Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Great and the good

Nothing I say is quite going to compare with the Great White Egret but let's do this anyway...

Saturday 31st October / Sunday 1st November

Pink-footed Goose - skein of 100+ south on 1st
Greylag Goose - 3
Canada Goose - 2
Teal - 75
Mallard - 35
Red-legged Partridge - 4 at Kelk
Pheasant - 1 white bird at Harpham (photo below)
Little Grebe - 2
Cormorant - 3
Grey Heron - 4
GREAT WHITE EGRET - 1 at Kelk Beck
Sparrowhawk - 1
Buzzard - 4
Kestrel - 1
Golden Plover - 28
Lapwing - 2
Snipe - 3
Green Sandpiper - 1 at Kelk Beck
Short-eared Owl - 1 at Kelk Beck
Kingfisher - 3
Great Spotted Woodpecker - 2
Skylark - 45+
Meadow Pipit - 2
Grey Wagtail - 3
Fieldfare - 4
Redwing - 12 (flock of 11 + 1)
Goldcrest - 6 away from normal areas suggests influx of migrants
Brambling - 1 at Harpham with finches
Goldfinch - 2 flocks 20+40
Siskin - 11 at Harpham
Yellowhammer - 2 flocks 8+10

First up, another picture of the egret. Just how good? Even the Cormorant looks impressed.

Buzzard keeping an eye on proceedings. Quite a pale bird.

Grey Wagtail perching in a tree, which they don't usually do.

All-white Pheasant at Harpham. Been a long time since I saw one of these.

Short-eared Owl... about to be harassed by a gang of crows.

Three additions to the year list

103 Brambling
104 Great White Egret
105 Siskin

Monday, 2 November 2015

Great Day


Great White Egret at Kelk

The larger relative of Little Egret, these birds have become increasingly regular in Britain over the last couple of decades as their natural range spreads west across Europe. Just a few decades ago their range in Europe was around the Danube delta, but now there are significant numbers as close as Netherlands and France. In England a single pair bred in Somerset in 2012, surely the first of many.

In Yorkshire there has been a very slow increase with only a handful being recorded before the end of the 1990s, while in the last decade there have been around 5 per year. Most of the well known local reserves have been visited by this magnificent and elegant species, including Tophill Low and Hornsea Mere. Indeed two different birds have been seen at Tophill Low on and off through October, and presumably the Kelk bird is one of these, wandering.

Weekend write-up to follow. Egret aside it wasn't too exciting, perhaps in part due to the unseasonably warm weather.