Monday, 18 August 2014

Fraisthorpe beach

I can't believe is already three years since we last went to Fraisthorpe! Today, we saw the effects of last winter storms: the top cliff path, previously less than 2 m to the edge of the cliff is now practically gone. A cow looked at us from the fence just on the edge of the cliff as we had our picnic, and we had a look at the path and decided it just wasn't safe enough to try. Sand martins are used to erosion, they dig their nest anew if needed and are quick to colonise new sites, and they are still going strong. There were some occupied nests, with young ones ready to fledge, and many newly fledged ones following their parents about.
We thought this nest had three young ones...
...until a fourth head squeezed out, all with a hopeful look for parents with beak fulls of food
A distant shot of a Sandwich tern. There were several passing about.
We found this one at the base of the cliff. It could fly, but seemed not strong enough to fly onto the cliff. It called a few times and we let it go. It was incredibly tiny!
It settled on a stem, and then flew off for good.
a view of the low, crumbling cliffs
A flock of Oystercatchers passed back and forth a few times.
This fledgling managed to cling to the cliff by a nest hole.
Another youngster, ready to fledge.
We watched a Grey Seal swimming close to the beach, emerging a few times in between waves
This youngster settled on the sand briefly, and then flew off.
A poor shot trying to show the swarm of st mark flies over our heads, which the sand martins were feeding on
Aphodius fossor, a dung beetle, probably blown onto the beach from the cow field above
Juvenile Yellow Wagtail on the farm roof
Cows getting closer to the sea
This spider, found by my son hiding in a crack on the cliff, is a new species for me and goes by the lovely name of Nuctenea umbratica, also known as Walnut Orb-weaver.
Another view of the spider
There was a patch of late flowering Hedge Woundwort busy with Carder bees, Red-tailed bumblebees and the hoverfly Rhingia campestris nectaring on it. 

Bird list
  1. Black-headed Gull
  2. Blackbird
  3. Blue Tit
  4. Feral Pigeon
  5. Great Black-backed Gull
  6. Herring Gull
  7. House Sparrow
  8. Lesser Black-backed Gull
  9. Linnet
  10. Oystercatcher
  11. Pied Wagtail (yarrellii)
  12. Robin
  13. Rook
  14. Sand Martin
  15. Sandwich Tern
  16. Shag
  17. Starling
  18. Swallow
  19. Tree Sparrow
  20. Woodpigeon

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