7th- 20th August 2020

August 21, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

The News Report!

First of all some that got left behind from 11th July! Garden insects...

Two garden plants: francoa sonchifolia [one of a number of plants known as 'Bridal Wreath'] and a lovely geranium 'Ann Folkard'

August 7th: A second trip to Scaling Dam but a disappointing one as the osprey didn't show until after I had left. It was nice and quiet as far as human beings are concerned...and rather similar bird-wise too! 

A bedraggled grey wagtail!

August 10th: Spurn A six-tick day for me. Best day since Lockdown began way back in late March. Little stint; pectoral sandpiper; white-winged black tern; collared flycatcher; pied flycatcher and two red-backed shrikes. Not including a super fly-past bittern down at Sammy's Point.

Little stints


A hare rested by the sand martin wall. The pecsand was very difficult to photograph from the only available angle in challenging light conditions. Still, not complaining: an excellent year tick.

I moved on to Beacon Ponds to try for a white winged black tern. Distant over the lagoons but flying around really nicely.


Collared flycatcher

Pied flycatchers

Juvenile linnet


2 very distant red-backed shrikes

August 12th: Southern hawker dragonfly in the garden

Something a little different...

Foxes at play on our night camera and in one of these video clips something we've not seen in the garden before and we've lived here since 1977! You'll have to wait while they load up to find out what it was!

August 14th: Spurn again





Red-backed shrikes again! Still there!

I decided to head north for a white stork but I couldn't locate it and drifted on to Hornsea Mere where a treat awaited me. Lots of little gulls. Loads of them. Sorry, but here's an avalanche of little gulls!

Well, I caught one this big!

August 18th: Ripon City Wetlands

My first visit. I'd been meaning to come for some time. Closed on race days by the way. I found the car park. it only has room for about 5,000 cars so park at the top right-hand corner. That's where you walk from and it's quite a long walk especially if, like me, you go the very long way round. When given a choice, go right. NOT LEFT! 

I met 2 birders about my age. I asked what they would suggest. 'Go somewhere else,' was their reply. 'It's not a very productive site.'

After walking a very long way through vast swathes of Himalayan balsam I found the lagoon that has been lowered to reveal the mud. I met the 2 birders who were embarrassed to admit they'd 'never seen it like this before.' I wondered if they'd deliberately sent me on a wild goose chase into the balsamatic jungle. I dismissed such thoughts from my nasty, suspicious mind. 

Green sandpiper and wood sandpiper. All very distant mixed up with hundreds of lapwings, geese, dunlins and gulls. Not a very productive site they said...

Not to worry. When I got back exhausted to Tiggy I pulled out my six-shooter from under the floor of the back end of the car and riddled all the tyres of the only other car in the enormous car park with a myriad of tiny holes...

As my late mother would have said: 'That'll learn 'em'

I drove on to Hartlepool. Greatham Creek - terns bathing; a few waders on the mud by the bridge, shelduck and a seal swimming up the creek.

I met Barry there. We walked round Saltholme. Very quiet. Some years ago they put up a wooden thing to frame the view of the Main Lake to help emphasise the important work the RSPB do. Over the years the site has developed. The frame is still there. I thought you'd want to see the view as it looks now the reserve is well established.

And here's a dreadful photo of the old git who took the photo.  [God, he looks decrepit.]

I might have to deal with the chap who took that too. The six-shooter's still in the back end of the car...

August 19th: Kilnsea once more!

I walked from the car park at Kilnsea Wetlands to the first metal gate. Greenfinch showing nicely.

Ruff, little stints! Decent light. Action!

Later I saw a very distant short-eared owl from Sykes field.

August 20th: early visit to South Gare. Very windy: lots of waders on Bran Sands rocks near Paddy's Hole at high tide. Nine species noted: curlew; lapwing; oystercatcher; turnstone; dunlin; knot; greenshank; redshank; ringed plover. And I was hoping for bar-tailed godwit!

I drove down to scan the terns: little, common and sandwich seen but it was increasingly windy. I returned to Bran Sands. The tide had dropped and there were waders everywhere. I soon picked up the bar-tailed godwits. I left for Greatham Creek as a curlew sandpiper had been reported. Great scope views [thanks to Ian Forrest for helping me get onto it]. No sign of cuckoo down the ZWR but I spotted this curlew hiding in the grass.

191 UK 2020




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