Saturday, 12 October 2019

Coping with the Weather

We went to Kilnsea on Tuesday.  It was very cool at first, but bright for the whole time and rather windy at times, but the showers didn't start until the class was over.  We were in the car park when the radio informed us that a Jay was flying south, and there it was high above the Blue Bell.  There was a Stonechat and a Wheatear on the edge of the car park.  
Jay
 Jay
 Wheatear
There were at least 8 Bramblings in the Whitebeams, but they were more elusive and shy.  At first there were dozens of Redwings flying out of the hedgerow with a few Blackbirds and Song Thrushes included.  We also had a close if brief encounter with a Goldcrest.
Record shot of Brambling
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 Song Thrush
 Weasel
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Redwing
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Roe Deer
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 Record shot of Goldcrest
 Starlings and the Acoustic Mirror
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 Pink-footed Geese?
 Comma
We then went on to Kilnsea Wetlands.  The light was a lot better than yesterday, but the birds were much more thinly spread.  Eventually, we had our best ever view of a Knot on a Tuesday.  The Dunlins were from Monday in the rain.  
Wheatear 
Wheatear
Wheatear (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
Wheatear (c) 2019 Symon Fraser
Knot 
Knot (c) 2019 Symon Fraser
 Knot (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
Dunlin 
Knot
 Knot
 Knot
  "Red" Knot & Bar-tailed Godwit
 Redshank
 Redshank & Dunlin
 Garganey - allegedly
 Jack Snipe - lunch time on Weds
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Wigeon (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
 Pink-footed Geese (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
 Close Encounter (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
 Robin (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
 Goldcrest (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
On Thursday we caught up with Blacktoft Sands after the recent flooding.  The blog heralded the fact that the reserve had re-opened, but no one warned us that the birds would be so poor.  The water levels were so high that they kept off the waders, but ducks were still present.  Luckily, the Marsh Harriers continued to put on a good display.
Golden Plover
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 Magpie
Things picked up a little when a 1st-winter Scaup was found on Ousefleet Lagoon.
Scaup (c) 2019 Margaret Richardson
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 Stonechat (c) 2019 Margaret Richardson
 Marsh Harrier (c) 2019 Margaret Richardson
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 Little Grebes (c) 2019 Margaret Richardson
The forecast for Friday was pretty dreadful, especially for the morning.  Despite this an early highlight was a Bittern at North Cave Wetlands.  We couldn't find it in the afternoon, but they had another brilliant highlight, also beginning with a B.
Bittern
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 Chiffchaff
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 Heron
 Snipe
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 Bearded Tits
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Bearded Tits are notoriously difficult birds to see during the afternoon, so these sights were especially welcome.  One long-standing member believes they are the first he has ever seen.  They are definitely the best I've ever seen on a Friday afternoon.
2 Sparrowhawks
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3 Raptors
 Kestrel
 Kestrel v Sparrowhawk
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