Thursday, December 31, 2009

The North Yorkshire Coast, 28th December 2009

A day out during the holiday to several sites along the coast (with the Mrs, Pearson Snr and Lenora) in search of ducks and divers. First stop Scarborough Mere - 99% ice covered and fringed with snow, the mere was an archetypal winter wonderland on a pleasant, cold day. Very little of note but for the squabble of wild and not-so-wildfowl, which included a newly (and independently) arrived drake Mandarin.

Next stop Scalby, from the seawall overlooking Scarborough's North Bay and castle. Impressive numbers of c200 Wigeon battling the waves across the bay, a single female Common Scoter and a single Red-throated Diver. A leisurely lunch in the seafront pub (steer clear of the veggie burger fellow herbivores, despite it being your only option) and then onto Filey.

Driving onto the clifftop carpark at the base of the Brigg, we were surrounded by the most tolerant waders on the planet; despite lots of cars, dogs and noise, the feeding flocks happily scuttled amongst wheels and probed the short grass with the tide covering the beach and rocks below. Dunlins, Knot, Bar-tailed Godwits, Redshank and Oystercatchers all performed beautifully, and would have made for crippling photos, but the light was fading and I left the old man with them to check the bay.

Which was well worth it. Very few birds out on the water but for the requisite gulls, Shags and Cormorants, in fact only four - which turned out to be two Great Northern Divers and two Velvet Scoters. Quality.