Tuesday, 23 July 2013

On the North Coast of Yorkshire

On Monday I took my nephew to see the Minke whales off Filey Brigg, but of course they were long gone.  We stopped off first just south of Bridlington to see how the Sand Martins were managing.  They seemed  to be progressing well with plenty of young birds flying around and landing on the cliffs, with adults still feeding young birds in their nest-chambers.  
Common/Harbour Seal
Sand Martins
Removing a Fecal Sac
Sand Martin
Two First-summer individuals (right)
A Large Group of Immature Individuals
We stopped off at Filey Dams, but there wasn't a great deal to see here.  Just a couple of Herons, a Woodpigeon, and a female Mallard and her new brood of ducklings were virtually the only birds worth noticing.
Herring Gull
Meadow Pipit

We carried on to the Brigg which Ben had never visited before.  We tried to avoid the prodigious amounts of dog mess without complete success.  There were a few Guillemots and Razorbills on the sea, as well as a large flock of Gulls, which also included a Gannet or two, and a Lesser Black-Backed Gull.  There was a Fulmar near the cliff top with a recently-hatched chick - the first I've ever seen.  I don't usually visit the East coast cliffs much after June, or before September.

Among the umbellifers a Meadow Pipit was calling loudly in-between catching insects for its final brood of the year.

Fulmar & Chick
4 Whimbrel
Common/Harbour Seal

We then began to scramble down the precipitous path towards the concrete path on the Brigg.  We heard and then saw a couple of Sandwich Terns fishing in the bay, but there was a lot of activity too.  We spotted an ambulance on the beach, and then a huge rescue party taking care of a gangly, bandaged  man.  It seems he may have fallen on the large slippery boulders strewn all over the Brigg.  The rock pools were searched for cranes, sea anenomes, small fish, limpets and whelks.   

As we neared the tip of the brig 4 Whimbrel flew south, whilst in the opposite direction twice as many Eider powered their way north.  There were wader calls among the rocks on the waters' edge, and these resolved themselves into a group of summer-plumaged Turnstones, plus a few winter-plumaged Dunlin, and Knot.  However, the highlight was a very confiding Common Seal, which proved a great draw for the few people who ventured the full distance.  Right at the very tip were a few Cormorants, and a single Shag frying themselves on a rock.  Even further along the Brigg appeared to be another Common Seal with her pup.  

2 Cormorants (right)
Aftermath of an Accident 

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