Champions of the Flyway!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

The wrong crowd

A family of Pink-feet, hanging out with the ferals at East Lea and the Dams presently.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Friendly Fire

So our wintering Surf Scoter has just passed his two-month anniversary as a Filonian, allowing for plenty of interesting observations in the process - particularly re: interaction with other species.

He's displayed a benign curiosity - or even friendliness - towards various other bay dwellers, particularly over recent weeks, and has actively approached and shadowed no fewer than five other species - Common Scoter, Guillemot (both on multiple occasions), Long-tailed Duck, Great Crested Grebe and Goldeneye (see photos).

On each occasion, the Surfy has made considerable efforts to get close to the bird in question - it's a very big bay, where personal space is hardly a problem if you need it - and as might be expected, but for Common Scoters, his attentions have been afforded somewhat short thrift....

... on other occasions, it's been more about keeping your head down, with both Great Northern Diver (see photo) and Shag administering cautionary jabs, and a Cormorant apparently actively attacking from beneath, which caused the scoter to panic and fly across the bay, only to return a few hours later. Never a dull moment it seems, but with a seemingly inexhaustible supply of razorfish to trough, it's apparently worth all the drama.

Monday, February 15, 2016


Creative activity here in our seaside retreat is pleasingly high presently, with a host of new Morning Bride songs in the development stage (some pretty much finished, others getting there with patience); we're on schedule to record our new album in the spring, with a release hopefully in the summer. We debuted a couple of them acoustically on a radio show a couple of weeks back, and we're also looking at playing live more in 2016, with shows on the calendar for spring and summer - all of which can be found via our Facebook page, which you can drop in on (and 'like' if you'd be so kind) right here.

Our back catalogue is now fully represented on our Bandcamp page, including both our first and second albums; after selling out long ago, it's the only place Lea Valley Delta Blues is now available (as a digital download), while The North Sea Rising is available as either a download or limited edition CD. You can visit the pages here and listen to the songs for free (before buying, of course...), or via the links below. Enjoy.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Purple Sandpipers

When there's nothing around, there's always something around.... and it's hard to beat Purple Sandpipers for regulation winter fare. There are up to 60 scattered along the shore of the Brigg and Bay corner presently, often allowing very close approach.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A pup for company

It's a great time of year for pitching up on the boulder-strewn southern flank of the Brigg and enjoying the bay, where there's a typically entertaining variety of species to enjoy - common stuff like Red-throated Divers, Great Crested Grebes, Shags, Cormorants and auks, and more sought-after delicacies such as Great Northern Divers, a recent Long-tailed Duck, and our long-staying Surf Scoter (it's been almost two months now....). It took us both a while to realise it the other day, but this Grey Seal pup and I had chosen similar spots within a few metres of each other; not a big deal, and at least one of us spent much of the time snoozing.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Castle Hill foxes

After a quick twitch to see the Scalby Mills American Wigeon with the old man the other day, we stopped by at Marine Drive for a quick look at the Peregrines - and instead bumped into these very entertaining and vocal foxes. Clearly distracted by hormones, they didn't care about getting closer and closer to the busy road or the attention they were receiving. Just like being back in Hackney.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Seven weeks and counting - Filey's wintering Surf Scoter

The boy's looking a bit smarter as time passes, and with the wind dropping somewhat this afternoon, I parked out on the Brigg boulders and spent some time with various sheltering seabirds; after a couple of hours, he came a little closer for a while, and allowed for a few distant, heavily-cropped but not-quite-as-crap portraits in the evening sunshine.

(Above, with Great Northern Diver and Flamborough Lighthouses)