Highlights: Red Kite, Merlin, 2 Shoveler, 1 Redshank, 3 Sand Martin, and bazillions of singing Chiffchaffs. Two Woodcock were something of a surprise.
Saturday 24th March
Harpham - Lowthorpe: a foggy start but a fair bit to be seen with 18 Greylags, 6 Mallard, 2 Grey Partridge, Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzard, 40+ Lapwing, 1 Woodcock, 4 Great Spotted Woodpecker including one drumming relentlessly, 1 Grey Wagtail, 9 Fieldfare, 14 Redwing - at least one in full song, 10 Chiffchaff singing, 4 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Coal Tit and 1 Bullfinch.
Also seen were 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 3 Squirrel, 1 Roe Deer and best of all a Stoat which ran along the the opposite edge of the beck to me, confiding enough for a photo opportunity - nice!
Gembling - Foston - Millingdale: the herd of Mute Swans at Wansford I mentioned in the last couple of months has grown further, now 42. I'm told these will mostly be young non-breeding birds which have the summer to do nothing much except perhaps form their lifelong partnerships. Other birds were 8 Greylags, 8 Teal, 2 Shoveler - very pleasing after missing out last year, 6 Tufted Duck, 4 Little Grebe, 11 Grey Heron around the heronry, 3 Buzzard, 9 Coot, 12 Lapwing displaying, 1 Redshank - another one I missed in 2011 and it was stood next to the Shovelers, and 8 Tree Sparrow.
At Kelk Lake toward dusk were 4 Greylags, 1 Teal, 7 Tufted Duck and 2 singing Chiffchaff.
Sunday 25th March
An even fogggier start.
Kelk Beck-Gransmoor Lane: 1 Mute Swan, 4 Greylags, 1 Shelduck, 15 Teal, 8 Mallard, 2 Tufted Duck, 3 Red-legged and 6 Grey Partridge, 1 Sparrowhawk, 9 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 3 Coot, 22 Lapwing, 1 Woodcock flushed from a hedgerow, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 16 Herring Gull, 3 Sand Martin at Gransmoor Quarry, 3 Meadow Pipit, 40 Fieldfare, 2 Chiffchaff, 2 Tree Sparrow, 12 Linnet, 6 Reed Bunting,
A quick repeat trip to Harpham found us looking at the Red Kite and Merlin 'identified' in the last blog post. Also noted were a Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Grey Wagtail, 14 Pied Wagtail, and 2 Chiffchaff. A couple more butterflies logged in for the year - a Peacock and a Comma.
Now, some photos.
Stoat by the beck at Harpham. Just seeing one is good, getting a photo felt like I was pushing my luck.
A pair of Moorhens being a bit lovey-dovey. Aww. This was taken from the bridge at Lowthorpe which is probably the easiest place in the area to see them.
Next up is a pair of Pied Wagtails together by the beck at Harpham. The male has the blacker back while the female looks rather less tidy.
Female Pied Wagtail.
Comma at Harpham. Always a welcome sight as they're quite unpredicatable in the area.
Here's hoping the spring continues in this manner, though some water wouldn't go amiss. A whopping 10 species were added to the year list including a Little Owl that my brother had seen earlier that week.
075 Little Owl
080 Sand Martin
082 Lesser Black-backed Gull
083 Red Kite