Saturday, 31 August 2013

Slow seawatch

With the wind forecast to swing into the NW I headed to the hut this morning hoping for some seabird passage. As it turned out the wind was only WNW and over three hours of effort generated somewhat disappointing results, with very little moving. 

However, it was not without its highlights as the second skua of the morning was a smart juvenile Long-tail heading south at 0740hrs. Flamborough recorded a juvenile Long-tailed Skua at 0900hrs and with very few skuas on the move today, it seems likely to be the same bird. Other interest was provided by a single Sooty Shearwater heading north - I probably missed more that were heading past at greater range as larger numbers were seen passing Flamborough. Whilst other sightings included 2 Arctic Skuas, 1 Bonxie, 10 Manx Shearwaters and 2 Red-throated Divers.

Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Quiet on the patch

With friends staying over, I haven't been able to get out birding much during the past few days. However, with sightings of Greenish Warbler and Wryneck plus plenty of commoner drift migrants from other parts of the Scarborough Birders recording area in the past two days, I was hopeful of some left overs to be found today. Although the mist was swirling about first thing, it soon became sunny and warm with cloudless skies. It also became apparent that if there was anything about I was going to have to work hard for it. Counts of 16 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps and 9 Whitethroats were pleasing, but largely relating to local birds rather than drift migrants. Overhead evidence of visible migration was limited to a few Swallows and the odd flava Wagtail heading south. With persistence I dug out a Reed Warbler (infrequent here) and the cover crop held an excellent concentration of 11 Whinchats, probably the largest count I have recorded in the few years I have been covering the area. However, ultimately there was nothing to really get the pulse racing.

Reed Warbler

Juvenile Whitethroat, still being fed by its parent

Where's the scarce?

Promising weather conditions prompted me to spend a few hours on the patch during the morning of Saturday 24th August. Light easterly winds together with rain and low cloud ought to produce an arrival of migrants and so it proved.Working my way around the plantations it was clear that Willow Warbler numbers were lower than the previous day and Chiffchaffs seemed to have increased. Much more exciting though was a Wood Warbler which popped up at close range. Always a quality find on the coast, this is just the third individual I have seen in the area and the first this year.
Wood Warbler

The ringing site hosted a Pied Flycatcher and a juvenile Cuckoo, whilst the nearby stubble had attracted the first Wheatear of the autumn (at long last!).Returning to the car after a most enjoyable walk a Tree Pipit dropped into the nearby bushes. With friends staying over this weekend, that was all I had time for, but I couldn't help wondering where was that scarce migrant to provide the icing on the cake? It wasn't long before the answer to that came in the form of a text from Micky McNaghten informing me of a Barred Warbler at Crook Ness, an area I hadn't had time to cover.

First Post

After living in Kent for most of my life, I moved to Yorkshire in 2007 and by 2009 was regularly birding the Yorkshire coast north of Scarborough. Most of my recreational birding is concentrated on Long Nab, but I do range up and down the coast between Scalby Mills in the south and Roger Trod in the north. I regularly operate a ringing site on private farmland at Long Nab, with most ringing sessions undertaken between July and November, although I occasionally manage some ringing sessions in the spring. 

This blog is about my birding and bird ringing in this area.