St Aidans

End of year bash for Short eared Owls at St Aidans, arriving at 12:30pm I was a little early for the Owls so I did a small loop around the reserve.

The obvious birds about were the wildfowl scattered about Mallard, Tufted Duck, Coots, a couple of Great Crested Grebes, nice to find a single Stonchat popping up on the gorse bushes to break up looking out over the lakes.

Further around St Aidans in and amongst the smaller lakes Wigeon, Teal , Moorhen and Pochards, Black headed Gulls and Herring Gulls.

By the time I’d walked this far round it was getting close to the 3:30pm mark and time for Owls, I was down now near the hill and it was a Kestrel that caught my eye at first just sitting on one of the fence posts near the footpath when a group of Lapwings and Black headed Gulls took my eye, as they were harassing something a little bit larger, this just happened to be a single Short eared Owl making its way over the hill and flying straight towards me taking the flight path that had it flying overhead, just out of touch if I tried standing on my tip toes, then dropping down on to the nearby field, amazingly disappearing as it landed among the tussocks.

It wasn’t long after that we were all given a great display of three Owls hunting over the hill, many people about and many photos taken

Birds of the Day :- Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Canada Goose, Crow, Common Gull, Coot, Cormorant, Curlew, Gadwall, Goldeneye, Goldfinch, Goosander, Great Crested Grebe, Green Woodpecker, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Kestrel, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pochard, Short eared Owl, Shoveler, Stock Dove, Stonechat, Teal, Tufted Duck, Wigeon



Spurn Point

The last time I travelled down to the neck of the woods was back in Jan 2018 for a Rose coloured Starling  so coming over here was long overdue.

The attraction of Spurn is of course the migrants birds and our first stop off was at sammys where we found a couple of Wheatear, along with lots of Redwing, Goldfinch, Linnet the odd Blue Tit and Robin and a scattering of Goldcrests, also joining us in seeking out migrants was a Sparrowhawk looking for the odd tired migrant for its  breakfast meal , we also came across about eight Grey Partridge on our approach to sammys , a rare sight these days and a great pleasure to watch from the car

Moving on then to the obs garden where we found a couple of Chiffchaff along with a single Siberian Chiffchaff , noted for its pale buffy or greyish appearance no calls were heard.

Decision time the target bird hadn’t been reported this morning from its last known site, the point a good three mile walk away, we took our changes and set off. Birding on the way down picking up a few wader species on our way, Bar tailed Godwits, Knots lots and lots of these and always great to see them in a murmuration, Grey Plover, Ringed Plover, Redshank, Dunlin and Oystercatchers

On our walk down to the point the message came thru on the pager that our target bird had been seen at the point, the pace picked up a notch, half way down to the point we came across a few people coming the other way, we inquired of them about our target bird and the news was good, whilst talking with them we caught sight of a Brambling.

Finally arrived at the point of news that the bird hadn’t been seen for a while we waited, catching sight of Goldcrests and a Yellow browed Wabler (such a beautiful bird). Two hours later and having walked around various bushes we were back at the first sight when a bird with pale belly and darkish headed when came into a bush to the left but was so quick to get out of sight tha was all I saw, 5 minutes later there it was right in the middle of two bushes out in the open Red eyed Vireo my first yank, a really stand out head pattern with grey crown and white eye strip going thru the eye and bordered above and below the eye with darkish lines, white belly and olive-green above then it was off into the next bush, about four of us connected at the time, leaving more to re-find.

Back up at the Bluebell Cafe area were we eventually landed on the Black Redstart

Bird List :- Bar-tailed Godwit, Black Redstart, Blackbird, Blackcap, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Brambling, Brent Goose, Buzzard, Crow, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff, Collard Dove, Curlew, Dunlin, Goldcrest, Golden Plover, Goldfinch, Great Black backed Gull, Great Tit, Grey Partridge, Grey Plover, Grey wagtail, Herring Gull, House Sparrow, Kestrel, Knot, Linnet, Little Egret, Magpie, Mallard, Meadow Pipit, Mute Swan, Oystercatcher, Pheasant, Pied Wagtail, Red-eyed Vireo, Redshank, Redwing, Reed Bunting, Ringed Plover, Robin, Shelduck, Siskin, Song Thrush, Sparrowhawk, Starling, Stonchat, Tree Sparrow, Turnstone, Wheatear, Woodpigeon, Wren, Yellow-browed Warbler (54)



Filey for a day, first port of call was the Country Park and being greeted by Oystercatchers in the car park, on then to Long Lane, Rocket Pole Field, Carr Naze along the Brigg and back up Arndale and maybe a bit of time at Filey Dams.

Long Lane held Goldfinch, Reed Bunting, and Blackbirds, on at Care Naze were a flock of Linnets and a couple of Meadow Pipits, with a few gulls Herring, Great Black backed and Black headed at sea.

Down on the brig itself were Oystercatchers, and Turnstones with very little else but did manage a Rock Pipit along the side of the Brig.

Going around Arndale  were Goldcrest, Chiffchaff and Robin quiet on the whole around the Brig, so off to Filey Dams and the sun at last was playing out

Tree Sparrows around the feeders and always a good place to catch up with these birds in the Filey area. A walk around the broadwalk and I soon found my quarry a single Common Darter taking in the sun resting on top of the handrails and giving rise to a great photo opportunity of one of the friendly dragonflies.

From the hide plenty of Canada Geese, a few Greylags, lots of Gulls inc. Black headed, Herring and Common of different ages, over species inc. a couple of Grey Herons, Shoveler, Teal, Mallard

Birds List :- Barn Owl, Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Crow, Chiffchaff, Common Gull, Cormorant, Goldcrest, Great Black backed Gull, Great Tit, Grey Heron, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Kittiwake, Lesser Black backed Gull, Linnet, Magpie, Mallard, Moorhen, Oystercatcher, Pied wagtail, Reed Bunting, Robin, Rock Dove/Feral Pigeon, Rock Pipit, Shoveler, Starling, Teal, Tree Sparrow, Turnstone, Woodpigeon

Common Darter

Common Darter Dragonfly

Black headed Gull

Black headed Gull

Old Moor

Well after a bit of a dry spell over the summer I decided on blowing off the binoculars and getting back out with Old Moor being a good starting point. The day was dry with a bit of wind, the sun came out, when it did a couple of Small White butterflies gave a brief appearance. Wath Ings hide was shut off due to maintenance work  so I decided starting off at the visitor centre feeding station, birds here were Blue Tit, Great Tit, Long tailed Tit, Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, and Robin also a mouse which proved elusive mainly running around in the undergrowth only giving brief appearances as it made its way across from one patch to another and obviously too fast for the camera.

Tree Sparrow farm next with a short stop in the garden for a Small White Butterfly, couldn’t resist, the Tree Sparrow farm then after the short interlude which only gave what I’d seen at the feeders so decided on a trip around the pools in the hope of a few Common Darters, search I did but find I didn’t.

The next stop was the Family Hide and the Mere where there was a lot of wildfowl about, Gadwall, Mallard, Teal, Wigeon, Coot, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Greylag, Goose, Cormorants, even managed to pick out a Little Grebe. Gulls about were Common Gull, Black headed Gulls, Lesser black Backed Gulls and Herring Gulls, and a very distant Little Egret

A walk down Green lane then to round things off where its not just about the birds…… here i found Green and Spiked Shieldbugs, lots of Garden Spiders, ladybirds and a what I think was a Long Winged Cone-head

The Days Bird List :-

Blackbird, Black headed Gull, Blue Tit, Bullfinch, Canada Goose, Chaffinch, Common Gull, Cormorant, Dunlin, Dunnock, Gadwall, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Greenfinch, Greylag Goose, Herring Gull, Jackdaw, Lapwing, Lesser Black backed Gull, Little egret, Little Grebe, Long tailed Tit, Mallard, Moorhen, Mute Swan, Pheasant, Robin, Teal, Wigeon, Woodpigeon (30)

Common Gull

Common Gull

Garden Spider

Garden Spider

Brockadale NR

With about five hours to spare and with the sun a blazing what better way to spend it then at Brockadale NR a well known place for Marbled White Butterflies.

I wasn’t disappointed on arrival as there were a couple of Marbled Whites in the car park, out on the reserve there were lots mainly on the first slope down to the metal gate, it was a slow process getting thru the first gate as I filled my boots with Marbled White Photos. Thru the gate and to the right I wondered up the path coming up with a single Small Heath, and a Dark Green Fritillary which didn’t stop at all, lots of Meadow Browns as well and for the life in me I couldn’t find a Ringlet.

I walked thru this field towards the next gate and went right following the river and saw a female Banded Demoseille Damselfly and that didn’t stop for a photo either. So following the river I came across a wet patch with Meadow Browns and a Red Admiral mud puddling. After a few Photos here I walked up the banking to find another banded Demoseille, this one did hang around for a photo but among the grasses, so turned out to be more grass than Demoiselle.

Up on the banking were Brown Argus, Dark Green Fritillary (Fly Thru), Painted Lady, Brimstone (Fly Thru), Small Skipper, and Meadow Brown.

Only other Butterfly Species for the day on the way to the car was a Common Blue ♂

Butterflies for the Day :-  Brimstone, Brown Argus, Common Blue, Dark Green Fritillary, Marbled White, Meadow Brown, Painted Lady, Red Admiral, Small Heath, Small Skipper

Birds noted :- Chiffchaff, Skylark, Swallow, Whitethroat, Yellowhammer

Marbled Whites

Marbled White

Painted Lady

Painted Lady

Bullcliffe NR

Off plan this visit but since it was a sunny evening I couldn’t resist the temptation of a bit of photography.

I was immediately greeted by a Common Blue Butterfly, perched up, but in windy conditions it proved a bit difficult in getting a good pic.

Common Blue 

Common Blue Butterfly

After this beauty it become overcast but broke after about 30 mins but even this proved to be difficult in finding more butterflies, the good numbers of Dingy Skipper last week proved difficult in finding this week due to the conditions, a handful did eventually show.  A single Brown Argus, a single Green veined White and what I was hoping for this week a single Small Heath, which gave me the run around before I eventually pinned it down, but not in a postion for a photo

Bullcliffe NR

Sun is shinning so I decided on a quick visit out to the Bullcliffe site to see what was on the wing. Plenty of birds calling on my arrival Garden Warblers, Whitethroats and Willow Warblers being of note but I’d come for butterflies and a was soon on to a small blue type, thinking Holly Blue but i never got round to pinning that one down. Soon picked up another small butterfly on the daisy flowers this one proved to be a Brown Argus, a first for site for me a good start, other butterflies were Orange-tip, a Speckled Wood and a good number of Dingy Skippers. Other insects of note was a Gorse Shieldbug

Dingy Skipper 
Dingy Skipper

Brown Argus

Brown Argus