Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Monday, 18 September 2017

A Change from Gannets!

Little Stints

Yesterday, two Little Stints were reported from Thornwick Pools, Flamborough but I was otherwise engaged, so decided to give the pools a look this morning. Initially I was concerned as the pool held very little - Moorhens, Mallard, Teal and a Dunlin.



I decided to move on but as I walked towards the car park, an approaching birder informed me he had just seen two small waders fly low towards the pools. Returning to the hide -YES - Two Little Stints! Unfortunately, they did not stay long and were seen to fly high over the old farmhouse.

Little Stint(s)

Reports were coming in of some good birds in the Dell at Bempton Cliffs - Pied Flycatcher and Lesser Whitethroat and a Red Backed Shrike frequenting the hedge near the Owl box. It would be rude not to head that way! The Pied Flycatcher (my first in Yorkshire and a 3year tick) was showing well, as was the Lesser Whitethroat!

Pied Flycatcher

Lesser Whitethroat

The Red Backed Shrike, however, kept it's distance!

Nice to see but only "record shots"!

Some great birds, and much as I love Gannets, it was nice to have a change!

It was also good to meet up with Nick and Helen (from Rugby) for coffee and a chat as they enjoyed a brief break. Good luck in your future ventures!

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Filey Dams - 16th September 2017

"Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true" 

Popped in to Filey Dams for a brief visit this morning. I had a feeling in my water that something exciting would be there and when I arrived, a rainbow uplifted my hopes! Instead of a pot of gold, I would have settled for a Dowitcher, Black Winged Stilt, Willet or anything similar! Instead, I had to settle for common "duck ablutions"! The feeling in my water will probably turn out to be a urinary tract infection, my feeling of faintness was not excitement but probably compression of my carotid arteries as I stretched my neck to look upwards to the sky in hope, but alas, somewhere, a dog barked! I was suddenly awakened from my dreams as a heavy squally shower penetrated the hide flaps! 

Duck Ablutions - exciting or what?!

I should've gone round to East Lea, but unusually, I hadn't got my gate key! Ah well, there's always manana!

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Bempton Circuit - 12th September 2017

You said next time I was in the area, drop in for tea!

A glorious sunny morning called me to engage in a good, fresh walk and none better than the "Bempton circuit" (Bempton, Buckton, Hoddy Cows Lane, Buckton Cliffs, Bempton Cliffs and back to Bempton village). The SW wind was a challenge but birds in flight zipped by before bins could be raised. Buckton pond held only Moorhens and indeed Hoddy Cows Lane was very quiet. A few Yellowhammers, Linnets, Goldfinches, Blackbirds were seen distantly and good numbers of Hirundines overhead. Just past the dell, Meadow Pipits and Skylarks took refuge in the harvested fields. I was beginning to think the only action my camera would see was the on/off switch! Things improved on Buckton Cliffs with an in flight group of six Whinchat, a Peregrine and a Buzzard. On the cliffs many Hirundines were flying through including a Sand Martin. Towards Bempton Cliffs, a couple of Swifts flew through. At this stage, with no camera activity, I thought "thank goodness for Gannets!".

Glorious Gannets

I decided to walk around the Bempton Cliffs nature trail, but all was quiet here. The dell was a little more productive with Spotted Flycatcher and Common Whitethroat.

Spotted Flycatcher

Common Whitethroat

Monday, 11 September 2017

RSPB Bempton Cliffs - 10th September 2017

Gannet Life!

My call to the cliffs today was met with mixed weather, sunny spells, light rain showers and a moderate, cool SW wind increasing in strength through the day. So, what was about?

Today's Sightings

I decided to walk the cliffs to Jubilee Corner viewing platform, which was nicely sheltered from the autumnal weather and spent more time than planned here! The ledges held mainly Gannets, some with Gugas of varying development, some ready to fledge, with others probably needing several more weeks before their turn comes. Recently fledged Guga's could be seen on the sea, strengthening their wings. Hundreds of hirundines (Swalows and House Martins) buzzed around the viewpoint, some only inches above my head! Later in the day, two (late) Sand Martins were seen from Bartlett Nab viewpoint. At Jubilee Corner, a Peregrine was seen regularly but stayed over Buckton Cliffs.
A Guga sporting a traditional hairstyle!

Domestic chores! I've raised my Guga which has fledged the nest, so a bit of tidying before next year!

A probable 4yr Gannet perusing the cliffs

Keeping myself in a healthy state - Gannet ablutions!

I've seen mature Gannets collecting vegetation, I'm not sure why, but I'll copy them to look good!
Year 4 Gannet

Sky pointing indicating about to fly

Gannet keep fit! Yoga! Look to the left and look to the right and bend!

Mutual preening

A gift of love!

Up close!

I'm off out, don't wait up for me!

Herring Gulls. I recently heard them referred to as "Marmite" Gulls!

You either love them or hate them!