Yesterday I finished my monthly low-tide counts with a sojourn to the south bank of the Humber. It was scorchio with 23 degrees registering on my car thermometer. A mid afternoon start at Barrow Haven saw 3 Chiffchaff
to greet me from the car door. These were the first of 18 that I noted across the couple of hours that I was out. A sprinkling of Lapwing
were notable as were a few pairs of Shelduck.
Little was on any of the lagoons behind the bank but on heading back after finishing up a Short-eared Owl
appeared hunting the thin strip of saltmarsh. I watched the owl for about ten minutes as I wandered up the floodbank. I have seen SEOs hunting in the day but never in bright, strong sun before. Certainly a pleasant surprise.
|Humber Bridge seen from Barrow Haven|
The second survey at Barton was a little more mundane with tonnes of Black-headed, Common, Herring
and Lesser Black-backed Gulls
. Little else was seen on the mudflat but I was serenaded by more Chiffchaf plus the odd Bullfinch
and Reed Bunting
. I thought I heard a sub-singing Cetti's Warbler
briefly at one point but it could equally have been a Wren in the reeds, so brief was the snatch of song. I was getting hot and tired when I noticed a decent group of Aythya
ducks on a water skiing pit. 4 or 5 pairs of Pochard
were farting about in the reeds to hold my attention when two bigger ducks surfaced. A 1st winter drake Scaup
and an adult female. These birds weren't particularly playing ball but patience yielded decent enough views. Happy days. And that was it... Im ringing on Saturday so hopefully I can get a few decent photos and see some migrants.
|Watersports Pits, Barton-upon-Humber. The Scaup were on the back pit in the photo|