Champions of the Flyway!

Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Dunlins (and more) on the Humber

A few photos from the last couple of days surveying down on the north bank of the Humber - mostly of an accommodating Dunlin flock catching the light with the Humber bridge in the background, but also of a flock of (162) Avocet swimming in tight formation out on the water, waiting for the tide to ebb and the fresh, snack-loaded mud to become exposed.
And a bonus Sanderling, because every sanderling is a bonus.

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Stubble in Paradise

Lapland Bunting 

After a morning Parkrun at Wykeham Lakes (personal best, injured knee, Marsh Tit singing), with the sun shining and the wind light I couldn't resist hobbling up to the northern stubbles to check on the passerine flocks. Fair to say, it was good value, once again....
With another Water Pipit or Shore Lark in mind, I spent a lot of time pinning down and going through the well scattered, often flighty flocks - no dice on the aforementioned unfortunately but excellent numbers of Skylarks (245), Linnets (280), Tree Sparrows (31), Rock Pipits (18), Yellowhammers (48), Reed Buntings (45), plus two Corn Buntings (lower two photos), a single Snow Bunting (no sign of a flock today) and at least seven of these little wonders.
More often than not, they're pretty jumpy and up with the (Sky) larks before you can get anywhere near them, but occasionally, you bump into a bird which just doesn't give a flying one, this individual being a wonderful case in point - it let me sit right next to it as it fed avidly, completely unfazed by my presence. What a joy.
Plenty of other stuff to enjoy, too - hundreds of Pink-feet on the move, two Long-tailed Ducks in the bay, lots of auks and Fulmars, a Little Egret south... a fine few hours on the doorstep patch, and the first in some time.

Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Running for Raptor Rescue and Rehab!

Donate here: Running for Raptor Rescue and Rehab 

So, here we are again, me asking for your hand-earned brass, via a physical target for my creaking body and mind to aim for; and you asking "What is it this time?"..... Well, it's a half-marathon (my first, and, most likely last!), and it's a brilliant cause, and one that is particularly resonant and vital in these increasingly raptor persecution-infested times - Jean Thorpe Wildlife Rescue.
Here in Yorkshire, Jean is a hero to many (including me), and a saviour of our wild birds in desperate need of rehabilitation. She voluntarily gives everything to nurse an ever-increasing cast of injured raptors and other wildlife, often victims of persecution and cruelty, back to the wild. She's been doing it for years, tirelessy and skillfully rehabilitating (and campaigning), devoted to her cause, a total inspiration. But it's all voluntary, and she needs funds to continue her great work.
So, after a break in fundraising last year, for 2024, it's for Jean; well, for the next few weeks anyway - until I (hopefully) crawl over the line of the East Yorkshire Half Marathon on 28th April, my birthday. Any contribution will help save our beleaguered birds of prey - thank you for anything! It takes less than a minute to make a contribution, HERE.
Update - the Just Giving page has been live for less than 48 hours, and incredibly, already sits at £1650 (the initial target was £1000).... how far can we push it for Jean and the birds?

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Long-tailed Ducks, Burghead, Feb '24

I've just returned from our second School of Birding in the Highlands, which was a great success and pleasure - but despite being in the field enjoying a wonderful array of wildlife all day, every day up there, the focus is on our team and the camera very rarely makes it out of the bag. However, with these beauties ridiculously close and in lovely light during our session around Burghead harbour, I had to fire off a few shots.....
... we also had them full-on displaying, which included all manner of comedy muppet noises and some very sharp moves.
(More of the trip to follow shortly)