A good sighting at my small feeding station this morning, came in the form of two young Bullfinches. I've seen both male and female pass through on occasions or heard them flying over. I would imagine it's likely they have bred quite locally.
The male made an appearance within a few minutes too.
Not the best shots through modern 1" thick double glazing!!
Throughout the summer, I've only had 3 Swifts around here and, attempted some flight shots the other evening before they leave.
Quite a challenge when they're screaming about.
One of the local Common Buzzards was taking it steadier. There are a few pairs between here and the Humber Bridge now.
I'm getting to know a few of them, this one has lost/moulted a P5 primary on each wing and I sometimes see it with its mate.
Just to be different, I had a Woodpigeon build a nest (of about five twigs!) in the wisteria, and today noticed two little heads beside the parent. It's not often you see a fledgling Woodpigeon!
This morning's sun showed the lilies off beautifully and the agapanthus are like exploding fireworks!
The vineyard is coming along nicely too, although I'm not holding much hope for a case of wine in this climate!!
The start of a new week and another American wader for me. Although present for around five days now, I like Mondays at the coast and a Northerly wind blowing rain horizontally wasn't going to deter me at all! Really, it was more a case of sitting in the Wetlands hide with rain in your face, looking through hundreds of feeding Dunlin.
It was around half an hour before I got my first glimpse of the juvenile White-rumped Sandpiper, on the opposite bank, with Dunlin.
With the usual Gulls, Crows and Grey Herons in the vicinity, the waders were frequently on the move and the White-rumped Sandpiper was shifting position also.
Settling down again, close by.
Feeding with a Dunlin
.....and off again!
Pleased to see the white rump showing and the extent of the long wings.
It was good to see a White-rumped Sandpiper at Spurn again and there were plenty of other waders around this morning.
One of two Wood Sandpipers, also a Common and Green Sandpiper nearby.
A very distant Little Stint flew in and a juvenile Knot was worth keeping for the record.
A juvenile Dunlin with Adult.
The White-rumped Sandpiper with Wood Sandpiper and Dunlin.
An excellent morning also featured a Spotted Redshank, 3 Turnstones, Black and Bar-tailed Godwit, Sandwich and Little Terns over also,
After spending the morning in the garden, I thought a walk around North Cave Wetlands was due as I haven't been for a while.
Incredibly, as I pulled up in the car, Gary Dayes had found a Pacific Golden Plover on Dryham Ings.
Unlike my only previous sighting of a juvenile bird, this was a moulting adult and still had quite splendid plumage. American Golden Plover had been eliminated as a possibility, after viewing the tertials and primaries. The general colouration overall suited Pacific more than American.
This bird was quite distant on the Ings but did move around from time to time. It was disliked by some of the Lapwings and passing flocks of geese or pigeons, would sometimes put it to flight.
After one 'spook', the Pacific disappeared from view and was gone by 4-30pm.
Birding is a little bit quiet in East Yorkshire at the moment, so a day at Bempton in glorious weather would provide excellent views of our breeding seabirds.
Breeding has been going well, certainly for the Gannets and the parents are looking after their huge fluffy offspring!
The light onshore breeze lifted the Gannets up to the clifftops for spectacular photo opportunities.
I'm just being overflown by an adult Gannet!
This one, probably around 4 years old, close by on the cliffs.
Adults are still topping up the nest material.
The Kittiwakes are doing well with many juvenile birds fledged now and showing their stunning plumage.
Adult Kittiwake returns to the youngster.
Puffins were delighting all the visitors and many could be seen today, both on the cliffs and sitting out at sea.
Life on the edge - it's a long way down that cliff!!
Razorbills enjoying the morning sun.
Guillemots with chick.
A brilliant day with our seabirds.
Arrived at Kilnsea Wetlands early this morning and began searching for yesterday's Buff-breasted Sandpiper. I have only seen one previously, that being on Wheldrake Ings quite a few years ago.
This bird seemed to have favoured the pools on Holderness Field and after I'd carried out a good check of the Wetlands pool, I made my way up towards Beacon Ponds. Looking over the Wetlands once more, I counted around 21 Little Gulls including a juvenile bird.
The Little Gull flock.
It was at least three hours before the Buff-breasted was first seen, on the top pool at Holderness Field. This was probably the worst location it could be seen at, as the pool is not only distant but is surrounded by thistles (and sheep!), giving only intermittent and brief views.
In time, the characteristics of this N. American visitor became more apparent and I was pleased to note my second record.
The temperature was rising all morning, giving rise to a heat haze over the field which made photography pointless. I took lots of images at various settings but there wasn't a decent image among them!
The pool was shared with two Avocets, a Green Sandpiper and a Little Ringed Plover joined the Buff-breasted later. I stayed while early afternoon, hoping it would move to one of the nearer pools but without success.
In the village, I found this Swallow resting on the riverside wall.
Following some overnight rain, the first for a while, these House Martins were carrying out essential repairs!
A fairly quiet day, although I did spend much of my time with the Buff-breasted Sandpiper.
A very early start was made this morning, in the direction of Spurn. I didn't want to miss an opportunity to see an 'adult' White-winged Black Tern which had performed well yesterday at Kilnsea Wetlands. I have seen three of these terns previously and all have been juvenile birds, adult Black Terns showed well for me at North Cave Wetlands this Spring and this tern was not to be missed.
My first view of it was at the far side of the Wetland, resting on mud with 2 first summer Little Gulls. It soon took flight and the white rump was immediately noticed at some distance. The Tern spent a short time over the Wetland before heading up to the small pool by the 'listening dish'. Here, it found food easily, picking out either sticklebacks or a shrimp-like creature and sometimes earthworms.
Making circuits around the pool, the red legs were also easily visible in flight. Having fed for a while, the Tern made several trips over to the Little Tern colony on Beacon Ponds where, it would rest for a while.
A few people were commenting on the poor light this morning and high ISO's didn't seem to help at all. Another spectator joined us for a while - a Barn Owl, further along the fence!
Eight more Little Gulls flew through the Wetlands and a Black-tailed Godwit arrived also.
A really stunning Tern and a pleasure to watch.
I wish I'd stayed longer as the afternoon was much brighter. However, back in my garden I counted 26 bees in one lavender bush - I do well for bees in my new garden!
Any ideas what this is? Didn't realise bees came in so many colours!!
An invitation to visit family, not far from Stokenchurch meant another opportunity to marvel at the Red Kites in the Chiltern Hills. Anyone who has left the M40 at junction5 and passed through Stokenchurch, will have seen the sky full of Red Kites. Once part of a re-introduction scheme, the population seems to be huge now and, not to everyone's liking. The Kite has become very much a garden bird, skimming the house roofs and grabbing from the gardens whatever takes its fancy.
To me, one of our most wonderful large raptors with slow motion acrobatics as they twist and turn in the sky.
The following images were taken from the garden with an unforgiving white sky to deal with, but a great experience getting close to the Red Kites.
I've just returned from a week on Jersey C.I. on a 'non-birding ' holiday, but still managed to find an Iberian Chiffchaff during the week! With excellent walking weather, the coastal paths soon revealed the Choughs which seem to be doing well, following their introduction. Common Buzzard and Marsh Harrier are in good numbers and, Short-toed Treecreeper was an unexpected resident on the island.
Hornsea Mere from Kirkholme Point.
Before I went away, at least 6 Hobbies possibly more, were being seen regularly over the Mere. Hobby is a falcon I've never seen enough of and certainly not in a feeding area. Previous sightings have usually been of a bird 'passing through' and I've never spent time watching them feeding in the air.
My arrival this morning was a little early for the Hobbies and I was greeted by the local Jackdaws, strutting about round the car.
A look through all the Canada and Grey Lag Geese in the near vicinity revealed a single Barnacle Goose this morning.
I like Barnacle Geese - small and tidy looking!
A scan of the Mere didn't reveal any Little Gulls or interesting Grebes. A Common Tern seemed to be the only tern present. Tufted Ducks and a few Pochard accounted for most of the wildfowl at this end of the Mere.
Turning around, I found the long-staying 2cy Iceland Gull only yards from my car. It must have come in from the sea, as there were few gulls on the water and it joined a couple of Herring Gulls. Still an amazing sighting for mid-June!
With the air temperature warming up, I noticed Buzzards in the distance and a female Marsh Harrier flying over the trees to my right. Soon the first Hobby came into view, followed by a second one. The sky was clear and the Hobbies were not only a long way off, but flying very high too. Those are my excuses for some rubbish photos but hopefully they go some way to demonstrate the amazing skill these Hobbies have, in snatching prey from the air.
At one time, I had three in the air together and it was certainly a rewarding experience, watching them twist and turn in the sky over the Mere.
Awful shot but 'prey' in top left corner.
Going for another one!
Having spent the last two weeks tied up with bungalow alterations, I was desperate to get out this morning and enjoy some countryside. On the drive towards Tophill, the sunshine was slipping away and the Western sky was darkening quickly.
Making straight for South Marsh, I knew the recent Great White Egret hadn't been seen yesterday but, there was always a chance it could have returned. On the way I couldn't help notice the colourful array of wild flowers, including orchids which are flourishing either side of the pathway.
A Cetti's Warbler was singing, along with 2 Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler.
On the marsh, there was no sign of the Great Egret but this Little Egret was next to the hide!
Two Avocets were noted and three 1st summer Little Gulls were being pestered by the breeding Black-headed Gulls.
The rain had arrived earlier than expected but in the sky over D reservoir, hundreds of Common Swifts were present, accompanied by a smaller number of House Martins and few Sand Martins.
A Common Buzzard flew over, as did a Sparrowhawk and a Cuckoo called at the North end of the reservoir.
In D woods, Wrens had fledged, as had Long-tailed Tits and Great Tits. Blackcaps and a Song Thrush were singing, also another Cetti's Warbler here too.
With the rain really setting in, and forecast for the remainder of the day, I decided to head back to the car.
The above photo shows the remarkable opportunity that exists at this Reserve, to get close to our large sea birds.
Each year, I make a visit to Bempton to see the breeding seabirds, although I have to admit, the fact that a Black-browed Albatross passed through the day before did have a lot to do with it!
The Northern Gannet is magnificent and I've tried to capture some interesting images on my visit.
Constant courtship going on at the moment.
A careful arrival at the cliff face.
A nice fly past.
The Puffins are settling in for the season. I haven't seen one collecting material for its burrow before, so this was something new for me.
A 'tubenose' Fulmar passing along the cliffs.
A Razorbill showing the yellow tongue.
The sun was quite strong on this morning and quite a few birds were adopting a 'gaping' posture, with the bill slightly open. Also at Bempton were 2 Short-eared Owls and a Barn Owl, showing well in the fields behind the cliffs.
There were many visitors on the Reserve, clearly due to the recent Albatross sighting. I was told it had been seen that morning (19th) and photographed but didn't see any subsequent evidence. I was there at 7-00 am and did seven hours watching, it was alarming how many people were shouting 'albatross' at two-year old Gannets!!
Additionally, an albatross was reported on the German coast, the same afternoon.