Monday, 30 January 2017

Rufford Country Park woodland birds

A farther than usual trip today to Nottinghamshire, in the hope to seeing some British Hawfinches. We got to Rufford Country Park at 8:45, and before closing the car doors we had spotted a couple of chunky birds atop the trees, which turned to be Hawfinches. It was dark, damp and foggy, not a great day for photography. Apparently the Hawfinches roost in this area, before dispersing, therefore the early start. A Nuthatch called from the lime avenue, and soon we watched a couple of Treecreepers and a Goldcrest. More Hawfinches fed on buds high up on the trees, where they were in the company of Greenfinches and Goldfinches. We could occasionally hear their soft whistles and 'tic' calls reminiscent of the robin's.
A first record shot shows how dark it was.

The lime avenue

Hawfinch feeding on buds.
Four out of the six.
 The birds remained atop the trees near the car park, flying between them occasionally, until they dispersed. One of them came to the ground and fed on lime seeds for a while, showing how well their colours blend with fallen leaves. My clip is better than my photos.

After that we went around the park, stopping at the feeders, where a Stock Dove fed amongst Woodpigeons. In the lake a few Goosanders were amongst usual suspects. Before leaving we had another hawfinch sighting, and with the light brigter, I got slightly better shots (top), despite the bird being perched almost at the top of the tallest tree in the area. Two other woodland birds of note was a pair of Marsh Tits by the lake and two Jays.
Stock Dove
Long-tailed tits.
Fungus on birch.
One of two Marsh Tits. This one had been feeding on a a burdock seedhead it had pulled from the dry plant.
Coming for sunflower hearts.
Lake view.
CanadaxGreylag hybrid goose.
Grey Squirrel
Cedar of Lebanon cones.

Mistle thrush.

Monday, 23 January 2017

South Landing and Bridlington Harbour

I had a quick hour at South Landing as it was a bit quiet and the tide quite high, so I couldn't walk along the shore much. It was sunny and sheltered, very pleasant at the landing, however, the winter storm a couple of weeks ago have made it more difficult to walk east from the landing, as there are many loose boulders, and there wasn't exposed rock, so I couldn't pay a visit to the Fulmar pairs. I had a Curlew and a Oystercatcher, and a small flock of Ringed Plovers with a Purple Sandpiper. Three Stock Doves seem to be in disagreement about a territory. Unfortunately I had to miss on the chance to see a Woodcock, as I met the old couple that live nearby and know where they all are as I was leaving. Apparently only one has been seen near the bottom of the gully.
 I moved onto Bridlington Harbour, and then to South Beach. The best was a group of Sanderling (7) and Turnstones which scavenged on discarded cod (top shot). Quite a few Purple Sandpipers about too.
Ringed Plovers
Ringed Plover
Cormorant in summer plumage
Bridlington Harbour
Great Black-backed gull
A pair of Herring Gulls at the end of the long call.
Purple Sandpipers roosting on North beach wall.
Purple Sandpiper in action.
Herring Gull
A large group of Redshank with Dunlin roost during the high tide outside the harbour wall.
Sculpture of sawing girl with the Flamborough Headland on the distance.
An information panel of the Bridlington Maritime trail.
The resident Barnacle Goose.
Common Gull on S Beach.
Turnstone feeding on cod remains.
The carcass is taken over by a young Great black back gull and attending Black-headed gull.
Sanderling on the run.
another sanderling on the run.
Bridlington from the S beach.
Cormorants on post.

Sunday, 22 January 2017

A tour of Scarborough

A trip to Scarborough with Hull Nats on Sunday. We drove through the freezing fog over the Wolds but it was sunny at Scarborough, and it didn't feel as cold as its sheltered kept the breeze at bay. After assembling by the Rotunda museum we moved on to the Spa are for some sea watching. With the help of Andrew Ashworth and his telescope, we managed to see a Long-tailed duck, a distant Great Northern Diver and some Shag fishing together and Common Scoters. A Med gull was spotted by Robert on the way to the harbour. We quickly had a Peregrine in flight, which stopped by the side of the Grand Hotel, where we quickly located it sitting near its partner. In the harbour the Turnstones behaved more like feral pigeons and were promptly handed in some breadcrumbs. Several of them had colour rings. A Black-necked grebe and a Great Northern Diver were located. We also spotted a Grey Seal. After lunch, we spent some time around the harbour and had great views of two Great Northern Divers fishing, one on each side of the harbour, one got a very large flat fish what couldn't swallow, but they had crabs and smaller flat fish. We went for a walk on the outer harbour wall and then to the castle wall to round up the trip, finishing with a total of 35 bird species for the day, including some spectacular ones and a great day overall.
The very distinguished guests of the Scarborough Grand Hotel include some pairs of Fulmar.
A few brave swimmers take to the sea.
A record shot of a Long-tailed Duck.
Part of a group of Common Scoters.
Another distinguished guest enjoys the views over the bay.
Ringed turnstone
Turnstone race
Black-necked Grebe.
A Grey Seal emerges to breath at the harbour.
 One of a group of jellyfish, Tima bairdii. Thanks to Nicky Dobson for the ID. This is not an uncommon species, which is often found in the winter
GN Diver with crab.
Purple Sandpipers in the outer harbour wall.
Cormorant on the outer harbour wall.
The other GN Diver with a flat fish.
A view from the castle walls.
You could say that.
A good bye shot of the Peregrine pair.