First launched 12th March 2012...

...and this is how it all began...

Welcome to my birding blog! Well no doubt as the seasons progress we'll wander into other areas such as close-up work on flowers and insects. This is all new to me so I'll have to see how things develop and also experiment a little. Here goes...

15th July 2018

July 18, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

There's more to come!

[I hope!]

Spurn on Sunday 15th July, hoping the greater sand plover would still be around. On arrival things looked grim: lost somewhere north of the Narrows. I decided to go to Kilnsea Wetlands' tiny hide [Get a bigger one, please!] and see what was afoot.

A grass snake made an impressive appearance.

Little gull adult and curlew sandpiper on far side of the main spit. Very distant hazy photos.

Something sent all the sandwich terns off towards the estuary.

Set off home as nothing was showing. Got to Patrington when I looked at the phone. I wish I still had a functioning pager! 

However, 'GSP on Easington Beach' came up on the phone. I turned back. After all, it would be a lifer!!!!!

The bird was on the beach still. I'm a little amazed how the other beachgoers continued to walk about on the sand in front of a line of 60-odd scopes and cameras on tripods as if they weren't there!

First view.

I had fabulous views of this "new for me bird" in the scope. After a while staring out to sea the bird flew over us and higher up the beach so I was looking into the sun to photograph it.  Then it flew south down the beach, but not too far. I left it whilst the other toggers scampered after it. As they do.

Great day. 

219 UK 2018   436 UK Life list


9th-12th July 2018

July 13, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

And then the Balloon went up!

Something from a few weeks ago: on a very hot day our bird bath, much frequented by our house sparrows, was occupied comprehensively by an overheated wood pigeon. Cock sparrow looks on in disgust! [photo by Sheila]

July 9th - Barry and I went to Flamborough area. We started at Thornwick Pool. Fairly quiet... an impressive stand of marsh orchids on the far side. A couple of little ringed plover were present and house martins were dropping in to collect mud. You had to be quick to catch them! Green-footed gallinule youngsters [translating the latin binomial: gallinula chloropus] also known as moorhens! Small skipper outside the hide plus a speckled wood butterfly which, unusually, held its wings closed on landing.

We had a coffee at Bempton RSPB. Jackdaws were very tame.

We headed down to the cliffs for the obligatory gannet fiesta. A linnet was showing where we had hoped to find a grasshopper warbler. There were still quite a few puffins around. Gannets!

Kittiwake chick - some of the youngsters were much closer to being ready to go than this one. Our search for the gropper proved fruitless. Juvenile swallow on a gate.

We spotted swallows gathering mud from a pool by the overflow car park. One of those special moments. My favorite shot

July 10th - visit with Sheila to see the ''teaspoons'' at Fairburn Ings. Great views of the family in a scope but too distant really even for 700mm equivalent of lens magnification. Still, you get the idea.

Parent incoming.

Four youngsters buried in the foliage!

July 11th - southern hawker dragonfly popped into the house. He left unharmed. July 12th - trip to Saltholme to see a grasshopper warbler but we failed even though it was seen by others when we were in the wrong place! Made do with a confiding sedge warbler in the car park. It didn't mind how close you came. It was his bush and he wasn't to be dislodged! Finally this morning [July 13th] much excitement down our road before breakfast. A hot-air balloon was perilously low over the adjoining street.

It drifted over the A59 gaining a little height and missed Manor School - just!

Finally finding the right kind of current the balloon did really go up!

217 UK 2018 - still!


7th July 2018

July 08, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Greatham Creek; Bishop Middleham; Staveley YWT

Preamble...

A couple of garden occurrences. One of our hedgehogs is squatting in one of our greenhouses. Here he is. This common green grasshopper hopped into the house yesterday. Exoskeleton looks mighty impressive!

1: Greatham Creek/Greenabella

Distant curlew sandpiper. No scope with me. Excitingly energetic grayling butterflies, common darter dragonfly and some orchids - probably fragrant.

Small heath, meadow brown and small skipper

2:Bishop Middleham quarry.

Went the wrong way at first and ended up on the top level of the quarry. There were even a few dark red helleborines up there. This was my first.

Descending the steps to the quarry floor. Knapweed with six-spot burnet; robin's pincushion on wild rose.

The dark-reds...

Fragrants and twayblades and a white common spotted, I presume. Martians!! Lots of little green men!

...and a pyramidal. Top beetle!

3: Stavelely YWT

Marsh helleborines a bit past their best.

218 UK 2018


3rd July 2018

July 05, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

A few images from Bempton Cliffs

I went hoping to catch up with a grasshopper warbler but I was obviously in the wrong place at the right time as it was seen nearby. I had gone to where I had been told it liked to show. Oh well, that's how it goes sometimes.

Settled for one of the many whitethroats around. Reed bunting

I decided to try my hand at a few flight shots as the birds were shooting past quite high which makes for nice photos if you're quick enough.

Puffin on the cliff.

Puffin departing - feet of razorbill, kittiwake and puffin all visible! Razorbills and guillemots Razorbills squabbling and then flying off. Razorbill flight shots Ringlet and large skipper butterflies


27th-29th June 2018

June 30, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Record shots

1: St. Aidans around Oddball - June 27th

      Sheila and I went to see the little owls. Eventually we saw one owlet - a bundle of fluff really.

2: Kilnsea Wetlands - June 29th

My phone app told me the squacco heron which had ''flown north'' earlier was back in the Holderness field on the east pond. It was nice to escape the heat and enjoy fresher conditions of 15 degrees. Slight mist. Bird soon seen. Always some way off but no complaints: great scope views eating newts, frogs and eels.

Popped into the hide on the way back. Sandwich terns out on the spit. Yellow wagtail juvenile outside the hide.

217 UK 2018