Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Jesus Christ it's cold (even for the locals), but we still braved the (very) below zero temps and biting winds and moseyed around two local reserves. Unsurprisingly, it was pretty quiet, but then there was, as always, more than enough to enjoy regardless.
Sunday, March 27, 2022
A jetlagged post-breakfast wander around in the woods here in a bleak and cold Western Massachusetts after arriving here at the family homestead late last night. It ain't Israel (which is where we're supposed to be, but which, again, got cancelled - insert various not-smiling emojis here), but it ain't Britain either, and for that, I'm grateful - it's been a long time since I made it out of my native Brexitland.
And most importantly, we're finally with the Am Fam, for the first time in more than two years; very grateful for that. There'll be very few opportunities for birding (and it's a crap time of year anyway here), so expect substandard shots of common stuff that I'll post purely to prove to myself that there is birdlife beyond the British Isles. Amen to that.
eBird checklist here.
Thursday, March 24, 2022
With occasional exceptions, March is indeed traditionally slow here on the North Yorkshire coast - and so far, that's been very much the story this time round. After the endlessly battering winds continuing from February into the first two weeks of the month, high pressure has well and truly dug its heels in over the last week or so; woeful for migration perhaps, but at least offering a change from the previously tree-bending norm.
Drumming Snipe - the perfect sunrise soundtrack
Woeful, as in, for observing any kind of migration - clear skies, settled conditions and light winds means pretty much everything just guns onwards, way up in the ether, neither visible nor audible; as a result, vismig, nocmig, and regular patch-watching have all been, well, unremarkable. But fortunately for me, I've been working (surveying) for much of it, enjoying 0400hrs alarms, frosty sunrises, blue skies and some richly varied locations.
Great Grey Shrike, Cropton forest
As well as the regular Humber surveys (of which we have three ongoing, on both sides of the river), as of mid-month we began another breeding season project across the North York Moors/Forests for the National Park; that's the fourth season out of the last six we've been up there, all of which have have involved myriad new locations. Despite the fact it covers an area almost the size of Canada, I almost feel like I'm getting to know it intimately these days....
Goshawks-a-go-go up in the forests
It's a little early in the season up there for the long-distance returnees, but there's plenty to enjoy - drumming Snipe, wheezing Lapwings, yodelling Golden Plovers, displaying Goshawks, waves of enthusiastic Chiffchaffs and more; and as the spring rolls on, the roll call will lengthen considerably.
Bottlenose Dolphins frolicking offshore on my clifftop walk here in Filey yesterday
So, not the worst time to be working away from the coast; and while daytime migration has indeed been uneventful, Nocmig has been steadily improving at all my locations, and I'll put together a monthly summary here soon. But now, well, time to finally look for the passport. More to follow.