Tag Archives: East Yorkshire

Shag at East Park, Hull

17 Dec

17/12/18 Apart from twitching the Royal Tern on Anglesey last Tuesday the only birding I’ve done recently had been locally with the dog.

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Royal Tern-Traeth Lligwy, Anglesey

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Raven-Traeth Lligwy, Anglesey

This doesn’t mean I don’t get to see much, as a Little Egret has been seen on the north side of Cottingham a few times recently with another lingering in fields north of Springhead GC. Even better last Wednesday managed to see Peregrine, Merlin, Little Owl and Green Woodpecker.

This morning the dog wasn’t interested in going out so with a Shag in Hull at East Park Lake since at least late last week and the weather better, got out on the bike for the first time in a while. From the feeding area [although ‘feeding’ is no longer encouraged] the bird was visitable and although the guy I spoke to seemed to think it was a Cormorant, on closer inspection it was clearly an immature Shag.

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First winter Shag-East Park Lake, Hull

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Goosander-East Park Lake, Hull

A few Goosander were also in the area and after getting a few pictures set off round the lake to count them. Thirty had been reported earlier and my count was in the same ball park.

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Black-headed Gull-East Park Lake, Hull

Didn’t see them myself but of interest Jay and Mistle Thrush are on site.

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More winter wildfowl

30 Oct

30/10/16 Started Sunday morning at High Eske NR, with RL and ML, hoping to see the recent Long-tailed Duck. Met DH along the track from the farm. Had seen the duck on Saturday evening but no sign today but had had a Smew. The lone Whooper Swan was still present.fullsizeoutput_1a4d

Whooper Swan-High Eske NR

Quickly found the redhead Smew among the Tufted Duck and Pochard at the south end. Also picked out three Scaup. The large flock of Greylags dropped still with the Pink-footed Goose. Next to Hornsea Mere starting in the Seaton Road Hide. A Pink-footed Goose was just in front of the hide. Eleven Whooper Swans were near the entrance to Decoy Bay and another eight flew southwest.fullsizeoutput_1a4a

Whooper Swans at Hornsea Mere

I picked up the two Slavonian Grebe between us and Kirkholme Point, presumably displaced by the boat.dscn3372

What we have to contend with at Hornsea Mere

Eventually came fairly close.

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Juvenile and adult Slavonian Grebes with Mute Swan-Hornsea Mere

Went round to Kirkholme Point where the same or another Pink-footed Goose was just offshore.fullsizeoutput_1a42

Pink-footed Goose at Hornsea Mere off Kirkholme Point

A few Tundra Bean and White-fronted Geese and a Common Scoter had been seen earlier. Went to Tophill Low NR this afternoon. I found a redhead Smew on D reservoir from car park hide. Likely the same bird we saw this morning as it was also associating with Pochard. Flew to the north end and RL and I went to the North Hide while ML went to North Marsh where a Bittern had been seen earlier. The Smew showed close in before flying off with Pochards eventually coming down below car park hide where it stayed until late afternoon at least. fullsizeoutput_1a3b

Redhead Smew with Pochard at Tophill Low NR on D reservoir

Also had two Green Sandpipers in flight before dropping onto Decoy Fields.dscn3408

The new visitors centre at Tophill Low NR-‘still under wraps’

Did the gulls. Although we didn’t stay until dark, with the clocks now back, we’re likely to start doing the gull roost again. A Tawny Owl was calling in D wood as we left. Had a few Migrant Hawkers. With the forecast of colder nights there won’t be many more.

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.

My “tern” to rock it at Spurn.

26 Apr

25/4 Second time in 10 days I get a Mega Alert while at work. Again it’s East Yorkshire and again a county tick but not a lifer. Today it’s a female Rock Thrush found at The Warren, Spurn. {Had seen the last mass twitched bird at Holme, Norfolk.} Further on than last Monday and feeling more positive. The thrush moved north eventually holing up at Sandy Beaches Caravan Park, with instructions to keep out. Not looking good but get a text from Steve Elliot, just after I got in, that it’s now in the field south of Blue Bell car park and looking settled.  On the road with in an hour and there by late afternoon. Bit of a panic trying to see it for the first time but showed on and off the rest of the afternoon, usually on the concrete fence posts on the seaward edge of the field. Never close but slowly getting nearer. However was flushed by walkers on the flood bank and flew to the field further south. Did again work it’s way back north but never got more than half way. Also a few Northern Wheatear and Yellow Wagtails.

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Female Rock Thrush-Kilnsea-my best shot.

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Rock Thrush-Kilnsea-an un-cropped shot.

With a Firecrest reported at Crown & Anchor car park decided to go for a walk with John Brattan. Saw a group of birder appearing to look into bushes opposite Crown & Anchor car park but in fact were watching a Hobby. Oh well, saw plenty locally last year! No sign of anyone in the car park so after a quick look headed slowly back. Stopped to talk with Dave Britton, mainly about last weeks Baikal Teal. John headed for Sammy’s Point and I intended joining him but as I entered Blue Bell car park a hue and cry went up over a Caspian Tern heading north towards us. Mad scramble over the fence then all eyes looking north. “Close in from the sea-watching hut” comes the message over the radio, all straining to pick it up with out blocking the guy [or girl’s] view behind you. Can see a few larger gulls but none turning into a large tern, then the call goes up “close in, straight out”, and there it is, massive red bill and showing the dark under primaries to rule out Royal. Whooh, my Yorkshire bogey-bird finally unblocked. {Dipped one in Derbyshire on 12 May 1993, then had my throttle cable snap on the way home and left with out transport for it to spend the following day at Southfield reservoir.} Watched it until lost to view. No report further up the coast.

Now on a high decided not to go to Sammy’s Point so as not to upset John. Did a brief sea-watch and had a good number of Dunlin and Grey Plover flying north. Hung around for another 40 mins but the Rock Thrush wasn’t getting any closer and the weather was starting to go off. Heavy rain all the way back but wasn’t bothered.

The thrush became more elusive in the rain before flying off to roost at Southfield Farm.

26/4 Rock Thrush still around today, initially in the field south of Blue Bell car park then at Southfield Farm and at Sandy Beaches Caravan Park this evening. Fortunately for John Hirschfield who couldn’t make it on Thursday. Hopefully it’ll rang around for a mass twitch over the weekend. Suspect the Caspian Tern will turn up again somewhere.

27/4 Unfortunately it’s done that annoying trick of disappearing on Friday night. Hopefully it won’t be another 29 years before the next.