Champions of the Flyway!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Always leave them wanting less...

.... as a Mr Warhol once said, and in the spirit of shameless over-egging, here's more Little Gull action - from the Brigg this morning, in sunshine and with a brisk south-westerly blowing. It's great having them around.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Filey, mid-February 2014

Apologies for being somewhat neglectful of these pages recently; excuses range from being swamped with writing commitments to limited time spent in the field of late. Still, barring cold-weather movements or northerly gales, it is the time of year to take care of as much other business as possible, much of which will bear fruit in the year ahead, so arguably I've got my priorities right for once.

I've still managed to have a whip around pretty much every day, whether to check the bay from the promenade (thankfully on most days, usually near high tide), to walk the beach and the bay with the Mrs, to check the wildfowl at the Dams and East Lea, or to check the passerines in the top fields. Nothing outrageously unexpected, but as ever plenty to enjoy, including these Skylarks from the stubbles and Snow Buntings on Carr Naze.....

This Slavonian Grebe, playing hide-and-seek (and usually winning) in the bay.....

.... plenty of Pink-feet heading north or knocking around, like this bird - one of two hanging out with the ferals presently....

.... and lots of common stuff in the bay, including Guillemots....

..... and Razorbills.

Friday, February 21, 2014

A bucketful of Goshawks and another Black-throat

A morning free with local comrades Nick and Dan, and with sunny spells forecast (and time of year in mind), we headed, er, somewhere pleasant in the hope of Goshawk action. It didn't take long to clock the first one or two, and for the rest of our time in the area, we couldn't move for the beauties, variously chasing each other, displaying, soaring, hunting, and much of the time we'd multiple birds in the sky simultaneously. Amazingly, we estimated up to ten birds were involved - we'll be back for more (and better photos) soon, but for now, a real treat in a beautiful part of the world, with typically good company.

Other raptors included Sparrowhawks, plenty of Common Buzzards, and this Peregrine mugging a Kestrel.....

A quick look at Wykeham Lakes (a first visit for me) revealed plenty of birds, but most at a distance - except, that is, for this superbly accommodating Black-throated Diver, swanning around just in front of the viewing platform. No wonder this easily accessible, prime location turns up the goods, and with increased coverage, it'll only get better.

Monday, February 17, 2014

More Little Gulls

From a couple of days ago - hard to beat and still around in the bay....

Friday, February 14, 2014

Homing closer, tiny dancers

With howling gales persisting but the sun suddenly shining, yesterday morning Amity and I made for a wonderfully deserted Brigg, via the beach and the bay corner. Halfway along the exposed promontory and with the wind smashing the incoming tide against seaweed-covered boulders, a party of Little Gulls - beautiful, dainty, ephemeral to a bird - came gradually closer inshore, dip-feeding in the surf and dancing delicately into the swell.

What else could we do but position ourselves on said boulders, grit our teeth against the elements and enjoy a sublime spectacle as the gulls came ever closer, completely ignoring our unthreatening presence. With sunlight, shaking hands and lens and splattering spray all working against decent photographs, the results are surprisingly passable given the circumstances.... but either way, yet another wonderful experience in the backyard.