Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Filey, 1st - 13th November 2013

Bonxie over the country park

A relatively quiet period, but for several notable exceptions. The first week of the month was unremarkable, but by the 7th, the Purple Sandpiper flock was up to 15 and two Woodcocks came in over the sea in the afternoon sunshine. The following day, and another wander out onto the Brigg via the bay in mild, dull conditions produced a short-staying female Long-tailed Duck close inshore; the same route on the 10th provided single Whooper Swan and Great Northern Diver out on the waves and a Bonxie in off and over the country park.

Yellowhammer in the top fields - up to 25 there over recent days

Opening the curtains on the morning of the 11th, the dark skies were filled with the low-level, undulating flights of numerous Blackbirds arriving in off the sea and randomly searching for places to put down (including rooftops); after fifteen minutes there was still no let-up, and clearly something special was happening. Counts from the window, the seafront, the Dams / East Lea and from others on Carr Naze put the day total at an exceptional 8,500, and they were still arriving as the last of the light faded.

Reed Bunting - with Skylark, the commonest passerine in the top fields presently

Whooper Swan enjoying the view of Flamborough Head

The bay is increasingly full of promise, and with diminishing returns elsewhere locally, I'll be checking it most (if not every) day. There's a permanent presence of e.g. Great Crested Grebes (up to 15 this week) and Red-throated Divers, and wildfowl species and numbers change daily - in the last few days I've had Common Scoter (up to 150 this week), Goldeneye (up to 14), Mallard, Wigeon, Teal, Gadwall, Red-breasted Merganser, Eider, and Long-tailed Duck, and there's the capacity for plenty more action.

Long-tailed Duck off the brigg

Stop press..... while writing up this post and gazing out of the window, I just had the pleasure of a Hawfinch flying low and north - a class house tick and a personal first for the patch.