Previously "Diary of a Birding Medic"

Previously "Rugby Birder"

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Around Bempton - 30th December 2018



"Happy New Year!"

Sunday would normally be my day for volunteering on the cliffs but the visitor centre is closed until 1st January 2019. It was a nice morning with sunny intervals, a light westerly wind and really quite mild! I decided to harness up Symphony and have a walk around the Bempton area, including, of course, the cliffs. I decided that I would take images "willy nilly", of whatever took my fancy!

Arriving at the cliffs, I was amazed that there were no cars in the car park and that I had the reserve to myself! The light was rather atmospheric and begged an image or four!





Eventually other visitors started to arrive and although not in uniform, one of the first questions was "are there any Puffins about?". Polite education and a hasty move on allowed the visitors to enjoy the unashamed nakedness of the cliffs!

Dunnock


Blue Tit


Carrion Crow


"Red and Yellow"! Yellowhammer on VC roof


A pair of Stonechats commuted between the lower nature trail bushes and the grassland





Herring Gulls




Aside from the resident Feral Pigeons, Fulmars were probably the most numerous birds on and around the cliffs







Great Black Backed Gull


Jackdaw



Meet "Gerald" the tame Carrion Crow raised by local Bempton resident Mal.


Fight! Fight! Fight! Having arrived home, my attention was drawn to two Starlings having a right ding dong on my front lawn! (Images through window glass).







Thursday, 27 December 2018

A Christmas Sojourn in Warwickshire 23rd - 27th December 2018

Whooper Swans - Brandon Marsh

A family Christmas in Rugby opened a window of opportunity, enabling me to visit two of my old haunts, Brandon Marsh (24th December) and Draycote Water (26th December).

Brandon Marsh was shrouded in very atmospheric mist and if I had got my arse into gear earlier would have provided some great images! Sitting in the East Marsh Hide, I eventually twigged that my camera was there for a purpose and reeled off a few shots.




The mist also shrouded a Bittern that flew from Newlands, breaking through the mist at the last minute and dropping into the reeds to the right of East Marsh Hide, where it stayed, no doubt until I had left! No images but never the less a year tick, in fact a three year tick!

Also out of the mist came two Whooper Swans



Something also made the Lapwings nervous as they took to the air on many occasions in varying numbers


Photographic opportunities were limited due to the mist but also created some natural Christmas decorations!





It was perhaps a mistake to go to Draycote Water on Boxing Day! Massive numbers of people, families with kids trying out their new bikes, keep fit fanatics running and cycling, canoeists and yacht enthusiasts constantly moving the waterfowl all made birding rather challenging! Indeed, an organised fitness group reminded me of the scene in Zulu when the sound of hundreds of Zulu's came over the hill! I only saw one other birder!

Unfortunately, there were reduced water fowl numbers with just the expected common species.

Great Crested Grebe



Dabchick




Goldeneye




Mr & Mrs Gadwall



(Not so) Common Gull


Guardian of the Gate - Buzzard