Saturday, July 14, 2012

Filey, 1st - 14th July 2012

The lull is almost over, signs of migration are a daily (if still modest) blessing, and while there haven't been any scarcities or surprises, a trickle of early migrant waders and seabirds (and even a few passerines) have kept up the interest.


Most observations have come from the vantage point(s) overlooking the bay, as the monitoring work continues. Hence, species that habitually move on more open flightlines are generally that little too far out, like shearwaters for example; but with Manxies beginning to move, the last few days have nevertheless provided single figures heading north, with a maximum of four on the 13th.

Ducks have included Velvet Scoters and Wigeon (two north of each, 13th) and Red-breasted Mergansers (2nd and 6th), as well as omnipresent Eiders (a handful) and Common Scoters (up to 90 on 6th). Curlews and Whimbrels have been an almost daily feature, with the latter outnumbering the former, and peaking at 14 on 11th and 12 on 12th; otherwise, small numbers of Redshank and a couple of dozen Oystercatchers are the daily norm.

Impressive numbers of auks have been on the move, including peaks of over 200 Puffins on 11th and 13th; Sandwich Terns usually made double figures (with 38 on 13th), and the odd Red-throated Diver, Great Crested Grebe and Bonxie have put in appearances. Occasional Siskins and, increasingly, Yellow Wagtails are also moving.

I finally got the chance to sea-watch from the hide today (14th), and while it was a quiet one - 12 Manxies and a pale morph Arctic Skua being the highlights - it was a pleasure to get my eye in and begin the learning / re-learning curve before autumn sea passage really kicks in over the coming weeks.

With the extraordinarily wet conditions persisting, quality freshwater wader habitat is effectively non-existent; thus, it's all about salt water presently, and hopefully opportunities to sea-watch off the Brigg between days overlooking the bay will provide....

(Photos - Common Blues, Narrow-bordered Five-spot Burnets and Latticed Heath)