Sunday, 5 June 2016

Afternoon in Cleveland

Today dad and I took my gran back to her house in Hartlepool. We called at Saltholme to have lunch and then went birding.  We did not see the Curlew sandpipers but did see a Marsh harrier. There were also lots of Common terns and Reed buntings about. Gran then took us to Crimdon Dene an amazing Little tern colony which she knew well but I had never been to. Both Little terns and Ringed plover were great to see in a fenced off area of the beach. Whilst walking back to the carpark we saw a raft of 27 Common scoters (26 males/1 female) quite close in. Dad and I then went and dropped gran off and set off home, thus ending our day of birding. Or so we thought. Whilst driving along the A171 through the edge of the Dalby forest we saw a Goshawk high above the road. An excellent bird to end an excellent day.

Little tern 
Ringed plover
Marsh harrier
Marsh harrier 
Ringed plover chick 
Little tern
Reed bunting 

Friday, 3 June 2016

Ringing then birding at Tophill Low

This mornings ringing session was highly successful with 57 birds. These included 9 Blue tit pulli, 21 Long-tailed tits and (best of all) a Reed warbler control. The Reed warbler had a Belgian ring on as the ring said Brussels on it. This meant the bird was ringed outside the UK, presumably in Belgium or Africa, but we will for know for certain when the BTO get back to us. Whilst ringing we heard a Cuckoo frequently and we saw a Peregrine and a Little Egret (both flew south). I also found a Wren nest and it will be good to monitor the progress of this little bird.
Below are some pictures from ringing, then below that is the second part of the post.

Controlled Reed warbler
Belgian ring
Lesser whitethroat
Wren nest
After ringing we went to South Marsh East. The marsh hosted some good waders from the west hide- 1 Green sandpiper, 1 Ruff, 4 Little-ringed plover, 2 Ringed plover, 1 Oystercatcher and lots of Lapwing. There was also a whole host of other birds from the west hide including 2 Shelduck with many chicks and 2 Common terns. The Shelducks hated the Black-headed gulls approaching their chicks and aggressively chased the gulls away, to the point where one gull was bleeding from the wing! We then went to the East hide. There we got amazing views of the female Red-crested Pochard with 2 young, unfortunately we did not see the male. A Kingfisher briefly made an appearance and we heard the Cetti's warbler briefly. A Yellow wagtail on the access road flew away from the car as we left was the last notable bird of the morning (even though we saw two on the way in). Below are some pictures that I took.
Red-crested pochard
Green sandpiper
Shelduck and Black-headed gull (with bleeding wing)
Black-headed gull and Common tern
Red-crested pochard 
Red-crested pochard

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Patchwork Challenge 2016 May roundup

The first of the 8 patch ticks for the month were on the 20th May at Hunmanby Gap. A bit of seawatching was rewarded with a Manx shearwater and a Puffin, both of which flew north.

House martins
Song thrush
Stock dove 
On the 28th I managed to get 6 new species at the Gap that morning. The first tick was two Shelduck, they sat in a field before flying inland. Then 4 Goosanders flew south, something I didn't expect. Another bird which I did not expect was a Red-breasted merganser which flew north just a few minutes later. Within seconds of each other an Arctic tern flew south whilst a Common scoter flew north. The on the way back to the car a Rock pipit on the cliffs topped things off, leaving me with 96 species and 115 points. Also present was a Red-throated diver sitting in the Bay.
Red-throated diver