Saturday, May 17, 2014

Filey, 1st - 14th May 2014

Two of three Garganey at East Lea
Going into the first half of May I knew I'd have only limited sessions in the field, and that most of those would be snatched opportunistically around visiting family, work commitments and a long weekend playing the Filey Folk Festival. With conditions remaining uninspiring for passerines or visible migration, most of my attentions over the last fortnight have involved relatively quick hits on local wetlands, being easy to cover and the best use of those limited windows.

Colour-ringed Common Gull, from an island off NW Norway

Thus, the month began with a morning at East Lea and the Dams, which produced a White Wagtail and a Norwegian colour-ringed Common Gull at the former and a singing Cuckoo at the latter. The following day and a quick dawn raid on the same sites happily coincided with the return of the three Garganey, again fantastically accommodating and almost fearless in front of the viewing screen.

Black-necked Grebe off the Promenade

There followed the aforementioned folk festival, involving a full-on cycle of playing shows (three on consecutive nights), house rehearsals, acoustic sessions, very little sleep and a lot of alcohol; and yet, thanks to a tip-off from Keith at the Gap, I still managed to stagger out of bed just as a summer-plumaged Black-necked Grebe idled past the seafront on Sunday morning (4th).

Colour-ringed Barwit from the Netherlands
Another hungover session there the next day produced another White Wagtail, a single Garganey, and a colour-ringed and tagged Bar-tailed Godwit (from the Netherlands), while the following three days were spent co-leading another enjoyable Yorkshire Coast Nature (see previous posts); more brief hits on the Dams and East Lea followed, producing a second Bar-tailed Godwit (unringed), White Wagtail, Cuckoo, and Little Ringed Plover amongst others.

Roe Deer are pretty much everywhere at the moment
A chance encounter with a Little Gull at dusk on 9th along the promenade was the only other real notable within a period dominated by other (enjoyable) concerns, with much of my time spent enjoying nature mostly off-patch and a little further afield. For the second half of the month, however, normal service would naturally resume....

Common Sand, East Lea