Saturday, May 30, 2020

Flamborough Spring Wanderings


From demure....
 
.....to 'majestic'
 
These unique circumstances that we're all dealing with have naturally impacted pretty much everyone's spring birding routines, but fortunately for me, the adjustments have been pretty minor at worst: less time and opportunity to spread out along the coast (as I've enjoyed in recent years), a forced hand re: where to camp out for visible migration, and plenty more reliance on shank's pony in order to reach my favoured spots. That many are within walking distance, and that these are the only 'sacrifices' I've had to make, kind of put any inconvenience into perspective, of course....

Common Buzzard arriving in off the sea and past the old lighthouse
 
Local Barn Owl on the hunt just after dawn on the outer head
 
Breeding Stonechat (female)
 
Singing Common Whitethroat - good densities in suitable habitat
 
Just like old times, then - with the vast majority of my birding this spring limited to the immediate area here in Filey, incorporating the same pros and cons of those days when my birding mentality was obsessively and stubbornly patch-or-die. Of that, I'll follow up with a post in a day or two; but thankfully there have also been limited opportunities to enjoy Flamborough, too.

One of south Landing's Tawnies
 

One of the main reasons for this being the Breeding Bird Surveys I'm conducting across the headland this spring, on behalf of Wold Ecology. Over the course of them I've bumped into plenty of bonus collateral, as is often the case at Flamborough; in addition to a good cast of migrants, from warblers to Hobbys, the first visits in early April provided Firecrest and Grasshopper Warbler, the second a very smart Channel-type Yellow Wagtail (followed soon after by a swift diversion for a certain shrike), and the third - well, they're coming up next week, so fingers crossed...

Worth the diversion.... Brown Shrike
 

(with Bridlington Harbour in the background)
 
Additionally, with both my folks still living there, as well as the seabird colony a couple of minutes away, dropping in on them all is a necessary pleasure. So while it may've been a much-reduced service, I've still managed to get my Flamborough fix this spring, so things can't be all bad.

Kittiwake collecting nesting material from a local pond