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The Flamborough/Easington twitch

14 Oct

13/10/16 Like the Eastern Crowned Warbler last week news of the Flamborough Paddyfield Warbler broke too late to get there. Tuesday morning the Paddyfield Warbler still along the permissive footpath by the gorse field but it was raining heavily. Forecast looked better for later in the day so decide not to get soaked for no reason. On schedule late morning the sky brightened and I made a quick get away. Didn’t even bother to wear my over-trousers.  Did start raining fairly heavily in Beverley but this didn’t last long. Strangely although most of the roads were drenched there were a dry section around Beeford. Arriving at Flamborough Head the Paddyfield was reported to still be showing but on arriving on site it was hidden in long grass and hadn’t been seen for a good while. A push was organised shortly but nothing resulted initially but it was seen a little later to fly into the hedgerow. However although been called regularly it wasn’t showing itself. Tried the other side of the hedge where the situation was much the same but on going back round we all had very good views but too briefly for photographs. dscn3817

My only previous Paddyfield Warbler was the above in Cornwall on the Lizard in October 2012.

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The Flamborough Paddyfield Warbler-Richard Willison

Give it a bit longer then went to look for the nearby Shore Larks, getting  involve with the flushing of a Olive-backed Pipit on the way. Having seen one well at Easington on Sunday wasn’t too interested in mere flight views. The Shore Lark proved difficult with the lark flock staying in the long stubble. Finally the flock all got up and flew toward the lighthouse and I was able to follow one Shore Lark. Started walking back as my ticket was running out. Try to avoid paying to park but the walk from a suitable place along the road in wasn’t worthwhile. Doesn’t help though that the ticket isn’t the sticky type but fortunately I had a elastic band to hold it on the handlebar. dscn3131The Paddyfield had just shown well but was now hidden in the grass and with the weather going off again I continued  walking back with TD. He had  just come back from dipping the Siberian Accentor, taking the cheaper ferry route rather than a one way flight that had paid off for the those with bigger budgets. There had been much discussion during the wait for the warbler, with me among others expressing the view that with the influx on the Continent a mainland bird was likely if not this year then in the near future. Getting back to the car park TD showed me a text from AW that a Siberian Accentor had been found in Easington. I initially took this as a wipe up but TD remained serious and I must admit he drove off fairly rapidly. Shortly the confirmation came on the pager and phone. Although I didn’t share his faith I could image a great “BOOOM” from Martin Garner in Heaven. The big twitch was one with most birders heading out including TC who hadn’t yet connected with the Paddyfield. Made a quick call to RL then was on the road. This time I did put on my over-trousers. Which way to go? Going via Hornsea was probably shorter but the A165 then Bilton/Preston/Hedon was a more familiar route and with the roads sodden I would feel safer trying to get a move on. Had some heavy rain and by Hedon was feeling quite chilled but fortunately with dryer weather later I warmed up again. The problem with twitching on a bike is with out stopping you get no news so on arriving in Easington I hadn’t the directions and headed the wrong but immediately saw 2 birders heading away and was sent back towards Vicar’s Lane and even got parked almost opposite and as assured the Accentor was showing very well feeding like it’s commoner relations on a moss pack near a skip on a tarmac pad.dscn3167

The skip with a Dunnock feeding on the moss pack.

Got a few shots but the light wasn’t good.dscn3141

Siberian Accentor below the skip.

Most of the crowd from Flamborough were there along with Spurn regulars and a few Hull area birder. RL at least had even managed to tick and run.dscn3179

Some of the crowd watching the Siberian Accentor

Also had a Brambling. A Goldcrest feeding above my head got a quick look incase. Although showing well the viewing was restricted and even with the relative small number present it could be difficult to get a unrestricted view so with no chance of getting better views or picture set off home. That it was a different bird from Shetland was confirm by SW and AW who had seen it.fullsizeoutput_19b4

My best shot of the Siberian Accentor in fading light.

The Siberian Accentor flew out of view, probably to roost not long after. Didn’t recognise anyone but hope no one coming the other way could see the big smile through my visor. Thanks to Lance Degnan for finding this beauty. Pity you missed a first by a few days.

All in all a great day. If I’d set off earlier I’d have been leaving Flamborough before the news broke and would then have got home to read the pager and then had had to cope with the start of the rush hour through Hull. Any later and I’d have been conflicted if I’d not yet seen the Paddyfield Warbler.

Update

No sign of the Paddyfield Warbler since the mass exodus on Thursday.

The Siberian Accentor is still around Monday morning. Check the Spurn website for parking and access details. Expect a big crowd but if it shows as on Thursday everyone will get to see it. The discovery of a second bird at Saltburn-by-the-sea in Cleveland [historic Yorkshire] on Saturday could of suck in a few birders but was an elusive one day bird but another one was found in Sunderland Docks on Sunday and continued to show for a 2nd day.

Even made the Hull Daily Mail [see here] and the nation press including the Express and Telegraph and the Sun. Having clicked on these though they seem pretty lazy jobs as appear to have the same agency pictures and the Sun even uses a library shot rather than of the actual bird. Better account on Birdguides.

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20/1/16 Richard’s Pipits and Surf Scoter

20 Jan

Year list rising slowly still reaching 84 on Monday afternoon with a drake Pintail at Tophill Low NR  when doing the gull roost, but like other recent nights the gulls were poor. We’d hoped for the Kumlien’s Gull seen at Hornsea Mere on Sunday evening. Annoyingly had been at Hornsea Mere that day but decided to head for Tophill Low NR instead of Kirkholme Point early afternoon.

Tuesday though RL decided to head up the coast for some better birds. Started at Flamborough North Landing. The field was easily found, being just beyond the car park but was bigger and the grass longer than I’d been lead to believe. Checked the west side where the mud showed there’d been “heavy traffic” in recent days. Glad I had my new wellies on! New sign of any pipits so moved to the opposite side of the field. Going easier here as there is plastic webbing on the path. Eventually picked up some pipits. There were three and they look bigger than the Meadow Pipits but were dark and just didn’t look right. Just couldn’t turn them into anything but Rock Pipits. A few other birders arrived but no-one declared them Richard’s and nothing better could be found so headed back to the car park. The others gave up shortly and headed our way. Back on the other side we stopped for another look. The rest caught up and not long after one Richard’s Pipit was picked up in the corner where we’d first looked. Whether it had dropped in or just been very elusive I can’t say but it’s two friends were soon located nearby. Took some record shots and were just waiting for the usual “Is everyone happy to move a bit closer” when they flew to the other side. Year list now 91.

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Richard’s Pipit wintering at North Landing,Flamborough

Next to Filey NCCP. A few birders on the end of Carr Naze but no-one had seen the Surf Scoter recently. Had a Great Northern Diver close in.

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Great Northern Diver off Filey Brigg

Had a duck fairly close in but my initial thought was female Eider. However when I got a better view I saw the white back of the head. It was the Surf Scoter, but unfortunately the guy we’d just spoken to had gone thinking he’d dipped.

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First winter ♂ Surf Scoter off Filey Brigg

Climbed down to the Brigg to get closer. Not an easy climb and expressly forbidden! A few waders about to add to my year list including a Purple Sandpiper.

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Cormorants on Filey Brigg

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Black-headed Gull off Filey Brigg

Also a nice summer plumaged Shag off shore but too distant to photograph.

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Cormorant fighting with a good fish off Filey Brigg 

DSCN9880A Common Seal gave us a cursory glance.

Looking for more waders was surprised to flush a Woodcock which landed out of site on Carr Naze. Year list up to 101.