Champions of the Flyway!

Monday, June 10, 2019

A Late Spring Flourish

Black-headed Bunting, Old Fall Hedge, Flamborough
After keeping an eye on the promising forecast of easterlies and showers (and finishing up my surveys early), the weekend looked good for one last flourish before the migration season ebbed away, and so with some spare time to play with, I rolled the die.

Not a Black-headed Bunting, Filey

Filey got the nod for a four-hour, migrant-free slog on Friday afternoon, when the best bird was an accommodating Grey Partridge on the Country Park (there are several breeding pairs locally but they rarely play ball for the camera) - this despite news of a Black-headed Bunting at Flamborough, and I held my nerve, for better or worse, and stuck to my plan: Filey Friday, Flamborough Saturday, and if it was still there in the morning, all well and good.

Female Subalpine Warbler sp., Flamborough
Happily it was (cracking bird too), and better still, I'd a perfect close view within thirty seconds of pulling up - rat-a-tat-tat and then swiftly on. Feeling suitably self-righteous after stubbornly honouring my Friday commitment (idiot!), the sun came out and it was time to enjoy the much easier, more relaxed and potential-filled birding of the headland.

The Mrs and the orchids

Before long, headline-grabber #2 emerged in the shape of a female Subalpine Warbler (courtesy of Phil, who has a monopoly on them here) in the Golf Course Willows. A first attempt failed, but after sessions at South Landing and Buckton, it was second time lucky, with the added bonus (yep, you heard right) of shedloads of twitchers on site. Now that's a sentence I never thought I'd write, but said crowd included plenty of friends and acquaintances from around the country who were great to see, and everyone was heartenigly chilled and non-schoolyard.

A significant Painted Lady influx over the weekend - hundreds at both Filey and Flamborough

Despite these two class birds, the highlight of the morning was bumping into James R's kids (he of @nybirdnews on Twitter - follow him if you don't already) Isabel and Malin - both proper birders at 11 and 4 respectively - and being subjected to a frankly pretty exciting bird quiz by the latter. I escaped with a 100% score and my reputation just about intact.

A fine weekend rounded off with these fine people - some/most of the Filey Pints gang on fine form as always