Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Thornwick Pool, Flamborough


Today, Symphony was due to be groomed in Flamborough and once dropped off gave me the opportunity to spend an hour at Thornwick Pools. Some good birds have been seen here lately, including Temminck's Stint, Greenshank and drake Garganey, but alas, all had departed. On the grassland between the car park and hide, a Skylark caught my eye.

At the hide, two Little Ringed Plovers scurried along the waters edge but seldom came together

Also, three Ringed Plovers were present

The male and female Shelduck seemed at peace with the world but got a little excited when a third bird arrived and that bird was soon seen off!

male Shelduck

fem Shelduck

True to form, the unexpected arrived on the pool in the form of two Avocets!

Also noted were Meadow Pipits, Willow Warblers, Reed warblers, Moorhens, Coots, Mallard, Goldfinches, Greenfinches, Linnets, Tree Sparrows, Swallows, Sand Martins, House Martins and on the fishing lake, Grey Lag Geese, Tufted Ducks.

Monday, 22 May 2017

RSPB Bempton Cliffs - 21st May 2017


My call to the cliffs was loud and clear but a message from the Flamborough Bird Observatory impacted on my journey when a Red Breasted Flycatcher was caught and ringed at Buckton! A rather worn female was on show, my first flycatcher species this year. No image though as I do not photograph birds in the hand. Onward to the cliffs and a fine, sunny mild day, plus of course the sight, sound and smells of a 250,000+ birds in the seabird city!

I-spy with my little eye something beginning with P! The answer was, of course Puffin, but what a challenge (again) to see these birds on the cliffs!

Many of the puffins are probably on egg in their tunnels in the chalk with their partners "chilling" on the sea before exchanging duties. Puffins could be seen in flight and in the rafts on the sea, but being in the right place at the right time did give some fair views!

Kittiwakes are one of the prettiest birds on the cliffs!

And this one with eggs

Gannets continue to dominate the seabird city and gather "gifts" for their beloved and ultimately building the gift into their nests

Immature and non-breeding adults form "clubs" on the cliffs. Arguments frequently occur!


And streeeeeetch!

Razorbill love!

The Yorkshire Belle below Bartlett Nab with a RSPB Puffin cruise

And finally, todays sightings:

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Thornwick Pool, Flamborough

Temminck's Stint

A local message this morning informed that a Temminck's Stint had flown into Thornwick Pool but I was still helping Heather to set up our market stall in Bridlington. Would it stay or would it go? I made my way to the pool and on entering the hide I was informed that it was probably on the top pool which is difficult to observe. Eventually, two Little Ringed Plovers flew in from the top pool and a small wader was seen on the far bank. Patience paid dividends as the Temminck's Stint flew to within feet of the hide! My first bird observed in Yorkshire and my first since 2010. Well chuffed!

Temminck's Stint

Another year tick was Reed Warbler, with several birds observed in the far reeds

And of course, one of the two Little Ringed Plovers

And finally, a cute young Coot - so ugly that they can only be cute!

An hour well spent!

Friday, 19 May 2017

Diving Gannets below Bempton Cliffs

What a fantastic morning with blue skies, sunshine and a flat calm sea so, what could be better than a "diving gannets" photographic boat trip below Bempton Cliffs?  Now, I am not good on the sea and my memories still travel back to my mid teenage years when I embarked on a fishing trip from Great Yarmouth and spent the whole time "chumming" the fish with my vomit! The last thing I wanted was a repeat performance, so it was with some nervousness that I booked my place with Steve Race, Yorkshire Coast Nature - LINK. I need not have worried and we had a perfect trip! The movement of the boat took some getting used to, as did my canon 100-400 zoom lens which had not been out for well over 12months. I did my best taking over 800 images, but with blurred and missed shots I ended up with a workable 130images! My reactions have slowed tremendously but I did manage some fantastic images of sea water splashes minus the Gannets!

"One flew over the Gannet Colony!"

Gulls and Gannets with the fantastic Bempton Cliffs backdrop!

Diving Gannets - well my best effort! I'm not very fast on the trigger!

Heads up!

Gannets being Gannets!

Competition! Gannet and juv Great Black Backed Gull