Friday, 25 March 2016

Today dad and I went birding in the Scarborough area and then Filey dams to finish with.

Harwood Dale Lake

At Harwood Dale Lake we saw many different birds. There were lots of Common gulls as well as some Herring and Black-headed. Also there was a pair of Oystercatchers and Lapwing. There were various duck species including Teal and Mallard.

Jugger Howe Beck

I had never been to this lovely woodland, it was great. The first bird we saw was a Redwing. We then heard a Green Woodpecker but unfortunately did not manage to see it. We also heard a distant one then the close one again, we were unsure whether this was two birds or just the one moving around!
Taylor Way

Taylor Way is near to Scarborough rubbish dump, not the cleanest place to bird! We knew there were Jack Snipe there but we hadn't seen any before. As we were walking around we got great views of Skylark and Lapwing. Then from beneath me shot a Jack Snipe we watched it fly, I was so amazed that I only managed to take a picture when it was a long way away! This was my first Jack Snipe and it was great! We then went to the pools just down the road and saw some Gadwall.
Jack Snipe
Filey Dams

On the way home we called at Filey Dams, where we saw the usual: Common, Herring and Black-headed gulls, Teal, Grey Heron and many more. It was a nice way to end the day.
Common gull

Sunday, 20 March 2016

19th & 20th March (WEX at Tophill then Patch)

On the 19th of March I had a busy day, in the morning I was helping plant trees with the local Wildlife explorers group, then in the afternoon I was helping at Hull Science Festival and then swimming in a swimming gala that evening. On the way to Tophill I was incredibly surprised to see a Glossy Ibis flying NE over Langtoft, East Yorkshire! At Tophill we saw the usual birds, such as Black-headed gulls and a nice pair of Mistle thrushes. The Science festival was very busy and the gala went well with our team finishing 2nd out of 4. Below are the pictures from the 19th then the 20th is below them.
Mistle thrush 
Mistle thrush
Today, the 20th, Dad and I went to the coastal part of the patch. There was a steady passage of gulls. This resulted in one of two patch ticks of the day, two Lesser black-backed gulls. We then saw a Tree Sparrow. I tried to get a scope onto the Filey Surf scoter but didn't manage to see it (obviously).
Lesser black-backed gull 
Herring gull 
Herring gull 
Carrion crow
Herring gull

Sunday, 13 March 2016

Bempton then Filey

This morning my mum dropped me off in Bempton village, I then walked along the road to the nature reserve. On the road I saw lots of finches and some Yellowhammers. When I got to the reserve I knew I was slightly early in the season to see lots of auks. I saw a few Puffins on the sea as well as Razorbills and Guillemots. There were lots of Kittiwakes, Gannets and Fulmars on the cliffs as well as Jackdaws. After a couple of hours my dad found me to pick me up. We walked briefly to the south side of the reserve where we saw a Ringed plover in the fields. On the way home I managed to persuade my dad to try and see the Filey Surf scoter. This was the second time for me but he still hadn't seen it. We saw it from the top of the Brigg but wanted to get closer, so went down to sea level and walked quite a long way over the rocks. We saw lots Oystercatchers and Cormorants. Then there it was! Swimming quite close to the shore with a Cormorant. Although I had already seen the bird, this was amazing.

Below are some pictures (and a video) I took.

Surf scoter

Surf scoter and a Cormorant
Ringed plover 
Surf scoter
Tree sparrow

Friday, 11 March 2016

Afternoon at Tophill Low Nature Reserve

Today was a teacher training day at my school, meaning that I had the day off. Until lunch time I sat in Hull University whilst dad was working. After this we went to Tophill Low nature reserve. We firstly went for a walk at the north end of the reserve, where we were followed by an amazingly confident Pheasant! As well as this there was some great mammal activity in the form of four Roe deer. On D res(evoir) we saw lots of wintering ducks: Wigeon, Tufted duck, Goldeneye, Pochard, etc. but we didn't see any Scaup. We then carried on walking towards the top of D res. At the feeders we saw lots of small birds including lots of Chaffinches, this was pleasantly interrupted by a Sparrowhawk flying over. We then carried on walking towards the very top of D res only to find that the hide was closed. However on the way back we did see a Marsh tit. On D res there were also many gulls coming into roost. We looked for Mediterranean gulls but only saw Common, Black-headed and Herring. We then walked back through the carpark to the south end of the reserve. On O res we saw more wintering ducks. I briefly heard a Cetti's warbler, but it was hard over the sound of the screaming Black-headed gulls! The Black-headed gulls, to their annoyance, were accompanied by a Great black- backed gull. As well as the gulls there were some Teal and Shelduck present along with a distant Redwing. On the access road out of Tophill we got brilliant
views of a Barn owl. Then just outside of Wold Newton, a bit closer to home, we saw a pair of Little owls. A productive afternoon of birding!

Little owl

Teal (male) 
Wigeon (male)
Wigeon (female)

Goldeneye (female)
Pochard (male)
Th amazingly confident Pheasant

Roe deer

Great black-backed gull


 Black-headed gull

 Barn owl


Sunday, 6 March 2016

Wedding weekend in Cheshire

On the 5th and 6th of March the family and I were at a relatives wedding at Peckforton castle near Chester, this was an amazing experience. There we got great views of a Nuthatch in the woodland around the castle, and also heard a Tawny owl at about 11am. The castle also had lots of Jackdaws and two resident (captive) Peacocks. I asked Elliot Monteith, a young birder on the Wirral where we could quickly go to see some birds before the long journey home. He recommended Beeston Castle, about a mile away. It was worth it. Once there we got great views of Raven, Great-spotted woodpecker, Jay, Peregrine falcons and Buzzards. The birds were a bonus to the great weekend!



Great-spotted woodpecker

Blue tit


Peregrine falcon
Raven (through a tree)