Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Draycote Water - 24th December 2016

Great Northern Diver


Christmas in Rugby had been planned for some time but the untimely and sad death of my father overtook our plans, with his funeral yesterday. This was a very poignant and dignified celebration of his life. Today, however, I felt the need for some "me" time and a walk in the fresh air, and what better place to visit than Draycote Water. Despite being very busy with families out for pre-Christmas walks, it was good to renew my acquaintance with my old local patch. Good numbers of wildfowl were present with a late year tick of  Scaup plus Great Northern Diver and Grey Wagtail. The weather was mild but the light was challenging' rather grey was a good description!

Grey Wagtail



Goldeneye





Great Black Backed Gull


Mute Swan



Tufted Duck


A little bit of colour!



Goosander


Great Crested Grebe


Dabchick



Mallard



Cormorant


Sunday, 18 December 2016

'Twas the Sunday before Christmas at RSPB Bempton Cliffs!

Goldfinch

'twas the Sunday before Christmas, when all on the cliffs
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse
The stockings were hung by the viewpoint with care
In the hope that St. Nicholas soon would be there
(with apologies to Major Henry Livingstone Jr 1748-1828)

Actually, he has already been and a gift has been left in the form of a brand new viewpoint at Staple Newk! Not yet open to the public, with a few remaining finishing touches to be performed, the excitement is already contagious, what a superb Christmas gift to RSPB Bempton!

The New Staple Newk







Seeing the new viewpoint made me want to sing out loud in joyous celebration, but then my memory kicks in, reminding me (1) I don't know the words to any songs and (2) I can't sing!

Apart from looking in awe at the Staple Newk Viewpoint, wildlife is still on offer at RSPB Bempton Cliffs! Notables today included - Grey Seal; 6 Gannets; 100+ Fulmars; 7 Shags; 3 Great Black Backed Gulls; 30+ Herring Gulls; 3 (possibly 4) Short Eared Owls; Kestrel; Tree Sparrows; pair of Stonechats; Great Spotted Woodpecker; Skylarks; Meadow Pipits; 3 Rock Pipits.

The weather today was rather boring, grey, dull skies and poor light requiring high camera ISO (800 - 1600), thus poor quality images! (That's my excuse and I'm sticking with it!!!).

Grey Seal


Fulmar



Great Black Backed Gull


Herring Gull


Goldfinch


As the light lessened, three, possibly four Short Eared Owls came out to play hunt. This was a real challenge but I managed some record shots!





While enjoying the cliffs, below, the Flamborough inshore lifeboat was undertaking training, earning my true respect!


And finally, those views...............




Sunday, 11 December 2016

RSPB Bempton Cliffs

RAF Bempton

The cliffs called this morning and it was a beautiful morning to respond! Arriving just after 0815, I was lucky to capture the stunning sunrise.




The dumper truck makes it more poignant with the great news that the rebuild of Staple Newk viewpoint is progressing well!



Nature wise, the day was also good with Harbour Porpoise, three Short Eared Owls, Barn Owl, thirty plus Rock Pipits, Red Throated Diver, three Stonechats, hundred plus Fulmar, three Gannets, Guillemots, several Shags and Peregrine.

Stonechat



At least one hundred Fulmars were on or around the cliffs.


It's easy to "sex" Fulmar, the nearest bird is obviously female!



It's easy to "sex" Fulmar, the nearest bird is obviously female!

Don't turn your back while I'm speaking to you!


Two's company, three's a crowd!

Two's company, three's a crowd!

It's good to see our borders being protected! HMC Vigilant



The "thirsty elephant" aka Staple Newk!

Photo bombed by Donald Trumps hairpiece!