Thursday 11th May 2017

Local Scarborough news of a Hoopoe at Cloughton today meant the chance of catching up with a bird I’ve not seen in the UK for a few years. Thankfully the bird still remained there till this evening so it was a very brief view of the bird, as the field in which it was located was full of horses and the owners with dogs came to feed them, hence the bird was never seen again.
Also in the same field were good numbers of Wheatears and a single Whinchat.
On the way home yet another Yellow Wagtail, which thankfully I’ve seen lots of this species so far this year.

Hoopoe (10)

Hoopoe, Whinchat and Pied Wagtail

Thursday 4th May 2017

A quick stop off at Nosterfield early evening and 2 Arctic Terns were on the Main Reserve.
4 Avocets, 3 Ringed Plovers and 2 Dunlin were also present.
Earlier this morning I witnessed a ♀ Merlin attack a Starling and she was unable to carry the bird off, so the Starling had a very lucky escape.

Monday 1st May 2017

A pleasant afternoon and a walk around Star Carr towards the River Hertford.
Rather strangely the first bird seen was a Barnacle Goose in the mixture of Canada and Greylag Geese.
Lots of new Warbler arrivals with Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Garden Warbler, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Chiff-Chaff and at least 5 Sedge Warbler.
Hearing Whimbrel calling as they were flying over is always a sign of Spring and at least 54 birds were seen with one individual displaying a Russet Brown chest. The birds were resting up and feeding on the rough pasture before making their way north.

Sunday 30th April 2017

A very early start as I wanted to see two of the difficult Woodland Birds which are becoming harder each year to locate. Our local Woodlands no longer support Pied Flycatchers and so each year, in order to see these majestic birds you have to go West for any hope.
Fortunately a few Oak Woodlands still remain and thankfully within a few minutes of arriving at this site both ♂ Pied Flycatcher and Redstart were really vocal and very easy to see.
Moving on to the Coast and a visit to South Gare where unfortunately by now the wind had increased to Gale Force and it was impossible to hear any Migrant Bird species. At least a couple of Wheatears were on the Rocks and quite a few White Wagtails were on the beach.
Walking to the sea line as the tide was in, and a good number of Little Terns were feeding close in and some were resting on the sands. I’m assuming these birds are pretty common in this area as nobody else even bothered looking at them. For me, these delicate birds, which like many other species are becoming less and less, it was a pleasure to watch them. Also in the area were lots of Sandwich Terns and Comic Terns, far too distant to identify, but in good numbers.
Waders were plentiful with Sanderling, Bar Tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Ringed Plover and Knot, some of which were now into their Summer Plumage.
After lunch news of a Black Tern passage on most inland waters meant stopping off at Scaling Dam, however there were none present and apart from a Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper it was pretty quiet as usual.

Pied Flycatcher (10)

♂ Pied Flycatcher in North Yorkshire Moors

Little Tern (10)

Little Tern at South Gare

Saturday 22nd April 2017

A dry but cold day and an early start for a visit to the Humber Estuary. The trip started well as immediately once out of the car and the unmistaken call of a reeling Grasshopper Warbler was heard. Seeing the bird provided far more of a challenge and despite lots of movements in the reed stems it proved completely elusive.
Shortly afterwards Reed Warbler, Cettis Warbler and Sedge Warbler were heard and seen in the same vicinity. Scanning over the vast Reed beds lots of Marsh Harriers were seen hunting and sparring with each other, and the star of the show a ♀ Montagu’s Harrier which put on quite a show throughout the day, all be it very distant, but scope views allowed to view this majestic bird. The ♀ will not stay long if a ♂ doesn’t arrive back, so lets hope her wait is a short one and a returning Male will find her.
After lunch a Booming Bittern deep in the reeds and a day flying Barn Owl seen very close, however the Bearded Tits put on a show but were impossible to photograph as they would not keep still for any period at all.
A lovely day and lets hope the Montagu’s finds her mate as these birds are in deep decline and are becoming rarer every year that passes.