Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Filey, 26th July - 6th August 2013

Garganey at the Tip

An enjoyable and pleasantly varied twelve-day stretch here in Filey; once again the extended time-frame for this bulletin happily reflects not a lack of material (as might be expected at this time of year) but, on the contrary, plenty of other subject matter to plunder and a reflection of much spare time spent out in the field (as opposed to indoors, messing around with blogs and the like).

Wood Sandpiper at the Dams

Efforts have been focused both on the Dams for a rich and varied turnover of passage waders, and the Brigg for passing, resting and feeding coastal species. Both have entertained greatly over the period, ensuring the expected midsummer doldrums effectively failed to materialise at all this year.

Sanderlings on the Brigg

Beginning at the Dams: despite the tall vegetation surrounding the pools (due for a cut this week, so it may well get better still anon), the exposed edges of mud have consistently pulled down a range of waders - hence, daily visits, often early in the morning and then at various other times of day depending on conditions.

Common Darter, Parish Wood

The turnover of species has been highly entertaining, and (while not always entirely rain-dependent) often much more dynamic after thunderstorms and weather fronts have moved through. In the last fortnight, I've caught up with Avocets (three), a Little Ringed Plover, Lapwing (up to 56), Wood Sandpiper (several), Green Sandpiper (up to five), Common Sandpiper (up to five), Redshank .....

Sparrowhawk pursuing Dunlin at the Dams

..... Greenshank (up to three), Dunlin (up to eleven), Black-tailed Godwit (up to eight), Curlew, Whimbrel (up to four), Common Snipe (up to three) and Ruff (up to seven) at this comparatively tiny site alone, totalling fourteen species there.

Sanderling and Dunlins over the tip of the Brigg

On / over the Brigg, meanwhile, and the roll-call goes on: Ringed Plovers (up to ten), Purple Sandpipers (up to seven), Golden Plovers (a handful through and odd ones down), Knot (big numbers during sea-watches of up to three hundred, and up to sixty on the Brigg), Sanderling (over a hundred through on good days, and usually at least handful in situ), Turnstones (ditto)........

Adult summer Dunlin on the Brigg

..... Oystercatchers (ditto), Dunlins (three figures through on several days, and up to 25 present on the Brigg), Common Sandpipers (odd ones through and down), odd Green Sandpipers and Greenshanks through, occasional Bar-tailed Godwits, Curlews, and Whimbrels (impressive three-figure tallies, including many large flocks).

Little Ringed Plover at the Dams

So without really trying - or indeed the presence of any scarcer possibilities (Spotted Redshank, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, you know where we are) - twenty-one wader species have entered the notebook within the last fortnight.

Turnstones on the Brigg

A Garganey (which we found skulking at the Tip pools on 4th) was a nice bonus a few days ago and only the second of the year locally; it later relocated to the Dams, and was still around the next day at least.

Summer-plumaged Knot and Turnstones

Otherwise, the sea has been relatively quiet, with tern, skua and shearwater passage pretty muted so far, and on the land, migrant passerines are effectively yet to register. No bad thing on either score, it'll all happen soon enough, and lucky for me (and gods willing) I'll be in pole position when it does; watch this space.

Southbound Knot past the Brigg

Southbound Whimbrels (part of a 90-strong flock)