Tag Archives: twitching

Blyth’s Pipit at Calder Park.

4 Jan

When the Blyth’s Pipit was first found by Jonathan Holliday at Calder Park near Pugney’s CP on 8/12/14, unlike the Eastern Crowned Warbler and Eastern Black Redstart, I wasn’t at work. In fact I was freezing my bollocks off at Hornsea Mere with RL so were glad to get in the car, race off and be among the Yorkshire birding diehards to tick the pipit on it’s first day. However ticking that day amounted to an organised walk through the wet grassland to flush it and fortunately hear it call. Called well and although we did get it briefly, through a scope, perched in a bush we didn’t hang around long not expecting anything better that day. In fact it flew out of sight not much later so didn’t miss anything.


Blyth’s Pipit’s favoured field with West Yorkshire Police HQ in background

It did reappear the following day and over the days became more settled and the birders more relaxed so increasingly better pictures started to appear on facebook, twitter etc.

Come the New Year it seemed a good idea to go back for better views. Went on the first Sunday again with RL accompanied by ML, JH and DV all who hadn’t been before. The trip out was a bit worrying as it wasn’t reported early and it looked like another one of those “I wish we’d gone yesterday” twitches”. However it was reported mid morning on the field near the KFC. Getting there however it had flown back to the original field. Was surprise to see a group of birders stood on the pavement and not on the banking opposite. The reason for this became apparent with in a few minute when the pipit flew from the field and landed on the banking where it preceded to feed close up opposite the birders. Hadn’t even got my camera out so only managed to fire off a few record shots before it flew off. Fortunately returned shortly and this time I not only managed some improved shots but even managed to scope it a for a few minutes before it flew again.


Blyth’s Pipit at Calder Park


“Pipit stepping”


Happy birders including ML and JH


Shadowy characters at Calder Park

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.


Female Rock Thrush-Kilnsea-my best shot.


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.