Saturday, 1 November 2008

F*&%ing Freezing

Spent today on the east coast reaping the benefits of this late autumn fall. Started off at old fall plantation where a very showy juv RBFly gave views down to point blank (especially as I walked past it to check the bottom of the plantation, much to the chagrin of the assembled throng). Umpteen goldcrests streamed through and a single Waxwing bathed at our feet in a pool adjacent to the hawthorn it was feeding in. A lesser whitethroat passed through with a couple of chiffchaffs, Blackcaps and Willow Warblers. A male Brambling flitted about and bam a warbler comes out of the Sycamores flies past my nose giving me ample opportunity to see its yellow rump and striking head markings. Pallas's Warbler - a bit of a bogey for me. It felt like it was all happening. The bird showed well at times but went missing for periods and suddenly when i refound it there were two in my bin view - Self found Pallas's! Me and Jim from Bf (who arrived to the salutation - theres a Waxwing over your head) then ambled past the assembling throng flushing the RBFly in the process - no choice really! If soon reappeared but we got serious glowers. We saw Merlin, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk sparring to the east of the plantation, all with full crops, no doubt migrant birds. Nothing else of note around old fall and news of a Hawfinch in a garden appeared as well as a brief GG Shrike on old fall hedge which was long gone when we got on the scene.

We saw next to nothing as we went around the head and quickly headed to Reighton. Where we saw nothing. And then to Filey where a couple of Goldcrests in Arndale were the sum passerine total. On the brigg were a couple of purps and a sand blasting. We managed to get a position up on carr naze that offered plenty of shelter and jim got on a large diver flying north which i didnt manage to get on. A bird i did but confused me massively was a distant single female Velvet Scoter which took ages for me to pin down but eventially gave itself up (was Very distant!). We heard of the reappearance of the Subalp at Bempton so went for a gander. It was freezing and the bird wasnt showing so we decided to try and find our own scarce. Unless Goldcrest is scarce we failed miserbly although we flushed a Peregrine in the field to the south east of the visitor centre.

In summary, very cold, some very good birds. Lovely. Oh and Velvet Scoter was number 250 for the year.

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