Monday, 31 January 2011


Short-eared Owl
Short-eared owl
In flight last Monday
As the light was so nice, I tried for the Short-eared Owls again. Unfortunately, far too many other people had the same idea. There were c25 cars in the area, and c40 people. Why aren't all these photographers & film makers at work on a Monday afternoons?

Sunday, 30 January 2011

A Week Backwards

Friday - East Park
Goosander - female
Goosander - Drakes
Goosander - Drake
Goosander - Drake
Goosander - female
Goosander - female
Tufted Duck - male
Pochard - male
Pochard - male
Goosander - female
Treecreeper (above) - not a common sight in East Park
Scum (below)
Coot's foot
Togetherness - is a pair of Corvids
Thursday - Potteric Carr
Jay - First time I've seen one with its crest raised
Great Spotted Woodpcker (female)
Willow Wit
Siskin - female
Reed Bunting (male)
Wednesday - Tophill Low
Brambling (c) 2011 Aileen Urquhart
Goldeneye [drake] (c) 2011 Aileen Urquhart
Goldeneye [drake] (c) 2011 Aileen Urquhart
Sunbathing Fox
Blackcap on home feeders
Tuesday - Hornsea
Goldeneye (c) 2011 Chris Cox
Treecreeper (c) 2011 Chris Cox
Friday's class was at East Park, although the morning group went on a fruitless search for local Waxwings. The most unusual bird was the singing male Treecreeper, but the best birds were probably the 16 Goosanders. Also seen: 5 Mistle Thrushes, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 30 Redwing, Sparrowhawk, and a Siskin flew over.
Thursday's class was at Potteric Carr, whwere we had the best views we've ever had of Lesser & Mealy Redpolls. Also present: Siskin, Jay, Great Spotted Woodpecker, dozens of Bullfinches, Reed Buntings, etc.
Wednesday at Tophill Low brought 2 Woodcock at the Visitor centre, but no sign of a Smew. The sunbathing Fox was an afternoon highlight. Other sightings: Goldeneye, Wigeon, Teal, Shoveler, Shelduck, Redshank etc. The Orange-Morph Great Spotted Woodpecker was on a Silver Birch in the Treatment Works.
Tuesday was at Hornsea, where we heard a Nuthatch - a very scarce bird in East Yorkshire, plus Treecreeper, Goldeneye, Pochard, Tufted Duck etc.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Friday, 21 January 2011

A Site Rarity

Treecreeper - bands on wings really obvious here
Treecreeper - blood rushing to its head
Moving Round
Back to an Upright Position
The morning group & some of the afternoon group had good views of a Treecreeper - I've never seen one previously at this location, and looking at the 2010 site list, it was only seen in one month there last year! We had a partial-Ermine Stoat chasing Rabbits - the furthest south in Yorkshire I've heard of an Ermine Stoat this winter. The morning group first heard the yaffle of a Green Woodpecker, but then we also tracked it down! Also seen today were large flocks of Siskins, a pair of Bullfinches (am), a pair of Great Spotted Woodpeckers (pm), Redwings, Fieldfare, Shoveler, Shelduck, Gadwall, Redshank & the young Mute Swans, which were released last week.

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Senior Executive Officers (SEOs)

Short-eared Owls Combat
Breaking away
Heading Towards each other
A darkly-plumaged bird
Coming down to land

Underparts shot
In flight
Underwing markings
At rest
The highlight of the grey, chilly morning was a Common Buzzard relentlessly mobbing a Rough-legged Buzzard. In the afternoon the Common had taken up residence with no sign of the Rough-legged. The morning group went on to Waters' Edge to see 4 male Bullfinches feeling on dropped Alder seeds. We also had flyover Redpolls & Siskins, with very little on the unfrozen lakes, so a Goldeneye was an aquatic highlight. There were plenty of Stock Doves a single Great Spotted Woodpecker and a Cormorant and a Marsh Harrier passed overhead. The afternoon session, after the disappointment of the Buzzard, went on to see at least 6 Short-eared Owls barking, and clashing in mid-air; whilst others performed their tumbling courtship flights. A wing of a Barn Owl picked clean after it probably starved in the recent cold weather was a sad sight. Note: do not send an email out explaining you may see SEOs, as some 'students' may wonder why they are going to meet deskbound executives!