Saturday, 23 January 2016

Today, being a junior leader, I helped at the local Wildlife explorer's group and then dad and I went to try and see the three Richard's Pipits at Flamborough head. We taught the local 'wex' group how to count and survey birds in preparation for the RSPB 'Big Garden Birdwatch'. We did the count at Sewerby Hall gardens, between Flamborough head and Bridlington, East Yorkshire. The survey went quite successfully (highlight being Woodcock):
(Count is the maximum at any one time, or if we can be sure that they are different birds).
Stock dove- 2
Blackbird- 10
Woodpigeon- 7
Magpie- 6
Great tit- 2
Dunnock- 2
Blue tit- 2
Kestrel- 1
Sparrowhawk- 1
Black-headed gull- 1
Chaffinch- 2
Coal tit- 4
Crow- 5
Herring gull- 3
Treecreeper- 1
Jackdaw- 1
Woodcock- 1
Great black-backed gull-2

After this dad and I went to Flamborough head (even though we were pressed for time because we had to pick up my mum and brother). We set off to the pipit's favoured field. A male Goosander flew north above us which was a good start. A birder in the distance waved us over to signal that the pipit's were there. They had disappeared by the time we got there. In the end we did not see the Richard's pipits but did get great views of Rock pipits and Meadow pipits.

Rock pipit


Blue tit

Blue tit

Saturday, 16 January 2016

An afternoon on the patch

After an early start for swimming and then straight on to music centre I only had the afternoon left to get any birding done. Dad and I decided to head to the Hunmanby gap (patch) to see if we could get any birds for PWC2015 (patchwork challenge 2016). At first it seemed as if no birds were present and we were only seeing the occasional Herring gull. Then, quite along way out at sea, I picked up a very large bird and I was quite puzzled. It came closer and turned out to be a Grey Heron, the first patch tick today. I then saw two auks flying towards us in the swell which we think were Razorbills but they were lost in the swell. Close in we saw two Razorbills, likely what was flying towards us, another patch (and year) tick. My dad then saw something very small swim just off the surf, a Great Crested Grebe swam past giving us some perspective on how small it was. I took a look and saw that it was black and white with a very small bill, it was a Little Auk. Not only was this a patch and year tick but it was also my first lifer of the year, and a very good one!

Robin on the patch

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Today I had a brisk walk in Scarborough along the seafront to the harbour. There I got great views of at least 5 Shag and a Black-necked grebe, one of three that has been present for quite a while now. Dad and I walked back to the car and saw (I think) 10 Mediterranean gulls in Holbeck hill carpark.
After this we went to the patch (Hunmanby gap) and saw c.20 Little gulls heading south as well as three diver species. The first being Red-throated diver, what I expected to see. Then a different looking diver flew in and when it dived we saw a distinctive white triangle which confirmed that it was a Black-throated diver. We started walking back as the light was fading and saw a much larger diver quite close in, straight away we could tell it was a Great northern diver. As well as these the patch also produced two gannets and lots of Shag and Cormorant.

All in all a good day

Stock dove

Black-necked grebe
Decided I would finally start a blog relating mostly to my bird sightings.