Monday, 11 December 2017

Frosty Alkborough Flats with a Fox

A very frosty, but still morning with sunny spells. Given the high tide and lack of wind I decided to go to Alkborough Flats. The flats were indeed very frosty, and the area in front of the hide also covered on ice. The only birds visible were Marsh Harriers, at some point four flew together. 
A couple of Stonechats hunted on the frosty plains.
Song Thrush with Snail.
Four Marsh Harriers.
 I decided to walk around the reserve and as I was leaving the hide I noticed a Fox ahead of me. It was mostly preoccupied with hunting and it didn't notice me. It stood tensely listening and did it's foxy jump a couple of times. These were the most prolonged views I've had of a Fox ever!
Typical fox jump.
About to jump.
On the wet grassy fields, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit and Redshank were resting or feeding while some Fieldfares and Greenfinches were on the hedges. A Mink ran across the path and didn't appear again.
Lapwings and Black-tailed Godwits.

Kestrel, with the Wolds in the background.
Barnacle Geese.
Whooper Swans.
Black-tailed Godwits.
One of two Little Stints on the frosty grass. One managed to catch a large earthworm.
The iced out wet grassland where the Little Stint were feeding.
The river Trent.
A flock of Shoveler and some Wigeon on the river.

Carrion Crow mobbing a Buzzard
The remains of a Song Thrush meal, broken snail shells.
 The snow and hail showers seemed to veer towards the Wolds and Alkborough stayed dry, and in the afternoon, the sun made an appearance.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Filey Brigg and bay with Hull Nats

The last Hull Nats trip of the year, we meet in the car park of the Filey Country Park. Very frosty along the way and a very cold breeze atop the cliffs. We go down the gully to the landing and it is much nicer, sheltered with the and the sun warming us nicely while we watch the amazing breakers at the Brigg, the tide high starting to ebb. Someone calls a Stonechat, and a male flies past, settling for a brief moment on some bushes, before moving on. We split into two groups, I join Harry (@polychloros) and Andrew for a walk along the beach to the Brigg. We wait at the top of the beach for the tide to ebb a bit more and we spend it watching three Purple Sandpipers, a Ringed Plover, Redshank Turnstones and Oystercatchers frantically feeding on the freshly exposed shore.
Breakers at the Brigg.
A Stonechat record shot.
Filey Bay and the Brigg.
Harry and Andrew walking towards the Brigg.
Redshank flying past.
Ringed Plover.
Purple Sandpiper and Turnstones.
A group of Cormorants dry their wings on the lee side of the Brigg, while the breakers explode against the rocks on the other. A Wren sits on a rock incongruously, while the waves roar behind it. 
Limpets and barnacles.
Young Cormorant.
A Carrion Crow eats a mussel it just dropped onto the rocks.
The Brigg.
Oystercatcher with mussel.
Ringed Y-818, will report.
After a short while at the Brigg we head back to join the rest of the group for a well deserved fish and chips. 
The Christmas tree at Filey.
Rock Pipit in town.

Surfer and Great Crested Grebe.
The very tame Purple Sandpiper that Harry spotted.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Kilnsea Wetlands and Welwick Saltmarsh

A very pleasant frosty, but sunny and still morning. Went with Robert Jaques to try and see the Lesser Yellowlegs at Kilnesa and Rosy Starling at Easington. After checking plenty of starlings at Easington we gave up on the Rose-coloured Starling.
  Our luck was more than compensated with the Lesser Yellowlegs. We saw it as soon as we arrived at the Kilnsea Wetlands car park, on the marsh area at the other side of the road. It was feeding with a flock of Black-tailed Godwits, Starlings and some Curlew. After some good, if a bit distant views, the birds got spooked, the culprit: a female Sparrowhawk being mobbed by a couple of Carrion Crows.
 We spent some time in the balmy hide at Kilnsea wetlands. Two Scaup were feeding with a Goldeneye. There were plenty of ducks and the flock of Black-tailed Godwits came to roost. A flock of Brent Geese came in to land at Beacon Ponds. Of note were a pair of Kestrels hunting around the wetlands, the male flew low over the water, looking like it was going to land on it.
Singing Starling.
Lesser Yellowlegs (lifer!)
Lesser Yellowlegs and curlew.
The Lesser Yellowlegs just seconds before flying off.
Pink-footed geese.
Pink-footed geese.
Black-tailed Godwit flock spooked by the female Sparrowhawk again!
Kilnsea Wetlands with Brent goose flock.
Brent Geese.
We popped into Welwich Saltmarsh for a while, my first visit to this Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve. Bird wise it was quiet, but I should come back to this site of expansive saltmarsh views by the Humber.
Notice at the entrance of Welwich Saltmarsh, a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust site. The following photos illustrate the expansive views around Welwich saltmarsh.