The last two weekends (including a lifer!)

 Redwing

Sorry, I haven’t updated for a while, but here’s a few details of the last couple of weekends.

Last Saturday I had a uni fieldtrip to Ringinglow looking for fungi (I’ll do a mycological post soon, honest!), and there were definite signs that autumn had well and truly arrived, in the form of two skeins of pink-footed geese, hundreds of redwings and a smattering of fieldfare around.

Yesterday I had a walk from High Bradfield to More Hall, via Broomhead Res, hoping to pick up some crossbills along the way, with sadly no luck. To be honest the fog was so bad to start off with that there could have been anything out there! There were small numbers of redwing and fieldfare along the way, and a mewing buzzard somewhere in the fog. At More Hall there was a cormorant and a great crested grebe on the water, but that was about it. Good walk though.

Today was a bit more successful with a quick and dirty twitch to Carr Vale NR to see the cattle egret which arrived this morning. I didn’t have much time to find it, but luckily it was showing distantly but well from the observation mound, a first for me and a cracking bird.

(I’ve been really bad and getting photos this last few weeks, so I’ve cheated and used a photo from last year to illustrate this entry!)

Return to Spurn

Today I managed to have another crack at Spurn, after persuading my dad he needed to experience Spurn in autumn! The day started well with my first fieldfare of the winter, and a brambling in the churchyard. A quick peek in the Crown & Anchor car park led to us following the gaze of the assembled birders there and getting a brief glimpse of a yellow-browed warbler in the treetops.

Continuing round the triangle we found redwings and more fieldfare, all the usual waders (knot, turnstone, redshank, both godwits, curlew, grey plover, golden plover, ringed plover, little egret etc.)  and some brent geese. Sadly there was no sign of the firecrests that have been sighted in recent days.

Walking back past the churchyard for a well-deserved pub lunch, we had a quick peak in the trees, and I glimpsed what I presumed was another yellow-browed. Some other birders had assembled in the churchyard and I heard them speculating it may have been a Pallas’s warbler… I trotted round to where they were looking, and got great views of a stunning little bird, with a very distinct crown-stripe that easily gave away its true identity!

We drove to the point and had a bit of a wander round the area of the Heligoland trap, hoping to see the black redstart that had been there recently, but to no avail (apparently there was a barred warbler around too, but we didn’t see it…). I caught a glimpse of a bird of prey that I suspected was a merlin, and on the way out we fortunately caught up with it perched on a telepgraph wire – a beautiful female bird, that finally put to bed a bit of a “bogey bird”…

A great day all round – a shame the firecrests weren’t on show, but there was more than enough to make up for it!

(No photos today, because I forgot my camera. D’oh!)

Full list…

Continue reading Return to Spurn

Buzzards

I had a great “from the house” tick yesterday with two buzzards low over Loxley Road, clearly visible from the living room window. I have seen distant buzzards overhead before in the Valley, but these were the best views I’ve had on patch, and the first from the house. Good stuff!

Last week I started my part-time uni course again, with a module in mushrooms and toadstools. So expect lots of mycologically-themed posts in the coming weeks…