constantly feeding it with mealworms.

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Easterly Day Out. 14/1/2018

     A full team, with Kevin driving, had a bit of a conundrum to solve before we decided on where to go. A Penduline Tit near Gloucester or a Desert Wheatear at Whitby Abbey. Now as the Penduline Tit had not been reported until 2-45pm the day before did that mean it was hard to find? So we went for the Desert Wheatear at Whitby, the day was cold but dry (for a change) as we left Newhey and we arrived at the abbey at around 9-30am. We were told that the bird had been seen and within 15 minutes were all enjoying views of it down to 3 metres!! Stonechat, Rock Pipit and Mistle Thrush also seen. Darren & Stuart from Leeds area were also seen at the Desert Wheatear. We headed for Forge Valley & Hackness and watched the feeders for the various small birds that happily fed close by the cars. We went towards Troutsdale and saw around 7 Mandarin Ducks, but as usual the elusive Kingfisher was not seen.

    We called in at Scalby Mills and Scarborough Bay seeing Gannet, Fulmar, Shag & Razorbill. A drive to the harbour were the search for Purple Sandpipers led up to the old harbour walls and around 8 of these well marked sandpipers. The car park had its own flock of Turnstone who happily, copied the gulls begging for bread? No trip to Scarborough is complete without a trip to Holbeck to admire the Mediterranean Gulls (not in summer though) about 6 individuals, in various states of plumage, were fed, watched and photographed.

   The influx of Hawfinch into the country next led us to the church at Brompton by Sawdon where, around 6 Hawfinch had been seen for a few days, also a nice surprise was also in store for us. The news that the birds were still around had us searching the trees in the churchyard, when a departing birder casually said, There is a Ring Ouzel in the field over there. Being a little taken aback by his comments (as Ring Ouzel are summer visitors) we all dashed off to try to see the Ouzel and there it was, 50 metres away, feeding happily it a horse paddock. Bob dashed back and told us the Hawfinches were showing very well. Good views of these chunky finches were soon enjoyed. As time was pressing on, we made our last stop at a Red Kite area and were not disappointed, the sight of a hunting Barn Owl made what turned out to be a really good day out. The Penduline Tit, as we had all said it would, was put on the bird news at 8-30am. Maybe another day then.

Dave O.



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Tues 2nd Jan.

With Ian Lyth in the rain.

High Hoyland. In the maize field lower down the track at back of the church.

Mealy Redpoll. Large mixed finch flock of Lesser Redpoll, Chaffinch and Greenfinch. We managed to pick this one out as a real beauty with great wing bars and a glowing white rump.
Think we had another two probables but they were wet through and preening so couldn't be sure.

Broadstones.

200+ Lapwing in field and 20 Golden Plover (16+4) over.

Ingbirchworth Reservoir feeder station.

Willow Tit.
Yellowhammer (3M2F)
Reed Bunting.
Bullfinch (M+F).

Roger.

-- Edited by Roger Baker 3 on Tuesday 2nd of January 2018 10:28:38 PM

-- Edited by Roger Baker 3 on Wednesday 3rd of January 2018 12:56:47 AM

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Thurs 28th Dec.

Bright sunny day out with Ian Lyth.

Whitby. Male Desert Wheatear in stubble field at side of Cleveland Way trail (park up at the Abbey).
Initially distant, at the far side of the stubble but after an hour had worked its way near to fence eventually flying up to perch on mole hills about 3 mts away .... what a little gem this is close up !
Bit draughty up on those cliff tops.

Harewood. Red Kite (8). These put on a good overhead display while we had a brew at the "Muddy Boots Cafe" car park.

Lemonroyd Sewage Works. After about 30 mins scanning managed to pick out a definite Water Pipit among the Pied Wagtail flock, with a few Meadow Pipit thrown in for good measure.
The Water Pipit was on the farthest filter bed .. you do need a scope for this.

Roger.



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Worsbrough village, South Yorkshire

Having dipped Hawfinch at Marbury CP on 3 visits over the past 2 weeks and unable to get to see the Flixton bird, It was time to cast the net further afield, And well worth the journey and bitterly cold conditions, At least 2 Hawfinch 1 male and 1 female seen together, However possibly 5 birds present, Due to the constant movement it was difficult to say for certain.

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Agree with Rob, these birds are so elusive at times, hence so hard to find normally. Evidently the birds at the Arboretum were stumbled on to start with but clearly by Sunday it was a hot ticket as dozens of birders were about. It was a lifer for many there and people were getting their best ever views in many cases too. It was really blissful being able to wander around the trees and seeing birds flying over and then picking up 1 or 2 and watching them for minutes on end. We spent a good hour watching one small group and it was really funny hearing the same phrases over again from people trying to spot the birds. "It's on the diagonal branch", "It's by the green leaves" "They're in the tree". We all voted " You can see it with the naked eye" as the star phrase. I found the flight views really useful, it is quite a distinctive bird in flight so hopefully stands me in good stead for that dream encounter in GM.

I saw a Green Woodpecker and Stock Dove in addition to the birds Rob mentioned. Day list of 30, some of the supporting cast were charming, I had 7 Bullfinch in view at one point, all but one smart males.

The Arboretum was really nice, but be advised there is a £7 entrance charge. Worth every penny in my book for our 3 hours of sublime birding but you knew you were in Yorkshire with the grumbling going on about the price...

The guy who asked if birdwatching was a genetic mutation made me chuckle. He was walking a dog so I just told him I thought walking around tied to a smelly animal was strange and we agreed to disagree! Nothing to get upset about though in my view.

All in all it was a major buzz; I'm still smiling about it now 2 days later!

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Sunday 5th November with Simon Gough.

Castle Howard / The Yorkshire Arboretum (York).
A late Saturday decision due to recent family circumstances, but a cracking decision it turned out to be in the end, a lovely place a little bit reminiscent of Sizergh (obviously) and no shortage of birds around either.

- Hawfinch (difficult to tell but possibly 25+)
Obviously I was aware of the nationwide invasion but Simon had been monitoring events at this site for the previous 24hrs.
Hard to put a number to the birds we saw due to duplicates, the most we had was 8 birds in 1 flock (I caught the tail end 5), an earlier flock of 5, a flock of 4, a couple of 3's, 2's, and plenty of singles.
Some were close, some distant, some partially hidden, then out in the open, and above all the thing I've come to expect from Hawfinches was never more true than yesterday...

THEIR ABILITY TO DISAPPEAR IN A SPLIT SECOND, OR TO APPEAR SUDDENLY IN AN AREA YOU WERE WATCHING WHERE SECONDS EARLIER THERE WAS SEEMINGLY NOTHING THERE

Other birds of note...
- Marsh Tit on the feeders
Tough one without hearing the bird call, but we got there in the end Si, glossy black cap, small black bib, small pale spot at the base of the upper bill, and perhaps more importantly the lack of a pale wing panel.
- Fieldfare 5 in total
- Redwing 11
- Great Spotted Woodpecker 2
- Skylark 5 over
- Nuthatch 1
- Bullfinch 3 males
- Tree Sparrow c25+
- Red Kite 1 over the road on way home
- Golden Plover large flock (with Lapwing) over the car en route
- lots of usuals seen too including a strange lad (with his male partner) who asked "...this birdwatching then, is it a genetic defect?" Well not many features to go on but it didn't take long to ID him, The Village Idiot! Another one for the day list Si.


-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 6th of November 2017 10:17:39 PM

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Set off for Flamborough today full of hope and anticipation - the wind has had an easterly element to it for 2-3 days, a smattering of scarcities yesterday suggested stuff was moving and the weather looked like it could be a good day for birding. We arrived on the carpark at the outer head at 08.00 and headed straight down to look over Bay Brambles and out over the sea. Both were quiet and a single Arctic Skua was the best bird. We then worked the paths around the coastal park to Old Fall Hedge and up the hedge to the plantation which only produced an Eider and a small group of newly arrived Redwings. A quick chat with a local birder - nice to meet you Brian - confirmed there was very little else around. A single Yellow-browed Warbler was calling in the plantation but was difficult to see, however a second bird on the path adjacent to the golf course back near the car park was a bit more showy. A couple of Wheatears, single Golden Plover and Dunlin and a Red Kite on the way home were the best birds of a quiet but enjoyable day.

-- Edited by Craig Higson on Wednesday 27th of September 2017 06:19:02 PM

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Saturday.
Worsbrough Reservoir with Simon Gough and nice to see Steve Burke on site.

- Grey Phalarope 1
A Lifer for Simon so I felt I had to take him to get this one. A gorgeous little bird that was constantly busy feeding on the overflow to the reservoir.

Kingfisher heard also.


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worsbrough reservoir, south Yorkshire.

grey phalarope, showing well in the overflow. it also spent some time on the lake feeding on the moss on the banks swimming under the feet of all the anglers.
kingfisher
all the usual stuff around including a singing blackcap.

-- Edited by steven burke on Sunday 24th of September 2017 10:29:34 AM

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Mon 18th Sept. 15.30 hrs.

Scout Dike Reservoir. Barnsley.

with Paul Greenall.

Red-throated Diver in full summer plumage ..... a real beauty.

Flew off at 16.45 hrs approx.

Roger.





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This morning, before my train back was due, I went to the harbour at Bridlington and found 3 purple sandpipers on the rocks that were surprisingly as friendly as most of the turnstones there, giving me some belting close views!

A couple of extra notes from Saturday, I neglected to put a red-throated diver from the boat trip, and a flock of dunlin and teal too!

Also worth mentioning is I managed to confirm that the possible greenish warbler on saturday was definitely a greenish warbler after a little more digging and with the aid of the new Collins bird app on android!

Pictures attached of greenish warbler were from Fridays Bempton cliffs.

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The big day came... and went! I had a Potter about to sewerby park first thing with a nice stock dove find, ringed plovers, and a treecreeper. More interesting was along a path that runs by the golf course as I heard a warbler type call very much like the greenish warbler i saw yesterday at Bempton. I managed to see it but it was very active, but it did seem to match perfectly from yesterday's bird only I couldn't check the wing markings due to its endless energy. Since I'm no expert on warblers, I'm cautiously stopping short of saying it was a definite greenish warbler.


The boat trip from Bridlington for the seabird cruise wasn't as fruitful as I feared due to a poor migration start. however, that didn't mean to say that there wasn't any good bits. There were a few juvenile puffins found being one of the highlights, along with a common gull, but picture the following...

I'm alert to what passes, a juvenile herring gull, another gull, then another, and another for over an hour yawn then whilst another flies over the boat, somebody shouts "great skua!" And suddenly everyone wakes up including me and realised just in time that the bird flying low over was the skua! Glad someone was awake!

Then, on the last half hour before heading back to the harbour, someone spotted 2 artic skuas in the distant, but by now it was getting colder and I was feeling it just enough so that my bioculars was shaking more then the boat was rocking. As if just by appointment, one eventually headed straight for the boat and flew past, giving great views. The artic skua that flew past was an adult dark phase which still retained his pointed pin at the tip of his tail!

All in all, it's been a tiring but fully satisfying day! Ta!

-- Edited by Richard Thew on Saturday 2nd of September 2017 09:41:16 PM



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Saturday 2nd of September 2017 11:01:42 PM

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Spent last week in the Whitby area entertaining 3 generations of the family, which left little time for birding. So little, in fact, that it amounted to a single hour, which I filled by taking in the adult Rose-coloured Starling that occupied a Scarborough garden for a few days. About time another turned up in GM.

Cheers, John

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Went to Wykeham Forest yesterday to see the long staying Honey Buzzard at the raptor point.
It was displaying although distantly. Also present were Goshawk and Turtle Dove.

We decided that as we were in the area we should also visit the red-backed shrike in Long Lane Filey and get some lunch.
After lunch we started to search for Long Lane, which didn't appear to exist. After an hour or so we found out that Long Lane was in fact a footpath to the west of Filey Country Park.
We found the shrike in a hawthorn bush halfway up the path.

We then rounded off our Yorkshire Excursion with a quick visit to Bempton Cliffs.
We were surprised to find a couple of late staying puffins.
Other birds of note were corn bunting, yellow wagtail and peregrine

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My previous posts on West Yorkshire should have been on this page as the reservoirs are actually in
North Yorkshire.I didn't realise I had crossed the border. yet another reservoir today. This time it was
Thruscross reservoir. An exceptionally beautiful place four and a half miles round. Not many species
seen but lots of birds.
Mallard 26
Greylag goose c.300
Oystercatcher c. 120
Blackbird 4
Robin 2
House Martin 7
Carrion Crow 4
Cormorant 3
Black Headed Gull 6
Swallow 10


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Also on Saturday with Simon Gough.

Sutton Bank.
Quick visit but one of the footpaths that led to a viewing screen and appeared to head towards some of the best habitat was closed so we didn't stay long and as a result not much was seen.
- 1 Siskin on feeders
- 1 Lesser Redpoll
- 1 Chiffchaff
- 1 Whitethroat
- 1 Kestrel

Nosterfield Quarry and Lakes.
- 1 Sabine's Gull
Very mobile and was flying around Flask Lake and Kiln Lake. Watched it fishing too!
- 1 Scaup with Tufted Ducks
- 1 Avocet
- 1 Curlew
- 1 Barn Owl flew infront of the car just down the road
- 2 Red-legged Partridge
- 1 Yellowhammer
- 1 Yellow Wagtail
- lots of young Pied Wagtails around too



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Saturday 8th July with Simon Gough.

Wykeham Forest Raptor Watchpoint. (Early am - 2.15pm)
Nice to see Steve Burke and to meet local Dave Mansell, who earlier in the week posted a sublime photo of a male Honey Buzzard on twitter.

- Honey Buzzard 2 (possibly 3)
Showed well for a short time, the male putting on a spectacular show with his wing clapping display to the female.
On talking to Dave Mansell he said we all could've possibly seen 3 birds, the 3rd being a dark male that was seen earlier in the week.

- Common Buzzard also displaying, brilliant to watch
- Goshawk 4 possibly 5, good views
- Sparrowhawk 1
- Hobby 1 adult flew right over us
- Kestrel 2
- Osprey seen later just after we'd left
- Spotted Flycatcher 4 (1@viewpoint, 3@plantation)
- Treecreeper 1
- Lesser Redpoll 1
- Siskin 2
- Bullfinch 6
- Yellowhammer 1



-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 10th of July 2017 08:40:47 PM

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Weds 14th June evening from 20.30 hrs.

Spring Moor. South Yorkshire.

With David Walsh, Ian Lyth & Paul Greenall.

Had a brilliant all round session.

Nightjar. Possibly we had two pair (definite M & F) but plenty of churring, fly-overs and wing clapping.
Snipe. At least 10 drumming.
Woodcock roding.
Lapwing.
Curlew.
Grasshopper Warbler reeling.
Tawny Owl.

Bonus (totally unexpected) of a calling Quail at 22.15 hrs.

Roger.




-- Edited by Roger Baker 3 on Thursday 15th of June 2017 09:35:13 AM

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10+ screeching swifts over Leeds University at 09:30

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Rob Creek wrote:

"...and not a tiny dot like at Martin Mere"

For any non-mindreaders out there wink, this is a reference to our only previous experience with this species, which was a bird from the UU Hide at Martin Mere 2 years ago that never came remotely close to us.

This one by contrast was almost close enough to touch and really enjoyable to watch and study. I've seen this species called a 'birder's bird'; you might struggle to get casual birders too excited with it but I love my waders so I was really delighted.



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Sunday 21st May.
Early morning visit with Simon Gough.

Quick stop off at Flamborough Head but it was pretty much what we were going to see a little later at Bempton Cliffs.

Thornwick Pool.
- Temminck's Stint 1
Within minutes we were watching it as it showed really well right infront of the hide and not a tiny dot like at Martin Mere.
What an absolute treat to see it up close.

Other birds of note...
- Reed Warbler 2
- Sedge Warbler 1
- Linnet plenty about





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Really chuffed Rob that it was a new species for you smile That was the whole reason for my enquiry. I too don't follow any given list, I just enjoy seeing new birds, but I'm always keen to check whether the new ones that I see are deemed to be species or subspecies by the 'experts' wink And you are right it is quite a recent elevation to species level, the first Siberian Stonechat I ever saw was when they were recognised as a subspecies only!!



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Doc Brewster wrote:

Rob Creek wrote:

Sunday 7th May

Flamborough Head...quick stop at the headland then on to South Landing.

- Siberian Stonechat 1 (subspecies Lifer)


What list do you follow Rob? Siberian Stonechat is a full species on the BOU List (Saxicola maurus), it's lumped with Stejneger's Stonechat, so if you've already seen one of those then yep, it's a subspecies tick. If not (I hope not) then it's a full tick and a plus one for your British List smile





I don't follow a list Doc, I'll explain on Discussion later.
The Siberian Stonechat I always thought because it is referred to in most books as Eastern Stonechat, that it was just a different race, similarly with Eastern Black Redstart etc so I thought the species was still Stonechat and the races such as Maurus and Rubicola were subspecies.
However, your comment has just led me to check one particular book, the Collins BTO Guide to Rare British Birds and it does state that it was elevated to species status quite recently so I had no idea, cheers for that Doc.
smile

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Rob Creek wrote:

Sunday 7th May

Flamborough Head...quick stop at the headland then on to South Landing.

- Siberian Stonechat 1 (subspecies Lifer)


What list do you follow Rob? Siberian Stonechat is a full species on the BOU List (Saxicola maurus), it's lumped with Stejneger's Stonechat, so if you've already seen one of those then yep, it's a subspecies tick. If not (I hope not) then it's a full tick and a plus one for your British List smile



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Sunday 7th May

Flamborough Head...quick stop at the headland then on to South Landing.

- Siberian Stonechat 1 (subspecies Lifer)
A lovely looking Chat constantly feeding from the fence line of a sheep field on the other side of the nature reserve near the Living Seas Centre. Big thanks to the local birder who showed me the correct field.

Other birds of note...
- Lesser Whitethroat 1
- Blackcap 2
- Great Spotted Woodpecker 1

Birds of note near the Lighthouse...
- Auks 100's of mixed Guillemots / Razorbills, some Puffins too
- Kittiwakes in decent numbers
- Gannets in good numbers
- Fulmar 2
- Shag 20+
- Common Scoters distant
- Common Eider 2 drakes

I also pulled over en-route at Howden to watch a Hobby that I spotted circling over a roadside meadow. I watched it for a couple of minutes before it put the rocket burners on and flew off chasing what looked like a couple of Sand Martin.





-- Edited by Rob Creek on Sunday 7th of May 2017 08:53:54 PM

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Monday 1st May.

Buckton Ponds (near Bempton Cliffs).

Morning visit, I actually had something else planned in East Yorkshire but I diverted due to news of a Wryneck at one of the ponds.
No sign of the Wryneck for me or the other 4 birders there. It was Mark Thomas the ringer who found it so there was no doubting the sighting, it just didn't show or wasn't there whilst I was there. More birders turned up but seems they had no luck either.

Other birds...
- Yellow Wagtail 1 cracking male
- Yellowhammer 2
- Wheatear 5 ...3m/2f
- Tree Sparrow flock of around 10
- Reed Bunting 1m
- Linnet plenty around
- Whitethroat 1
- Chiffchaff 2
- Pied Wagtail 2
- Redshank 1
- House Martin 1
- Swallow 2

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Yorkshire tick for me on Easter Saturday:

Hooded Crow feeding on Rabbit roadkill in Arkengarthdale just north of Reeth. Big surprise to see one so far south. Details sent to county recorder of course!

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Kilnsea & North Cave. 9/4/17 Myself, Bob K and Nigel S from York, decided on a trip to the east coast. Me and Bob got to York at 8am and as we picked up Nige news of an Iberian Chiff-chaff at Kilnsea came through. We headed of through the sun drenched city of Hull on our first trip of the year to the Spurn area. In the Crown & Anchor car park a few birders had assembled, news of the bird was good as it had been caught and rung and was still in the area. We watched two Firecrest and a Fieldfare as we waited for about an hour for the bird to show. Nige managed to see the bird pretty well as we had drifted off to search around the ringing area. The bird began calling and showing in a tall tree on the caravan site but visible from the Crown & Anchor car park, the song was very nice to hear, felt like we were in Spain as the sun shone on us all! After seeing some butterflies. Brimstone, Peacock, Green Veined White and Small Tortoiseshell we headed out to Holderness Fields to see the cracking male Garganey that has been around for a few days. It was a little distant but well worth the effort, our first Swallow of the year flew past us, it must be springtime. We called in at Sammy`s Point in the hope of seeing a Wheatear, without any joy. After a search of the bushes and paddocks, that seemed very quiet we managed to see a nearly summer plumaged Golden Plover, this bird was very photogenic. We called in at North Cave wetlands and watched a couple of Little Ringed Plover along with lots of other water birds, Ruff, Redshank, Gadwall and Great Crested Grebe. The report of a singing Sedge Warbler took us around the reserve, but the bird was not seen, sure there will be more. We did not manage to see any Red Kites in the area, but after we had dropped Nige off in York a single bird was seen from the road in Tadcaster. Good day out with brilliant weather. Dave O.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 11th of April 2017 12:05:59 PM

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2 Swallow now at Robin Hood's Bay.
Info,with thanks, from Steve Almond.

-- Edited by keith mills on Friday 31st of March 2017 01:23:55 PM

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Two-thirds of our regular group met up in Oldham for a tour of South and West Yorkshire (with a short visit to Notts for the Green-winged Teal at Newington). With this under our belts we headed on for the Shore Larks at Stainton, which are frequenting the lagoons on the spoil heap of the old colliery site, collecting roadside Yellowhammer and Red-legged Partridge for the trip list en route. It actually took us longer to find the access to the site than to see the birds as they fed among the very sparse vegetation on the spoil, giving very good views. At least 6 Ringed and 1 Little Ringed Plovers were also around the lagoons.

From here we made our way north up the A1 to Acaster Selby in search of the reported Great Grey Shrike. Having located Ebor Transport we scoured the area where the bird had been reported yesterday but failed to locate anything larger than a Chiffchaff or Bulfinchsmile. The application of some lateral thinking to the details of yesterday's directions led us to switch our attention and scan in a different area, where a distant pale blob was revealed to be our target. The bird was active along a hedgerow and around stored straw including a large square block of bales. Very good scope views and photos were obtained before we headed off for lunch.

Suitably refreshed we now headed back south to Broom Hill Flash, confirming a possible sighting of Red Kite with marginally better views of a bird at the same location as earlier. The two pairs of Garganey here were found much more quickly than the Shrike, but proved to be the most difficult to see of our target birds, with limited views of the upper parts of one drake and bits of one duck being obtained at the north end of the flash. We were told that the other drake was on the southern shore of the flash but even the elevation provided by the smart new-looking hide failed to reveal either it or more of the northern pair. From here we decided to head back to Manchester to try for the Bittern at Doffcocker, as there had been no news of the Water Pipits at Swillington. Of course they were reported just after we passed the point of no return. Still, a successful 'boy's day out' with all of the attempted targets seen and an appropriately change-of-season mix of Winter and Summer visitors.

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Hartlepool & Teesside. 5/3/2017

     A hurried decision to go with the lads from York, Nige S & Mark K was fully justified with a really good days birding. We met in York and with Mark driving, we were soon at Ward Jackson Park in Hartlepool. A couple of Ring Necked Parakeet`s gave excellent close up views on a sunny but cold morning. Next stop was the Jewish Cemetery on the way up to the headland in Hartlepool. The Shore Lark was soon being watched and gave quite a good show. The fish quay in Hartlepool has been used by lots of white winged gulls over the years and, as we managed to be invited in we found a very obliging juvenile Iceland Gull. The bird was photographed many times, some really close shots. We also watched a couple of fishing boats come into dock and chatted with the men on the quayside about the state of sea fishing in Britain. We called at Newburn Bridge on the coast to watch one of the local Mediterranean Gull`s and a few waders as they fed and preened on the foreshore.

  At Seal Sands on Teesside we searched for a Spotted Redshank without success, but Nige found a newly arrived flock of Avocet`s, spring is nearly here we all thought. We watched the seals as they used as little energy as possible trying to get into the water, great fun! We headed for Redcar and were soon watching a small flock of Velvet Scoter and in trying to get a bit closer managed to catch a couple of waves in our footwear. Just down the road behind The Stray Café we had hoped to see a small flock of Snow Bunting, but with lots of people and dogs around they were nowhere to be seen. At Marske by the Sea a couple of Lapland Buntings had been seen in the morning. On site birders told us that they had not been seen for a couple of hours. We decided to walk the large stubble field and we managed to encourage one of the Lapland Buntings to fly up and call as it flew around us, very nice indeed. The birds were left in peace to enjoy the food left out by some birders.

  As we were so close to Skinningrove it made sense to call in and enjoy the Eastern Black Redstart that seems to have taken up residency there. The bird did not let us down, showing really well and a few pictures were taken. Along with the Rock Pipits, Stonechats & Wrens and lots of enquiring tourists a very nice hour was spent on the sandy beach admiring the Redstart. At Lockwood Beck Reservoir a Water Pipit had been showing all day, well up until we got there! A few Grey Wagtails were seen, but that was all. Our final call was to be Danby Beacon were lots of Red Grouse seemed to be dotted all over the place, they are always good entertainment. The drive back over the North York Moors was very spectacular, especially Rosedale, but being a heavily keepered area the chance of seeing any birds of prey was minimal. We reached York after a good days birding around 5-30pm, thanks for showing me some new places lads.

Dave O.



-- Edited by Ian McKerchar on Tuesday 7th of March 2017 09:29:44 PM

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Dipped on the Pine Bunting today following a six hour stint at Dunnington. Weather cool and fine following the first hour or so of rain. Started looking in the field at the end of Intake Lane where seed had been put down. Plenty of Yellowhammer, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Bullfinch and Brambling. The star bird had earlier been seen by one person from the public footpath that leads into the fields at the end of Kerver Lane. We headed there next to be told we had missed the bird by five minutes when it had shown well for four or five minutes. No further sightings until mid afternoon when it was again seen at the footpath end of the Kerver Lane stubble field. After doing another full circuit of the whole area, we then decided to wait by the stubble field for the rest of the day. At around 4.30 pm Yellowhammers started arriving en masse as they had apparently done the previous afternoon. Approx 35 birds flew into a tree to our right with the Pine Bunting amongst them. Three of the group of six or seven birders managed to land straight on the bird before it and the large flock of Yellowhammer flew down into the field four seconds later. The birds now were very close to our footpath and it was just a question of time before the rest of us saw it. It was at this point that a Sparrowhawk decided to spoil things by zooming in low, taking a Yellowhammer and scattering the whole flock of bird high into the air and away out of sight. Damn. I uttered an expletive far worse than damn. That was it. Amongst others :-

Yellowhammer (c.85)
Tree Sparrow (c.15)
Corn Bunting (c.15)
Brambling (c.10)
Bullfinch
Reed Bunting
Buzzard
Kestrel
Sparrowhawk

In addition to the above, a Short eared Owl flew over the M6 near the M62 junction at 8 am, two Red Kite were noted between Harrogate and York and a Barn Owl flew over the car at 8.45 pm a couple of miles north of Comberbatch in Cheshire. Some consolation.


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Lunchtime / early afternoon visit to Dunnington, last minute decision and only stopped for 2 hours.

- Pine Bunting (Lifer)
Only 5 people present probably due to poor weather which did clear a bit. I managed to get on to the bird and happily put the others on to it. Showed for 5 seconds then disappeared. All in all I got 5 views of it which collectively totalled about 20 seconds if that.
Good enough views for me though, despite not managing a single record shot. Didn't help with the flock being spooked constantly, by a Kestrel, a Blackbird, and overhead Gulls.

Other birds in the large flock...
- Yellowhammers
- Bramblings
- Corn Buntings
- Reed Buntings
- Tree Sparrows
- 1 Treecreeper
- 1 Coal Tit

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Sunday 26th Feb.
Early afternoon visit to Kerver Lane area of Dunnington.

Large flock of Finches located.
-No sign of the Pine Bunting, wasn't seen since earlier
-Lots of Yellowhammer
-Lots of Brambling
-Reed Buntings
-Bullfinches
-Chaffinches
-1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
-1 Red Kite flew over the main road out of Dunnington

A few local birders and myself were a little bit annoyed at one group of birders who kept flushing the whole finch flock by getting forever closer and spooking them, they were constantly retreating to the hedges and the trees which was making scanning them impossible. At one point the flock flew to the other side of the field and the group quickly moved over to that side and predictably flushed them back over again. We were just looking at each other in dismay!

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Yorkshire Coast & Dunnington (Hagg Wood). 26/2/2017

      A good day out with Mark K and Nige S from York and apart from an early communications problem, a memorable one. We met in York at 8am and headed off towards Wykeham Lakes with Nige S driving. The possibility of seeing Egyptian Geese at Wykeham spurred us on as we traversed a bumpy, muddy track to a good viewing area. The weather was cold, but at least it was dry. We checked out the old gravel pits, now used by gentlemen yachters, without seeing the geese. At Hackness Nige saw a Kingfisher as it dashed upstream, we did see a couple of Dipper on the river and on a pool nearby a small flock of Mandarin Ducks were admired. We called at Forge Valley, Troutsdale feeding area were lots of birds were seen: - Marsh Tit, Treecreeper, Nuthatch and various other species were seen, very nice place to stop in at in the car. A move along the valley below the Wykeham raptor watch point revealed a Crossbill and after 30 minutes or so a flock of Wood Pigeons burst out of a wooded area. Was a bird of prey around? Then Mark K saw two Goshawks take to the air, within a few seconds they were seen flying around, one quickly disappeared but the larger female was on show for around a minute, what a stunning bird to be seen so close (150 metres?) Good job we didnt leave the area chaps!

    Next stop was the area below the castle in Scarborough to try to find a wintering Black Redstart. After around 10 minutes Mark K (who had his eye in today) found the Black Redstart as it showed itself dashing from on rock to another then hiding again. Nice bird! The tide was out in Scarborough Harbour but it didnt stop us watching the wintering Black Necked Grebe and Great Northern Diver as they fished in between the boats. A few Purple Sandpipers were also seen as we walked around the harbour wall. In an area known as Holbeck in Scarborough we decided to have our lunch (or at least share it) with the Mediterranean Gulls that winter there? They did not let us down, I managed to sit on a bench and get them to come to around 2 metres away and they seemed to enjoy my Ham & French Mustard sandwiches. A few pictures were taken. News of an Arctic Redpoll having been relocated in Hagg Wood in Dunnington was now our next target species.

    A pleasant ride back to Dunnington (I might be paying poll tax for the area if I visit again) with not much news about the birds whereabouts except that it had been seen in the south east corner of the wood. We trudged around in ankle deep mud and winding paths without any joy, until we saw a couple who had just watched a flock of about 30 Redpoll, we could not find them and went back to the car after having met a couple of York birders going in. After 10 minutes Mark got a call that they were watching the Arctic Redpoll. We all dashed back to a completely different spot, but guess what? The small flock had flown again, another half an hour searching without any luck and we abandoned the search. Really enjoyed the day out though lads. Got home by 6-30pm.

Dave O.



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The Dunnington (York) Pine Bunting. 25/2/2017

      A Pine Bunting was found in Dunnington near York last week. It associated itself with a large flock of finches (Yellowhammer, Chaffinch, Brambling and Tree Sparrow) A few of our friends from the York area had really struggled to see the bird but, as the flock was being fed in a couple of area`s and with one of our team needing to see it, a trip was planned for Saturday. A 10am start with Bob K driving had us soon near to the birds favoured spot, or so we thought! We enjoyed all the birds in and around the fields and after Bob K had walked along a hedge lots more birds took to the air. After two and a half hours searching/waiting, Chris B found the bird in the hedge but before anyone else could get on it, the bird had flown into the field. Luckily, the original finder of the Pine Bunting was stood next to us and he quickly got all (about10 birders) onto the bird as it sat and preened in the hedge. The views were not great but most of the features were seen. Nige from York also got much better sightings of the bird just after we left (this was his 4th visit though). We also called to see a Great Grey Shrike near a disused RAF base near York, but we could not find it.

    On our way towards home around 4 Red Kites were seen in the Leeds area before we reached our next stop at Fairburn Ings. We asked a couple of local birders about the whereabouts of the 2 Smew that had been reported there. Their directions were spot on and we soon saw the female and the quickly disappearing male in Village Bay, what a stunning bird to end a good, if difficult, days birding.

Dave O



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I thought I'd have a change of scene and visit the Filey via Scarborough. The key Highlights were; 2 buzzards from the train. At Scarborough, i found the black necked grebe close next to the boats in the main harbour- well briefly anyway before he did a vanishing act with just one dive (plus a guillemot). At Filey; great views of red throated divers, good numbers of shags, a wigeon (drake), common scoters, rock pipit, distant purple sandpipers, knots, and the main star- a red necked grebe (lifer!) Took some patience to find esp with the sun glaring in his area (I was overjoyed when it clouded over). A distant but belting views. Finnished the day with some fish and chips. Now to get home for my well deserved chocolate pudding with custard, Yum!

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Scarborough Harbour this morning - Great Northern Diver showing down to just a few metres, Black-necked Grebe, Turnstones around my feet and a Rock Pipit that liked to pose.

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Across the empty horse paddock off Intake Lane in Dunnington this morning there were plenty of birds in the stubble field and hedge beyond, with the Yelowhammers, Tree Sparrows, Corn Buntings and Chaffinches was the male Pine Bunting, a cracking little bird. Had to wait almost two hours to see it, so patience is required.



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After a trip to Lincolnshire thought I'd chance my arm looking for the Pine Bunting at Dunnington near York. Arriving at 3.30 near Kerver Lane a large group were gathered looking at a 100+ group of birds flying around. Mainly Yellowhammer, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, and a few Corn Bunting. However during a lull Andy G put all of us on it and a stunner it was.

Just flew as i was about to press the photo button and didn't show again until i left at 4pm. 



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Mixed flock of redwing, fieldfare and mistle thrush stripping a pair of trees of berries this morning on Kirkstall Road, Leeds next to Holiday Inn Express. Other birds in hotel car park included blue tit and house sparrow.

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Raptor Watch at Welwick, Yorkshire. 4/12/2016

       With the lads from York needing the Pallid Harrier for a Yorkshire tick, it only seemed right to join them on their quest for the bird after many failures. The bird has been frequenting the area around Welwick since early November, apart from the odd trip across the water to see what Lincolnshire had to offer. We met at North Cave at a civilised time around 9am, news that the bird had been seen at 8-15am sort off made us visit the site first. We arrived at 10am with the news that the bird flew west and had not been seen since. It looked like we would be in for a long wait!

      Lots of birds were seen in the area with Grey Partridge, Yellowhammer, Redwing, Fieldfare, Starling and Stock Dove. Once the birds of prey began to hunt the marshy area the place seemed to come alive. Kestrel`s, Buzzard, Merlin, Marsh Harrier and a cracking Sparrowhawk all were seen hunting. The hours rolled by on a very pleasant day and the birder`s began to arrive in the hope that the star of the show a juvenile Pallid Harrier would put in an appearance. Some of Greater Manchester`s finest birders were also in attendance and I had a good laugh with them. At around 2-10pm a harrier was seen, the bird sat in a distant bush and allowed all the telescopes to focus on it and to all decide that that was our bird, the Pallid Harrier. The bird remained on show for around 30 minutes distantly hunting the saltmarsh chasing and nearly catching a Curlew then a Pheasant. Really nice bird to watch. A supporting cast of 4 Short eared Owls were also a delight to watch them hunting. The light was now beginning to fade rapidly and it was time for home. The 4 hour wait for the harrier was well worth it and Mark K and Nigel S both had a new bird for their Yorkshire list!

Dave O.



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Sunday 30th October, with Chris Chandler.

We made it to Flamborough just in time to see our 4th Lifer of the day.

- Hume's Leaf Warbler
Myself, Chris and another birder were scouring the area near the roadside pool down Lighthouse Road. I picked up on some movement but it was just a Goldcrest and then 2 Wrens. But then Chris picked up on a bird moving through some willows and this time it was our target.
It even called, that confirmed what it was, but a bit disappointed as they were only fleeting views of a small Warbler with an eye stripe as it moved through the branches, a Lifer all the same but I'm sure there will be other better opportunities for this species.
We still went home happy with a good day's sightings.

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a few photos from bempton cliffs of the bluethroat & red-breasted flycatcher.
I got myself 3 lifers on this trip, after getting my 299th & 300th at spurn it was great to finally catch up with a bluethroat to make it 301 & a cracking bird it was.
I have attempted to see a firecrest on four occasions this year & failed, so to actually find one myself in a big flock of goldcrests felt amazing.

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Flamborough Head. Sunday 2nd October 2016

  The regular influx of birds being seen on the east coast was just about getting going, so it was time for a trip to Flamborough Head. Myself, Steve B and Chris B left Newhey in the hope that we might see the Taiga Bean Goose that had been seen a few times at North Marsh at Flamborough. This was also a new part of the Flamborough area that none of us had ever had need to visit before. Chris B made good time and we arrived at the area on quite a nice morning. We searched the terrain and saw in the distance two flocks of geese and it seemed likely, after a logistics meeting, that we would be better walking towards them from the North Landing. After following the coastal path and admiring the spectacular cliffs, we reached a vantage point and saw a flock of Greylag Geese at the top of a small hill in the distance. The other flock could not be seen, we headed off to the hide which overlook`s North Marsh and encountered a really overgrown footpath covered with brambles etc. This did not help myself as I was wearing my shorts (scars to prove it). On arrival we could see that the geese were slowly coming into the pool to bathe and drink in groups of 5/6. It took about an hour for them all to come in and guess what, the Taiga Bean Goose was not amongst them!

  We sat on the cliffs and did a bit of sea watching, but really only Gannets and a few Red Throated Divers could be picked out. A quick check of the bird news revealed that the goose was indeed on the North Marsh pool and had flown in with five Pink footed Geese (the other flock) typical, but not a real wild goose chase. As one off our number had never seen this species, we again hurried along the overgrown path, ouch, noticing that about 15 people were already watching something in front of the hide, it was the Taiga Bean Goose. Great views of the bird were much appreciated after all our efforts.

  We decided to try to find Thornwick Pools, which we found without too much bother and had a chat with Brett Richards. He told us that a Red Breasted Flycatcher was at the Old Fall Plantation along with a few Yellow Browed Warbler`s. After admiring a single Dunlin at the pools we headed off to the plantation, the scene of many a good twitch. Upon arrival in the bright autumn sunshine the flycatcher had not been seen for a while. Up to 6 Yellow Browed Warblers were around the same area though and all gave good shows. The flycatcher was not seen by ourselves. We all enjoyed our trip to Flamborough and reached home by 6-30pm.

Dave O.



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Sunday 9th with Steve Burke at Flamborough and Bempton Cliffs RSPB

Heading up the coast from Withernsea at dawn, after a comedic night staying in a very 'vibrant' pub, we were treated to a hunting Barn Owl along the road, a stunning treat.

We started at Flamborough Head with a seawatch. It seemed quiet, and I suppose it was, but we still saw Sooty Shearwater, Great Skua, Red-throated Divers and more locally numerous birds like Gannet, Shag, Fulmar and Kittiwake. I saw a big diver going north quite close, as we arrived, and just never got myself together to clock it properly, possibly due to slightly bleary eyes and brain. A Great Northern Diver was reported and it was possibly the bird I saw, but I would only say I felt mine was too big and had the wrong head shape for a Red-throated. Never mind, 'diver sp' will have to do. Steve picked up a single Manx Shearwater that passed me by.

Carrying on the lifer hunting from the day before at Spurn, we headed up to Bempton to try for a Bluethroat. This was duly seen, a nice juvenile feeding on the cliffside footpath. An interesting bird structurally, with long spindly legs and a very perky look about it. Also from the cliff path, Steve spotted a Marsh Harrier being mobbed, an 'in-off' we imagined, and as we watched this melee of birds, I noticed a Short-eared Owl up there getting mobbed too. A very blissful scene, with a lovely blue sky and of course hundreds of Gannets and things like Fulmar wheeling around behind us. None of the rare warblers remained from the week, but there was a showy Red-breasted Flycatcher by the Visitor Centre, which came in to point blank range at head height. I think Steve was about 2 feet from it at one point. Joined by a Yellow-browed Warbler, with a dozen or so Chiffchaffs about, the trees seemed alive. A bit of Spurn fever had reached the reserve, as Richard's Pipit and Arctic Warbler were being discussed but were never more than rumours as far as we could see, although the Richard's could have been seen passing over as there was some movement. A few Brambling were about too.

Nice here to meet Chris Greene from the forum, and he gave us a tip about a Great Grey Shrike at Thornwick Pools, back at Flamborough. Always a superb bird, so off we went. You have to laugh sometimes; we got out of the car and as we walked down the hill, Steve got on a flying bird and we saw what it was and that was it, it zoomed over our head and disappeared off into the Caravan park and out of sight. We did pick up an unexpected Common Sandpiper on the pools too.

We fancied a bash for migrants somewhere, so we went back up to the lighthouse at Flamborough, and set off to the Old Fall plantation. We found a Ring Ouzel in the first field we went through,with more Robins and Meadow Pipit, Linnet and Skylark all feeding on stubble. The Ouzel seemed brownish and had a very pale chest band. Not sure on age but presumably likely to be female. When we got to the plantation, at about 2.30 pm, it seemed quiet. Some Chiffchaffs started to show, fly-catching and darting around, and then a flock of Goldcrests seemed to just materialize, working through the branches, and we were suddenly looking at about 50! It was extraordinary and wonderful. They were close enough to touch! We did a lap of the trees there, and when we got back to the original spot, Steve had literally just said 'there has to be a Firecrest in that lot' when he spotted one. We cracked a smile at that! This was more really enjoyable birding, very satisfying to get on a decent bird from a host of more common migrants.

Walking back round to the lighthouse we spotted an eclipse male Eider and six Red-throated Divers on the sea; I think birds were parking up out of the wind to some extent. We were ready for home by this point and departed after another top day of birding, in a great mix of locations.


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Sunday 2nd October.

9.30am until last light 7pm at Flamborough Head with Steve Burke.

Sea Watch.
- Sooty Shearwater 52
- Manx Shearwater 1
- 1 other Shearwater seen, very different, possible Balearic
- Great Skua 2
- Arctic Skua 1 (dark phase)
- Pomarine Skua 2, 1 large juv, 1 adult (my 1st)
- Common Eider 13 together
- Sandwich Tern 12
- Red-throated Diver 15+
- Turnstone 1
- Wheatear 1
- other Seabirds in big numbers incl Gannet, Kittiwake, Fulmar, and constant Guillemot and Razorbill activity all day

Old Fall Plantation.
- Red-breasted Flycatcher 1
- Yellow-browed Warbler 1
- Chiffchaff 1
- Goldcrest 1
- Sparrowhawk 1
- Stonechat 2 (coast path from plantation)

Bit annoyed that we let the reported Long-tailed Skua slip by unnoticed, 3 Short-eared Owls flew in off the sea before we arrived, and a Barred Warbler was reported near the car park but there was no sign of it when we returned from seeing the Flycatcher.

1 other thing of note...I saw a Whale species swim by, the spray from the blowhole was seen as it took a breath then the arch of its back with a smallish dorsal fin, possible Minke.

-- Edited by Rob Creek on Monday 3rd of October 2016 12:35:45 PM

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Monday 26th Sept as part of the Spurn trip with Steve Burke, Simon Gough and Chris Chandler the following were seen at Flamborough Head and surrounding area

- Bean Goose 1 (Lifer).
With Greylags in ploughed fields near Flamborough Golf Club. Quite easily picked out, appearing a tad smaller, the different bill structure, the distinct white edges to the tertials and wing coverts, and the orange legs were a giveaway.

- a large flock of Gulls in fields opposite including the main 5, but also...
- Mediterranean Gulls in with the Black-headed Gull
- Yellow-legged Gull 1 possible
- Yellow-browed Warbler 2 in garden near visitor complex
- Goldcrest 1
- Lesser Whitethroat 1
- Blackcap 1
- Chiffchaff 1

From main headland.
- Arctic Skua 1 chasing Kittiwake and Gulls
- Great Skua 2 (1 ad, 1 juv) chasing Gulls
- Fulmar 3
- Gannet in big numbers
- Kittiwake (ad + imm's)
- Guillemot 4
- Red-throated Diver approx 40
- Shag and Cormorant around the coast
- Brent Goose 5 south over the sea
- Great Crested Grebe 1 with Divers
- Merlin 1 chasing Meadow Pipits and later chased by a large Gull

First time at Flamborough for me, was really hoping for some rare Shearwaters and Long-tailed Skuas going off recent reports but it wasn't to be.



-- Edited by Rob Creek on Thursday 29th of September 2016 11:17:57 PM

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17/09/16 Excellent trip out to the east coast on the coach with Stockport Birdwatching Society

Highlights:-

Flamborough Head;
Common Scoter (flock of 5 birds flying through)
Red-throated Diver (2 birds close on the water, another 3 flying through)
Manx Shearwater (good numbers passing north)
Sooty Sheatwater (large numbers passing north, great views, many birds close in)
Gannet (continuous passage of birds going north)
Kittiwake, Razorbill, Guillemot, Fulmar.
In the adjacent fields two Whinchat, six Wheatear and a large Linnet flock

Filey Dams;
Dunlin, Green Sandpiper, Snipe, Ruff, Stock Dove

Filey Brigg;
2 stunning male Velvet Scoter fly-by, close in.
Arctic Skua, prob up to a dozen with 2 birds close in giving good views
Rock Pipit
Purple Sandpiper (single bird with Turnstone, Knot and Ringed Plover)
Sandwich and Common Tern

En Route;
Red Kite

75 species recorded through the day.

Great day, good company and always nice to see a few forum regulars on the coach.






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This forum is dedicated to the memory of Eva Janice McKerchar; rest in peace mum.