Sunday, August 2, 2015

1st August 2015

It's 3 a.m on a Saturday night / Sunday morning here in a typically sleepy Filey, and I've just returned from another joy of a day in my neighbourhood. Not that it's been particularly effort-filled; indeed, after staying up til 3 a.m last night in order to hit an assignment deadline and a subsequent late start, unusually it was a day without birding until well into the afternoon.

With heavy showers forecast (and arriving on cue), comrade Dan and I decided on a stakeout of our local wetlands - the Dams and East Lea - in the hope of grounded waders by mid-p.m.; not much joy except for Green and Common Sandpipers, a few Lapwings, Curlew and Snipe, but a very smart Hobby at East Lea more than compensated.

From there, back for a brief dinner and then onto the Brigg. A mild and pleasant evening saw us lugging down the required gear for an attempt at storm-petreling after dark, but not before a brief and relaxed sea-watch - which, with effectively nothing on the move, still provided a close-in Bonxie on the sea, a particularly zealous Arctic Skua harrying Kitiwakes and a Little Egret lolloping south over the sea.

As dusk fell, we set up the nets and prepared the sound system in the hope of attracting our quarry towards the plateau at the base of the Brigg, by the sea-watching hide. Summer-plumage Knot and Turnstones, a beautiful sunset and patrolling Common Pipistrelles kept us company until darkness finally descended, and at 2308, success, despite often dazzlingly bright moonlight; another two birds buzzed the nets and subsequently disappeared, but it was mission accomplished with the first Stormy of the year trapped, ringed and released.

Carting the gear back up the slope, the path was littered with toads and Great Crested Newts, doing their nocturnal thing.

Just another day here in Filey, and yet, what a privilege.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Welcome back

Crappy light, an advancing tide and increasingly numerous tourists this morning, but still, the waders on the Brigg never disappoint at this time of year. The first two Purple Sandpipers of the season were hunkered down towards the tip, while Dunlins, Turnstones, Sanderlings, Redshank, Whimbrel and Knot were all present in small numbers.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Returning shorebirds

While not yet arriving in any numbers, there's been an increasingly steady trickle of waders returning from northerly breeding grounds over the last week or two, including Dunlins (with juveniles in tow) and Knot (still to provide decent photo opps, but they should do so before long). No doubt there's more of these species, as well as various congeners, to follow over the coming weeks....

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Reed Warblers at the Dams

Plenty of Reed Warblers kicking around along the edges of the Dams and East Lea presently, including this particularly fearless and gobby individual (attributes that probably account for his lack of tail).

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Godspeed You! Blue Emperor

Well, blue and green, but still.... Headed up onto the North cliff to do my Kittiwake plot this morning, and dropped in at the Tip on the way back to check for waders and dragons; while there wasn't many of either, two summer-plumaged Dunlin were fantastically tame (to follow), and despite the strong wind, this accomodating Emperor surprisingly came out ok with the long lens and its increasingly knackered auto-focus. What a beauty.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Barn Owls & Sand Martins

It'a all about the breeders right now here in Filey, including Sand Martins on Carr Naze and Barn Owls at the Dams.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mass, USA - June 2015: bits and pieces

Plenty of non-avian interest, with the majority of these shots (with the 400 lens, hence not great for close-ups) taken in or near the garden; others were taken opportunistically within a few miles of the house. The mammals and the butterflies aren't too much of a test but I've not yet looked into the Odonata ID's - hopefully I'll get around to it soon....