10th-15th March 2017

March 17, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Yorkshire delights

March 10th

Tiggy took me to Wykeham lakes where I saw a drake scoter on the sailing lake and some crossbills in the forest. Dippers were in Troutsdale.

I headed for Scarborough to see the Mediterranean gulls - larus melanocephalus - which of course means black-headed gull! Here's a few... The great northern diver was still amputating frogs' legs in the harbour before swallowing the rest in one gulp...

March 13th

I went to Bempton resolved to walk however far I had to to see a corn bunting. Now much of my photography is pretty spontaneous - I like it that way which is why I prefer hand-held still although from time to time I wonder about a big steady tripod...

On this occasion I found the cornbunts in a field about half a mile south-east of Staple Newk.

Brief digression for fulmar and gannets from Staple Newk...

There were just a few puffins about.

Back to the buntings. The birds were feeding on dry material in the south east corner of a large field. I tried to approach following a Defra conservation public footpath [never been on one of those before!] but the birds disappeared into the field. There was one solitary bush which I sort of hid behind for an hour or so. Eventually the birds returned to their favoured spot. Walking back I was entertained by a group of bold jackdaws.

On the way home I called at the vast Burdale Quarry to look for a little owl. No sign but saw this: hope you can make it out!

March 15th

Barry and I headed into West Yorkshire to Wintersett looking initially for an elusive firecrest. It remained elusive! Here are the substitutes: long-tailed tit and chiffchaff. Saw my first butterfly of the season there too - a comma and a short while later while driving we saw a male brimstone storming along the roadside.

Female comma hutchinsonii I believe but I'm no expert. Two encounters with long-tailed ducks that day: one at Calder Wetlands and the other, more distantly on Lemonroyd Lake. We also saw the black-necked grebes and 3 water pipits at the filter beds. Here's the Calder Wetlands bird.

170 UK 2017


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