Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Hot and bothered

Birding was pretty hard work last weekend. Too hot. Not quite autumn enough. Harvest not in full swing yet. I could go on, but hey, there's always something out there - highlights included 3 Marsh Harrier, 2 Hobby, 1 very unseasonal Merlin, 1 Greenshank, and 8 Green Sandpiper.

Saturday 18th August

My morning walk around Harpham was very quiet; 8 Mallard, Sparrowhawk, 5 Buzzard, 3 Kestrel, 2 Hobby, Lesser Black-backed Gull, 12 Swift flying south (no others seen all weekend!), Great Spotted Woodpecker, Yellow Wagtail.

Late afternoon was a little better around Gembling/Foston; 10 Little Grebe, Grey Heron, female Marsh Harrier, Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzards, 6 Coot, Greenshank and 6 Green Sandpipers together, Great Spotted Woodpecker, and a Bullfinch. A Cormorant flew south west over Kelk as I was arriving at back to basecamp.

Evening around Kelk a further improvement; 1 Mute Swan, 175+ Greylags including an all-white bird - how long before it gets claimed as a 'possible Snow Goose'? - 1 Canada Goose, 6 Teal, 8 Red-legged and 7 Grey Partridge, a male Marsh Harrier hunting widely between Kelk and Gransmoor, a Buzzard, 3 Kestrel, a female Merlin seen perched on a hedge and then zipping low across a field (from where?), 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Yellow Wagtail, 2 Reed Warbler and a Whitethroat. About 1200 small gulls moved through the area - a pretty modest number.

Sunday 19th August

Another scorching morning, though oddly it calmed down toward midday.

Kelk Beck and Kelk; Mute Swan, 10 Grey Partridge (two parties), 3 Grey Heron, another Marsh Harrier this time a fresh dark juvenile, Sparrowhawk, 4 Buzzard, 3 Kestrel, 2 Coot, 3 Lapwing, 2 Green Sandpiper, a Barn Owl flushed from a bush, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 3 Yellow Wagtail and 40 Linnet.

Finally, a late afternoon whizz around Lowthorpe. A few additions to Saturday; Kingfisher, 2 Goldcrest, a very large party of Long-tailed Tits, Coal Tit, 110+ Starling.

Butterflies were once again thin on the ground all weekend despite the perfect weather, totals were 90+ 'whites', 15 Peacock, 3 Wall, 2 Speckled Wood. Dragonflies were represented by 11 'hawkers', 3 Common Darter. The hawkers were mostly seen too distantly to identify but the commonest species is believed to be Migrant Hawker.

Images ahoy...

This fine woodpecker was posing for the camera at the back of gardens in Little Kelk. Our local ones tend to be fairly shy so I'm quite pleased with this shot.

Wader-fest! Greenshank (left) and six Green Sandpipers roosting together. A pretty impressive wader gathering locally.

I call these 'whites' but there's three species that you need to peer closely at the tell apart (ok, not difficult but they fox me for some reason). I think this one is a Large White.

Common Darter by Gransmoor Lane.

Trout seen from Foston Bridge - the first fish to appear on this blog! I had to fiddle with the colours in the original photo which was just, er, 50 shades of grey.

Only one year tick this month - well behind the August progress of recent years but there's still time.

104 Greenshank