Saturday, 9 December 2017

Filey Brigg and bay with Hull Nats

The last Hull Nats trip of the year, we meet in the car park of the Filey Country Park. Very frosty along the way and a very cold breeze atop the cliffs. We go down the gully to the landing and it is much nicer, sheltered with the and the sun warming us nicely while we watch the amazing breakers at the Brigg, the tide high starting to ebb. Someone calls a Stonechat, and a male flies past, settling for a brief moment on some bushes, before moving on. We split into two groups, I join Harry (@polychloros) and Andrew for a walk along the beach to the Brigg. We wait at the top of the beach for the tide to ebb a bit more and we spend it watching three Purple Sandpipers, a Ringed Plover, Redshank Turnstones and Oystercatchers frantically feeding on the freshly exposed shore.
Breakers at the Brigg.
A Stonechat record shot.
Filey Bay and the Brigg.
Harry and Andrew walking towards the Brigg.
Redshank flying past.
Ringed Plover.
Purple Sandpiper and Turnstones.
A group of Cormorants dry their wings on the lee side of the Brigg, while the breakers explode against the rocks on the other. A Wren sits on a rock incongruously, while the waves roar behind it. 
Limpets and barnacles.
Young Cormorant.
A Carrion Crow eats a mussel it just dropped onto the rocks.
The Brigg.
Oystercatcher with mussel.
Ringed Y-818, will report.
After a short while at the Brigg we head back to join the rest of the group for a well deserved fish and chips. 
The Christmas tree at Filey.
Rock Pipit in town.

Surfer and Great Crested Grebe.
The very tame Purple Sandpiper that Harry spotted.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Kilnsea Wetlands and Welwick Saltmarsh

A very pleasant frosty, but sunny and still morning. Went with Robert Jaques to try and see the Lesser Yellowlegs at Kilnesa and Rosy Starling at Easington. After checking plenty of starlings at Easington we gave up on the Rose-coloured Starling.
  Our luck was more than compensated with the Lesser Yellowlegs. We saw it as soon as we arrived at the Kilnsea Wetlands car park, on the marsh area at the other side of the road. It was feeding with a flock of Black-tailed Godwits, Starlings and some Curlew. After some good, if a bit distant views, the birds got spooked, the culprit: a female Sparrowhawk being mobbed by a couple of Carrion Crows.
 We spent some time in the balmy hide at Kilnsea wetlands. Two Scaup were feeding with a Goldeneye. There were plenty of ducks and the flock of Black-tailed Godwits came to roost. A flock of Brent Geese came in to land at Beacon Ponds. Of note were a pair of Kestrels hunting around the wetlands, the male flew low over the water, looking like it was going to land on it.
Singing Starling.
Lesser Yellowlegs (lifer!)
Lesser Yellowlegs and curlew.
The Lesser Yellowlegs just seconds before flying off.
Pink-footed geese.
Pink-footed geese.
Black-tailed Godwit flock spooked by the female Sparrowhawk again!
Kilnsea Wetlands with Brent goose flock.
Brent Geese.
We popped into Welwich Saltmarsh for a while, my first visit to this Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve. Bird wise it was quiet, but I should come back to this site of expansive saltmarsh views by the Humber.
Notice at the entrance of Welwich Saltmarsh, a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust site. The following photos illustrate the expansive views around Welwich saltmarsh.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Freezing at Blacktoft Sands

A bitterly cold day that felt even colder at midday due to the wind turning NW. A large and nervous flock of Fieldfares, with a few Redwing fed in the hawthorns of the car park. I surprised a stoat as it run on the grass on the car park, but it run into the hedge before I could take any photos. The Fieldfare were quite nervous and took off every time a car went pass the road by the nature reserve.
Thrush flock.
  The visitor centre/hide and was closed, as in the winter months it only opens on the weekend, so I went to Xerox hide first. A Reed Bunting fed on the path with a Wren and a Robin.
Reed Bunting.
I spent some time at Xerox. There was a large Teal flock and I went through it in search of a Green Winged Teal that had been reported at Blacktoft, but no luck. Some Dunlin fed amongst the teal.
I moved on. The Hawthorns on the long stretch to the Ousefleet hide were laden with berries, good news for the cold and hungry thrushes.

 At Ousefleet, the highlight were the six Konik ponies, which were drinking in the sun and having little squabbles. They are use for conservation grazing on the reedbeds and marsh in the nature reserve.

 The light was fantastic with mostly clear sky. This is the view from Ousefleet.
An informative panel with the Humberhead levels and nature reserves within it.

I moved to the eastern end of the reserve. There were barely any birds from the hides, but a Marsh Harrier quartered past, with the great backdrop of Alkborough.

 The view from Singleton hide.
 I ended up returning to Xerox. Found some Redshank feeding near the hide.
 More Teal.
 Three Marsh Harriers together at some point. One of them flushed all the birds (top shot). The following photos all from Xerox.
Marsh Harriers.
A Redshank (left) and a Spotted Redshank (right) posing beautifully next to each other.
Little Egret.