Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Scarborough - 9th November 2017

From Crook Ness

Heather had a stall at Scarborough Indoor Market today so I took the opportunity to mooch around Scarborough, camera in one hand and Symphony in the other! First stop was at Johnsons Marsh where all the usual suspects gathered, but this "siege" of five Herons caught my attention.


Moving on, I headed for pastures new and Crook Ness, Burniston. Here I could not resist the early morning vista!


From the car park at Crooks Ness, I watched several Curlews fly in. One of the birds was smaller and begged further scrutiny. It was a Whimbrel, a year tick for me and a bird I did not expect to see in November! It has been around for a while now. I decided not to investigate too far as I had forgotten my wellies and the paths were rather muddy and I didn't want a muddy dog!

I headed down to Scalby Mills where parking is now free! While looking through the large groups of Wigeon, I came across a small bird - a Dabchick! Again a bird I did not expect to see on the sea!



I always find the Wigeon at Scalby Mills very entertaining and today was no exception!

Do you come here often?



She's mine!




In flight



This obliging Pied Wagtail appeared to have only one leg



Moving on (on foot) along the promenade and through the Scarborough Outdoor Theatre. The only stars today were this Heron


and this Robin


At this point on the walk it became very gloomy with light rain but we continued through to Peasholm Park. On a nearby (busy) roundabout is a model of the "Vanguard", now more noticeable since the flowers have been tidied!



Back to the car and along Marine Drive which also now has free parking and a walk around the harbour. The tide was quickly receding leaving a rather gloopy mess! Seeing all of this mud reminded me of an interesting medical attendance some years ago (in the Midlands) where it was necessary to enter a local hostelry while naked female wrestling was taking place! I'm sure, however, that no one reading this will have any interest in such exploits!

Who pulled the plug out?



Not a lot of wildlife in the harbour but this Cormorant caught my eye



And this one with friends!



Walking back to the car on Marine Drive, this Stonechat flitted through the sea defence rocks


And this is how I felt at the end of the six mile walk!


Monday, 6 November 2017

Hornsea Mere - 6th November 2017

Whooper Swans

Another pleasantly sunny, blue sky day saw us heading out to Hornsea Mere in search of wildfowl. Unfortunately, the bright conditions caused visual problems with many birds being in the reflective light and distant. In front of Swan Island were four Whooper Swans, one refusing to join the three!

Whooper Swans


A Long Tailed Duck did its best to hide within the reflective glare but was eventually located, distant, again off Swan Island.





Also setting the distance trend for the day was a drake Goosander



At least a Common Gull on the boat pontoons was more obliging!


A mixed bag of wildfowl!




The day was too good to not enjoy a fish and chip lunch on the promenade in Hornsea, especially while watching small groups of Sanderlings dashing through the ebbing tide. Yes, they were far too distant for any images!

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Late Autumn on the Cliffs - 5th November 2017

Siberian Chiffchaff

This morning dawned bright and sunny with blue sky and a ground frost, a beautiful late autumn setting. Unfortunately, these pleasant conditions did not last longer than lunchtime when the wind increased and heavy showers rolled in. A relatively quiet day bird wise, so what was about?

Todays Sightings


Undoubtedly, the bird of the moment is the long staying, very obliging Siberian Chiffchaff that has taken up residence in the bushes outside the back of the visitor centre. It is very showy, calling occasionally and feeding very well. Indeed, you do not even need optics to enjoy the bird! It does not like the rain though, hiding away until it stops, then feeding again in the open!

Siberian Chiffchaff


Me and my shadow!


Showing the green on wings and tail

Caught against the early frost

Food!

In the same area, Goldfinches avail themselves of the seeds



And a Pheasant


Down on the viewpoints, the splendour of the cliffs delight many visitors but they are now naked of birds. However, this Wren showed well near Bartlett Nab




And a Jackdaw stopped by


The Dell was quieter than usual, but two male Bullfinches fed on the far side (distant record shot)


The cold, strong wind and heavy rain challenged the afternoon, but the Siberian Chiffchaff continued to show between showers, much to the delight of birders sheltering under the visitor centre canopy!