Friday 26th August
It stayed dry until late morning then belted it down until after dark. Luckily I managed to get one walk, though still got a soaking on the way home.
Kelk Beck: 16 Gadwall, 11 Mallard, 9 Teal, 4 Grey Partridge, 1 Cormorant, 1 juv Heron, 230 Golden Plover, 120 Lapwing, 2 Snipe, 4 Green Sandpiper, 1 Swift (flying south), 2 Kingfisher, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 3+ Sedge Warbler, several Blackcap, 12 Goldfinch, and 50 Linnet. Also a Water Vole briefly.
A family of four Marsh Harriers (male, female, 2 juveniles) were hunting the general area - perhaps they have bred nearby. More remarkably was a flock of 12 Greenshank that flew north along the beck. Suffice to say this is a record count for the area. But... to where were they headed? From where?
Saturday 27th August
A much better day weather-wise, but a comparatively slower day for birds.
Lowthorpe/Harpham: 4 Sparrowhawk, 1 Buzzard, 2 Hobby (possibly adult and juvenile but view too brief), 3 Green Sandpiper, 4 Stock Dove, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Grey Wagtail, several Blackcap and Chiffchaff, 1 party of Willow Warbler, 8+ Goldcrest, 40+ Goldfinch. Also a Grey Squirrel was noted. Butterfly numbers were low due to cool cloud; 19 'whites', 3 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 7 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Small Copper.
Gembling/Foston: 4 Mallard, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Marsh Harrier (same as yestreday), 2 Kestrel, 5 Coot, 1 Little Owl, 1 Whitethroat, 110 Linnet at Foston Bridge, 410 Starling in one flock.
Green Lane / Barf Hill: 1 Red-legged Partridge, 17 Grey Partridge, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Buzzard, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, and 41 Pied Wagtails on the pasture.
Finally at dusk; 3 Mute Swan, 1 Hobby, 1 Coot, 1 Reed Warbler all at Kelk Lake. 800 Corvids flew to roost. A half hour watch for gulls moving east to roost was disappointing - a mere 900 birds. Consider that approx 2500 were loafing on a field at lunchtime. Maybe the conditions weren't quite right, or maybe most of them had already moved through. Either way I sense I still have a lot to learn about them. Bigger gulls were few and far between over the weekend; 26 Herring and 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Sunday 28th August
Wind took over from sunshine or rain today. Not great conditions for farmland birding. But needs must...
Lowthorpe/Harpham: 32 Mallard flying over, 6 Red-legged Partridge, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Hobby, 3 Buzzard, 1 juvenile Kestrel, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 90+ House Martin (an excellent local count), 3 Meadow Pipit (first ones since spring), and 1 Bullfinch.
Millingdale/Cattleholmes: 16 Mallard, 1 Marsh Harrier, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Stock Dove.
Gransmoore Lane/Green Lane: 1 Buzzard, 1 Marsh Harrier, 17 Grey Partridge, 150+ Starling, 300+ Corvid.
Now for some photos...
Common Gulls are the most numerous species visiting the area, especially in autumn when vast flocks feeding on the Wolds move to roost in Bridlington Bay. Later in autumn the birds shift to roosting at Tophill Low and so their route doesn't pass over Kelk. That said, large flocks can be encountered anywhere in flocks from now until early Spring, especially during ploughing.
Red-legged Partridges at Harpham - presumably a family party. They have been quite scarce this year, only being noted at two sites. This track has been a regular place to see them recently.
A flock of over 400 Starlings on wires at Foston. At one stage they all got up together, circled, then landed back on the wires. When they did they whole length between poles bounced up and down.
Juvenile Swallows on wires at Lowthorpe. In a month they'll have headed off to Africa. If we didn't already know this through scientific study it would utterly defy belief.
Finally a Crow doing what Crows do best - looking evil and suspicious.
And so that's yer lot. One addition to the year list with Greenshank. A Red Kite was reported to me seen in Kelk a week ago, so that's now 108 now.
107 Red Kite