Tuesday, 29 May 2012

2 Lifers for the Majority

Temminck's Stint (c) 2012 Martin Standley
Taken at the same location a few years ago
 Wood Sandpiper - taken at Spurn a couple of years ago
Today was a rerun of the same location as 5th of May: http://www.eybirdwatching.blogspot.co.uk/2012/05/yesterday-was-another-day-struggling.html  
 Pied Wagtail

Standing on the bridge yielded House Martin, House Sparrow, Starlings and Goldfinches feeding young.  There were also Swifts, Carrion Crows and a Magpie.  Immediately we went through the gate was a Reed Warbler on Cow Parsley, which then began to sing in a beech tree in someone’s garden.   A Sparrowhawk went over the gate being chased by 2 Magpies.  A Pied Wagtail was singing on a post near a paddock, but the usual Mistle Thrush was absent.

Record shot of Reed Warbler

Along the river bank there had been a big influx of Reed Warblers since the last visit, but there were few Sedge Warblers in full song – but we did obtain good views of both (not Sedge in the pm).  A Lesser-Black backed Gull flew overhead.  There were Swallows perched on some of the ‘jetties’, and the Reed Bunting chicks, proved something of a novelty.  Meadow Pipits and Skylarks seemed down in number but they may have been on chick-feeding duties.  We met a couple who’d been out birding much earlier & they had seen an Osprey directly overhead at 9am, flying north along the River Hull heading towards Pulfin Bog.  I’m sure the class gave a collective gasp or it could have been a groan at this point.  In the afternoon we saw a pair of Buzzards over a small copse being mobbed by crows.  
 Record shot of Meadow Pipit
 Growth on a Feral Goose
Reed Bunting Fledgling (above)
Waders seen included plenty of Lapwings, a few Oystercatchers, Redshank with at least 2 chicks, and then a strange bird was seen through Liz’s scope – a Wood Sandpiper.   There was a group of 8 Ringed Plovers at one point flying around, which came down to land, which the students thought just disappeared into the mud.  Another bird flying around was a single Snipe which performed its magnificent display, although we couldn't hear it from the distance we were from it. After a lot of searching in vain and head scratching Steve picked out a tiny bird by the side of a pool.  All the other sightings seemed to be of Pied Wagtails, but this one proved to be a nicely-marked Temminck’s Stint.  In the afternoon we just about managed to see (badly) the Wood Sandpiper through the bins, but the Temminck’s Stint was virtually impossible.  Luckily, a very patient West Yorkshire couple took their time with the whole group to ensure that everyone saw it.  The Wood Sandpiper was a lifer for all but one more experienced birder, while the Temminck's Stint was a lifer for all but the tutor.

 At the bridge in the afternoon we had a singing Blackcap, and a Wren almost went between someone’s legs, whilst a Greenfinch wheezed at the top of a recently-opened Ash tree, whilst in the morning we were merely scolded by a pair of Blue Tits and a singing Chiffchaff.  On the am return journey we took the path along Barmston Drain and added Yellowhammer, Linnet, Whitethroat, & Shoveler.  As we were leaving the site before lunch a Grey Partridge called behind us just after a hedge screened our view.  The pm session was much quieter in this area.  Both groups gawped at the 'submarine', whilst the cygnets were spotted in the afternoon.

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