Sunday, February 9, 2020

Black-throats & Grey Phals - Early February 2020


Busy week - lots of work and other issues to juggle, plus talks and surveying - but I still managed a few checks of the bay and engineered just about enough time to swing by a couple of conveniently 'well-it's-only-ten-minutes-away' local headliners...


First up was the Black-throated Thrush, which has taken up residence in a pretty bleak, noisy corner of Grimsby, with a hellish busy road on one side and a parade of fag-smoking teens wandering out of a college on the other; the latter, to be fair, nowhere near as disturbing as the assemblage of camera-toting weirdos (ourselves included) shuffling around, waiting for a lone thrush to venture down from its leafless, wizened tree and scran a succession of earthworms....


.... and venture down it thankfully did, in time for Rich and I to enjoy it at pretty close quarters as we took a mini-break from our wader surveys on the banks of the Humber just a few miles away. There's a possibility, with some apparent rusty coloration on the tail sides (not evident on our views, but from photos) that it may have some Red-throated influence; as someone who cares as much about lists as I do about Nigel Farage's wellbeing, then great, that makes this smart Siberian even more exotic.


Back on the Humber, and the shorebirds were out in force - particularly Lapwings, well into four figures....


It being all of a minute off-route, it would've been equally foolish not to drop in on the Grey Phalarope at Thornwick Pool after driving through to Flamborough to see family the other day, and it was a pleasure to watch (as they always are); I've been lucky to enjoy many over the years, but still find their delicate appearance to harder-than-nails ratio magical.






Back on the Black-throat theme, it's that traditionally most productive period for them in the bay right now, and most checks of late have registered up to three Great Northerns, towards three figures of Red-throats and a single arctica. While I've been lucky enough to find a White-billed here, it seems like a long time ago (five, six years?) and I'd take another one gladly....