Friday, 10 April 2015

Filey Brigg

We went to Filey Brigg today, a sunny, warm, misty day. We were lucky we could make the most of it as our visit was centred around low tide. We arrived when it just became possible to walk to the Brigg from the beach. A paraglider enjoyed the updraft of the cliffs, and it was joined by Herring Gulls, a male Kestrel and Crows, that effortlessly glided by the cliff face.

Kestrel, suspended in the air, not hovering.
Herring Gulls
And a gliding Carrion Crow
We saw hundreds, if not thousands of dead flat-backed millipedes (Polydesmus sp.) by the tide line, possibly fallen from the cliff, during a storm? with the high winds? It was most puzzling.
We found just one alive, next to a dead one below.
As we arrived at the Brigg proper, it became apparent how much this rocky peninsula just into the open sea: Cormorants, flotillas of Gannets and loose groups of Kittiwakes and torpedo-like Razorbills passed by on their way to Bempton. A turnstone and a group of Oystercatchers were the only waders on sight, but a Swallow passed us by a couple of times, and I snatched a quick snap.
A Record shot of the second Swallow of the year, passing over the Brigg itself, the first one we saw on the drive on fields by Flixton.
Slumbering Oystercatchers
A Cormorant passing by.
It was time for a picnic, and back by the cliffs we chose a sheltered south-facing cliff face, where we were soon joined by Green Tiger Beetles. Amazingly flighty, like shiny, metallic jewels, with an iridencence that makes them look bronze or green depending of the angle of the light. Their abdomen is the most amazing blue-green colour, which is visible on flight, but disappears as they alight, making them more difficult to spot. I promptly consumed my lunch and, lying down on the rocks proceeded to take hundreds of photos of these awesome and flighty beetles. This is a small selection (click on the photos for a high resolution view).

Another superb cliff inhabitant provided plenty of entertainment were the Meadow Pipits. They sung their click-click-click flight song, parachuting down from the sky with they tails up and chasing each other. This one hunted on the cliff and was quite approachable.

This one flew off from the clifftop as I was going to take its photo, I was quite pleased with this resulting, surprisingly focused, in flight shot.
The clay cliff eroding into mud avalanches.
A male Pied Wagtail on the cliff top.
A pair of Herring gulls.
Bird list
  1. Blackbird 
  2. Carrion Crow 
  3. Chaffinch 
  4. Chiffchaff 
  5. Cormorant 
  6. Dunnock 
  7. Fulmar 
  8. Gannet 
  9. Herring Gull 
  10. Kestrel 
  11. Kittiwake 
  12. Magpie 
  13. Meadow Pipit 
  14. Oystercatcher 
  15. Pied/White Wagtail 
  16. Rook 
  17. Skylark 
  18. Starling 
  19. Swallow 
  20. Turnstone 
  21. Woodpigeon 
  22. Wren
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