Sunday, May 12, 2013

Filey, 1st - 12th May 2013

One of two Whinchats fresh in at the Rocket Pole field, 9th....

Not the most auspicious or inspiring of periods here on the North Yorks coast, but not for want of trying.
Pretty much every day out on patch, and each brought new arrivals or memorable sessions in some shape or form, but the desired fall of migrants and / or scarcity ultimately failed to materialise.

.... and the other for good measure

Of expected migrants, warblers have been arriving in good numbers throughout, with all eight common species installed; hirundines continue to flow through, and Swifts are now happily a daily fixture.

Garden Warbler, East Lea, 2nd

Weasel, Carr Naze, 3rd

Wagtail passage has been notable, with Yellows particularly plentiful this spring (on a daily basis) and Whites on several days; odd Tree Pipits have also appeared, but visible migration has been generally slow. But for local breeders (including Peregrines), raptors have also been thin on the ground, with efforts from my favoured watchpoint producing a single Marsh Harrier (5th) and not much else.

Common Sandpiper, Dams

Two Greenland-type Wheatears were on Carr Naze on 2nd, and an Acredula-type Willow Warbler was at the entrance to East Lea the following day, strongly hinting at northbound long-distance migration happening quietly in the background; rather more local was the breeding Barn Owl which kept me entertained on the morning of the 7th.

Common Whitethroat - unavoidable in any suitable habitat

After focusing much attention on the sister wetland sites of the Dams and (especially) East Lea, brief showers on the 8th brought success in the shape of two Wood Sandpipers (a patch first) and a Bar-tailed Godwit; other migrant waders have included odd Whimbrels and Common Sandpipers.

The quest for a half-decent shot of Grey Partridges continues....

Wood Sandpipers, East Lea, 8th

More brief showers overnight inspired a little more hope for the 9th, and a full circuit of the northern area from first light, while hardly overflowing with new arrivals, at least produced quality migrants in the shape of two Whinchats on the cliff top and two female Redstarts in the scrub at the Tip.

Common Redstart, the Tip, 9th

While it's not been the most thrilling of springs thus far, there's still plenty to play for over the coming weeks....