Thursday, 20 November 2008

East Coast twitch

The first East Coast twitch for me and my buddy Alan this winter. Plans where drawn Friday night as usual, Sat nav programmed. The rest of the team alerted. The itinerary included two lifers, and some good sea birds as support. Morning could not come to soon.
7:45, Picked up Alan, the others will just have to read 'em and weep.
Between Filey and Scarborough, A Pied Wheatear, goes into hiding as we arrived. Oh good a stake-out, I like stakeouts. 55 minutes later out it comes, and performs like a goodun' for ages. Photographing was hard in the wind, but the bird came very close. Yes! Lifer number 3 for me this year.
Scarborough harbour - A Long Tailed Duck was being harassed by a Great Northern Diver. Many times the Diver tried making a 'new one' in the rear of the duck by swimming below and surfacing at the rear. Good fun to watch. Great photos taken by myself and Alan. They came really close, too close for me, and being both excellent divers, 4 seconds on the surface, 1 minute submerged, made getting good pictures a great challenge. Shame about the Iceland Gull that was present. It disappeared as we looked for it. That's what makes this hobby so fun, there are no certs.
The other lifer the Two Barred Crossbill will have to wait another day, another year, another decade.
A great day out.
Total 153 this year

Winter Skies

It seems that where ever you are in the North West of England, Pink Footed Geese are flying overhead. Rochdale, Bury, and even the City of Manchester have had skeins. Mainly seen in the morning. While arriving at college one morning, a skein of over 300 went South East.
So it was that I paid Martin Mere WWT a couple of weeks ago. And here I could see why there are so many Pink Footed Geese about. Marin Mere is having a record number of arrivals this year. They come here to summer - Winter is there summer. This usually indicate that winter is really bad up North somewhere. By the way, they don't like it too hot, the day was still cold for us. They estimate that 50 farsand have already arrived, and thats for starters. I saw one field black with them. They are fed with tonnes of potatoes donnated by local farmers.
When they are flying, you can not help but marvel at the sight and sounds. Get out here when you can.