31st January 2018 ff

February 03, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

An Ambition Achieved

An explanation of this post's title will follow later.

January 31st

First off though, a white-fronted goose at Water lane, Flamborough.

I then went to Thornwick Pool and saw a jack snipe bobbing away at the base of the reeds - scope views only, I'm afraid. Here's a blast from the past instead.

Jack SnipeJack Snipe I decided to drive south: no particular plan in mind. I sort of made it up as I went along, thinking vaguely about going to Spurn. I called at Hornsea Mere remembering a long-tailed duck was wintering there. It was very cold, very windy and the mere was very choppy. I failed to find the duck but another birder shouted to me to look above Swan Island: a peregrine was duelling with a marsh harrier. This continued for a couple of minutes until they drifted away. Great to watch and it seemed like a bit of a game: neither bird was going to hurt the other but they twisted and dived quite acrobatically. I probably had time to grab the camera: it was all ready to fire but I was too fascinated watching the birds.

At Easington I stopped at Dimlington Bungalows to see the rose-coloured starling. It showed straightaway! [for a change!] You can see it's starting to assume more adult plumage.

My next hunch was to try Kilnsea Wetlands. The little hide was occupied by a Trappist Monk [as my friend calls those birders who don't talk to you].

He listened to his radio and I realised he was a member of what many birders refer to as the Spurn Mafia: unless you're known as part of the in-crowd they are trained to be hostile and unfriendly. Pity really: Spurn should be more welcoming. I am a Friend of Spurn but I shouldn't have to tell that to the locals to get a bit of a welcome.

I digressed. Sorry.

A miserable dunlin was sheltering from the wind. When the rare breed sheep walked past him he didn't budge.

At the wetlands were about 700 brent geese. They all took off to go onto the grass in the field just across the road. I waved the camera around snapping away merrily. These 2 were the last to fly to the grassland. I watched them graze from Tiggy.

February 1st

At home we've been experimenting with a trail camera in order to see what's happening in our garden at night. We've known for some time that a fox visits the garden: now we know he comes every night and some nights more than once.

We have some smaller mammals. Like this one! He starts off on the black section of the long post. Then watch him go!

February 2nd: an afternoon trip to Wroot

I needed to find Idle Bank near Wroot but in the end the swans came into view quite easily. I drove on to where I could turn round, park and set up the camera. Then I headed back to the swans with my window down and the camera next to me on the passenger seat. [Safety belt in place so the warning bells don't sound] First I had to scan the 120+ swans that were there. A few mutes but mainly whooper.  Bewick Swans. The swan behind the centre swan is a whooper as is the swan doing contortions to the right!

I decided to finish the afternoon at Blacktoft. A magpie was enjoying the sunshine.

An Ambition Fulfilled

I've taken lots of photos of marsh harriers at Blacktoft over the years. Some have been quite nice but usually the birds were never quite near enough to give the image quality I craved. On this particular afternoon the light was good and one male harrier came quite close...

Once back at the car park, getting ready to set off for home, I spotted a couple of male bullfinches in the hedge. It was tricky to get an unobscured view but here's one of them.

138 UK 2018


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