Saturday, May 19, 2012

Filey, 12th - 18th May 2012

Not the most auspicious of weeks, it has to be said, but in the spirit of completeness, here goes. The 12th and 13th were at least often bright and even occasionally even quite mild in sheltered spots, but with a deathly westerly airflow, notable birds were at a premium.

On the latter date the Dams held a singing Reed Warbler (personal first for the year), a showy Cuckoo, a Wheatear which dropped in out of the grey, pairs of Teal, Gadwall and Shelduck and plenty of hirundines and Swifts.

Which may not sound particularly mind-blowing, but everything is relative, and compared with the following few days, it seems a veritable bounty. The best of the rest of the week (admittedly with curtailed sessions in place of the usual daily circuits) involved odd Eiders, a female Common Scoter and up to five Great Crested Grebes in the bay, the usual healthy showing of common warblers in suitable habitat, and single figures of Purple Sandpipers still out on the Brigg.

a strong pink flush to the underparts of the Swallow on the right

Through the 17th, the winds swung gradually away from the west and, tantalisingly, into the east; still cold, still bleak, and still damp, but with possibilities at least. No happy endings this time round though, with concerted patch bashing through the haze of a cold on the 18th providing nothing but a few Wheatears and other common migrants.

And so back to London for a long weekend, with conditions remaining promising for drift migrants for the next couple of days at least. Let's see how long my nerve holds; no news is good news.