Monday, 25 March 2013

Brass Monkeys

Good grief what is up wi t'weather? I'm still thawing out a day later. Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

This will be brief. I often grumble about the birds not playing ball for me but this weekend was on another level. Thoroughly miserable.

Saturday 23rd March

Harpham, morning. Very tough going with few birds showing: 30 Greylags, 1 Buzzard, 10 Lapwing, 26 Stock Dove, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 10 Goldfinch.

The surprise of the morning was 1 Chiffchaff skulking in the hedge by Lowthorpe bridge. It shouldn't have been a surprise, this is when they're supposed to arrive, but the weather made it feel improbable to see this delicate little feller. Full marks for perseverance!

Kelk in the afternoon: 2 Teal, 9 Mallard, 2 Buzzard, 2 Oystercatcher, 90 Lapwing, 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (first of the year), 9 Stock Dove, 1 Barn Owl battling the wind mid-afternoon, 6 Pied Wagtail.

The afternoon's surprise was an adult LITTLE GULL battling the wind and heading east through Little Kelk. This is my first in recent years though I had a few in the '90s, but never in March before (late summer being the most likely time).

Kelk Lake area late afternoon: 4 Greylag, 1 male Pochard, 1 Tufted Duck, 2 (pair) Goldeneye, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Woodcock, 2 Fieldfare, 30+ Redwing.

Sunday 24th March

Kelk Beck, morning. Still very hard work and even less birds: 2 Mute Swan, 2 Canada Goose, 50+ Teal, 60+ Mallard, 1 Little Grebe, 1 Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 3 Coot, 5 Snipe (year tick!), 20 Yellowhammer. Today's nice surprise was a Merlin chasing a passerine around near the pasture in Little Kelk.

Gembling, briefly: 2 Mute Swan, 5 Greylag Goose, 2 Canada Goose, 4 Gadwall, 1 Buzzard, 4 Coot.

Photos? You're kidding :)

Six year ticks... the total is about 10 behind 2012 at this stage!

069 Chiffchaff
070 Oystercatcher
071 Lesser Black-backed Gull
072 Little Gull
073 Snipe
074 Merlin