Friday, 4 October 2019

More Variety, Week 3

On Wednesday we made our first Autumn visit to Flamborough in many years.  We went after an easterly wind, but there wasn’t too much to see - mainly Chiffchaffs and a few Redwings.  A handful of Meadow Pipits flew up from the cliff edge.  We saw a massive flock of Tree Sparrows among the gorse bushes, and following a tip off we walked along the hedge to find a Redstart - first spotted by Anthony, of course! 
Chiffchaff
Chiffchaff (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
 ditto
 Long-tailed Tit (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart

 Record shot of Redstart
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  Tree Sparrows
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 Tree Sparrows (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart

Wheatear
Wheatear (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
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We made it to the seawatching Hide. A Wheatear on the headland was a nice surprise.  There were many young Gannets on the sea plus adults flying north towards Bempton.  When we came out the hide and stood on the cliff top two Red-throated Divers flew away from us.  We also saw a few Shags flying back and forth. 
Red-throated Divers
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Red-throated Divers (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart

Record shot of Guillemot
We made it to the seawatching Hide.  There were many young Gannets on the sea with adults flying north towards Bempton.  When we came out the hide and stood on the cliff top two Red-throated Divers flew away from us.  We also saw a few Shags flying back and forth. 
Herring Gull
 Only a Dunnock
 Shag
In the afternoon we did the same route in the opposite direction.  there were far fewer passerines than in the morning, but the birds on the sea, and on the shore were very similar.  
Seals
Seal (c) 2019 Aileen Urquhart
 Beetle
 Caterpillar
 Overmature Common Darter
On Thursday we were due to be at Blacktoft Sands, and the weather forecast was fine.  Then, at the last moment I discovered that the reserve was flooded and therefore closed, so we switched to Alkborough Flats.  Hopefully, we can catch up with Blacktoft Sands later in the term.  There was absolutely no wind, so the conditions almost couldn’t have been better, although it would have been even more pleasant if the sun hadn’t been obscured by cloud.
Moustachioed Reedlings
 Bearded Reedlings
It was actually possible to see Bearded Tits for the first time from the car park and simultaneously have your eardrums damaged by a Cetti’s Warbler!  We hadn’t gone very far along the path before we had very close encounters with Bearded Tits.  There was a small crowd of massive lenses ahead of us, and on checking we could discern a flock of up to nearly 20 Bearded Tits frantically scoffing small pieces of gravel just beyond some flood water which stretched across the path.   
Bearded Tit
 Bearded Tits
 Bearded Tits
 Spotted Redshank
 Ruff
We had views of these ourselves.  From the hide we had flyover Snipe, and Ruff.  Several times Redshank and Spotted Redshank attempted to land but found the floodwater rather unexpected, and they departed rather suddenly.  A medium sized flock of Golden Plovers passed through briefly, whilst Marsh Harriers were seen most of the time.
Little Grebe
 Peregrine
Record shot of Cetti's Warbler
We walked to the Trent accompanied by more irrupting Bearded Tits and loud Cetti’s Warblers.  We found a few small flocks - both by the side of the path, and at the final designation.  An immature Peregrine was slightly less expected as it powered away from our position.   Skylarks, Meadow Pipits and Pink-footed Geese were occasionally observed passing overhead.  The Trent itself was extremely high, and for the first time we weren’t able to see any exposed mudbanks. Gadwall, Wigeon, unmentionables and almost a whole tree appeared to be swept away by the retreating tide.   
Female Stonechat
In the afternoon young two Reed Warblers were just outside the hide, as was a more skulking Cetti's Warbler.
Immature Reed Warbler
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 Pheasant
Hot Cross Bun (c) 2019 Margaret Richardson

 Funghi [Bolete?]
 Gossamer
Sea Aster (c) 2019 Margaret Richardson
On Friday it was going to be too windy, and there was a chance of easterly winds, so we tried out Kilnsea.  We shared cars to Kilnsea Wetlands, and walked to the hide, which was new to most there.  On the way three Knot dropped in, and we were able to get good views of them in isolation.  There were a large number of Knot and Dunlin with smaller numbers of Redshank, plus just two Bar-tailed Godwits.  Also present were Shelduck, Great Black Backed, Common and Black-headed Gulls.  When we moved to the screen there were Linnets, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks not too far from the shore.  Jane noticed three upright birds in the longer grass.  At first they looked like Golden Plovers, but they were too large when seen with Redshank.  They were moulting Grey Plovers.  This was confirmed later when they lifted their wings and they displayed their black wing pits.
Male Brambling
Grey Plover
Grey Plovers (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
Grey Plovers - show us your wing pits
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Ringed Plover
Mixed Waders
Knot
Dunlin (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
Teal (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
Shelduck & Gulls (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
We walked to the edge of Beacon Ponds from which several Brent Geese flew up, leaving Wigeon in their wake.  The hedgerow was absolutely full of Reed Buntings, Linnets with a few Great Tits.  Starlings indulged in a mini-murmuration over Holderness Fields to our right.  When we reached the waters edge we located an obliging Wheatear.
Wheatear (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
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Wigeon (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
Brent Geese (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
We returned to the car park and drove back to the Blue Bell.  We then walked down Beacon Lane.  We had been told of a Little Owl, which we eventually found concealed in an old WW1 defence covered by trees.  A very bright buck Roe Deer was grazing with a darker coated animal.  There was supposed to be a Red-breasted in the area, but we didn’t manage to locate it until after lunch.  On the journey we found at least 3 male Bramblings eating the Whitebeam berries near the Caravan Park. 
Record shot of Little Owl & Buck Roe Deer (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
Record shot of sunbathing Little Owl
Buck Roe Deer
Tree Sparrow (c) 2019 Jane Robinson 
House Sparrow (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
After Class? Stonechats (c) 2019 Jane Robinson
Male Brambling
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Red-breasted Flycatcher [on right]
RBF
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