Champions of the Flyway!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Manic Monday - Filey & Flamborough, 15th April 2013

Osprey heading north over the bay

A rollercoaster of a day in the truest sense, with the highs ultimately and happily outranking the lows. Omitting any further mention of the unholy trinity of estate agents, Freemasons and broken promises, over to the birds, and the rest for another time. From the beginning....

... and a delayed skywatch from my favoured spot on the cliff edge overlooking Filey Bay, in the continuing, absurdly strong south-westerlies, from mid-morning. An hour and 45 minutes of constant passerine action, with the wind forcing the stream of southbound migrants just below clifftop level, and therefore just below (and close to) my feet:- two Twite (a big deal here, and a fine surprise) within no less than 178 Linnets, over a hundred each of Swallow and Sand Martin, plenty of Goldfinches, Meadow Pipits and various other bits and pieces, all topped off by a soaring Osprey, heading north and making light of the near-hurricane.

Bird of the day (and that's saying something)

All of which would've been more than enough for a blustery April day, but news of a Baikal Teal at Flamborough - picked up by Brett on a seawatch, and then confirmed by him as it somewhat incredibly did the right thing and materialised on Northcliffe marsh soon after - came through, and thanks to ever-accommodating Rich, further hesitation was put aside and it was filthy twitch time.


But first..... heading east along Bempton Lane, approaching the village and just beyond the Dyke, we passed a large raptor, gunning low in the opposite direction. Screeching to a halt, jumping out of the motor and clocking stunning views as it cracked on westbound, Rich's expletive-ridden initial prognosis turned out to be bang on, and the incredibly rare sight of a genuine, larger-than-life, way-out-of-range Flamborough Goshawk rocked us way back on our collective heels.

Buzzing with satisfaction, we made straight for the outer head - where the Teal had taken flight just a few minutes previously from its chosen roadside flash, nervously pitching down again back out on the marsh. So, a quick change of plan - to North Landing, and then the required clifftop hike out to the hide. Suddenly not to be, however, curtailed at the last by an urgent, strictly non-avian-related call and a subsequent quick return to Filey.

Looking north-east from the sky-watch point towards the Brigg

Which would otherwise have been a truly crappy end to an otherwise exhilarating day; but it wasn't over just yet. A frenetic trouble-shooting session re: said issues unexpectedly left a late afternoon window still half-open, and - thanks to positive news from the marsh and John H about to pass Filey en route to the teal), a second and fortuitous bite of the cherry was on offer. And so, back to North Landing in the evening sunshine, across the fields, into the (busy, but well-behaved and jovial) minor throng in the hide, and.....

Baikal Teal, Northcliffe Marsh, Flamborough

Thanks for hanging around

All's well that ends well.