Saturday, 14 January 2017

#Snowmaggedon 2017

Yes, we too had 1cm of snow which rocked our world in East Yorkshire. The screaming North-westerlies however offered seawatching potential but alas access to the head was limited by powerlines that were down over Lighthouse Road. I headed to South Landing instead, looking for sheltering birds and hoping for a white-winger or two. Arriving mid-morning there was already a mixture of birds present but there was very little passing - perhaps too soon after the blow started?

The Seawatching Pod
When it comes to the birds it wasn't sensational but there was plenty of decent stuff hiding away. Headlining was a Great Northern Diver which roamed between the dykes and South Landing. Also out there were 19 Common Scoter, a drake Eider and a plethora of Shags, Cormorant and five Red-throated Divers as well as my first Razorbill from three visits. My score marched onto 56/66 for Patchwork Challenge.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

From Russia with Love

European White-fronted Goose
 Today I had a couple of visits to Flamborough, the first to South Landing with my kids as we went for a walk. The aim for me was to add the common woodland species whilst for my eldest Isabelle it was all about her first steps in birding as she ticked away with gay abandon. Her spot of a Treecreeper was handy although these are reasonably common. We just saw the commoner species although a couple of Rock Pipits were a bonus. We also had two Curlew over the wood and a few Turnstones on the beach. After a trip to the living seas centre so the girls could get their colouring fix we returned home. I was granted a pass for the afternoon and made for Thornwick Bay and North Landing.

Pink-footed Goose
First off I headed to Thornwick Pools where a Song Thrush was in sub song. On the pools there were a few Teal and Moorhen plus a single Coot. I decided to head round to North Marsh before I lost too much sun. A Stonechat at the seaward side of Holmes Gut was a useful addition but there were no Meadow Pipits or Skylarks. Before I reached North Marsh after a somewhat muddy trek round I bumped into the feral geese. This was what I was hoping for a quick search through them revealed six European White-fronted Geese plus a single Pink-footed Goose. These were much wanted PWC ticks and I was particularly happy with the White-fronts. I moved onto North Marsh to see if anything else was present.

White-fronted Geese amongst Greylags

After adding Peregrine and Grey Heron on my approach, both easy enough here but enjoyable to catch up with. A few Wigeon, Mallard and a flock of Teal were present but nothing rarer. A helicopter went over flushing the geese and the flock flew into the field north of North Marsh. I got a few pictures before a small plane came in and flushed just the White-fronts, which had increased in number ot eight, towards the village where they put down, seperate to the goose flock whilst the Pink-foot stayed put. I headed back, pleased with my endeavours and I now move onto 47 species and 54 points for Patchwork Challenge 2017.

White-fronted Goose
Last week I was down in Somerset doing wader surveys on the River Parrett. Whilst I cant post details of that I did manage to get the year list away with highlights such as Merlin, Marsh Harrier and best of all a couple of flyover Waxwings which were a survey tick for me.

White-fronted Goose

The final view.

Monday, 2 January 2017

#PWC2017

Barmston is dead, long live Flamborough. Four years of envy of them up the road who block my migrants was enough. I had ploughed my own furrow for long enough and I actually fancied seeing some birds during patchwork challenge so this year I am having a bash at Flamborough.


I have joined the observatory and made a fleeting visit today for a dusk seawatch. Nowt too flash as the Glaucous Gull is in care and the White-fronts had flitted back to North Marsh before I arrived. An hour from the seawatching spot below the foghorn provided a smattering of common seabirds including an orange colour-ringed Shag. A mere 19 species for 24 points. Onward!

Waxwings in Hull

A touch of pre-New Year last minute shopping was required in West Hull after we visited the in-laws and I volunteered to run to the supermarket. I can't think why...


I have marginally better pictures on my DSLR but cant be figged to get them processed as they arent incrementally improved. I was joined by Abigail, 4, who was suitably with the birdies which make a funny noise and have spiky hair.




How brains and birds become mutually exclusive