Sunday, 13 April 2014

Craggy Island

Ok so Flamborough is more a headland than an island but it has held a Crag Martin for the last couple of days and Im generally an irritable drunk like Father Jack. After it reappeared yesterday me and the girls sped the short distance up the road to connect. Despite a slightly sweary Garry Bagnell effing and jeffing in front of my kids when the bird shifted from Thornwick to North Landing it was certainly a pleasant twitch with the bird showing to a couple of feet in front of the assembled throng of familiar faces. Crag Martin isnt a bird I would risk travelling far for as I have seen too many to recount in Spain but they are smart, sassy little buggers despite their dull hues and this one was no exception, feeding within a couple of feet of the watching birders. Cracker

This morning also saw my first trip to Barmston this month. I have permission to visit every weekend now until the end of spring. Which is awesome...the issues with being a parent! A massive nine year ticks were found, all one pointers alas but enjoyable none the less. Driving in a couple of singing Song Thrushes were a late addition to the yearlist. I heard many through the visit. As soon as I arrived at the cliff top it was obvious the Sand Martins were back with about 40 birds buzzing about in 6c. A quick check of the sea saw my first Shelduck since my debut visit to Barmston in 2008 resting amongst the Common Gulls.

Down the beach a couple of Grey Plovers were moving through. Weirdly the usual throng of Sanderlings was absent but passing Curlew and Golden Plover more than made up for it. Curlew occur occasionally in spring but dont really use the beach and Golden Plover are pretty scarce with only a single record last year. Amongst the gulls were a few returning Lesser Black-backed Gulls.  These breed in Bridlington a few miles up the coast.

After my jaunt along the beach I decided to have a quick check of the woods and low and behold the first warblers had returned. A Willow Warbler flitting along a fence was looking very much like a migrant but the singing Chiffchaffs and Blackcap were certainly staking claim to their territories. The chiffs were actually a patch tick. Number 132...

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