Thursday, 3 February 2011

Two into One

Sparrowhawk [male] (c) 2011 Vince Cowell
Brambling (c) 2011 Vince Cowell
Brambling (c) 2011 Vince Cowell
Tree Rat (c) 2011 Vince Cowell
Mitle Thrush
Yesterday was a bit of a wash-out because of the strong winds. In the morning we only saw 26 species when we can expect to see about 40-50 species depending on the venue. The afternoon group did hear a Nuthatch, which is a locally scarce species, but the birds of the day were 4 Buzzards, several Great Spotted Woodpeckers and a Treecreeper.
The Thursday groups went to Tophill Low where they did see over 40 species. At least 4 drake Goosanders on 'D' reservoir were out-of-the-ordinary, but excellent views of a Grey Wagtail, Redwings and Mistle Thrushes in the old Yorkshire Water works area were special for both sessions. Despite exhaustive searching, we were unable to track down any Smew or Woodcock. The feeding station was enlivened by several Brambling, some of which are shown above taken at the weekend by Vince Cowell. Vince was also able to snatch a photo of a male Sparrowhawk sitting on the feeding station. It didn't manage to catch a Brambling, or any other bird, during this particular visit. There was no yawning Fox this time, but 2 Roe Deer were seen under the Barn Owl boxes at Watton Borrow Pits in the am, with a single putting in an appearance in the afternoon. A good selection of wildfowl are returning to the marshes, but the Swans examined on the approach road all turned out to be Mute.
Gales are forecast tomorrow, so Friday's classes will be taking place at the only underground birding location I know about in East Yorkshire. However, if you know of any additional underground birding venues, please let me know, for future windswept classes!

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