Champions of the Flyway!

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Spurn, May '22 (in pictures)

Spoonbills dropping onto Kilnsea Wetlands 

Just home from a fine five days a little further down the coast, at the always enjoyable and productive Spurn Bird Observatory. After several successful autumns leading groups there, this was our (Yorkshire Coast Nature's) first spring week, with the same template - Rich with our five-day residential group, I with a different group of clients each day; happy to say that it worked wonderfully and I'm pretty sure all our lovely attendees went home happy.
European Bee-eater feeding over our heads 

Weather wise, after a fine and calm start to the week we were somewhat hampered by strong winds from midweek onwards, but we still wrung out every last drop of avian entertainment and migration magic, and there was plenty of both (as well as lots of other wildlife to enjoy) - every day was very different, and therefore unique for my group of that particular day.
Common Swift over Beacon Ponds 

We're back again in the autumn, for two weeks (the third week of October and the first week of November), and places are selling fast (but are still available) - see here for more! If our previous trips are anything to by, they'll be and suitably bird-filled and a lot of fun.
Stone-curlew in the Triangle
Reed Bunting along the Canal
Dark-bellied Brent Goose along the Humber
Breeding Avocets
Tree Pipit on the river wall by the Obs
Cuckoo heading North
Sedge Warbler at the Warren
Little Tern at Beacon Ponds
Little Gull at Kilnsea Wetlands

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

You're gonna need a bigger box....

.... a local Tawny Owl, from early this morning here in Filey.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Mid-May pit-stoppers, Filey

After an early start surveying in warm sunshine up in the North York Moors, a couple of hours out birding on the doorstep patch this evening, where a blustery wind made it a bit of a challenge - but there was plenty to enjoy, including the year's first Whinchat fresh-in on North Cliff, the year's first Painted Lady north along the cliffs, and a tasty little selection box of Arctic-bound shorebirds feeding on the Brigg at high tide; Turnstones and a summer-plumage Grey Plover were the photogenic highlights.

Monday, May 16, 2022

Carr Naze Stonechat family

A check for migrants on the coastal stretch here at Filey this evening (easterlies, mist) produced, well, nothing of note, but it was well worth it for the family of Stonechats on Carr Naze - three fledglings and a very attentive and defensive dad on patrol.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

The Greatest Show in Town, (yet) again

Well, that was a pleasant diversion.... an afternoon off, lunch with the old man down the road in Flamborough, a wander down Old Fall (Spot Flys, Dolphins, almost no humans), and a spontaneous right-turn as I passed the Bempton Cliffs turn-off on the way home.
Cold and breezy up at Staple Newk, with no sign of the albatross, which had drifted east on the sea a while earlier; it being erratic and unpredicatable of late, my hopes weren't overly high. With no pressing reason to be anywhere else, however, I stuck around for an hour or so - no joy, but more than content pointing the lens at the commoner locals - until, well, a jaw-droppingly perfect performance, which ended with several eye-level, who'll-blink-first, ultra-close fly-bys.
After many times enjoying this beautiful bird in recent years, shockingly this was my first visit to pay my respects of 2022, but somebody clearly didn't hold my laissez faire attitude against me.