Well the aforementioned bird did stick till Friday but wasn’t seen in the afternoon by yours truly because it wasnt’ there when I was but reappeared at about 3 o’clock but I had left by 2 o’clock so ya you guessed I was there Saturday morning on Sands Lane, Mirfield at 7 o’clock looking again. At about 8 o’clock it was refound one Ring Billed Gull, a 4* bird for me, last 4* bird was Waxwing back in 1989 (4* being Life, British, Yorkshire and Patch List Bird). I watched for about an hour comparing it along side the Common Gulls in attendance seeing plainly the lighter grey mantle and distintive black ring mark on the bill broader neck when viewed from behind, clear head marking but the paler eye was harder to see. It has been aged as a Third winter bird. I did manage some video but I had forgotten my glasses the rain/snow had started by the time the camera came out View Here.
Later in the day I ended up at Blacktoft Sands for the raptor roost 3pm onwards ice free ponds we saw some wildfowl Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Shoveler, Shelduck, Moorhen and Coot. More gulls here has they passed thru Herring, Lesser Black Backed, Common and Black Headed, the raptors Marsh Harrier in good number we had up to eight birds all ‘creamed crowned’ [juv and ♀] one Barn Owl hunting mainly at the back of the reserve near the river and one Merlin ♂
Not only did I miss Saturday’s (20th) Great White Egret, plus the one back in 1989 by 5 minutes, now whilst stuck at work I get news of a Ring Billed Gull, and to make it worse its near home, hope it sticks till Friday dinner can’t believe it a lifer on my own doorstep
With over 500 days (20th September 2008 and Wilsons Phalarope) since the last lifer something had to be done weekends were busy the weather wasn’t settling so I took the day of work and headed to Newholm, Nr Whitby, to look for the Thrush. Arrived at 7:15am and parked up to be met nicely by a hunting Barn Owl in the adjoining field, great start, got set up and off to No5 to look in their back garden, never comfortable with this, anyway had to wait 20mins but in the mean time birds were coming into the feeders Willow Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, Bullfinch, Tree Sparrow, House Sparrow, Blackbird and then the BLACK THROATED THRUSH (Female ♀) . I did manage to get a couple of photos, not good I admit, by the time I had enjoyed the bird it was only offering its back and then went not to be seen again by me in the next 40mins by which time a cat had happily walked in the garden so it was time for me to be off
I know not much of a photo better ones done by a pro on his blog here, I headed to Scarborough next to see a gull I hadn’t seen for a number of years, actually since 2003, as soon as I drove into the car park there was three Mediterranean Gulls (see below photos) on the grass verge along with Black Headed Gulls
A few photos and I was off again this time to Filey and along the Brigg hopefully to find sea duck and waders. The weather had changed a lot from this mornings fog journey into Newholm now I was in sunshine going along the Brigg watching Turnstone, Redshank, Bar Tailed Godwit, Oystercatcher, Purple Sandpiper and Knot. Whilst on the Brigg flying past were Fulmars, Gannets, and Guillemots on the sea Common Scoter, Long Tailed Duck, Eider, Shag, Cormorants and Red Throated Divers.
Click to see Day List
This weeks outing was to be around the Horbury Wyke area, after parking in the Industrial area car park and togging up I set off and ended up turning the wrong way, but the birds were good, Great Tit. Long Tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Bullfinch ♀, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Blackbird, I carried on walking and ended up around the Calder Wetland site but on the opposite side, what I thought was a wrong turning turned out to be a good thing. Birds were enjoyed Buzzard overhead, Red Breated Merganser, Tufted Duck, Goosander, Goldeneye and Great Crested Grebe, so know I knew where it was I made my way back deciding to go the other way now knowing that was the way to Horbury SF I added Goldcrest and Mistle Thrush on my way back.
I was soon at the Sewage Farm and viewing over the filter beds Pied Wagtails were about in good numbers 25+ with 3-off Grey Wagtails and 3-off Meadow Pipits for company, managing to add Little Grebe and Mallard on the river with Greylag Goose (2) on the wyke itself
Not a bad afternoon adding 3 year birds and 2 year birds to the patch list. Saturday 13th added Tree Sparrow to the patch list thanks to walking to Farm Shop. Brit Year List 2010 now (84) and Patch List 2010 now (60)
Another Friday time to look for somemore Finch’s this time in the Club Area “The Patch” and up to High Hoyland nr Bretton for the first look. Geared up I made my way into the fields and it wasn’t long before I had some fly over Linnet, thanks to some calling as they were going over, but they made their way down to the over side of the field and too far to see if anything else was with them. Patience prevailed and it wasn’t long before I was in and amongst the flock birds all around me thanks to the hedge layout , I was soon feasting on Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings, Chaffinch, Linnet, Brambling c15, I did manage to get sight of one Lesser Redpoll before the whole flock took to flight thanks to the local Sparrowhawk, so change of plan and down to the feeders. Here I saw Great Tit, Blue Tit, Coal Tit, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch but not for hoped for Tree Sparrow.
I moved on then to Sands Lane nr Mirfield to find Goosander ♂♀, Mute Swan, Kingfisher, Black Headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Black Backed Gull, Mallard and Kestrel.