My November visit was 19/20th so I am catching up! Still no photos but with confidence of a coalition government I will deliver. The weather was lovely and mild but Sunday was almost impossible for birding with a dense blanket of fog that only part-lifted in the afternoon.
A large influx of wild geese had taken place across the region in the previous week and Kelk dragged in some representatives - 11White-fronted Goose and 25 BEAN GOOSE. Remarkably quiet otherwise.
Saturday 19th November
AM - Harpham/Lowthorpe: 9 White-fronted Goose flying west from Little Kelk with 50+ Greylags, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 1 Woodcock, 18 Collared Dove, 6 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 30+ Skylark, 1 Grey Wagtail, 16 Mistle Thrush (a good local count), 2 Golgcrest, 20+ Linnet, 2 Bullfinch.
PM - Gembling/Foston/Cattleholmes/Millingdale: 2 Mute Swan, 7 Wigeon, 36 Teal, 3 Tufted Duck, 3 Red-legged Partridge, 2 Grey Partridge, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Cormorant, 12 Grey Heron, 2 Buzzard, 9 Coot, 13 Stock Dove, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, two parties of Long-tailed Tit. A remarkable record of 16 Curlew were together in a field at Brigham - will have to check but possibly my first 'winter' record.
At dusk approx 3000 Corvids were attending the roost - the largest number for a while. Although it was practically dark the balance appeared to be about 2-1 Rook-Jackdaw.
With good timing we approached Green Lane as the fog was lifting (it came back down again by dusk) and into view came a flock of geese - "Whoa, they're not Greylags". No they weren't, if fact it was 11 White-fronted and an amazing 25 Bean Goose. Actually, that's a wee lie, there were 2 Greylags with them. I have some pictures when I finally get around to sorting them out but to me all the Beans looked like the 'Tundra' race rossicus, which are the commoner of the two in Yorkshire. I have seen two Beans in the local area before but never more than one at a time.
My best recent year-list was 117... it's going to be close.
Well would you look at that, nearly December and I haven't said anything since October. Alas I've been without a 'puter for a while.
As per the previous post there were four scarce birds noted on that visit, and thus four to add to the yearlist.
110 - Common Crossbill
111 - Lesser Redpoll
112 - Ring Ouzel
113 - Meditteranean Gull
Soooo.... for what it's worth, a belated roundup of the rest of the weekend.
Saturday 22nd October
AM Harpham/Lowthorpe: 30 Lapwing, 1 Green Sandpiper, 17 Collared Dove, 15+ Skylark, 1 Grey Wagtail, 1 Redwing, 15 Fieldfare, 4 Goldcrest, 5 parties of Long-tailed Tits, 1 Bullfinch. A single COMMON CROSSBILL flew into the pines at Lingholmes and a Lesser Redpoll flew overhead at Lowthorpe.
PM Gembling/Foston: 35 Teal, 7 Grey Heron, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 1 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Little Owl (Gembling).
Dusk, Little Kelk: 6 Mallard, 1 Buzzard, 6 Red-legged Partridge, 5 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Meadow Pipit, 8 Linnet, several Tree Sparrow (heard only). Star of the show was a RING OUZEL in the big hedge along Green Lane - very elusive but calling regularly.
Other than birds, I noted about a dozen Red Admirals (no other butterflies), 2 Squirrels and a single 'Hawker' presumably a Migrant Hawker at Brigham Quarry.
Sunday 23rd October
AM Kelk Beck: 1 Mute Swan, 4 Greylags, 60+ Mallard, 90+ Teal, 1 Tufted Duck, 4 Cormorant, 3 Grey Heron, 3 Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, 5 Lapwing, 8 Golden Plover, 5 Great Black-backed Gull, a flock of 400+ Woodpigeon, a daytime-hooting Tawny Owl, 45+ Skylark, 1 Redwing, 1 Fieldfare, 80+ Tree Sparrow (record count), 90+ Goldfinch, 28 Linnet, 8 Reed Bunting, 10 Yellowhammer. Another look for the Ring Ouzel at lunchtime was successful - views that could just be called 'reasonable'.
PM: Millingdale/Cattleholmes/Kelk Lake: 1 Goldeneye, 14 Grey Heron (Cattleholmes), 4 Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 9 Grey Partridge, 11 Golden Plover, 80 Lapwing, 1 Green Sandpiper, 300+ Woodpigeon, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Grey Wagtail, a very large but uncountable party of Long-tailed Tit at Kelk Lake (min 30), 90 Linnet, 1 Bullfinch. At least 1000 Corvids were gathered at the traditional pre-roost site at Kelk at dusk.
Yorkshireman curently in exile in Liverpool but visiting Kelk once a month. Much as I'd like to be out there battling the elements every day the rent don't pay itself and my wife would object to never seeing me (I hope!)