Thursday, 10 January 2013


After yesterday's inland jaunt, today we ventured out to the coast. Just outside the car park we came a few Blue and Great Tits and a female Chaffinch, but the star birds were a pair of Goldcrests, which stayed in the open long enough for everyone to obtain decent views. We passed the Sika deer, and took the staircase to the beach. It was low tide, so everything was a long way out, and the light was a bit tricky, but we could make out: Oystercatchers, Turnstones, Redshank, Cormorants, Herring, Great Black Backed and Black Headed Gulls. In the absence of Purple Sandpipers the best birds here were a couple of Ringed Plovers.  The party of 8 Brent Geese were surprising - the 1st time I'd seen this species here - they flew north before they disappeared round Flamborough Head.

All pics (c) 2013 Richard Whateley
 Brent Geese
 Ringed Plover
After the long haul back up the very steep steps we walked around the grounds. The birds can't have been fed much recently as we were besieged by Blue and Great Tits. In the afternoon more than a dozen Great Tits landed in one small bush before landing on the bird table.  Stock Doves could be identified from Woodpigeons in the trees above us. We didn't find any Coal Tits until we reached the rose garden. On the way out we cheated by walking through the duck aviary to get decent views of a drake Pintail and Wigeon - much closer than we would see these in the wild.
Common Gull
In the afternoon drizzle the best bird seen was a Weasel! A great spot by Peter M.

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