Wednesday, 17 October 2012


Review for October.

Saturday 13th October

Gembling/Foston/Wansford: 4 Mute Swan, 50 Greylags, 2 Teal, 3 Shoveler at Wansford, 1 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebe, 5 Cormorant, 20 Grey Heron (14 together at Wansford), 2 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 1 Merlin in Little Kelk (possibly a male - seemed v.small) 12 Golden Plover, 60+ Lapwing, 1 Redshank at Wansford, 1 Green Sandpiper, several Skylark at Gembling.

Harpham/Lowthorpe: 1 Little Grebe, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 2 Green Sandpiper, 2 Little Owl, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, plenty of thrushes including 14 Redwing, several Golcrests, 5 Coal Tit, 1 Bullfinch. The Barnacle Goose (photo below) was found in the pasture in Little Kelk in the evening.

Sunday 14th October

Kelk Beck: 2 Mute Swan, 60+ Teal, 32+ Mallard, 4 Grey Partridge, 1 Little Grebe, 3 Cormorant, 4 Grey Heron, 2 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 160+ Lapwing, 1 Tawny Owl, 20+ Skylark, 2 Meadow Pipit, 1 Fieldfare, 2 Goldcrest (the first this year away from the woods), 4 Reed Bunting.

Also 7 Roe Deer, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 1 Common Darter.

A quick look around the railway in the afternoon produced a single Jay calling, but not seen.

Photos >>>

1. The Barnacle Goose with Sheep friends.

2. Munch munch

3. A familiar sight over the weekend - loafing Common/Black-headed Gulls on a freshly sewn field.

4. Dead mole in the middle of a track in Kelk

5. Caaaawww, a Rook.

Two additions to the yearlist

107 Barnacle Goose
108 Jay

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Goose Unexpected

An unexpected sight this weekend during my October visit was this Barnacle Goose on the pasture in Little Kelk. Although I've had one previous record in the early 90s this is the first in recent years. Is it wild or feral? Hard to say - there are feral birds in Yorkshire but wild birds do occur and the timing is interesting. I guess we'll never know... but hey, I'm ticking it :)
More later - including the first Jay for nearly 3 years, possibly part of a continental influx across southern England.

Friday, 12 October 2012

Stop... Raptor Time!

Stylishly late as ever... *checks watch*... but it's here... September review!

As alluded to before the stonking highlight was a HONEY BUZZARD, the first I have ever recorded locally. There were plenty of other raptors around over the weekend. Here's the highlights.

Friday 28th September

Harpham / Lowthorpe: 80+ Pheasants, 3 Herons, 2 Sparrowhawks, 7 Common Buzzard, 5 Kestrel, 35 Lapwing, 1 Snipe, 50+ House Martin and Swallows, 4 Goldcrest. The HONEY BUZZARD was one of the first birds seen - a dark juvenile flying purposefully south over the railway in the morning.

Kelk / Kelk Beck: 14 Greylags, 6 Canada Goose, 20 Teal, 140 Mallard, 1 Red-legged Partridge, 2 Grey Partridge, 5 Cormorant, 1 Marsh Harrier (distant - fem/imm), 1 Sparrowhawk, 3 Kestrel, 1 imm Peregrine - possibly the same bird seen around Kelk a week previously by a local farmer, 25 Golden Plover, 80 Lapwing, 3 Snipe, 1 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull, 3 Great Black-backed Gull, 1 Barn Owl, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 20+ Skylark together, 3 Meadow Pipit, 1 Grey Wagtail, 14 Pied Wagtail, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 35 Linnet.

Other stuff today... 1 Squirrel, 3 Roe Deer, 1 Red Admiral, 2 'Hawker' dragonflies.

Saturday 29th September

Gembling/Foston/Millingdale: 4 Mute Swan, 80 Teal on floods, 1 Tufted Duck, 3 Little Grebe, 4 Cormorants, 34 Grey Herons sheltering together between Foston and Wansford, 2 Sparrowhawk, 7 Common Buzzards, 4 Kestrel, imm Peregrine at Foston (perhaps the same as yesterday in Kelk), 6 Coot, 1 Snipe, 1 Green Sandpiper, 28 Stock Dove at Gembling, 2 Meadow Pipit, 7 Mistle Thrush together, 1 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 1000+ Corvids in a pre-roost at Kelk, 6 Tree Sparrow. Perhaps the bird of the day was a single Dunlin on the flood at Millingdale - only my second one in the last six years!

No butterflies noted today but a couple of Common Darters were seen.

Sunday 30th September

Busy doing other stuff for a change. Here are some photos instead.

First up a mystery raptor. What are you talking about, you may ask? This is like some photos that regularly appear on birding/photo websites with a description like "It looked much bigger than a nearby Sparrowhawk, is it a Goshawk?". No, it isn't. They're always "just" Sparrowhawks. Take a look in a field guide! Ok, in fairness this one did 'look' big at first glance, but no bigger than females often appear 'big'.

Cormorants, the fisherman's friend. Not.

Hitchcock-esque! Run away!

Greylags en route to somewhere as yet unknown. It's been a real challenge tracking them down in recent years, compared to how reliable they were a decade ago when they roosted at Kelk Lake.

Finally, a Common Darter. Lovely.

And that's that. Two additions to the year list - slow going and running out of time.

105 Honey Buzzard
106 Dunlin

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Tell em about the Honey, mummy

September almost eluded me but I managed to do the rounds on Friday and Saturday, the main reward being my first record of HONEY BUZZARD for the area. The bird was a dark phase juvenile which flew south on Friday morning being mobbed by two Common Buzzards as it flew over 'their' wood, Lingholmes.

That's two 'new' birds this year. Whatever next?

I will add some more information later, and details of other sightings (not a great weekend, otherwise) and photos but here's some landscape-y-ish ones.

1. Sunset over Little Kelk

2. Ploughing in Little Kelk
3. Lisset Windfarm from a mile or so
4. New Road, Harpham and the effect of cattle traffic
5. View of Burton Agnes from Harpham