Thursday, 28 February 2013

Creeping on up

Visit two for February (I'm still deluding myself the previous one was actually January). Not much birdly action to report but let's do this anyhoo.

Saturday 23rd February

Morning around Harpham/Lowthorpe: 3 Mute Swan near Kelk Beck, 2 Sparrowhawk, 5 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 50+ Golden Plover flying east, 55 Lapwing, 1 Barn Owl, 3 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 15+ Skylark, 195 Fieldfare, 20+ Redwing, 1 Goldcrest, 1 Coal Tit, 1 Jay at Lowthorpe, 20+ Chaffinch.

Afternoon around Gembling/Foston: 6 Mute Swan, 10 Greylags, 2 Teal, 1 Grey Partridge, 1 Little Grebe, 7 Heron, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 8 Coot, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Barn Owl, 1 Kingfisher, 1 Grey Wagtail, 29 Fieldfare, 12 Redwing, 1 Bullfinch.

Kelk Lake at dusk: 1 Canada Goose, 9 Tufted Duck, 2 Goldeneye (pair) and 2 Coot.

Sunday 24th February

Morning, around Kelk Beck & Kelk: 5 Mute Swan, 17 Greylags, 6 Canada Goose, 4 Gadwall, 175+ Teal, 110+ Mallard, 10 Tufted Duck, 2 Grey Partridge, 1 Heron, 3 Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 2 Coot, 50+ Lapwing, 1 Goldcrest, 15+ Tree Sparrow, 15+ Chaffinch, 2 Siskin (on garden bird feeders), 4 Bullfinch, and an impressive flock of 65 Yellowhammer in Little Kelk. 

Harpham again in the late afternoon was quiet though 10 Stock Dove, 1 Barn Owl, 1 Treecreeper, 4 Reed Bunting were additions from yesterday.


A low-flying lump of a Buzzard. Fairly common winter behaviour. At other times of year these birds keep well up in the sky.

Male Bullfinch. Rubbish Photo. This was one from two pairs chomping Hawthorn buds in Great Kelk.

You want more rubbish photos? You've come to the right place. Having said that, Goldcrest isn't the easiest bird to snap. A wee bit of yellow crown stripe is visible if you squint.

Teal. Lots of Teal. I'm not sure what they're finding so attractive at the moment but I've never known a winter where they gather so abundantly on the beck. My guess would be that they're roosting here and moving off to feed on waterlogged fields at night.

Ouch! An ex-Woodpigeon.

Just a few additions to the year-list, a very slow start indeed. But that means even more ticks to come, I hope.

063 Coal Tit
064 Grey Wagtail
065 Bullfinch
066 Green Sandpiper
067 Treecreeper
068 Siskin

Thursday, 7 February 2013

And we're off...

Disappointed to have missed January, but so be it. Here's the summary from the first 2013 visit, last weekend. Highlights were few and far between but Wigeon, Goldeneye, Golden Plover, and Jay were welcome sightings.

Not great conditions for photos. This Kestrel at Lowthorpe was about as good as it got, and I had to fiddle like heck with the levels.

Saturday 2nd February

The morning was a bit of a disaster, horizontal snow cut the effort short, but a few birds were noted; 1 each of Grey Partridge, Heron, Buzzard, Kestrel, Barn Owl, Kingfisher, Skylark, Goldcrest. A party of Long-tailed Tits and a Stoat were the only other sightings of note.

Gembling/Foston: much better in the afternoon - sunshine even appeared. Around Gembling were 16 Canada Goose, 14 Wigeon, 20+ Teal, 40+ Mallard, 1 Tufted Duck, 1 Cormorant overhead, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 8 Moorhen. Further along around Foston were 2 Gadwall, 4 Teal, 2 Tufted Duck, 1 Pochard, Little Grebe, Kestrel, 4 Coot, 5 Lapwing, Grey Partridge.

Around Kelk Lake at dusk were 18 Mallard, 14 Tufted Duck, 2 Goldeneye and a Woodcock.

Sunday 3rd February

Kelk Beck / Kelk: quite a good morning but quite hard work. 6 Mute Swan, a whopping 220+ Teal at Cattleholmes (easily a new site record!) with 50+ Mallard, 8 Grey Partridge, 4 Cormorant, 11 Grey Herons over the heronry, Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 15 Golden Plover, Woodcock, 14 Herring Gull, 2 Great Black-backed Gull, 250+ Woodpigeon, 3 Fieldfare, 110+ Redwing together, 4 Tree Sparrow, 9 Yellowhammer, 1 Reed Bunting.

Harpham: a quick shuffle around Harpham again led to seeing the Barn Owl again (twice - presumed same one though). Also Heron, Buzzard, 2 Kestrel, flock of 62 Lapwing, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Fieldfare, 15+ Long-tailed Tit, and a Jay.

A total of 62 species were recorded, suffice to say this is well down on same time last year!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Jan '13

This will be short.

I failed to make a visit in January due to a mix of other commitments and stupid weather. Gah!

However I did get out this past weekend and will write that up shortly. Yay!