Little Egret (c) 2009 Marcus Conway http://www.ebirder.net/
Yesterday afternoon I met up with award-winning photographer, bird forum poster, e-birder, and all-round good egg, Marcus Conway. My mission was to show Marcus the birding delights of the wide-open featureless landscape of Holderness - to those not in the know, the Netherlands of East Yorkshire. We headed up to Welwick Saltings to see the 3 Short-eared Owls, the 2 Ringtail Hen Harriers, and the Merlin. Of course, we dipped on all of these, but we did see the above Little Egret (please left click on the image, to see it to its best advantage), a Woodcock and a very busy, if apparently unsuccesful Barn Owl. We also bumped into a very friendly local birder, who even knew Marcus's latest award-winning picture of Black-headed Gulls. If you thought you'd seen everything there is to see about these ubiquitous birds - glance at last week's Birdguides picture of the week!
From Welwick we nipped into the back lanes of Patrington & connected with at least 5 Barn Owls, and although they occasionally flew very close to our vehicle the light wasn't as bright as forecast, so there are no images to share. Apparently, it's not quite so easy to trip over Barn Owls in West Yorkshire as it is in the depths of Holderness, so Marcus was well pleased with his owl encounters, and he was able to see the potential of the area, plus the possibilities for other species which may lay in store during the frenetic period of the breeding season. If he can find his way back down these anonymous meandering lanes, then I'm sure Marcus will return, and will stun us with the resultant pictures. In addition to the Barn Owls we saw over 10 Roe Deer, a possible male Peregrine, and small flocks of Redshank, Golden Plover, Lapwing & Curlew. Overall, an extremely enjoyable afternoon in very affable company. Eee it makes tha' proud to be Yorkshire!