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Staying Local

Well here were go again another lockdown with this one coming with tighter travel restrictions, so “stay local” if your using the car your going too far.

Bearing that in mind I had a local walk seeing lots of common species taking in the ponds area, very muddy underfoot wellies would have been a good idea, I wasn’t expecting any insect life at this time of year. The birds seen Common Buzzard was around, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Crow, Black headed Gulls, Common Gull, plenty of Woodpigeon, Blackbirds, House Sparrows, Robin, Starlings, the highlight today thou were a pair of Coal Tit….nice to see

Enjoy the nature and keep safe 😷

A Snowy Day

The weather was good and there was a local Great Northern Diver available at Pugneys Country Park. Took me about 25mins to arrive on site and it was already busy with walkers, runners, dog walkers, children and a few birders. Pugneys is a large open area with two lakes, the largest for recreational purposes with the smaller being the nature reserve, the diver was on the larger which was about 50% frozen. Keeping at a safe distance I hooked up with another birder to locate the diver which was surprisingly proving difficult to find.
Scanning through the various ducks, Mallard, Pochard, Wigeon, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Great Crested and Little Grebes the diver was still eluding us, Cormorant in the distance gave us a short rush. It eventually gave it self up to the right side of the lake and seeing the size difference, being much larger than the wildfowl makes you wonder how it wad overlooked.  A lifer for the other birder so a good start to the day, onwards then to Potteric Carr.

Wasn’t long at Potteric due to heavy snow so had to cancel after about 30mins so few species were seen, most of the water was frozen too, I was hoping for more woodland species from the visit so only managed to pick up on Goldfinch, Chaffinch, Redwing, Blue Tit, Blackbird, Great Tit, Moorhen, Robin and Sparrowhawk

Fairburn Ings

A trip out was long overdue but with the covid restrictions places were few as travel out of a tier 3 into a lower tier was a no no, so I decided on RSPB Fairburn Ings mainly for the starling murmaration which should kick off at about 3ish so I decided on exploring other parts of the reserve and I started down at the cut lane/village bay area.

On my walk down the lane I came across a few Goldfinch, Chaffinch and House Sparrows to get things moving. Lower down the lane I could see there was various thrush about Redwing, Blackbirds, and Fieldfares in the berry ladened bushes. The Robins were around here very friendly and came fairly close. Great Tit, Blue Tit and Long tailed Tits added to the day tally.Out on the main bay were plenty of Goosander, Mute Swan, Cormorants, a few Little Egret, Tufted Duck, Pochard, and a pair of Goldeneye, several Grey Herons were flying about, a king fisher was seen at the end of the lane flying across the river.

Out then onto the visitor centre area where I picked up on Dunnock, Tree Sparrow, Pheasant and Nuthatch around the feeders, this is where I got a tip off that the Kingfishers were showing at the screen, not hesitating I headed off quickly that way. Ten in looking and I found two birds, distant and amongst the trees. An hour later and patience paid off with the Kingfisher coming closer and perching up mid-stream really made my day (see video).

Well it was nearly dusk so I headed off for the final event off the day the Starling murmaration along the coal tip trail and I wasn’t to be disappointed. Only happening during the winter months when UK and Continental birds come together to form a safe communal roost, a sight to behold as they form various shapes in the sky before settling into the roost (see video)

Birds Day List :- Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Crow, Chaffinch, Coot, Cormorant, Dunnock, Fieldfare, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Goosander, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Kingfisher, Little Egret, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Nuthatch, Pheasant, Pochard, Redwing, Robin, Starling, Tufted Duck, Woodpigeon, Wren (32)

Video of the Day Press HERE

Broadstone Reservoir

Todays journey was out to the Broadstones area above Ingbirchworth for a look around the Heath area. The first 20 minutes were difficult with nothing around the heath but there were plenty of Black headed Gulls and Lapwings about, a single Herring Gull got my attention as it drifted overhead. Soon after a Kestrel came into view busy hunting over the heath, poor thing wasn’t having much luck in catching anything as it made numerous dives and was coming back up with nothing.

Slowly on towards the reservoir disturbing Blackbirds as I went giving off their alarm calls as they flew off, on getting closer to the reservoir I did notice a huge flock of lapwing as I approached it wasn’t all Lapwing as I looked thru the flock, numerous Golden Plover and Starlings were with them making their way into the fields away from the reservoir.

Out on the reservoir were numerous ducks mainly Wigeon, Mallard, Gadwall, Pochard, Cormorant and a single Swan which turned out to be a young Whooper, nice surprise. Moving back towards the heath Blackbirds and a Mistle Thrush were in a nearby tree, back on the heath I finally found the bird I was looking for today, there wasn’t one but a pair of Stonechat flitting about the gorse bushes and doing that typical position on top of the bushes, a nice ending to a couple of hours

Video of the walk can be seen HERE

List of Birds seen :- Blackbird, Cormorant, Gadwall, Golden Plover, Kestrel, Lapwing, Mallard, Mistle Thrush, Pochard, Starling, Stonechat ♂♀, Whooper Swan, Wigeon

Filey

We were away for a weekend in Filey, one of our favourite places and a found myself with a few hours to myself. I set off from the apartment and headed towards the Brigg, on the beach as I walked down were a lot of Black headed Gulls, Herring Gulls and the odd Common Gull. At the start of the Brigg a few waders were hunting amongst the seaweed, these were mainly Turnstones, Oystercatchers and Redshank.

Along the Brigg a few Rock Pipits joined me on my walk with a pair of Kestrels hunting the step slopes of the Brigg riding into the now windy conditions and occasionally dropping down into the grass. At the Brigg end a few Cormorants were hanging out, a few auk species on the sea and a handful of Gannets flying past.

The walk back consisted of going up the path on the side of the Brigg, along carr naze catching the coast path going past the rocket pole and down the long lane hedge,  finally down Arndale ravine with little reward.

Stopped off then in Filey for dinner after which I grapped the car and ended up at Filey Dams. My first stop was to the small hide to the right of the car park, but there was someone in, so keeping my distance I headed slowly back hoping to catch maybe a Common Darter in the late sun, it wasn’t too be, I did find however picked up on its distintive “tsu-weet” call and then finally seen. The pale yellowish eyebrow easily picked up along with the paler long wingbar the smaller wingbar a bit harder to pick up the sure signs of  the Yellow browed Warbler. A very active warbler about the size of a Goldcrest this one being in a party of Long tailed Tits a migratory species at this time of year with a few records yearly and always a nice find.

After that excitement I decided on going onto Bempton Cliffs in the vain hope of owls. The viewing platforms were the first port of call with me constantly scanning the fields only picking up Linnets and Goldfinch. On the cliffs could still be seen a few Gannets and Kittiwakes but very little else.  I then headed back towards the visitor centre when I suddenly stopped near the Mosey Downgate viewpoint as a bird had landed on the fencing, it was a Black Redstart another nice surprise for the day, I did try for a photo but I wasn’t quick enough it was soon away.
Back at the visitor centre a few people were hanging out around the back where views of a Short eared Owl had just being seen but had now flown over the hill, I gave it 45 mins but it didn’t reappear, neither did the Barn Owl.
The day was over not lots to see but two nice surprises for the day, and good to be out.

List for the Day :- Black Redstart, Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Crow, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Fieldfare, Gadwall, Gannet, Goldfinch, Great Black backed Gull, Grey Heron, Yellow browed warbler, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Kestrel, Kittiwake, Lesser Black backed Gull, Linnet, Long tailed Tit, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Redshank, Redwing, Robin, Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon, Rock Pipit, Shag, Shoveler, Starling, Stock Dove, Teal, Tree Sparrow, Turnstone, Wigeon, Woodpigen, Wren (41)

A Ponds Visit

Another sunny day and another visit down to my local ponds, on my way there I was getting a bit disheartened due to the lack of insects to be seen but that was soon to chance.


I firstly went down to a pond I don’t usually visit, scarred up a female Pheasant and young along with a Lapwing, when my heart had settled I managed to find a Couple of Common Darters on the pond, one was fairly settled on a reed and was using it to hunt from, also here were a couple of Green Woodpeckers “Yaffling” from the nearby trees after watching for 20 minutes I moved on.


I found myself by a couple of my favourite ponds where again there were a few more Common Darters about along with a couple of Emperor Dragonfly and Emerald Damselflies. On another nearby pond another I don’t usually visit had a Hawker species flying around never settling I never got to find out which one but was thinking Southern or Common.


Other highlights were Small Heath Butterfly, Silver Y Moth and a Field Grasshopper

The Days List :- Common Buzzard, Green Woodpecker, Lapwing, Stock Dove, Gatekeeper, Green veined White, Large White, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Small Heath, Small White, Speckled Wood, Blue tailed Damselfly, Brown Hawker, Common Darter, Emerald Damselfly, Emperor, Silver Y Moth

 

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Emerald Damselfly

 

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Field Grasshopper

Video of the Day can be viewed HERE

Photos of the Day can be seen HERE

 

 

North Cave Wetlands

A day out with the full day at one of Yorkshires top sites, look on my sites tab for the location.

Arrived at 10am with the day being scheduled hopefully to find Black tailed Skimmer and photograph one.

Set off down Dryham Lane to many Common Darters along the hedges with a few Blue tailed Damselfly, but the nicest surprise was finding a single Small Copper Butterfly, my first of the year.

I stopped off at the Crosslands hide where I saw the splendid sight of eight Little Egrets feeding in the channels.

I then made my way to around the Carp Lake where once again there were lots of Common Darters a few Ruddy Darter along with a single Southern Hawker, lots of Blue tailed Damselfly, Azure Damselfly and a few Common Blue Damselflies. After much searching and patience I finally found a Black tailed Skimmer, or did it find me as it flew past and settled nearby but then was soon off alas with out me capturing it on film, I never saw another all day.

Another first for the year encounter was a Brown Argus Butterfly which was in close proximity of a couple of Common Blue Butterflies so was a great opportunity to compare the two species

Other bird highlights for me today were Common Terns, Black tailed Godwit and Oystercatchers

Birds List :- Black headed Gull, Black tailed Godwit, Crow, Common Tern, Coot, Cormorant, Gadwall, Great Crested Grebe, Greylag Goose, Lapwing, Little Egret, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Tufted Duck, Woodpigeon

Butterflies :- Brown Argus, Common Blue, Gatekeeper, Green veined White, Meadow Brown, Peacock, Ringlet, Small Copper, Small White, Speckled Wood

Dragonflies :- Black tailed Skimmer, Blue tailed Damselfly, Brown Hawker, Common Blue Damselfly, Common Darter, Emperor, Ruddy Darter, Southern Hawker

Moth :- Shaded broad Bar

Sphaerophoria interrupta Hoverfly-08364_edited-1

Sphaerophoria scripta Hoverfly

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Ruddy Darter

Video of the day can be viewed HERE

More Photos can be seen HERE

Local Ponds

Now in week 31 of the year and week 19 of lockdown. Been a few week since I was out, mainly due to weather,  so it was sunny so I decided on another visit out to the ponds.


There was a few butterfly species about but nothing new , Ringlets and Meadow Browns are still around but looking rather tatty, Small Skippers, Small Tortiseshell, Small Heath, and Gatekeeper were seen.


Dragonfly were harder to find with only singles of Brown Hawker, Common Blue and Emerald Damselflies

Marmalade Hoverfly

Episyrphus balteatus Hoverfly

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

More Photos at my Flickr HERE  or Video of the event HERE

Lockdown 12

Week 29 now week 17 of the lockdown measures although restrictions are slowly lifting with pubs, cafes and Restaurants opening.

We ventured out to the coast to a favourite place if ours, Filey. Our first pretty off call was Filey Dams where we saw, Black headed Gulls, Canada Geese, Grey Heron, Little Grebe , and a handful of Dunlin.

We moved on to the country park and had a gentle stroll around, off the brigg we saw Gannet, Puffin, Razorbill, Fulmar, Kittwake, Guillemot and Shag.

We called in at Bempton Cliffs mainly for the spectacle of the seabird city and wasn’t disappointed we saw all the usual as we did in Filey, but these were much closer. Tree Sparrow and Linnet were added for the day.

Puffin Video  HERE

Local Ponds

Still in lockdown and week 28 of the year, I had some free time so ventured out to the local quarry where there is a system of ponds and hopefully bag a few Dragonflies.
Walking down a pick up a few butterflies namely Meadow Brown,  Peacock, Green veined White, Ringlet, Small Heath and a new one for the year Gatekeepers were now out.
Out at the ponds Emperor Dragonfly were still around along with Blue tailed Damselfly but new for the year were Brown Hawkers and Emerald Damselflies.
Moths seen were Narrow bordered five spot Burnet, Silver Y, Shaded broad Bar and a Straw Dot

Video of the Day  HERE

 

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Straw Dot Moth