Thursday, 11 December 2014

Because he was a fun guy

Selection of fungi/mushrooms from November. My knowledge is practically zero so I've no idea what any of them are (mental note: buy a field guide you ignorant fool!)

Picture doesn't quite do it justice but this one was a lovely blue. At the edge of a conifer plantation at Lowthorpe.

I've seen these before quite a bit... Ink cap? In hedgerow at Harpham.

In pasture by Harpham church.

Yewww, brains!!! On decaying fallen trunk in Lingholmes plantation, Kelk.

Tall and handsome. In pasture by Harpham church.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014


The month when 3 year ticks came along at once. Jeebus that's an awful pun. Er, anyhoo... apart from the Dipper (see previous post), more of which later, it was a relatively uneventful monthly visit in October.

Hightlights were:

Wigeon - 2
Gadwall - 1
Teal - 180+
Shoveler - 1 female
Cormorant - 1
Little Egret - 1 at Kelk Beck
Grey Heron - 11
Sparrowhawk - 1
Buzzard - 12
Kestrel - 13
Golden Plover - 90+
Lapwing - 200+
Snipe - 1
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 2
Kingfisher - 1
Grey Wagtail - 1
Redwing - 46. Remarkably, this was a year tick!
Treecreeper - 1
Dipper - 1
Jay - 5 sightings of probably 5 different birds, but at least 3. A large influx!
Jackdaw - 600+
Rook - 1500+
Goldfinch - 70+
Bullfinch - 1

Shrooms by the bucket-load. No idea what these are.

Farm geese doing a very poor impression of wild Whooper Swans.

Little Egret at Kelk Beck - first ever October record.

More Dipper shots. What a cracker.

A better idea of the habitat/view.

Three year ticks:

103 - Redwing
104 - Jay
105 - Dipper

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Dipping sauce

Well this was out of the blue. Of all the birds I've seen around Kelk over the years, and it has to be said some oddities have crossed my path, this takes the biscuit.

A Dipper, of the race 'cinclus' (Scandinavia / northern Europe), known as 'Black-bellied Dipper'.

The British Birds Rarities Committee, which assess records of very rare birds seen in UK has the following to say about this subspecies:
"Dipper Cinclus cinclus cinclus‘Black-bellied Dipper’
BBRC has not previously assessed records of ‘Black-bellied Dippers’, but we aim to do so at least until status issues are further clarified. Only birds that completely lack any hint of chestnut on the breast are likely to be acceptable, although a limited/narrow brown band is not unusual in this race, while some nominate cinclus show a narrow chestnut band at the breast–belly interface. Birds showing chestnut on the underparts probably cannot be distinguished from darker individuals of the British forms C. c.gularis and C. c. hibernicus, or from C. c. aquaticus from central Europe, which has occasionally been suspected here. Informal reports of any unusually dark birds which seem to fall short of classic nominate cinclus are welcome, especially when accompanied by good photographs."

So, we're looking for a completely black belly without a hint of chestnut colour:

Looks good to me...

Yep, still convinced.

No doubt.

Google Image search for 'Dipper' gives a quick but useful idea of how chestnut-bellied UK birds are.

The bird was first seen on 19th October and these pictures are from 22nd November. More information soon, along with a review of both October and November visits.

If accepted it will be about the 15th occurrence in Yorkshire, the most recent was near Tophill Low in winter 2007/8. Nationally only one or two are recorded each year, though it is possible some go unnoticed in upland areas where resident Dippers are common.

Edit 26/03 - It's a male. Apparently it has been singing!