15th-17th December 2016

December 19, 2016  •  Leave a Comment

Opportunist birding

December 15th: Seaton Snook and thereabouts!

I planned to go look for twite but the pager having announced a sizable flock of waxwings at Norton Grange [Billingham] Barry and I headed there first. The light was mediocre at best. I tried a few flight shots and would probably have been pleased with the results if the sun had shone... We headed off to Seaton Snook. At the car park I spotted a pair of male stonechats.

On our walk out to the estuary twite were seen along with a mix of other species on the water. The twite weren't easy to approach. This shot is cropped from the same standpoint as the one above:-

The next two photos were from a closer position before they flew off across towards South Gare.

We only planned a short outing and at this time of year the light soon fails - or never gets going at all!!

Saturday 17th December: Swillington Ings and Welwick Saltmarsh

Again Barry and I headed out for the day. We began at Swillington Ings and walked round the peripheral path. Quite early on we saw a group of 3 pintail and a goldeneye. Also seen were reed buntings... ...and shovelers...

...and a great crested grebe.

At Welwick we dipped on the pallid harrier but enjoyed good views of sparring short-eared owls plus marsh harrier, hen harrier and a few other more everyday birds.

Marsh harrier and mute swan. The Queen of Holderness [St. Patrick's Church - Grade I listed gothic] from the saltmarsh.

The light was rather good for a change - as long as the birds were coming from the right direction as the sun was soon low in the sky.

A robin bade us farewell in the fading afternoon light.


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