Monday 18th September 2017

A days holiday, and so the idea was to visit Spurn and catch up with hoards of migrants. However, like most well laid plans it never really came to fruition.
We started of at Easington Church were an Arctic Warbler had been seen briefly yesterday, but no sign today. Off then to Kilnsea Wetlands for a look at what waders were on display. Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Ruff, Dunlin, Curlew and the 2 stars which were Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper. The latter proving difficult to see.
After lunch and a walk down various Hedgerows, produced absolutely nothing and the subsequent Sea Watch was just as fruitless.
We decided on a walk down the Canal Hedge row and finally caught up with a Spotted Flycatcher (turned out to be the best passerine of the day) in the end garden near the Crown and Anchor and large numbers of Little Egret moving on the sea.
Finally we called in at Welwick Marsh and saw a couple of Marsh Harriers, Common Buzzard and a late Swift.
Overall a disappointing day considering Arctic, Yellow Browed, Barred and Marsh Warbler plus Red Breasted Flycatcher were in the vicinity.


Sunday 20th August 2017

With the promise of a fine day we set off to South Gare, and on arriving the tide was out and so we made straight for the rocks where the Terns were.
Common, Arctic and Sandwich Terns were in good numbers with plenty of juvenile birds being fed by their parents. We searched throughout the Terns, but as expected, and becoming an unfortunate event this year, after we left 3 Roseate Terns were reported from the area.
On the sea plenty of Eider and Guillemots and best of the day were 2 Arctic Skuas who harried the Terns all day. One of the Skuas was a very dark phase bird.
Common Waders were in good numbers with Sanderling, Turnstone, Curlew and Ringed Plovers, including some of this years youngsters.

Sunday 30th July 2017

Caught up this morning with a ♀ Red Backed Shrike along the Long Hedge at Filey. Also close by was a Barn Owl in the Totem Pole field, lots and lots of Sand Martins and a Little Egret dropped onto the tiny pond. On the sea were Gannets, Sandwich Terns and 12 Common Scoter in the bay.

Called in at Filey Dams and a few Common Waders were present, including Dunlin, Redshank and Black Tailed Godwit.

In the afternoon a look at Holbeck Car Park in Scarborough for the easiest bird to find in Yorkshire and sure enough 2 Mediterranean Gulls were exactly were you expect them.

Red Backed Shrike (14)

♀ Red Backed Shrike

Mediterranean Gull (1)

Mediterranean Gull

Saturday 24th June – Saturday 1st July 2017 Isle of Mull

A weeks holiday to the Isle of Mull and the trip on the ferry in squally rain showers only produced a single Black Guillemot on leaving Oban. The car journey on Mull to the holiday cottage was fruitful with a ♀ Hen Harrier hunting along the shoreline of the local Loch.

Sunday started really well with all the local Herring Gulls going crazy outside and in amongst them an Adult White Tailed Eagle. However this would be the only sighting of these birds, so it was to be a disappointment overall. We could have done the touristy Eagle Trips but prefer to find things au Natural.

We walked to the local Bay which had stunning white beaches and removing the very common Oycs then Ringed Plover were the only bird of note. Another ♀ Hen Harrier did a flypast over the area and Common Buzzard and Stonechats were plentiful.

Monday we visited Iona and the small Island can only be reached by the local ferry. At least 4 calling Corncrake were on the Island but very little else.

Wednesday we hiked up Ben More and again bird species were very limited up there. A single Golden Eagle flew over the Summit and Ravens were doing their acrobatics. Back at sea level and on the Loch na Keal an Adult Great Northern Diver in full summer plumage was seen. The drive back, scanning the loch shore produced 2 Otters and lots of Otter spotters. I’m sure there are more people looking for Otters than anything else on Mull.

The rest of the week was spent hiking and trying to see the same birds we had already found but it was the Hen Harriers that became the easiest to see. One evening whilst out driving we stopped to scan a rough area of Grassland which looked promising for Owls. However it wasn’t Owls but Hen Harriers that were using it as a hunting area. Both the ♀  and the♂ made regular visits to this site and every evening we drove no more than a mile from our cottage to see both birds hunting until at least 10pm.

Overall the target birds were seen, but sadly only in single sightings, The Otters are there and with a bit of luck you will see them. Red Deer appear later in the evening and there are many of them on the Island.

The bonus for the week was Low Pressure over England meant we had virtually no rain, there was no sun either, but at least we kept dry.

On the way home a long staying Sabine’s Gull at Nosterfield Flaske Lake was far to good an opportunity to miss, and thankfully showed really well ending a lovely week.

♂ Hen Harrier – Record shot very distant

Sabine’s Gull Flask Lake Nosterfield