Sunday, 14 July 2019

Routine sightings & afternoon boundaries

Things are still very slow at the pits. John & I did our normal full site count on the Sunday morning before heading off to watch the lads play cricket together. Dusty scoring 117 not out whilst Gussy came in to bat with him scoring a very fast 32 not out.

The full count was as follows :- 20 Little Grebe (plus several broods), 7 Cormorant, 1 Little Egret, 1 Grey Heron, 16 Mute Swan, 6 Greylag, 87 Canada Goose, 7 Gadwall, 4 Teal, 344 Mallard, 1 juvenile Pochard, 72 Tufted Duck, juvenile Sparrowhawks in plantation, 8 Buzzard, 1 kestrel, 21 Moorhen, 102 Coot, 2 Oystercatcher, 5 Little Ringed Plover, 63 Lapwing, 4 Green Sandpiper, 2 Common Sandpiper, 6 Black-headed Gulls, 20 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (plus this fledged chicks), 60 Stock Dove, 80 Swift, 1 Kingfisher, 3 Green Woodpecker, 1 singing Meadow Pipit, 36 singing Reed Warblers, 2 broods of Lesser Whitethroat (plus one singing), Sedge Warbler, Willow Warbler, 3 Raven. Also 6 Painted Lady (worn migrants)

Fairburn Ings on return journey

Cattle Egret
Great range of habitats
Mrs D scanning for waders
Main flash
New reserve photos
Angel of the North
Two angels of the north

On the journey back home we called in at RSPB Fairburn Ings near Castleford. I had often seen reports of a range of birds seen there so it was great to check it out given how close we were.

The staff offered a very friendly welcome before we set off from the visitor centre where Tree Sparrow were jumping around. On the way out to the main part of the reserve there were good numbers of families pond dipping with equipment provided by the centre. It was great to see so many young people enjoying wildlife & being outdoors.

We did a large circuit of the reserve that looked amazing with so many rich habitats. The best bird I picked up was a Cattle Egret which was a year tick whilst further along the path you could see the breeding Spoonbills (Scope needed). Best of the rest were Green Sandpiper & a Common Tern in very warm conditions.

Dark Green Fritillary & a World Cup Semi Final

With a major work project heading towards a crescendo in the coming weeks I jumped at the chance to take a couple of extra days off with the forecast set fair. The first day was spent at Edgbaston with the legendary Mark Brind watching England beat Australia to reach the World Cup final. 

Given the vast amounts of alcohol consumed I was in relative good order the following morning although I did still have Sweet Caroline ringing in my ears. With the sun shining I headed out to a couple of sites close to Bewdley with Butterly Dave hoping to catch up with the emerging Dark Green Fritillarys.

We did exceedingly well and recorded three of the species at both sites in addition to some Essex and Large Skippers & a 2 Silver Washed Fritillary. We actually witnessed a pair mating which was a first for Dave.

Back to the Farne Islands

Atlantic Puffin
Arctic Tern
Atlantic Puffin
Atlantic Puffin
Arctic Tern
Arctic Tern
Atlantic Puffin
Arctic Tern
Arctic Tern
Grey Seal
Sandwich Terns
The Farne Islands have been calling me for a number of weeks and following a very favourable weekend forecast we booked Friday off work and took the journey up north to our beloved Northumbria. 

We left home at 3.30am to give us time for a relaxing breakfast in Seahouses before getting the boat out at 9.30am. The all day trip give us the opportunity to take in Staple Island & Inner Farne. Before leaving Seahouses I picked up a Rosette Tern coming down the coast off the harbour car park.

On the journey out to Staple Island we were past by a variation of Gannets & Auks whilst a group of american photographers entertained us with their global adventures, all were armed with at least three serious cameras. 

As the boat moored a gathering of Puffins were watching us from the top of the cliff. The great thing about the Farnes is the birds are so comfortable in their surroundings you can sit in close proximity to birds and take in their daily routine. We enjoyed amazing views of Shags, Guillemot, Razorbills and Kittiwakes all with young. The local gulls were waiting for the Puffins to return from fishing before trying to steal their catch, the Puffins were very aware of this threat so were quickly in their burrows.

Over on Inner Farne, the Arctic Terns greeted everyone in a very protective way with many young chicks and a few remaining eggs all over the island. Many had nested close to the boardwalk which is an attraction to the breeding terns as the terns deem the more humans passing there will be less predators.

This years bird census is still on going but the wardens indicated despite the global decline in seabirds the Farnes remains an excellent location for breeding birds. Razorbills are the one species that did decline last year. To give you an idea of the number there are 43,000 pairs of Puffins, 476 pairs of Shag, 3158 pairs of Kittiwake, 1735 Arctic Tern & 49,900 pairs of Guillemot. 

Monday, 8 July 2019

Godwits, heat & Oversley

Willow Warbler
 Spotted Flycatcher
Sightings for Sunday 30th June. (ND /JB)

20 Black-tailed Godwits (all adults in summer plumage, around 8.30am for 30 minutes.

First Little Grebe brood on far lagoons, 1 Great Crested Grebe, 7 Cormorant, 1 Grey Heron, 10 Mute Swan plus young,, 3 Greylag, 105 Canda geese plus young, 10 Gadwall, pair of Teal, 185 Mallard, 1 Pochard, 60 Tifted Duck, 100 Coot, 2 Oystercatcher, 6 Little Ringed Plover plus 2 young, 69 Lapwing, 1 Curlew through, 3 Green Sandpiper, 1 Common Sandpiper, 10 BHG, 30 LBBG (3 Chicks), 2 Herring Gulls, 60 Stock Dove, 50 Swift, 3 Sand Martin, 1 Meadow Pipt singing, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 4 Raven 2 Painted Ladys.

Oversley Woods :- 2 Pairs of Spotted Flycatchers , Marsh Tit, 2 Buzzard, Great Tits, Willow Warbler, Chiffchaff