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