September 14th: New Flash, Fairburn
The report on my pager said there were 14 cattle egrets at Fairburn. I re-read the message. Was it for real? I decided to go and have a look just in case. It was indeed a spoof message as I only saw 13 cattle egrets!! Probably more in one shot than I'd ever seen before in total in my life.
Here's the whole group.
September 15th: Bempton
I headed to Bempton hoping to see the short-eared owls that have been showing well in the area behind Bartlett viewpoint.
After standing by the cliff but facing inland [which seemed to mystify some of the visitors] I detected movement with an owl- like flight pattern. Very distant so I headed up the path that runs alongside the owl fields. I had already selected where I might stand. No-one there when I arrived. Here are the shorties.
Plus a tree sparrow.
September 16th: Newburgh Priory lake
Report of wood ducks at Newburgh was interesting although any birds would be of doubtful provenance. I was sufficiently curious to have a look. Female or immature. Eventually a smart looking male appeared.
September 20th: South Gare
I went three times to South Gare in the hope of seeing the booby up close. The first 2 visits were in the afternoon and were unsuccessful. A wryneck also evaded my attempts to spot it near a sycamore on cabin rocks. So the third [a morning] attempt was to be my last. The weather deteriorated as the morning progressed. I resorted to snapping ships...
...a passing juvenile gannet, a great black-backed gull...
By now I was sheltering from the gale under a building and occasionally going back to the car which I had positioned in view of the old pilot pier. Suddenly I saw two men get down flat on the ground, supporting their cameras on propped elbows. I had seen no new birds arrive watching through the bins in the car. I hurried down the slope. It was now raining. Then hailstones. Looking through the viewfinder I was unsure what was what but the general excitement was enough. By the way the photos seem to manage to not show the weather conditions at all although admittedly I have brightened the images where necessary.