Saturday, 28 February 2009

A Good Week

Following on from our first Green Winged Teal we have had a good week (isn't it always when you are off work) culminating in another lifer.

On Monday we visited Old Moor RSPB in the Dearne Valley and despite greyish weather the picture juvenile Mute Swan was bathed in sunlight. Highlights from the day were a Pintail and four male Goosander and a pair of Goldeneye.

Wednesday we watched a pair of Peregrine Falcon on Castle Hill Scarborough and visited the Mediterranean Gulls at Holbeck for a short while. I took some shots in fairly grey conditions. The short time we were there I caused a feeding frenzy and the Med Gulls seemed the most aggressive of all the birds. I thought they would snatch the bread bag off the park bench!

We did look for the Purple Sandpipers and Icelandic Gull around the harbour but had no success.
Friday we again saw alone Peregrine on Castle Hill before taking off to Flamborough for the King Eider seen off North Landing and viewed the bird for a good while, distant out at sea, not a bird in the brilliant summer plumage like the one off Flamborough last year that we missed but a King Eider nonetheless, a first for us. Two Lifers in a week!

Friday was capped off by two Peregrine flying around Thornwick Bay. A brilliant display swooping over and around the cliffs.
A good week.

Monday, 23 February 2009

North Cave Wetlands, YWT

Visited this reserve in the hope of seeing a Green Winged Teal for the first time and we were not disappointed getting good views through the scope of the bird in the far corner of Island Mere from the Turret Hide. Watched the bird for a good time while it was swimming with Teal. No pictures at the distance but nice to see and to get a lifer and year tick.
The pictures of the Cormorant and Oystercatchers was typical of the view from the South Hide.
Managed some shots of Great Tit's close to the feeding station.
On the journey to North Cave we went on the road between Water and Nunburnholme to view some Red Kites. Immediately on stopping outside Warter there was Red Kites overhead, probably saw 5 or 6 altogether.
Also spotted a Little Owl in a tree just outside Warter.

Saturday, 21 February 2009

Fieldfare and Party Pooper

Having walked in Wykeham Forest (nothing seen), we visited the giant bird feeder, a clamp where seed has just been stock piled over winter and the birds are now doing their worst to remove it. There are good numbers of Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch and Yellow Hammers here with Reed Bunting for good measure. Today Stock Doves were feeding in the field and droping onto the site. The local Pheasants must think lifes too easy!

We then had a ride around and came across a large number of Fieldfare and Redwings in a field at the back of Ayton with Starling also present and Linnets in the area.

I got my desire for Fieldefare in a tree (see previous posting of this bird) together with Redwing and Starling although too distant to get the quality shots I wanted.

A Kestrel then dropped onto the top of the tree holding the Fieldfare and most birds (not all disappeared). Bt the time I focused the Kestrel was airborne but I managed a couple of shots.
A Sparrow Hawk was sat on the top of the hedge to 400 yards up the lane as we left.

Thursday, 12 February 2009

Filey Country Park

A few pictures from Filey CP last Saturday afternoon when the weather was bright one minute black the next.

Get out the car to take a picture in bright light and you got bown away with bitter wind, add rain and sleet/hail down your neck!

It was high ide and a flock of Knot with a few Dunlin kept flying around and coming to rest in the centre of the park. There is a circular access road and the birds kept landing in the grassed area in the middle.

I pursued a lone Rewing and got soaked and no picture for my trouble.

Quite like the Herring Gull and Black Headed Gull shots from the car.

Knot and Dunlin were then in good numbers feeding on the grassed area, plenty of wet pools in the location.

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Flamborough Light

We had a very nice trip to Flamborough today, the weather was very bright but cold.

Initially we spent time at the headland by the lighthouse, I have posted a picture showing the landmark so you can see the blue sky we enjoyed today. This was taken with my 20D of which I have still never cleaned the sensor, wanting to delay this as long as possible. If you care to view the larger image you will clearly see the dust on the sensor. It shows the worst problem of the earlier DSLR cameras. I will get around to cleaning mine soon but I try not to change lens too much with my 40D even with the automatic sensor cleaner.

A couple said a Short Eared Owl had been flying around fields near the cliff top but we saw no sign.

On the headland we saw a pair of Stonechat, invariably difficult to picture into the sun.

Moving on after lunch to South Landing I got out the car at the car park to 5 or 6 Bullfinch in a tree. Males were showing prominently but I just could not focus before they flew off. Actually I could not located them through the viewfinder. One day I will get some reasonable shots.

We then walked on the path through the trees to the cliff top and back. The paths were treacherously icy and the light got greyer but on the return trip it brighten slightly and I was rewarded with a Treecreeper showing well and in reasonable range.

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Fieldfare Views

Having driven around the eastern edge of the Yorkshire Wolds and not seen a great deal I was pleased to find a number of Fieldfare and Redwing in a field on the edge of Staxton, there was also a small flock of Starlings with them and some House Sparrows in the Hedgerow.
I could not focus through the twigs around a tree trunk and the fence and was surprised that a few birds stayed near as I took some shots. Holding the camera steady in the bitter wind was not easy and the first flakes of another snow flurry started falling round my ears. This can be seen in the Redwing shot.
Three hares seen, two in a field and one running down the verge at the side of the road.