Sunday, 17 May 2009

Birdforum Banter

Once again the intrepid band of birders from across the four corners of the Yorkshire Empire met, plotting the bagging of birds of rapurous qulaity and wit. Sadly they failed. Here is a short, sometime fictional story of the events of that day.

Meeting at 8.00 at Ye Olde Blue Belle (or 8.03 if your Mike and myself) we ventured forth. The hallowed heroes were Rob(zatcatzooba), Mark (knocker7800), Mat(mat), Michael(birdflower), Mike(Skink1978), Ron(ron), Jim(jtw521), Paul (doc reed), John (birdieboy123) & myself (Hotspur). Apparently Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit and Common Sandpiper were seen before I arrived but I frankly dont believe them as they are a cunning bunch of stringers. A paddle down to the warren produced little bar 24 Common Scoter headed south, a Goosander over the humber and an unid'able dot which may have been a Hobby. A Porpoise blogged about and we eventually got reasonable views as it hunted inshore. A Corn Bunting sang but alas did not show. We ambled around the canal for a few warblers (sedge, reed, lesser whitethroat etc) and a couple of deer. Nothing much was happening save for occasional views of a single cuckoo.

Quick checkage of the Crown and Anchor produced little in avian form but we pushed on. Plenty of Brents were seen on Kilnsea Clays along with many sum plum Grey Plovers. Chalk Bank called for the wader high tide roost. About 100 brents attended as well as 2 very nice Little Terns. Waderwise a few Knot, Bar-tailed Godwit, shagging/egg laying Ringos, plenty of Dunlin and the odd Grey Plover were present but very low numbers generally. A Grasshopper Warbler piped up briefly.

Hunger pangs were now reaching barely noticable levels so a few had various sized fried things. Mine was smallest. Mike's was biggest. Mark was intermediate. The rest decided to play with the brown-tailed moth caterpillars in the dunes. A Chiffchaff landed and we decided to embark on a smash and grab of beacon ponds. The smash produced 30-40 Little Terns flushed by a dog walker from their colony (is that not illegal m'lud) and the grab a couple of close waders showing nicely. Sammy's was to be our final destination of this most rumbunctious of trips.

It all kicked off - Mat left for North Cave in search of a clearly made up bird called a Mr Temminck's Bint or something. Jim got bored and wet and headed to Holmpton (GSW). We ignored their lack of faith and were duly rewarded for our nobility with repeated views of a ringtail Hen Harrier. Bodacious. Female Whinchat and continental Stonechat soon followed and the heavens opened. The rain was biblical in only the way a short english shower can be. Suitably refreshed by the welcome downpour (it lowered the sweltering temperatures to a more manageable 9 degrees). Suddenly we were surrounded by 5 cuckoos which must have been grounded by the frontal rain. A few Wheatears skitted and a Yellow Wagtail was observed. A new plan was hatched as those brave enough to press on to Swine Moor did.

A most wonderful of waders a Mr Temminck's Bint was seen. Also parading in front of us were a selection of other delights waiting to be etched onto our retinas. Greenshank, Gadwall, Lesser Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover and Shoveller were present and very definitely correct. Pleased we parted heading for our own castles in the respective Kingdoms of North and East Riding. God bless Yorkshire.

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