Monday, April 7, 2014

Filey, 15th - 31st March 2014

A knackered migrant Starling on Carr Naze

Female Long-tailed Duck off the Brigg
Mid-March continued with more fairly modest signs of movement, including pulses of Meadow Pipits, Pied Wags, Chiffchaffs, Linnets and Siskins amongst others; not a great deal to get excited about, and so a good time for us to swan off back to London for a week or so. By the time we'd returned, an easterly airflow has set in (continuing into early April) - a feature of a static weather chart that look mouth-wateringly perfect - if it only it were autumn, that is.

Razorbill action
As always there was plenty of interest, however, despite the unhelpful conditions. Back in the field on 25th, more finches were on the move, an immature Peregrine gunned clean out to sea (ie, not one of the local breeders), and a particularly smart Scandinavian Rock Pipit greeted me on the grassy northern path of Carr Naze. The following few days were fairly quiet, although the lingering party of five Snow Buntings in the Top Fields typically distracted me for hours on end as they went about their business just a couple of metres away.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit
Come the 29th and a couple of Robins on the Brigg were feeding amongst the boulders and along the tidal reefs; out of the corner of your eye, you could almost imagine them as Bluetails on Shetland... almost. Their orange-grey-olive tones suggested (the features generally associated with) a continental origin:

A check of the bay, with a brisk easterly coming straight in off the sea, in the evening was very quiet, except for an adult Med Gull among the Commons and Black-heads out on the waves - a nice surprise, and a rare bird locally.

Merlin, gone in a flash in the fog after narrowly missing a Snow Bunting

Female Brambling, Short Hedge
An hour's early vismigging from Muston Sands followed by a morning at the Dams and East Lea on 30th was entertaining enough without any stand-out highlights (single Pink-foot with the Greylags notwithstanding), but the afternoon provided more encouragement - a Merlin attacking the Snow Buntings before heading south-east, a tame Brambling on a farm track (narrowly escaping becoming Sparrowhawk lunch), Meadow Pipits into three figures and Chiffys up to 20 for the day.

Chiffchaff, Golf Course Pond

Had enough of 'em yet? I haven't
The fog rolled in and stayed in on the last day of the month, and Carr Naze and the Brigg were magically silent (and surprisingly productive) - the two Robins remained, joined by two Scandinavian Rock Pipits and a Redwing amongst the rocks, a Weasel on the slopes, and best of all, a female Long-tailed Duck, which materialised fairly close inshore for a while, and disappeared just as quietly.