Saturday 28th January 2017

♂ Smew are extremely rare in Yorkshire and it was many years ago that I last saw one at Fairburn Ings, so with news of a ♂ at Hornsea Mere and a rather damp dull day we ventured over to Hornsea to try to find this beautiful of all the wildfowl. On arrival all the ducks were on the field side of the Mere and so with gloomy light distinguishing even the commonest bird was a challenge. Gadwall, Goldeneye, Pochard and Tufted Ducks were in good numbers and things started to look up when a ♀ Smew was eventually found. A ♂ Long Tailed Duck was also located within the same area and ♀ Marsh Harriers were seen hunting over the reeds. However despite lots of searching around the ♂ Smew eluded me yet again.
From Hornsea we moved onto Barmston and as usual there it was bitterly cold. A walk along the beach did produce Sanderling, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Purple Sandpiper and a few Red Throated Divers on the sea. Whilst on the fields 16 Pink Footed Geese were distant but viewable.
From Barmston we moved down to Filey but the bay was extremely quiet with only common species around and no sign of any Snow Buntings.
Finally we headed to Seamer Pool and saw both Jack and Common Snipe, whilst in the surrounding fields 36 White Fronted Geese were mixed in with the large flock on the Western edge.


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