Saturday started out bright and early and a trip down to Welwick Saltmarsh for the long staying Pallid Harrier, was planned earlier in the week. The trip, which always takes forever, as once you’ve reached Hull it is with great dismay to find you are only half way there, but traffic was quiet and by first light we were on Welwick and along with lots of other birders waiting patentiently for the main attraction to appear from its roost.
A Tawny Owl was seen on the trip just before daybreak and the first bird to be seen at Welwick was one of many Reed Buntings which frequent the area and then a solitary Peregrine overhead. Many Hundreds of Golden Plover were seen on the shoreline and then a bit of excitement in the event of a Marsh Harrier putting in an appearance.
By mid morning and no conclusive sightings of the Pallid Harrier someone picked up a very distant raptor sat on a fence post. Everyone moved en block to get better views and finally a positive identification of the Pallid sat out on a post. The bird sat happily for a good hour and had a short fly around towards other bushes before finally some walkers flushed the bird and it flew behind the marsh towards the village and out of sight.
Back to viewing over the Saltmarsh and finally 2 Short Eared Owls hunted over the area, with Little Egret, ♀ Hen Harrier, Linnets and finally the Pallid Harrier returned and sat on the opposite end of the Marsh on a protruding post.
By lunchtime we moved onto Kilnsea Wetlands and saw a separate ♀ Hen Harrier hunting along the bankside and a Peregrine in the fields with what looked like a kill.
Viewing along the Humber we saw good numbers of waders including Bar Tailed Godwit, Knot, Grey Plover and Ringed Plover with Common Scoter and Pintail on the water.
A fortunate stop at Skeffling, and a very helpful Birder, we dropped onto a large flock of Brent Geese and within the flock a Black Brant and Pale Bellied Brents. Another Short Eared Owl flew past and after packing up for the day and heading home a Barn Owl was seen close to Otteringham.
What a day!
Sunday started out with thick fog, and so staying locally we tried to find the local Bean Geese, which were reported on Seamer Carrs. The known area was to view from the A64, but thick fog meant that was a pure waste of time. So with a bit of extra help we ventured the opposite way down to Seamer Carrs and eventually found the birds close enough to view, but still poor visibility. Normally the Scarborough areas lucky to find a few Bean Geese every year, but in this flock there were 39 Tundra Beans, 6 Whitefronts and a couple of Greylags, so thankfully the birds were close enough to identify.
After lunch we visitited Holbeck Car Park and saw the resident Mediterreanean Gulls, with Stonechat, Meadow and Rock Pipit on the Rocks.
A walk towards the harbour and the long staying Black Necked Grebe and now 2 Great Northern Divers, 2 Shags and 2 Razorbills were all in the Harbour or just outside the enterance.
Overall a very productive weekend.