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Post Info TOPIC: Yorkshire


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RE: Yorkshire


Putative Lesser Kestrel at Fraisthorpe, Yorkshire.23/10/2019

After a birder had been driving along the lane to Fraisthorpe Beach in Yorkshire on Tuesday morning, he noted a Kestrel species sat close by in a small tree. He took some photos of the Kestrel and later showed them to a birding friend who told him This bird has got pale claws, it could be a Lesser Kestrel After a few more opinions were shared about the photographs, a decision was made to put the news out to the various birding websites at around 8pm. Wednesday morning dawned and it wasnt until 11-30am that the putative Lesser Kestrel was again seen. So with John R at the wheel and myself and Kevin C we made our way to Fraisthorpe on a bright, sunny but cool day. Lots of other birders were present and it wasn`t long before the putative Lesser Kestrel (sorry for having to keep saying putative, it means generally considered to be) was seen. I am certainly no expert on birds of prey plumage but this bird had a different jizz to any other Common Kestrel that I have ever seen. If any of you out there have got time to spare, have a read about the bird at Birdforum or better still read this article from renowned bird of prey expert Jack Ashton-Booth :

http://raptor-id.blogspot.com/2019/1...rel-falco.html

I have no doubt that the debate about the bird will rumble on and on until the men in high places have to make a decision about the birds identity. But due to the amount of birders present to see it there had to be some credence to this interesting record. My last point is that people that dont go to see this type of tricky to identify species shouldn`t really just sit at home and make judgements upon birds after looking at pictures (think about that) Good day out no matter what the outcome might be. Once again Kevin C thanks for the Flapjack.

Later that evening news of every British birdwatchers dream bird began to circulate in the form of a Siberian Rubythroat in Radlett, Hertfordshire. That certainly got a few birders pulses racing along. We made plans to go to see it, if it recovered from its ordeal of having been caught by a cat! But the news came later that the bird was an escape due to finding that the birds wings had been clipped. It did seem a little farfetched about the whole thing, but you should always check things like this out.

Dave O.



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Hi David,

Thanks for the below information. I have just sent a mail to Nigel Puckrin with details of my Red Kite sighting.

Best Wishes
Steve

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Steve,

You may well have already done it, but Red Kites arent as common in the area to the east of York as they are further west, and all sightings are requested to be formally submitted to the local coordinator, in this case Nigel Puckrin, at the following address.

nigel@yorkshireredkites.net

As with all wildlife recording, the process is simple, the most important thing is an accurate grid reference.

Thanks in advance for your input,

David

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17th July 2019.

Walk from village of Welburn (south of Malton) through some of the parklands and woodlands of the Castle Howard estate.

Red Kite x 1
Buzzard x 2
Kestrel x 1
Reed Bunting x 1
Whitethroat x 1
Yellowhammer x 2
Greenfinch x 3
Linnet x 5
Tree Sparrow x 4
House Sparrow x 10
Coal Tit x 1
Nuthatch x 1
Chiffchaff x 5
Wren x 3
Pied Wagtail x 1
Swift x 10
House Martin x 5
Swallow x 7
Woodpigeon x 20
Rook x 1
Carrion Crow x 8
Blackbird x 5
Great Tit x 3
Blue Tit x 1
Robin x 1

N.B. Yesterday while doing a walk along top of Sutton Bank toward Low Paradise farm - I saw and heard 9 singing male Yellowhammers (within a stretch of about half a mile)!



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A170 Wanderings. 15th June 2019

Our annual Through the night birding trip began with a 11am start from Newhey and ended with an M62 induced end at 2am (more of that later) As we headed past Leeds a few Red Kites were seen swooping and gliding effortlessly over the adjacent fields. Our first stop was to be Wykeham (or as one of our team calls it why come) The news that a couple of Honey Buzzards had been seen an hour or so this morning, had us feeling that we might have a chance of seeing one! After four visits to Wykeham this year and not having seen anything other than Buzzards etc it came as no surprise that after 2 hours searching we saw only Buzzards! Then suddenly, I managed to pick up a lone Goshawk and enjoyed watching the bird for around 5 minutes whilst it flushed the local Wood Pigeon flock, excellent. We also managed to see Tree Pipit, Crossbill & Kestrel and the Honey Buzzard lived to fight another day!

We headed to a place that we have been visiting for a few years in search of Turtle Doves (please dont ask me for the location) after much searching we were rewarded with 3 birds flying around and 1 perched on some wires in the distance. A lone cuckoo showed very well flying above us. A Marsh Tit was another highlight singing its little head off. A visit to this area would not be complete without a visit to a well-known Fish & Chip shop for our evening meal, it was good!

Our final call was at Sutton Bank to enjoy The finest view in England which we did after a real heavy downpour. The view was quite stunning as the heat dried out the soaked landscape making fluffy patches of mist in the valleys etc. As the sun went down we got ready to face the insects applying lots of Deet etc and wrapping up well as the temperature dropped. After a couple of hours hunkered down, we saw the first Woodcock roding around the area making its usual strange noises. Then in the distance a European Nightjar was heard, what an evocative sound they make its called churring More Woodcock seen and with a Nightjar sounding much closer we hoped for a small sighting of the bird, but it was not to be. At 11pm we headed for home and were making very good time until we found out that the M62 had been closed at the Ainley Top junction near Huddersfield. Talk about smart motorways giving us information about closures, accidents etc not a thing we got and found ourselves in a stood still traffic jam at 12-30am. Eventually someone decided that we should head off the motorway and go over the A640, which lots of cars in the jam did, along with ourselves, not done that manoeuvre we all thought. We reached Newhey by 1-30am having had a good days/ nights adventure, that bldy M62 has, as usual, used up many hours of peoples lives!!

Dave O.



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Rob Creek wrote:

Without wanting to start a conversation or sounding harsh Jonny... you wouldnt have been happy if the bird had flown off after being flushed by all those birders getting too close or running down the footpath. Especially if youve travelled from afar! I know I wouldnt be!
You telling me if that had happened to you, you wouldve thought to yourself oh Im making a fuss out of nothing really
I doubt it!



I completely agree with you, we have all seen terrible behaviour on twitches in the past (with possibly increasing regularity) so I am not saying that it doesn't happen or that I would be very annoyed if I missed a bird because of someone's selfish actions. However in this specific situation everyone including myself was viewing at a sensible distance from a public footpath and following all the instructions provided by the local birders and bird information services, and as a result all got great views of the bird. Indeed everyone seemed to be following the instruction to not park on the roadside verges as requested by the locals (whereas a lot of the tourists and beach go-ers were parking here), so all in all a very well behaved twitch I would say.

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Jonny Scragg wrote:

Rob Creek wrote:

On returning to the car, it was obvious that the Bunting had returned to the hedge I found it in as I was gobsmacked to see shedloads of birders gathered halfway down the plantation on the edge of the footpath trying to get as close as possible to the central hedge with others running down to get a view.
I know its a public footpath but the reason wed not gone down there earlier (and many others hadnt over the weekend) was so not to flush it, but once again as is the case increasingly these days, bad field craft was on show! Still, I had a good morning and was home for 12 noon.








To be fair Rob I watched the Bunting for an hour mid-afternoon and it was happily feeding along the central hedge through the field taking absolutely no notice of the 50+ birders watching it along the footpath less than 50m away. All of the pager messages and information on Twitter stated the bird was viewed from the public footpath to the old fall plantation so I think it's unfair to say people shouldn't have gone down there incase of flushing it (and you can't blame people for running along the footpath to the crowd to see it, I saw a couple of people do this and don't blame them, it was a bloody gorgeous bird!). If that is the only bad field craft you saw then I think you're making a fuss out of nothing really.


Without wanting to start a conversation or sounding harsh Jonny... you wouldnt have been happy if the bird had flown off after being flushed by all those birders getting too close or running down the footpath. Especially if youve travelled from afar! I know I wouldnt be!
You telling me if that had happened to you, you wouldve thought to yourself oh Im making a fuss out of nothing really
I doubt it!

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Rob Creek wrote:

On returning to the car, it was obvious that the Bunting had returned to the hedge I found it in as I was gobsmacked to see shedloads of birders gathered halfway down the plantation on the edge of the footpath trying to get as close as possible to the central hedge with others running down to get a view.
I know its a public footpath but the reason wed not gone down there earlier (and many others hadnt over the weekend) was so not to flush it, but once again as is the case increasingly these days, bad field craft was on show! Still, I had a good morning and was home for 12 noon.








To be fair Rob I watched the Bunting for an hour mid-afternoon and it was happily feeding along the central hedge through the field taking absolutely no notice of the 50+ birders watching it along the footpath less than 50m away. All of the pager messages and information on Twitter stated the bird was viewed from the public footpath to the old fall plantation so I think it's unfair to say people shouldn't have gone down there incase of flushing it (and you can't blame people for running along the footpath to the crowd to see it, I saw a couple of people do this and don't blame them, it was a bloody gorgeous bird!). If that is the only bad field craft you saw then I think you're making a fuss out of nothing really.

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Sunday 9th June.

Flamborough Head.

Black-headed Bunting.
Arrived at 7.15am in warm sunshine, the bird had already been reported but had vanished by the time I arrived. I had a feeling due to light and heat haze it was going to be tricky to locate it.
I was stood halfway down Lighthouse Rd looking over to Old Fall with Mersey birder Ian Igglesden and another birder, another small group gathered further up. The guy whod seen it earlier turned up and said he last saw it in flight heading right down the plantation and it could be anywhere, but I stuck where I was for a little longer and scanned the favoured location and the other hedges until finally I located movement in the hedge that runs directly parallel to the road right across the main field.
Well Id only gone and refound it. I got the other 2 on to it, Ian said well done Rob, the other guy was amazed he said bloody hell mate how did you pick that up?
Ian stepped back and got the others to come down, that was it all mayhem broke loose, people scrambling to get position, half of them not brought scopes (???) and then one guy constantly asking where is it mate, I couldnt give better directions as everyone else seemed to get on to it ok.
What a cracking bird, only ever had brief views of a male with 2 females in Cyprus that disappeared within seconds, this one though was on full view for ages, despite being distant and in heat haze so although scope views were good, images werent too great.
The bird then became mobile and relocated to an adjacent hedge but it was soon lost to view as it flew off to a further hedge.

Other birds of note...
- Subalpine Warbler (sp) brief views female at golf club willows
- 1 Yellow Wagtail (m)
- 2 Lesser Whitethroat
- 1 Blackcap
- 2 Yellowhammer
- 1 Sparrowhawk
- unidentifed raptor few miles away near Marton

On returning to the car, it was obvious that the Bunting had returned to the hedge I found it in as I was gobsmacked to see shedloads of birders gathered halfway down the plantation on the edge of the footpath trying to get as close as possible to the central hedge with others running down to get a view.
I know its a public footpath but the reason wed not gone down there earlier (and many others hadnt over the weekend) was so not to flush it, but once again as is the case increasingly these days, bad field craft was on show! Still, I had a good morning and was home for 12 noon.






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Trip over to Wintersett Reservoir this morning at 11am with good views of the singing Great Reed Warbler in the North West corner across road from Anglers Visitor centre. Just about in the image if you zoom in.

Cettis Warbler almost on top of me as I took the image. Cuckoo too.

Made up for the Baikal Teal dip. Could only be there from 1 to 2 when it was AWOL. Grrr.



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Hornsea Mere & Spurn area. Friday 24th May 2019

After missing the male Baikal Teal near Eldernell, Cambridgeshire about 2 weeks ago and with its subsequent re-appearance last week, thoughts of another trip to see it were mooted. Thursday`s news that the presumed same bird had been seen at Kilnsea Wetlands near Spurn was very welcome. Friday dawned and with a negative from Kilnsea that the teal was not present had us making other plans. Then, the bird was located at Hornsea Mere, so we hurriedly met at Kevin C`s home and along with Bob K, set off in Kevin C`s new Honda, very nice! The journey along the M62, then through to Beverley and Hornsea was without incident on a nice sunny day. The Baikal Teal was viewable, distantly at first, from the second field on the southern mere shore (famously the same place as the White Rumped Swift that we dipped) The bird was always in the company of a male Wigeon and flew quite a bit closer giving fairly good views, it was indeed a very well-marked bird! After about 30 minutes a Hobby flew over the mere, it seemed to be trying to catch its lunch.

We headed south along the road towards Spurn, the 28 miles of twisty cartracks via Withersea seemed to last forever, not as though we were in a rush to see anything. We reached Kilnsea Wetlands and visited the new hide but as the tide was out there werent the usual amount of wading birds to see. At Beacon Ponds a singular Bar Tailed Godwit was seen, then a couple of the Little Terns lit up the day with their calls and their very presence. A look over the sea from the hide was very underwhelming. We headed for home over the M62 back into Lancashire with one of our number having added a new bird to his list, persistence usually pays!

Dave O.



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Friday 24th May.

Hornsea Mere. With Ian Lyth & Paul Greenall.

Good but distant views of a Drake Baikal Teal that is travelling North ... had moved here overnight from Kilnsea and Cambridgeshire before that.
Fortunately it was a bright sunny day which helped with picking out the birds striking head markings.
It was keeping company with a solitary Drake Wigeon.

Roger.

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Saturday 18th May

Wintersett Reservoir 10.15am.
Mustve just missed you Mark, met some nice people here today, just me and 2 others there at first.

Great Reed Warbler (Lifer).
Singing and showing well in the reeds for a good 10-15 minutes, then again a few minutes later, and so the pattern continued. Apparently it is its best showing day yet. A cracking bird!

Also of note...
- 1 Black Tern
- 2 (possible) Arctic Tern
- plenty of Common Tern
- 3-4 prs Reed Warbler showing well
- 2 Cettis Warbler showing well
- 4 Blackcap
- 2 Reed Bunting


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Wintersett Reservoir 9.00 - 10.00

Great Reed Warbler singing and showing constantly for an hour this morning, Better views of the species than I had in Lesvos last week


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Friday 17th May.

Wintersett Reservoir. Wakefield.

Great Reed Warbler. Had a bit of luck with this one today and got a good view of it singing from the top of the reeds at around 11.00 hrs.
According to the locals, including Steve Denny the finder, it had been showing better than ever today with a counted 10 good views since early morning.

Cettis Warbler singing.

Also the drake Ferruginous Duck had dropped in on its travels but was distant.

Roger.



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Strid Woods, Bolton Abbey & Wintersett Res area. 14/5/2019

In much better conditions than last weeks monsoon, myself, Bob K & Kevin C had a mid-week trip out. We left a sunny Whitworth at 6-30am and arrived at Strid Woods by 7-30am. As we started to tune our ears into the various calls & songs that we normally hear, one noticeable song was missing, a Redstart. Down into the river valley we heard/saw Garden, Willow Warblers, Blackcap, two Mandarin ducks in flight, Common Sandpiper, Dipper, Grey Wagtail. As we climbed up the path a couple of pairs of Pied Flycatchers were seen carrying food for their hungry chicks. Lots of Treecreeper, Blue Tits and Grey Squirrels were observed but no Spotted Flycatcher or Wood Warblers, a calling Cuckoo was heard though. Back at our carpark we spent an hour trying to locate a Redstart without any success. A call into a small disused quarry near Barden Moor revealed: - 2 Red Kite, Buzzard and Kestrel, the local Lapwings did their best to see off the birds of prey.

News that the Great Reed Warbler was still present in the small reed bed at Wintersett Reservoir soon had us making our way past Skipton, Keighley, Shipley and Bradford and onto the M6 then through Wakefield and finally to the Anglers/Wintersett Reservoirs complex. We had no trouble hearing the Great Reed Warbler along with its smaller cousins the Reed Warblers, seeing it proved to be very difficult apart from tiny glances at the bases of the reed bed. A pair of Common Terns kept us happy as we waited about 90 minutes for a good view. News that the male Ferruginous Duck had returned to a small duck pond on Carr Lane, South Kirkby was greeted with surprise.

With our two navigators doing their very best to find the ducks location, we managed to end up behind a row of terraced houses complete with wrecked cars and all manner of rubbish, clearly not the right place! An interesting conversation with the local Lollipop lady soon had us back on track at the opposite end of the town and we finally found the pond and the delightful male Ferruginous Duck. A fellow birder told us about an Iberian Chiff-chaff in the area and he duly walked us up to the area that the bird had been frequenting, but it wasnt heard or seen. After another look at the stunning Ferruginous Duck we decided to head for home and resume our battle along the M62 back into Lancashire, we werent let down!

Dave O.



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Thanks Si, yeah I knew what the Tram referred to, it was the finding of it that I had an idea was going to be a problem.
Theres even a Twitter feed that states even local birders are struggling to find where locations are on Thorne Moors, including the blue bridge which has been stated on the info services, apparently it doesnt exist according to some.
I probably wont be going again no matter what turns up!

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Hi Rob, regarding Thorne Moors, a bit of googling turned up this page:

http://birdingsiteguide.com/index.php/other-items/87-bsg-website-information/783-blogs-further-information

some way down this page are three links, TM Photo Tour 1-3, which explain the names of a number of the reference points. The second one includes references to Middle Moor Tram. A 'tram' in this context is the name for the raised paths through the peat workings that they used to transport cut peat off the sites, using light railways. I've seen similar at Hatfield Moor.

This website is a mine of information and a good way to get a headache, all wrapped into one...

Hope this helps

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Sunday 12th May.

Thorne Moors NR.

A Red-footed Falcon was reported again so I detoured and gave it a try. Endless driving thru lots of flat open country on dusty tracks. Why is it that certain places seem to have poor directions or sketchy info with the sighting?
Hatfield Moors and Ainsdale Dunes are the same!
I didnt locate the Falcon, and a report later on stated 2 birds at Middle Moor Tram, your guess is as good as mine ???

Of note...
- 1 Little Owl
- 1 ringtail Hen Harrier
- 1 Hobby over the M180

Cheers
Rob

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Mini Tour de Yorkshire

A check on the weather report had already decided us on a trip east today for our delayed Oldham Birders trip, when news came in last night of a female Bufflehead at Fairburn Ings, so applying the same insurance policy we did last year for the Pied Crow we decided on that as our first port of call. As we arrived at the Lin Dyke car park the first bird was a summer migrant, a Common Tern over the fisherman's pool. A Cetti's Warbler was calling nearby and the hedges along the path were full of song, which balanced the news coming the other way that a) the bird was there but distant then b) that it had disappeared into the vegetation "probably for a nap". After an hour in the container hide, we'd had a variety of water birds and waders, but not the bird in question, so decided to make our way round to have a look at the Spoonbills, ticking Whitethroat and a very obliging Cuckoo en route. Arriving at the point where one looks back to the hide, we discovered that we had been looking in the vicinity of the wrong gate! So after the welcome distraction of a drake Red-crested Pochard and our first Swifts of the year, we settled in for another period of scanning, before mooching further along to view The Moat. There were at least 4 Spoonbills flying back and forth from the colony of Cormorants, Grey Herons and Little Egrets, collecting nesting materials. A Reed Warbler and yet another Cetti's Warbler sang but were not seen and a pair of Little Grebes bickered on the pool behind us. As Mike A and I drifted back towards the corner of the path a heavy metal ringer arrived with news that the Bufflehead had been seen again crossing back across the pool, but had disappeared from view from the hide behind some trees. We called John and headed back for another scan only to find that the bird was back(?) on our side and showing near the right hand gate, but so close to the bank that it was often obscured by the clumps of junctus etc along the waterline. Luckily it moved out a little, giving good views of the distinctive cheek patches and eventually followed a pair of Tufted Ducks for some distance, giving a good idea of comparative size before eventually moving out of sight to out right. Satisfied that we had banked good views 'just in case' (After the Dalmatian Pelican who knows what might get accepted.biggrin), we headed off to our next port of call.

Arriving at Swillington/St. Aidan's just after noon, we started with an al fresco lunch on the terrace while scanning the ridge and furrow area, locating a solitary Pink-foot and a pair of Barnacle Geese among the Greylags and Canadas, before popping round to see the Little Owl on his usual fence. We made our way round to the reedbeds, ticking off Lesser Whitethroat (heard only) and Sedge Warbler (seen), pausing en route to admire a fine summer-plumage Bar-tailed Godwit and a Whimbrel. John's persistence dug us out good views of a close but skulking Reed Warbler. We had less luck than in previous visits with the Black-necked Grebes and had been up and back along the central path between the two reed beds (complete with stereo Bitterns) before we were lucky enough to spot one. Maybe it was waiting for the sun to come back out so we could admire the full glory of its' plumage biggrin. On the way back to the car we managed to find a male Yellow Wagtail among the cattle and confirmed again the identity of the Pink-foot, as there had been some suggestions that it might be the Bean Goose. However, as the main flock of Pink-feet had disappeared from their usual haunts it seems likely that it has gone with them

Our final destination was South Kirby where a short walk on the path under the railway took us to where the Iberian Chiffchaff was singing, showing well and feeding. A nearby Willow Warbler was providing background music, John heard a Lesser Redpoll and a Blue Tit was surprisingly our first of the day! Despite missing out on several common species we still managed a good total of 72 seen and heard for the day, in pleasant weather.



-- Edited by Mike Chorley on Sunday 28th of April 2019 11:53:46 PM

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River & Swallow Ramblings. 14/4/2019

It was a bright, bitterly cold morning as we met in Shaw and headed easterly along the M62. Our plan was to visit the area around the Rivers Trent, Ouse and Humber and see what migrants had arrived etc. At Faxfleet we managed to watch a few Marsh Harriers whilst Cettiss Warblers seemed to be everywhere, I managed to watch a Sedge Warbler land then disappear into the reed beds. A few Bearded Tits flew by and stayed hidden in the reeds due to the cold winds blowing. We met a couple of birders who told us that they had seen 6 Arctic Terns fly along the rivers heading east. We next headed for Blacktoft Sands, at least we could get a little shelter from the cold! In the visitor centre they had a nice warm stove alight and a good bird in full view in front, it was a Common Snipe! A new year bird for most of us, lots of Marsh Harriers all around the reserve, then some hirundines appeared, Sand Martins in the main but, mixed in with them were a couple of House Martins and Swallows. Grumpy old man time, why do people visiting bird watching hides insist on having their lunch in them whilst talking crap and always stuffing the noisiest foods like crisps down their throats?

We headed towards Fairburn Ings and all enjoyed the walk down to the bottom of Village Bay hoping to find a Willow Warbler, other birders told us that only one had been heard up to now, think we might be a couple of days early yet. At the Lin Dyke end of the reserve the Spoonbills could be seen gathering building materials for their nest in the Moat area. Hope they breed again. Bob K then picked up a couple of Common Terns flying around, always great to see. Our final plan was to call at Old Astley Lane near Swillington to try to catch up with a Ring Ouzel that had been seen in a cattle field that morning. What followed was a little bit strange to say the least, we had looked at a field that had cattle in it, at a place where you can see the whole Swillington area and began searching for the Ring Ouzel. After 10 minutes or so we had no luck and began thinking about heading off home. About four Barn Swallows appeared above our heads and Steve B suddenly said, Thats a Red Rumped Swallow Only Kev C and Steve B saw it before myself and Bob K could get onto it. An animated Steve was really happy with his find and it was a lifer for Kev C. Ten minutes later the Swallows came back and we all managed decent sightings of the bird. Eager to tell the waiting world, messages were put out and it was 20 minutes before any other birders turned up. Then the bird was found feeding over the reservoir pond and a group of 20 + birders seemed to be enjoying it, then, the bombshell hit with the words, Its an aberrant Swallow it was good while it lasted. As we headed up to the correct field to again search for the Ring Ouzel, a few birders thanked us for alerting everyone. We missed the Ouzel again and headed for home having all suffered the highs and the lows of birding.

Dave O.



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East to West Yorkshire. Sunday 7th April 2019

A full team got into Steve B`s car on a dull Sunday morning and headed east, even after being told that West was best for the weather today. We pressed on through a very misty Yorkshire eventually arriving at Wykeham raptor viewpoint, which was shrouded in mist. Well we were all told not to bother. Apart from a couple of showy Crossbills we again left Wykeham, or as Steve calls it, Why come not having seen the elusive Goshawk. After a mini tour of Scarborough we headed off to Bempton RSPB and were treated to lots of seabird activity. The cliff nesting species have been arriving in good numbers for a few weeks now. Gannet, Kittiwake, Razorbill, Guillemot and everyones favourite, the Puffin, were all seen at the bitterly cold cliffs. We didnt hang around and headed back for the warmth of the car.

We headed west as the rain seemed to be following us and called at Wheldrake, firstly Bank Island with the lovely shallow flooded type pools. One of the crew eventually found the pair of Garganey that had been seen yesterday, stunning birds in fresh plumage. A singing Blackcap gave us a reminder of the arrival of spring. We couldnt find any hirundines in the area so we called in at the Ings and headed for the raised Andy Booth Hide. In there were a couple of people merrily eating their dinners and stinking the place out, we left! It was Skipwith Common time again to search for a Woodlark, maybe? After much walking around by us all, Chris B found an Emperor Moth, possibly lured by some pheromone that he had been trying the day before? We all managed to get a decent look at the day flying moth but they are well known for not landing very often. A Swallow passed through the area but the hoped for Woodlark were neither seen nor heard.

Our final call was at Swillington RSPB so we headed towards Fairburn and saw a Spoonbill sat in the trees near last years nesting site. We arrived at the Methley end of the reserve and onto the causeway, the squawk of the nesting Black Headed Gulls seemed to be everywhere. Then a Bittern began booming and up to three Black Necked Grebe, in pristine plumage, were observed. They turned out to be photographers dreams for the team. Chris B then picked up a couple of flying Snipe, that try as we might we could not find! Finally a Ruff on the pools and a distant Red Kite made up our trip into Yorkshire. All in all a good day out for us all. Thanks for driving Steve B, hope you have recovered from having to test your breaks on Milnrow Road!!!

Dave O.



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3 Red Kite at Bolton Abbey today. No idea whether these are regular there now, but I didnt see any on a longish walk there in August.

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Was on a mission again to have a BoP day (Birds of prey). Leaving the station at Thirsk produced; Redwings and fieldfare flocks, with a nice experience with a couple of redwings in full song which was nice to listen to for a good 10-15 minutes. Also a flock of mixed House and Tree sparrows, Female great spotted woodpecker, nuthatch, pink footed geese over .skylark heard over and lapwings in the fields. Ta!

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Saturday 3rd Nov 2018.

Been keeping an eye on Spurn and Flamborough recently and was contemplating it all week, so when a juvenile White-tailed Eagle was spotted at Spurn yesterday and then seemingly roosted in the North Dykes area of Flamborough last night, it made my mind up.
I thought I'll try for that and the possibility of a Little Bunting Lifer and whatever other migrants are on offer, then I'll make my way over to Spurn and get some good stuff over there.

Yeah right!!! No sign of the White-tailed Eagle at all.

I went searching for the Pied Crow in Thornwick holiday village and the Beech Avenue area of Bempton but there was no sign anywhere!

A report of the Little Bunting at South Landing came in and I drove down but was too late. It had been carried by the wind deep into the woodland at the side of the car park so another dip!

All that time wasted and needless to say I didn't make it to Spurn. There was a couple of things of note tho.
There was a few Chiffchaffs knocking around with a Treecreeper and some Long-tailed Tits, then a couple of us had a brief view of a Chiffchaff that appeared to be a palish brown with a beigey breast. Not 100% but it could've been a Siberian Chiffchaff.

We also saw a Coal Tit in the same area and a Hull birder made the comment he thought it could've been a continental one as it had a lead-grey back and extensive white on the nape. The bird showed again a few times and indeed it did have lead grey plumage no doubt about it, but as for the white on the nape, I can't say it looked any different to a British Coal Tit, so I'll leave that one for those that know better than me.





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This is rather prosaic compared to Dave's tale of derring-do below, but I went to RSPB Fairburn Ings in West Yorkshire on Sunday. The weather was poor, but nevertheless, it was worth the trip to see singles of Cattle Egret and Spoonbill, with notable supporting cast including a Greenshank, male Marsh Harrier and a young Sparrowhawk, which was chased into a tree by a Carrion Crow. Both birds then sat eyeballing each other for several minutes, allowing for terrific scope views of the hawk.

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Swift Departure. 15/10/2018

News of a Swift with a white rump at Hornsea Mere, Yorkshire around 4-25pm on Sunday afternoon had a few phones ringing. What followed, with regards to the birds true identification was pure comedy. This is no reflection on the finders or the other observers on site watching the bird. It went, Possible Pacific Swift, possible White rumped Swift then, possibly both? finally at 5-37pm it was identified as White rumped Swift. As most of our group had seen Pacific Swift there seemed to be no urgency, so when the true identification was finalised there was no time to do a quick dash over to Hornsea Mere. Even knowing that most of the members of the swift family usually move on very quickly overnight, we still arranged to go to Hornsea Mere on Monday morning.

At 5-30am on a dark Monday morning myself, Kevin C set off from Rochdale with Bob K driving, we made good progress and soon found lots of other birders cars parked along the road at the south side of the mere. It felt cool and it was raining, its usually at moments like this you question yourself as to why we do it? Anyway, we joined the group of around 100 other birders and began to search the skies hoping that the swift would put in an appearance. Standing around in these conditions can take its toll on people and after a couple of hours past by, a lady birder collapsed. An ambulance was called and she was taken away for further treatment. Lets hope she makes a full recovery.

After seeing: - Scaup, House Martins, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel but no White rumped Swift in the three plus hours we were present, we decided to return to the car for a warming drink and sustenance. On the journey home news that the bird had been seen flying over Spurn at around 2pm, didnt really cheer us all up. It was later revealed that the bird seen at Spurn could have been a House Martin???

The joys of being a twitcher are not always about success, because if you saw every bird you went for you would soon get bored, or would you?

Dave O.



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Single Swift flying south over Chevin Forest, Otley yesterday at 2.00 pm.By far the latest
I have ever seen.

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Visitors from the East. 2/9/2018

A day at Spurn in September is always like a trip into the unknown because anything can turn up, so we decided to head for the far east of Yorkshire. There had been Red backed Shrike, Icterine Warbler seen the day previous so on the journey we eagerly waited for news from Spurn. Steve B, Kevin C and myself driving had left Rochdale at 6am and arrived at Spurn around 8-15am. The only news was of an Ortolan Bunting flying around at 7-15am. The weather/wind direction at Spurn was not really good for sea watching, but you never know. Lots of terns heading south, along with Gannets, Guillemots and gulls loafing around kind of backed up the quiet on the sea theory. Then as often happens, two Great Skua`s or Bonxie`s appeared and began chasing the terns around, what a splendid sight. A drive to Whinchat hedge revealed around 3 Whinchat`s, always nice to admire these well marked birds. A lad on a bike stopped and said, Have you heard about the Ortolan Bunting near the Church field. We told him no, and away we went to try to see it, as Kevin C had not seen one before. After a walk across the first field we saw a large flock of Linnets and Greenfinch feeding in the next stubble field, the bird was in that flock! A small crowd searched the often flighty flock, with not much success, all of a sudden they seemed to fly away. A message on a walky-talky said there is an Ortolan Bunting sat on the fence on Clubleys field, could it be the same bird? A dash up there soon had us watching the bird as it fed around 30 yards away and giving great views, as the crowd began to swell two birds flew into the grass, it turned out that two Ortolan Buntings were present. Nice to see Darren W and his birding mates from the Leeds area here also.

Two Common Cranes had been seen that morning in fields near Aldbrough, about 15 miles away, so we had a try for them without any joy, nice area though. A Red necked Phalarope was still present at Blacktoft RSPB reserve near Goole (on our way home) It had been a warm day, but it always feels warmer at Blacktoft? We went to Singleton Hide and the Red necked Phalarope was seen albeit a little distant at first until it came closer, also present were 3 Water Rail, Garganey, Marsh Harrier, Green Sandpiper. The Spotted Crake was not seen by ourselves, but showed later in the day. Again we met up with Darren W and his crew who told us they would be stopping at Goole Fields to search for Yellow legged Gulls. We met them there and had fleeting views of one example as the flock flew off. We reached home by 7pm and all enjoyed the day out.

Dave O.



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Sunday 12th August 2018

AFRICAN PIED CROW in Thornwick Village, Flamborough - favouring the area around the Holiday Village, around the main reception and the caravan site


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Got back from my daughters in Shilsden last Wednesday.
Highlight was a walk along the River Wharfe from Barden Bridge
to Bolton Abbey.Birds seen as follows:
Carrion Crow x 2
Magpie x 3
Jackdaw x 12
Blackbird x 3
Swift x 8
Common Buzzard x 1
Oystercatcher x
Mallard x 20
Grey Wagtail x 1
Sand Martin x 12
Shoveler x 2
Swallow x 6
Great Tit x 2
Goldfinch x 7
Greylag Goose x 4
Sparrowhawk x 1
Dipper x 2
Herring Gull x 1
Goosander x (1F+6 Juvs)
Pied flycatcher x 1
Lesser Black Backed Gull x 4
Mandarin (F) x 1
Lesser Redpoll x 1
Woodpigeon x 30
Robin x 6






















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Originally posted today by Reynard Spiess:

Grassington Moor.

Marsh Harrier - descended the fells towards us, before turning above the scar, and being mobbed by lapwings. They're considerably more agile than it was. Wish I'd had my camera!

Also Curlew.



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Saturday 30th June.

North Yorkshire. With Paul Greenall.
WYKEHAM FOREST RAPTOR VIEWPOINT. 08.00 - 12.30 hrs

Picked a good day to visit.

Honey Buzzard. M & F. Three great displays directly above the watchpoint, the male solo at 10.00hrs then the female at 11.40 who was joined by the male ... he then re-appeared at 12.30 and treated everyone present to an extensive wing clapping display ... a real show-off !

Each time the birds had appeared from the rear of the L/hand side of the viewpoint.

At least nine Goshawk sightings.

Tree Pipit.
Crossbill.

HARWOOD DALE.

Turtle Dove. (4) . Viewed from the beer garden of the Mill Inn (birding at its best) .... the birds hang about the feeders in the garden across the road.

Roger.






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Was on my way to Thirsk to enjoy a different bird experience at the falconry centre for a change and a few interesting wild birds were spotted. These include red kite, a stock dove that showed little fear, yellowhammer and I heard only a corn bunting. Ta!

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East coast of Yorkshire. 27/5/18

Seems like a while since I did a trip report after being abroad etc, so here is one.

A few good birds had been found on the east coast on Saturday so a trip starting at Flamborough Head was arranged with Bob K, Kevin C, myself and one of Bob`s friends Lyndon. A start time of 10am was allowing for our Nightjaring activities later in the evening. Lots of traffic heading for the coast and as we got to North Landing at Flamborough, parking was at a premium. Our chances of seeing the Red backed Shrike there seemed slim, after 20 minutes we headed away to Thornwick pool. The Temminck`s Stint was still present and showed really well, the sunny conditions had brought a few birder`s out even Dave W from Huddersfield. We chatted about the bird news and decided to give the Dotterel at South landing a miss (wrong choice) and headed up to a new place for us all, Burniston (near Long Nab).

The chances of seeing Icterine Warbler and Eastern Subalpine Warbler at Burniston were certainly helped by a good vantage point and a few other observers. After around an hour the Icterine Warbler was heard then it showed very well for about 10 minutes. Sat on the grassy slope in the sunshine, at the coast made for excellent birding, but where was the Eastern Subalpine Warbler? Then a lady, who was stood next to me said Its over there We quickly got onto the bird as it made its way to the top of the bushes, it momentarily sat out and showed really well, then promptly flew over the edge near to were a Carrion Crow was sat. Seven species of warbler were seen in the 2 hours we were present, nice place to visit.

At Sutton Bank we had our traditional walk out to The best view in England plinth just as a Tawny Owl started its calls. A Turtle Dove flew past us as we made our way onto the heathland. We all got laid down in the mossy area and waited for the night birds to begin calling / moving around. A few Woodcock were flying around as two Turtle Doves flew right above us making a peculiar call. A sound that we are all familiar with then filled the night air, a Nightjar churring We listened to it, then the bird flew and landed not 20 yards away perching on a low branch of a tree, it was oblivious to our presence. What great close views we all had! Around 11-30pm we decided to head for home after a cracking day out.

David Ousey



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Visit to Fewston reservoir today.Weather very hot.
Birds seen as follows.
Magpie -3
Chaffinch -6
Jackdaw -16
Blackbird -7
Carrion Crow -4
Lapwing -4
Moorhen -2
Mallard -40+
Greylag Goose -30
Raven -1
Chiffchaff -3
Cormorant -3
Garden Warbler -1
Robin -7
Grey Heron -1
Swift -6
Black Headed Gull -9
Willow Warbler -2
Sand Martin -26
House Martin -3
Common Buzzard -2
Kestrel -3

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Barn Owl hunting again around Flamingoland site at Kirby Misperton this morning. 20 Swallow around Hippo pools, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Curlew, 4 Oystercatcher, 4 Skylark in song, 60 Barnacle Geese. 3 Hares too.



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Arriving at Flamingoland near Pickering at 12.15pm was greeted by a hunting Barn Owl. 70 Barnacle Geese flying around too.



-- Edited by Chris Harper on Monday 9th of April 2018 09:00:50 PM

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North Yorkshire (between Thirsk and Helmsley):
Sutton Bank - White Horse of Kilburn - Gormire Lake - along Cleveland Way via Garbutt Wood on return back to Sutton Bank.

Tuesday, 13th March 10:20 - 16:00 hrs. Sunny and mild (although snow still down along path at top of escarpment).

Hen Harrier (Male) x 1
Buzzard x 4
Kestrel x 1
Siskin x 3
Lesser Redpoll x 1
Yellowhammer x 1
Skylark x 3
Bullfinch x 5 (2M and 3F)
Treecreeper x 2
Coal Tit x 4
Goosander x 4
Redwing x 5
Lapwing x 1
Song Thrush x 1
Pied Wagtail x 2
Mute Swan x 7
Canada Geese x 8
Tufted Duck x 5
Jay x 1
Magpie x 3
Jackdaw x 50
Rook x 5
Carrion Crow x 25
Mallard x 2
House Sparrow x 10
Dunnock x 1
Chaffinch x 30
Great Tit x 9
Blue Tit x 10
Robin x 5
Blackbird x 4
Woodpigeon x 60





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Eccup reservoir 10.30-12

8 Red Kite around, some giving excellent views. Also 2 Oystercatcher, 4 Skylark, 15 Fieldfare, 2 Redwing, 8 Linnet, 2 Common Buzzard, 2 Grey Heron, 9 Stock Dove.



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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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