Saturday December 2nd Sheila and I decided to head for the Humber Bridge and/or Spurn. However the unlikely white-capped black wheatear in Scunthorpe turned out to be an escape as I had suspected from the first report. So we didn't turn off for the bridge but continued to Kilnsea hoping to see the lesser yellowlegs. Two good views but it was always distant and flighty so no photos.
Excellent year tick of a bird I really like to see.
Sunday resulted in a local trip to Wheldrake with a glossy ibis and an american wigeon reported. The ibis had disappeared and the site was pretty inaccessible due to very high water levels. From the tower at Bank Island car park it was possible to scope the american wigeon briefly whenever it stirred itself from its snooze. It seemed that every wigeon except this one found the time to move around a little. Jet lag obviously! Still, two year tiks in two days isn't bad for December. Year total could well settle on its current level of 272. [One less than last year.] Ironic really that at the start of September I was 25 ahead of last year. That certainly says something about this year's autumn here in the east coast region.
Monday 4th I went to Hartlepool area. Water pipit seen briefly at Phil Stead's; 12 snow bunting seen flying off at Seaton Snook disturbed by some walkers who, according to some photographers present, walked straight through the little flock of snowbunts in front of the photographers. About 70 twite seen there too.
Later I found this on the beach 400m north of the Zinc Works Road entry to the beach. About 5 feet long and very solid, the carcase had not yet been attacked by any gulls etc. The cognoscenti at Phil Stead hide confirmed it as a harbour porpoise. Little else of note.
The green sandpiper was still at Phil Stead's along with its mate, the redshank. So just a couple more shots of them. A male mute swan flew noisily straight towards us. Something I should have learnt a long time ago: the male or cob mute swan has a much more obvious knob on its bill.
Friday 8th December I went back to Hartlepool. A good number of mergansers were on the main marina pool. A very cold windy walk right round the Snook produced little of interest. At the end of the Zinc Works road a lot of reed buntings [about a dozen] were rooting about by the stile. This one perched up on the fence for me. A robin was sunning himself in the Dell where it was a lot warmer in the shelter from the wind. I eventually made my way back to Saltholme and to Phil Stead's hide. Very quiet but full of old men chatting! Teal looked well in the sunshine.
Lots of curlew and wigeon along the North Gare road. The wigeon were grazing by the roadside. When I stopped they flew a bit further away except this one who didn't want to give up his patch of grass.