The name I shall use from now on for those special meetings with wonderful birds. There have been 3 so far this year: kingfisher, desert wheatear and the black grouse - four is amazing for the first 35 days of the new year. Did I say 4? Read on...
Hornsea Mere: no sign of long-tailed duck. Tophill Low next: glaucous gull still pleasing the crowds. In the woods I spotted a woodpecker...
Conditions at Bempton bordered on the unbearable down by the clifftop although in the car park seemed a different world. Clifftop shots first. It was hard work!
Gannet Jet propelled guillemots were nigh on impossible to track...
I gave up. Packed up and set off out of the reserve. I had just reached the end of the car park loop as the road rises when I saw, to my left, the unmistakable flight of an owl. Shortie? No, barn. Grab camera from the boot, cross fingers that it'll come back into view. Aim, shoot!
I said my goodbyes. Thankful for an amazing few minutes. It looked straight at me and carried straight on!
I never saw it again.
Decided to call at Brompton by Sawdon to see if the hawfinch might pose in the sun. No sign. Saw the ouzel once more.
Going south with Barry for a spotted sandpiper when motorway problems made us turn back north. Not a day for photographs but we did see bittern, long-tailed duck and great northern divers. No sign of a shrike at Prestwick Carr. Just a couple of buzzards and a kestrel by the parking area.
The buzzard was a very long way off. I'm amazed this image works at all after such a heavy crop.
Kestrel in the gloom.