That would be the ice on the pond at millington where we convened for the latest BF trip. We being myself, Marcus, Graham, Rob, Mark, Keith, Richard, Mike & John. In the car park were loads of tits including both Willow and Marsh. Up above us were a few Lesser Redpoolls, Siskin and Bullfinch. We quickly moved onto the pond where a very showy Water Rail was very nice, as was the Grey Wagtail and a Kingfisher that were giving good viewage. We got proper cold, proper quick and decided on a quick boot round the valley for some raptorage as all (all?) we had seen thus far were 4 red kites and a funny (as in Tommy Cooper) looking Kestrel. Round the corner we picked up a few finches and thrushes and eventually the Buzzards all came up. All of a sudden they were everywhere in all directions. Must have been 10 up when finally I got on something longer winged - the juv Rough-leg. A nice year tick and good to see again. It gave distant views before disappearing. Ambling back we saw Stonechat and John got the fright of his life when a Sheep 'bah'd' from a farmers trailor - probably a had to be there moment.
Back at the pond and we had another scan when I picked up a Green Woodie -somebody else nailed a Kingfisher and then I got onto a Jay all within 30 seconds. All this is forgotten when a very tidy male Hawfinch screams out of the scrub and starts feeding around the trees. A corking Yorkshire tick for me and several others and a cool looking bird which performed admirably for many people over about half an hour.
Eventually we faded away to faxfleet on the north bank of the Humber to see if we could pick up the male Hen Harrier that had been roosting at Blacktoft regularly. En route I had a tasty combo of Ham and English Mustard sandwiches with extra mustard which cleared the pipes (phew!!!)and some Tescos own Prawn Cocktail crisps. Awe inspiring.
Down at faxfleet we got onto many Marsh Harriers of both sexes and a couple of Barn Owls drifted past. Both Goldeneye and Goosander flew up river and the expected ducks and waders were knocking about. A few Pink-feet flew around Whitton Sands and we got quite cold. Then bosh...John picks up the male Hen Harrier (my first male in the UK) working round the river side of Blacktoft sands. We had extended views and went for a walk along the river bank little else was seen until dusk when Graham saw 4 passerines that sounded like Lapland Bunting flush from recently ploughed farmland. We walk towards the spot and i hear a different call - a contact call that sounds very much like Laps but we fail to see em again and write em off as a beautiful pink sky sees the end of our very productive day.