Thursday, 7 June 2012

More Rolling News

This morning the forecast wasn't brilliant, but it looked as though the coast would stay driest the longest.  I asked Ben if he would like a proper look at the Roller now that there would be likely to be fewer twitchers around.  He immediately agreed, and also asked to go on to Spurn afterwards.

When we got to Aldbrough there was only one birder present, and he was lucky enough to get on to the Roller as soon as he set up his scope.  The Roller had moved north into an adjacent tilled field because some heavy machinery had arrived to drill some peas.  The Wakefield birder pointed out the bird, which was almost directly opposite to the car park at Berwick Hall.  We watched it for over half-an-hour hunting for insects in a bare field.  Its colours looked even more glorious, if that's possible, against the dark background of the field, than it had against grass on Saturday.  It made several short sorties to hunt for prey & at these moments the colours were even more vivid on the wings in flight.

It was one of the farm workers first days back at work and he came over to see what we were looking at.  He looked through the Wakefield birder's telescope and was mightily impressed with what he could see.  He was pretty sure a Roller wasn't even in his bird book!  A few more cars turned up, and we'd enjoyed several good views of the bird, so we packed up & went on to Spurn instead.

At Spurn the tide was going out, and there weren't many birds of interest.  There were 'Woolly Bears' (caterpillars of Garden Tiger Moths) everywhere at the point, and they even outnumbered the dreaded Brown-tail Moth caterpillars.  A couple of Cinnabar Moths added a splash of colour, and there were a few Speckled Woods about, but very few other butterflies, apart from Common Blues near Canal Scrape.  It was also here that 4 Common Lizards were soaking up the sun on their usual post.

At Sammy's Point Ben unearthed a dog's skull, and we saw a pair of wary Oystercatchers.  Finally, just south of Thorngumbald we noticed a couple of Hares staring each other out in a Paddock.  Surprisngly, the forecast was incorrect, as instead of raining at 11am, the rain didn't begin until closer to 5pm!
First 3 pictures (c) 2012 Chris Cox
 Roller being mobbed by a Meadow Pipit again
 The remarkable plumage in flight
 Another flight shot
 Cinnabar Moth
 'Woolly Bear'
 4 Common Lizards
 Skull of a Dog?
 2 Staring Hares

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