15th - 22nd September 2017

September 25, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Having my cake...

15th-22nd September

September 15th

I'll begin with a fairly crazy day in North Wales. I was on site at Rhos Point near Colwyn Bay by 7am. Getting out of Tiggy I picked up the bins and wandered across the grass to have an initial look round. I immediately saw a fairly distant Leach's petrel wave hopping a fair way offshore. This was followed by two sabine's gulls fluttering past almost in front of my nose!! I went to get the camera. This was, of course, fatal. Later in the morning other birders saw the sabine's again and we spotted a couple of Leach's on the sea but they were very hard to photograph [unlike the experiences of birders at New Brighton over the previous two days].

Steadying myself against a lamp-post I saw this dot! Let's crop that one.

White rump showing. I suppose it looks a bit like a bird... When it felt it might be swamped by a larger wave it did this - proving the identification! This all took time. In between I snapped curlew and sandwich tern in the poor light. Nearby Conwy RSPB had a grey phalarope so, naturally, I went to have a look. By text message Sheila asked if I'd be going for chough. The satnav suggested South Stack was about 45 minutes away. 

When I arrived I chatted to a RSPB volunteer and asked if chough were being seen that morning. 'Look out of the window,' he said. There was a chough on a bird table!! I got the camera and set off up the hill as he then suggested. The bird table bird had gone. I soon met up with a couple of red-legs. [In all these chough, stonechat and wheatear photos the blue is the sea not the sky] Wryneck chough! A lady said there was a wheatear further up so I continued. I soon spotted this distant bird ahead. Looked more like a stonechat. Same image cropped much later at home. Yet as I grew closer a wheatear did appear and I never saw the stonechat again.

September 17th

Another early start for a seawatch at Flamborough Head. Hoping for sooty shearwater as many had gone north the previous few days. Never saw one although a few were reported. Glad to pick up manx shearwaters and arctic skuas as year ticks. I continued mid-morning towards Spurn calling at Hornsea Mere in case a few little gulls were resting on the pontoons. Parked up at Kilnsea I spotted a group of birders looking at something... I joined them. Spotted flycatcher. I was especially pleased to also spot a lesser whitethroat there. Word came of a red-breasted flycatcher at Kew Villa. Pied flycatcher was soon seen. Where was the red-breasted?
It eventually revealed itself. Last bird of the day: hobby by Easington Cemetery.

End of Part One

Just scroll down for Part 2


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