Champions of the Flyway!

Tuesday, November 3, 2020

Seven Swans a-swimming - Filey Brigg, 3rd Nov 2020

I know I've said it a million times before (often on these pages), but I really love this time of year, especially here in Filey. Early November means the classic late autumn / early winter crossover of species against beautiful skies and seas, and the Brigg comes into its own - a rocky, tidal outpost that reclaims its wildness.
And one of the things I look forward to most during this wonderful window is the southbound passage of Whooper Swans. They start moving some weeks before (and carry on beyond), but every year, like clockwork, the first week of November provides this iconic and heart-flutteringly joyous phenomenon multiple times over - from the Brigg, Carr Naze, at local wetlands, or over your head, anywhere in the area. There's something about migrating swans - especially over the sea - that turns me into a five-year old, and down on the Brigg this afternoon, I got that thrill as intensely as ever.
After enjoying Great Northern Diver, Red-necked Grebe, lots of Purple Sands and a Great Spotted Woodpecker arriving in off the sea (more of which later), I noticed seven little white(ish) sticks bobbing around way out on the waves, and figured they'd be on their way southbound very soon, so I sat down on the very tip of the Brigg and waited. Five minutes later, up they rose and with much salty splashing, headed straight for Flamborough Head in the distance (via a very close encounter with a small biped with a big grin).