Zenfolio | Chris Downes' Focus on Birds | 6th-7th March 2018

6th-7th March 2018

March 08, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Spring still on hold?

March 8th

Sitting in my warm study to write this, the ploughed field across from our house is striated with black and white lines - snow in the furrows and soil visible on the ridges. The view is punctuated with large black dots which are a selection of the local crow species, jackdaws, rooks and crows. 

Looking back over the last few days...

March 6th

Return to Wombwell. I hoped to see the firecrest this time. I did after much searching - had it briefly in the brambles on the 'wrong' side of the river. Too quick to grab a photo unfortunately. Had another go with the yellow-browed warbler.

From there I drove across country to Hornsea Mere where I looked for some bean geese but no sign. A pair of common scoter were seen along with my third long-tailed duck of the year. [Previous two were at East Chevington and Holme Pierrepont] The Hornsea bird although very distant was looking quite smart.

March 7th

Briefly I thought spring had come [until I looked out of the window this morning 8/3] Wednesday was a nice day. I headed for Barton on Humber. I needed to find Pit 25. Without the excellent directions from Simon Spavin I would never have got there! Pit 25 is one of the eastern pits, east of the Sailing Club. I spent about three-quarters of an hour trying to find a slavonian grebe. The light was tricky. Although a lovely morning, from the embankment I was looking into the sun to see across the pit. I had just about given up hope when it appeared out in the middle of the pit. Where had it been hiding the last 45 minutes?

Anyway, here's Pit 25. Quite big with plenty of wildfowl including goldeneye and 3 species of grebe. The pits were formed as various brickworks were established along the riverbank. Just the occasional sign remains like this old brickworks chimney.

As for birds, here's a swan... ...the song of reed bunting seemed to be everywhere... ...the female was a much shyer bird... This was quite a pale bird.

Oh yes, slavonian grebe. Mega crop 'cuckoo shot' as I call them.

Rumours of a red-necked grebe near Thealby [thanks, Simon!] sent me a bit further west, near Alkborough. Bagmoor they seem to call it locally. It's not clearly there at all on OS maps but it's now quite a large stretch of water controlled by Anglian Water. Red-necked grebe was scoped a good way off [into the sun again] but that made 4 species of grebe in a morning.

I headed for a break in the hide at Alkborough. No sign of any bearded tits but lots of waders on the sand from the hide. A chap came back from out towards Trent Falls saying that after 2 double bends there was a green field with 2000 barnacle geese in it. Curious, i set off. I didn't get far before this happened.

I didn't count them.

The nicest part of the morning was spent with a confiding stonechat that was doing little display flights just ahead of me. No sign of any female to display to he decided to show off to me. I stood still and he came unbelievably close. Here he is.

I was home for lunchtime!

156 UK 2018


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