Sunday, 27 April 2008

Flamboro Lifer

I made a late decision to make my first trip to the East coast. Great choice.
Flamborough Head TA2570
A King Eider was seen here daily since Thursday 24th a rare bird to English coasts. As I reached the car park I saw a few people doing there best impressions of Amy Winehouse (not a good sight), "not showing", one guy said. Still, I am here, may as well do some sea dogging. I head over to the 50 or so birders on the cliff. As I join them, a lady is pointing to a white speck on the sea - That's it! Lifer 2 in two weeks. My pictures don't do this stunning male justice, as we are hundreds of feet above sea level.
Bempton Cliffs RSPB, TA1974
I love taking pictures of the cliff clinging sea birds here. With a scope you can get great views. Always popular with th public. In my opinion, the Gannet numbers where down this year. I saw the Kittiwake population lessen by one, as a Grt. Backed Back Gull, pick a Kittiwake of the cliffs, drown it, then took some time opening it up from underneath. It tough living here for birds.
Blacktoft Sands
All the reedbeds are full of song - Grasshopper, Sedge and Reed warblers have arrived. Also reported today was a very early Swift. Once again I dip on Gargeney (2nd times this year, - 3 times last year). Spoonbill has gone earlier as well. My pager informs me that a Spanish Sparrow was seen at Flamborough Head, but I don't care. I have had a great day in the sun. It won't be sunny during the Bank Holiday next week.

Sunday, 20 April 2008

Lytham Lifer

Lytham St Annes. SD346270..
Thursday a beautiful small gull from the Arctic was spotted on the beach. I was helpless till Sunday to get a chance to see it. But see it I did. Many years ago, this species gave me the run a round. They don't stick around these. A smallish gull, with a black gorget, and pinkish breast, a small black bill, white wings - what a pretty gull. the bird was just sat out on the beach for all the photographs any one could take( I took 141) , provided you had wellington boots on. A lifer for me - Fanfare please.
Other year listers included - Grey Plover, Knot, Common Sandpiper.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Cumbrian spring

After what seems like a second winter, with the past two weekends seeing snow. I get a chance too do some birding.
Sizergh Castle, Cumbria, SD498878
I believe this is a beautiful place to visit. From the outside it looks good. It closes Fridays and Saturdays. My reason for a trip, is to see Our largest Finch, the Hawfinch. Reports say that from the car park (open everyday), you will see 5. This I immediately did, but my ears detected many more. I estimated double that, easily. It has been many a year now since I last appreciated this bird. They appeared to be skittish at times, but never went out of view for long. This has got to be the best Hawfinch site in the North west. 30 minutes down the road.
Leighton Moss, Cumbria, SD4775
My first visit this year. Summer birds have arrived, plenty of Swallows mixed with Sand Martins from Lillian hide, also a female Marsh Harrier is building a nest, Bitterns Booming. Chiffchaff, and Willlow Warblers in the woods, Avocets, Litlle Egret, from Eric Morcembe hide. This years list got a boosting. Even an Egyptian Goose tuned up.
Warton Crag LWT, SD4972
A huge quarry cliff face. A haven for Corvids. For the first time, a single Chough has decided stay here. A rare bird for the north west. Also Peregrine, Little Owl, Buzzards are good birds to see.
Report - This year I have seen 5 species I didn't see last year, current total 86.
I manage to break my Bins again! - Dropped again! all that armour didn't save it.
Great to be out and about again. Get out yourself.