Thursday, 18 August 2011

3-D Retrospective

No, the following images aren't in 3-D, this is just an account of the last 3 days! Very early this morning I set off with a rendezvous with the Spurn High Tide and a West Yorkshire birdforum-er. The gorgeous fresh Roe Deer buck cut down on the Hedon bypass was the most gory spectacle on the journey. I got to Easington when a text came through that he was having to bail out after a bad night's sleep! The previous night's forecast had made things look promising with an easterly wind predicted and a possible shower which may have forced migrants down. In the event none of these eventualities had taken place. 7 o'clock at Spurn and the place was almost deserted. A female Sparrowhawk flew low along the road just south of the Warren. However, there was very little of interest before arriving at Chalk Bank. The only exceptions were a few Whimbrel only a few yards from the road. I don't remember seeing a hare at Chalk Bank before, but there was one this morning.

There was still over an hour before high tide, but there were some stonking "Silver Plovers" already in position with some Bar-tailed Godwits, and a Dunlin. There were plenty of Oystercatchers, Cormorants, Great Black Backed Backed Gulls & Turnstones on a further sand bank, but not the vast amount of Knot I was expecting. It seems as though the sand banks have shifted somewhat and hundreds of knots seemed to be landing along the sea beach instead of on the river side. A 90 minute wait didn't result in any new birds apart from a couple of Little Terns flying north.

Yesterday I introduced an inhabitant of York to the 'delights' of Skipwith Common. I expected plenty of butterflies and dragonflies if not many birds, but there wasn't a great deal of anything! However, there were some very noisy Green Woodpeckers, and some quieter Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Other birds seen included: 2 families of Spotted Flycatchers, Kestrel, Willow Warbler, Long-tailed, Blue & Great Tits. There were some Speckled Woods and a Green Veined White, but the dragonflies wouldn't co-operate. I had to fill in with some of the history of the site & meterology, only to find the old adage about Mares' Tails didn't work this time - grrr!

On Wednesday I accompanied a previous inhabitant of Driffield around Tophill Low. We waited for a considerable time for the Kingfisher, and escaped a few heavy showers there, but the only bird of interest was a young Little Grebe successfully catching a number of fish. My companion politely extolled the virtues of the reflections & the raindrops, and photographing them seemed to keep her happy. On the return journey we heard screaming young Sparrowhawks & a very loud Treecreeper, but the birds actually making these sounds remained concealed. We went looking for Water Voles without success, and walked part of the way round South Marsh East - the best birds there were a pair of Common Terns. At least they weren't in eclipse unlike all the wildlfowl present! We had to cut our visit short when the time for Ms Westwood's lift back to Driffield arrived. Not a bad afternoon, but not really the very exciting time at Spurn which was originally planned.

Finally, we've had a male Blackcap, a juvenile Willow Warbler and an immature Whitethroat in the garden again, but only the latter remained long enough for its picture to be taken.
"Silver" Plovers
Little Egret
Bar-tailed Godwit
ditto with one Grey Plover
Juvenile Whitethroat in the garden
Juvenile Spotted Flycatcher
Green-veined White
Puffball sp
Pirri-pirri Burr
Himalyam Balsam
Speckled Wood
Southern? Hawker
Red Admiral
Record shot of Black-necked Grebe
Little Grebe
Grasshopper sp

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