It's probably just me but when I'm out birding and I see a species I haven't seen for a while I feel reassured that in spite of everything going on in the world some things are still ok. Well, just about.
March 19th: Bempton Cliffs and a drive down to Kilnsea
I hadn't yet seen razorbills or puffins so they were birds I hoped to spot. I was lucky to spot several separate groups of red partridge on my drive towards Bridlington and a skylark as I approached the reserve. I also saw kittiwakes as well as the two auk species.
A barn owl was flying near the car park at Kilnsea Wetlands.
March 21st: Adwick-upon-Dearne
A drake garganey was reported and found quite easily as a group of birders were staring hopefully at something in a pool some yards from the main path.
The garganey was fast asleep to the right of the teal. After about half an hour I decided to go for a walk hoping the bird might stir itself later. I saw chiffchaffs, quite a few avocets, tufted ducks and some black-tailed godwits.
The garganey meanwhile woke up and flew across to the main pool.
March 24th: Oliver's Mount, Scarborough
Named after Oliver Cromwell but any connection with the great man is almost certainly apocryphal. Still the site provides a great view over the town and sea and was the ideal spot to watch the high speed flypasts of two alpine swifts. I wasn't having a good day as I panicked when I parked the car and discovered I had no phone, no wallet and no pager. I began to search the car but I soon realised the missing items were at home. I had simply forgotten them. Fortunately I had a couple of pounds in the car and plenty of diesel to get me home. Attempts to photograph the swifts didn't go well. The Canon R7 has its flaws and I struggle with the electronic viewfinder to follow fast moving birds against any complex or changing background. These are alpine swifts but I hope for better pictures one day....this year's influx was very unusual.
Oh well. You can't win them all! Still a good tick and great to watch in the bins.
I saw ruff at North Cave later that day and on March 27th after not seeing the ring-necked duck I watched some other photographers trying to photograph four bearded tits. It looked hopeless and I didn't linger. It was raining.
March 28th and 31st: Blacktoft Sands
Quiet afternoons at Blacktoft with the regular birds. But a couple of nice surprises too. The R7 was in a good mood that day .... or perhaps I was!
Redpoll by Reception
Pied wagtail in flight at Marshland
Something disturbed the birds at Reedling hide
April 3rd: Grouse and Hartlepool
I drove up to Langdon Beck to see black grouse. Only two birds seen distantly from the road side. I headed to Cow Green reservoir.
Kittiwakes at the lifeboat station. One bird was showing off its jewellery!
A firecrest at the Putting Green in Hartlepool was too quick for the camera to lock on to due to the many branches that were in the way but a sleeping little gull at Saltholme kept me sitting watching it until I decided to move on. All it ever did was move its head. Apparently five minutes before I arrived it was flying around but was being pestered by the black-headed gulls. Once on the ground they left it alone.
April 4th: North Cave
Little owl through the scope and little ringed plover also [but not at the same location]. LRP on Cell 2a; owl down in trees by the farm.
Ruff, lesser black-backed gull, shelduck, avocet, reed bunting and coltsfoot!