Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Barm Storming

Another visit to snowy Barmston and more decent birds. Almost immediately I stumbled on the Iceland/Kumlien's Gull pictured below and a few waders were around the car park (still no Purple Sandpiper though). Plenty of Sanderling foraged on the beach - I stopped counting at 100 and there were loads more than that. As I tried to get better photos of this guy a few Redwing moved along the cliff top - new birds this year for the patch. One was feeding on the beach alongside a Blackbird.

I continued towards Fraisthorpe via the reedbed which today held only a single Snipe. The Water Rail was still present in the drain. Numbers were up of buntings with 7 Snow Buntings, 25 Yellowhammers and a dozen or more Reed Buntings in a stubble field. Large numbers of Skylark & Meadow Pipit were amongst the bunts. I tried to find a Lap but failed badly. New plovers were also in evidence with a single Lapwing and 3 Golden Plovers not far apart in fields and a flyover flock of 40 odd of the former. A single Grey Plover on the beach was also new for the yearlist.

 Up at Fraisthorpe a group of Pale-bellied Brent Geese foraged in a farmers field before being flushed by dog walkers onto the beach and later south towards Ulrome before returning. An added bonus here was a hunting Barn Owl which I imagined would be a tricky local addition.

At the turnaround another new patch species for the year was present - a smart Song Thrush. Yum. Feeding on the undercliff was my final new patch year tick. A scruffy looking Rock Pipit amongst the Meadow Pipits. Time was marching on as I clocked up plenty of miles so a quick march back brought little reward.

 When I got back to the village I called in at the Mere to ensure I wasnt missing any footit ticks. Lucky I did as a pair of Gadwall were present. Which necessitated a footit twitch of my own find... Also present was my first ever Wigeon for the mere, hiding in vegetation plus a big increase in Tufted Duck from 1 originally, 2 yesterday and finally 7 birds today. C'mon Goldeneye and Pochard!

Patch Challenge is up to 51 species/57 points, Footit is up to 64 species/82% and both Wigeon and Gadwall count for the Pan-species challenge taking me up to 65 species in my Nafferton 100 acres. All go in my challenges!

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