Monday, 30 July 2012

Slow news day

Quiet. The most newsworthy item being my speedy write-up!

Saturday 28th July

Harpham/Lowthorpe (AM): 2 Sparrowhawk, 4 Buzzard, 4 Kestrel (3 together!), a juvenile Cuckoo at Lowthorpe, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Mistle Thrush, 1 Sedge Warbler, 2+ Goldcrest.

Gembling/Foston (PM): 27 Mallard, 1 Pochard, 5 Tufted Duck, 10+ Little Grebe, 2 Buzzard, 4 Kestrel, 7 Coot, 1 Redshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 40+ Sand Martin, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Bullfinch.

The bird of the day was a Peregrine which drew attention by running amok with a flock of pigeons and crows - it appeared small to me so probably a male and not a juvenile but didn't look adult either. A cracking record and follows a similar one in July 2011.

Kelk (EVE): 2 Mute Swan, 110+ Greylags on stubbles at Gransmoor, 4 Canada Geese, 2 Tufted Duck, 3 Red-legged and 4 Grey Partridge, 13 Golden Plover (a year tick!), 2 Green Sandpiper, 'low treble figures' of small gulls moving through, 1 Barn Owl, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 1 Reed Warbler.

Sunday 29th July

Proper quiet today. Kelk Beck in the morning; 1 Teal, 1 Cormorant flying SW, 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 3 Coot, 23 Golden Plover (the ones from yesterday had gone so these were perhaps the same), 1 Yellow Wagtail, juveniles of Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler.

As yesterday there was one standout bird, a Little Egret flying SW over Great Kelk. Like the Peregrine the expectation is to find winter birds and yet my first ever local egret was in July 2007.

I had another look around Gembling and Harpham late afternoon but nothing doing.

Butterflies this weekend were few and far between, the grand totals being; 50+ Ringlet, 25+ 'whites', 14 Meadow Brown, 3 Small Tortoiseshell.

Birds on film...

Adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, heavily in wing moult. Gulls aren't everyone's cup of tea but these fellas are quite elegant and have an interesting distribution within the area being mostly a summer visitor.

A young Carrion Crow in Kelk.

Male Linnet in Kelk. Because they're not really garden birds most people don't realise they're one of the commonest finches in the area - flocks over 100+ recorded on several occasions.

Much more familiar in gardens - Greenfinch. I've heard more than one person refer to them as Green Linnets, which I'd never heard before birding locally.

Part of a flock of 23 Golden Plovers, returning from their breeding grounds further north and still in their summer plumage. July records are unusual, however 23 is significant. The crop, by the way, is peas - late sown due to the crappy weather.

These plovers and the egret were the only year ticks...

102 Golden Plover
103 Little Egret

Friday, 20 July 2012

The dog ate my homework - June review

Well ok, not the dog, but my notes were swept away in the rain. Yes, that's my excuse for the delay and I'm sticking to it :o)

Friday 29th June

Very quiet around Harpham in the morning in poor weather; 2 Red-legged Partridge, 4 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 1 Hobby over New Road, 14 Lapwing, several Skylark, a few House Martins, 1 Lesser Whitethroat, 1 Goldcrest.

Afternoon around Kelk was better; 2 Mute Swan, 2 Red-legged and 2 Grey Partridges, 1 Cormorant, 1 Kestrel, 2 Oystercatcher, 48 Lapwing, 1 Black-headed Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed and 21 Herring Gull, 2 Kingfisher together, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 8 Pied Wagtail, 1 Reed Warbler, 180 Starling including many juveniles, 2 Bullfinch, 5 Yellowhammer.

Non-birdy sightings today; a Grass Snake, and only a few butterflies - 1 Peacock, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Skipper, 1 Speckled Wood and 1 'white', plus several 'blue' damselflys.

Saturday 30th June

Gembling/Foston/Kelk Beck: 1 Mute Swan, 1 Greylag, 1 female Gadwall with 8 ducklings, 5 Mallard, female Pochard, 6 Tufted Duck, 2 Red-legged Partridge, 3 Grey Partridge, 4 Little Grebe, 10 Grey Heron, 1 Sparrowhawk, 5 Buzzard, 3 Kestrel, 6 Coot, 38 Lapwing, 2 Black-headed Gull, 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 6 Stock Dove, 80 Woodpigeon, 40 Swift, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Yellow Wagtail, 14 Sedge Warbler, 1 Reed Warbler, 11 Whitethroat, and 1 Corn Bunting.

The best record from the day was a Quail at Gembling briefly calling from a corn field.

In the evening a wander around Harpham didn't add too much but a surprise was 2 Oystercatchers at New Road - a new bird for that area. Also a single immature Common Gull was most unseasonal. The highlight, though, was a new record count of 164 Herring Gulls feeding on freshly cut grass and then seen flying east to the bay to roost. Big gulls are regular in summer but usually small numbers, indeed this is a record count for any time of year. Very strange!

Today's non-birdy stuff; 1 Squirrel, 1 'bat sp.', 21 Hares in one field, 1 Toad, and butterflies were nowhere to be seen except a measly 1 Peacock and 1 'white'.

Sunday 1st July

More searching around Kelk; 18 Greylags, 12 Mallard, 2 Tufted Duck, 3 Grey Partridge, 1 Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 2 Oystercatcher with a juvenile, 1 Black-headed Gull, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull, a flock of 60 Feral Pigeon, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 1 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Sedge Warbler, 8 Whitethroat, 2 Bullfinch and 1 Reed Bunting. Remarkably yet another Quail was noted, this one near the Burton Agnes road and calling quite frequently.


Lapwing dive bombing me presumably for walking too close its young, which I couldn't locate in the corn but I did see a few little ones elsewhere.
Common Whitethroat at Gembling - the first one I've had the luck and patience to get a snap of. This one has food in its beak so perhaps there was a nest with young nearby. 
Tufted Duck starting its moult into eclipse plumage. They will look very messy and drab now until October.
A not-too-bad picture of one of the local pairs of Oystercatchers. I think there have been three pairs locally this year and this is the first year recently when I've found a juvenile - result! 
Finally, a vivid sunset over Lowthorpe. For once the weather was actually rather nice on the Saturday and this sight made for a cracking way to end the day. 
And so here we are, almost time for me to make my July visit.

One addition to the yearlist during the visit, plus one from my brother earlier in the month.

100 Marsh Harrier
101 Quail

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Can I tick it?

It's been two weeks and I'm still catching up on the visit for June. While I gather detailed excuses together here's some random pictures...

But it's a bird, so I can tick it, right? This is what summer does to birders!

Angry sunset. Been a fair few of these this year.

Mini escargot.

Rescue-copter. A regular sight over Kelk as they move between Leconfield and the coast

Orchid. Possibly Marsh?