How to cheat to get your birding yearlist up? Take a trip to the coast! It was another beautiful day yesterday, and we took advantage of it by having a trip to Flamborough Head and Filey.
The first thing that struck me at Flamborough was the sound of singing skylarks, and eventually I saw one displaying above the grass. If there’s ever a sound and sight I associate with Spring this is it. Other passerines to add to the yearlist were reed buntings, yellowhammers and a stonechat (poor views had me debating the chance of this being a black redstart, but this seems very unlikely on reflection). There were also many tree sparrows present.
The sea quickly notched up the rest of the more common gulls (herring gull, LBB gull, GBB gull and kittiwake), as well as shags, guillemots and gannets. Oystercatchers were feeding on the rocks.
Filey wasn’t too full of birds – the good weather had brought out so many dog walkers I wondered if I’d managed to stumble across some kind of dog-breeders convention… I did manage to get a small raft of eiders, and a few sanderling flitting around the shoreline. I was a bit annoyed to discover when I got home that a great norther diver was seen there later in the day, but you win a few and lose a few!