Tuesday, 4 February 2020

A trip to Flamborough Head

A windy, mainly overcast day with occasional light rain, I head to the white cape to try and tick the Grey Phalarope that has been at Thornwick Pools for a few days. It is one of the easier lifers ever: as I enter the hide at Thornwick Pools, a birder points it to me. It bobs up and down the waves at the pool, constantly picking invisible prey from just under the water surface. Not the usual spinning behaviour that this species often carries out. After a bout of feeding, the phalarope swims to behind a lump of soil, where, sheltered from the NW wind, it preens for a while. A few Moorhens, Teal, a Shelduck and a Greylag are about at the pools too.
Grey Phalarope resting.
Grey Phalarope with prey.
I return to the car and drive to South Landing looking for some shelter. The tide is almost high. A flock of Turnstones rests by the tideline. I watch Gannets diving just offshore. Cormorants feed too. Guillemots steadily motor past. An immature drake Eider preens in the distance. A Rock Pipit calls as it flies across the landing.
Immature drake Eider
Immature drake Eider.
I decide to go to Bridlington for lunch. I search for the Purple Sandpipers on the sea wall. There are 19, with Turnstones. I find another one feeding on the slipway on the south side of the harbour. About 80 Redshank roost on the sea wall.
Turnstone at Bridlington Harbour.
Purple Sandpiper.
House Sparrows on lobster pots.
Redshank roost on harbour wall.

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