Yesterday I decided to have a ramble round the patch to have a better look at the Twite that have been about and also try and pin down the Lapland Buntings which Trevor Charlton has had a few times. I am rather glad I did! A slightly rubbish seawatch was quickly abandoned after 25 Twite flew south. Obviously I headed north and there were more present in a patch of mugwort. This seems to be their favoured spot.
I marched round the perimeter of the marsh, flushing the occasional Snipe when eight Lapland Buntings flew over calling. They moved off to the north-west but the impression was that they had come up out of the stubble. Somewhat surprisingly, these were my first Laps for the patch and patch tick number 184. I continued round the margins of the marsh to the snipe field where half a dozen regular flavoured birds preceded two Jack Snipe in their favoured strip of damp, long grass. Pink-footed Geese started to pour north and just shy of 500 were counted heading into the Wolds. A check of the beach was productive with a nice variety of waders including Grey Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit and Turnstone.
Further south I bumped into a Merlin that was convinced I couldn't see it in a tree. It let me get pretty close before moving into the next hedge and repeating the trick. The hedges had low numbers of birds but a nice selection of thrushes and buntings including five Corn Buntings and a few Fieldfares. At this point I bumped into Lee Johnson. Lee works Barmston fairly often in winter and with autumn pretty much done he had headed over to try and get a bead on the Lapland Buntings. We wandered up the marsh again and a few Lesser Redpoll went over followed by the emergence of 13 Lapland Buntings. They wouldn't show on the ground, flying at well over 100m from us but they flew close, calling repeatedly. An excellent count of a tricky species. These were also Lee's first for the site. A Woodcock flew into the marsh as we wandered back towards our cars and the Twite gave an improved showing back by the camp. All said a very productive morning.
|Unwell looking Common Gull|
|Wigeon on the move|