Friday, September 14, 2012

Filey, 7th - 14th September 2012

Pick up a Pec; win

Well, it had to get better, and it did. Returns this week have been much improved, which is hardlt saying much but is especially pleasing considering the unfavourable south-westerly airflow has remained stubbornly in place.

Turtle Dove, Dams

An early seawatch and a wander around the land on the 7th was unremarkable but for three fresh-in Wheatears on the Brigg end (see last post), but the hot, sunny and often blustery conditions encouraged some aerial movements on the 8th, with a couple of Common Buzzards, a Hobby chasing hirundines over the golf course and a Marsh Harrier lolloping in off the sea.

Several hours seawatching from first light on the 9th produced a varied selection of waders and wildfowl, the highlights being the first flock of Pink-footed Geese heading south, plenty of Bar-tailed Godwits, and another very accommodating Balearic Shearwater; over 4000 Gannets were on the move, most presumably from somewhat further north. With time to kill in the hot afternoon sun, I kicked back on the clifftop overlooking the bay and enjoyed multiple skeins of Pink-feet following the coast southwards, clocking 216 for the day.

Turnstone, Redshank & Dunlin on the Brigg

Back down for an early shift in the sea-watching hide on the 10th, with a roll call including 720 Teal, a good cast of other ducks, three Sootys and 30 Red-throated Divers during an entertaining five-hour shift.

The Dams - our local small but perfectly-formed wetland on the edge of town - has been notably quiet, with just a sprinkling of the commoner waders enjoying the fairly expansive but underpopulated mud since the water level was lowered a couple of months ago. But it's the kind of place that you write off at your peril, and that has an especially rapid turnover of birds during productive periods.

Purps on the Brigg

Hence, there are many worse ways to kill time than shack up in one of the hides, kick back and wait. Recent sessions have been unproductive, but something had to give sooner or later. Firstly, a couple of hours there on the morning of the 11th was rewarded with the increasingly rare, now barely annual sight of a Turtle Dove - the first (and likely last) of the year here, pottering around on the mud with Woodpigeons for a while before being spooked shortly before I had to leave late morning.


And then secondly, a sudden sprinkling of waders later in the day instantly produced a long-awaited rarer congener - a Pectoral Sandpiper, on the very same patch of mud, in the company a handful of Dunlins. The chances of my connecting were slim, but so be it; maybe if it was good enough to stick around, I'd be able to catch up with it at some point. Thankfully, that some point was the following evening, at dusk.