Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

White Fronted Geese, Filey Dams - 16th January 2018


Reports from the Dams yesterday indicated a brief appearance of c19 White Fronted Geese! This morning, Heather and I headed out to the Dams in the hope that they may have returned. From the car park hide, there was no sign of White Fronts, just the usual suspects of Canada Geese, Grey Lag Geese, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Grey Heron, Tufted Duck, Stock Doves, Black Headed and Herring Gulls. Moving onto the East Hide, BINGO! the nineteen White Fronted Geese were hidden behind a bund! Not exactly cooperative, asleep, facing away from the hide, with frequent squabbles! It would be rude not to try and capture images of these beautiful geese!








Three year ticks at the Dams - Stock Dove, Common Snipe and White Fronted Goose!

Sunday, 14 January 2018

RSPB Bempton Cliffs "An Interesting Day!" - 14th January 2018

Fulmar

Today was a "grey" day! Grey sky, grey sea, grey cliffs and grey birds! In other words a nightmare for photography as there was little in the way of contrast, making it difficult to "lock" onto the birds! (That's my excuse!). What a day to try and capture birds in flight! It was also a rather chilly day, getting colder as the day progressed, necessitating movement to keep warm! Indeed, I walked the whole reserve, visited all of the viewpoints and even ventured into the unknown (for me) beyond Staple Newk! At North Dykes, I came across this Puffin sculpture, once loved, no doubt, but now in need of some additional tender loving care!


Whilst at the viewpoints I had a go at photographing birds in flight and Fulmars fitted the bill admirably as the only birds flying close!









At Bartlett Nab a Wren caught my attention. A very small bird on some very large cliffs!



Spending some time on my walk at Staple Newk, I admired the views from the east looking west and was impressed the geological fault, which I had previously only seen from the sea.



Looking at Staple Newk, the very untidy Gannet nests are prominent and give a good insight into the nesting materials


"Look and you will see!" I have not, until today, noticed the "face" in the rock on Staple Newk!


And finally, what else is about?


What will you discover?

Thursday, 11 January 2018

Waxwings Scarborough - 11th January 2018


Two Waxwings are favouring the cotoneaster berries marking the car park boundary of B&Q in Scarborough. It has not been a good year with very few being observed around the UK. Yesterday, I managed to touch base with them, but in very challenging light HERE. This afternoon, the light improved a little, so I had to go back! The Waxwings do disappear behind the retail units but reappear to continue feeding, totally oblivious of the traffic on the busy A64 or pedestrians!






Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Waxwings, Scarborough - 10th January 2018


Wednesday is market day in Bridlington and we started the day manning our market stall. Unfortunately, the rain started falling and we eventually abandoned our efforts and returned home. All was not lost though, as two Waxwings were being reported in the car park of B&Q in Scarborough! Waxwings recently have been few and far between, so off we went to bag them! Several birders were already watching them, in the trees before they came down to feed on the cotoneaster berries. The downside was of course the weather! Very dull with drizzle making photography a real challenge! However, some record shots were obtained!




A great birthday present for me as well!

Monday, 8 January 2018

RSPB Bempton Cliffs - 7th January 2018

Fulmar

A glorious January day dawned with a fantastic sunrise, followed by blue skies and sunshine but a niggling cool north easterly blow did its best to remind us this is winter!





So, what is about at the moment?


While watching the Tree Sparrows and various Finches around the feeding station, a Weasel patrolled through the vegetation, always a delight to see but so quick thus avoiding my camera lens!

The Tree Sparrow colony is very active, with evidence of intended nest building!


The cliffs today were really spectacular! Their shear splendour is a delight on its own, but as you approach, the loud guttural calls of Guillemots echo along their length! Today, there were thousands - on the ledges, in flight and in rafts on the sea!







"Bridled" Guillemot

With so many Guillemots on the ledges, it is not surprising that neighbourly squabbles break out!





You cannot tell the difference between male and female Guillemots but this Bridled Guillemot is definitely a female!


"Intimate" observation gives it all away!



That itch that only someone close can help you out with!



Many Fulmars are now established back on the cliffs, delighting with their flight skills, especially when "hanging" in the wind!




Great Black Backed Gull