Monday, 30 September 2013


We decided to be on the harbour wall for 07.30 so we could get a good seat on the boat but looking out to sea it was rather choppy and there were a few doubts between the present birders regarding the chances of us going out.  This was soon a reality when the captain turned up and told us it was too rough to sail.  A bit of a disappointment but at least we had a day to chase more birds.  Problem was it was quiet, not a lot was being found or at least reported.  Before we left we had cracking views of a blown in Common Scoter and took photos of the cracking Turnstones around the harbour. After a decent breakfast we plotted our day and the first stop was Filey Brigg for Purple Sandpiper.  A great place but we failed with the Sandpiper but did get another close Scoter, a Wheatear and what was obviously a poorly/tired Gannet which was asleep on the rocks by the path.   Hopefully he/she is now on there way south with the others. A couple of birders mentioned the Red-breasted Flycatcher at Robin Hoods Bay and were we could find it.  This was a lifer for Tony and with not a lot else being reported we went for it.  Without going into too much detail the chaps said a mile walk to the trees and look up.  After a mile and a half we couldn't even find four sycamores let alone a red-breasted Flycatcher.  a few corners later and we found four trees, twenty minutes later I found the flycatcher, five minutes later Tony had it to.  We both fired off a load of photos and watched it for ages before we decided to get back to the car.  This had taken us deep into the afternoon but it was worth it.  Time was getting on so we opted for Whitby for two reasons, one was the ever present Eiders in the harbour and the other was fish and chips, we couldn't come up here without eating fish and chips.  Unfortunately the ever present Eiders were not present but the chip shop was.  Tea was eaten, we were both pretty knackered so we headed home.
A cracking weekend was had, we didn't do brilliant with the birds and we missed places such as Flamborough Head and Bempton Cliffs, you cannot bird on the east coast without going to these places but we were chasing birds not looking for them, selfish yes but hey, I do enough at home to be able to chase every now and again.
Once I get the photos sorted I will get some on here.  


This weekend me and a birding colleague were heading up to the east coast, the main reason is because we had a couple of seats booked on the skua/shearwater cruise out of Bridlington.  Another bonus was that I was meant to have been working on Saturday however this was cancelled, all that matters was when could my mate get a pass out for the weekend from his newly married missus, Friday night I got the answer, 07.00 Saturday morning, get in there.
A couple of hours driving and we were at our first stop, Blacktoft Sands RSPB.  This weekend was for chasing birds rather than staying in one place and the first destination was for one bird, a Pectoral Sandpiper.  Two hides into the visit and it was ticked off.  There was also Bearded Tits pinging away, Ruff, Dunlin, Greenshank, Spotted Redshank and a nice bonus in a flock (not sure of the technical term) of Pink-footed Geese flew low over as we were leaving.
Next stop, Spurn.  Midweek had seen a mass arrival of yellow-browed warblers along the east coast with many still seen Friday, we had to get one today.  Also the odd Red-breasted Flycatcher was being found, a real nice bonus and a life for my mate, but we had to find one first.  Approaching Kilnsea and the pager came alive, Yellow-browed Warbler at Easington, less than half a mile in the other direction.  Off we went.  A quick search and the briefest of views of Yellow-browed Warbler were had, not brilliant but I was enough, now Spurn. 
Arriving at Spurn we decided to head for the Warren near the tip of the point to look for any grounded migrants and as we paid to get along the point there was a bit of commotion by a bush.  We joined the birders and one had picked out another Yellow-browed Warbler.  We gave it 30 minutes but there was no sign, only of Richard from ad Paul from who were also enjoying the delights of the east coast, so we headed off to the point.  This was a pretty pathetic visit with a grand total of 11 Redwings, 1 Sparrowhawk and a couple of Great Tits seen.  Working our way up the point we stopped off at a hide but not a lot was gathered. Last visit at Spurn would be the canal scrape where we managed to nail the Little Stint and struggled to photograph it because of the photo-bombing sheep.
With the day getting on and the need to book in to the B&B we headed north and decided to take a look at Hornsea, this was after we managed to find it.  We turned down several roads which all seemed to lead to the same place until we found the right one.  A nice big mere but we didn't have much time as we were kicked out after about 40 minutes but there was four very showy Dunlin which were kind enough to have several hundred photos taken.
With time getting on we headed for Bridlington and the B&B.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Up to and including 27-9-13

Well September was planned to be a busy month and it didn't half go to plan, I don't think I have had a day at home this month, its been manic, maybe a bit too manic as I am finishing September in not the best of health however do not panic, I will survive.
I recently treated myself to a tablet and I opted for the Samsung 2.  It ain't bad really however I am struggling to get access to Alrewas Birder so I have not been able to update the blog, until now.
After Spurn it was back to local patch work with the odd bonus.

13-9-13, Whitemoor Haye.
7 Mute Swan, 8 Cormorant, 15 Mallard, 125 Coot, 148 Tufted Duck (300 flew over later on), 2 Pochard, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Black-necked Grebe (bonus year tick), 70+ Lapwing over and 6 Grey Partridge.

Alrewas GP.
149 Lapwing over, 38 Tufted Duck, 2 Kingfisher, 4 Mallard, 8 Coot, 1 Little Grebe and a Chiffchaff.
National Arboretum.
Several Mistle Thrush and Long-tailed Tits.
Croxall Wides (viewed from the arboretum).
23 Mallard and 14 Teal.
Junction Pit.
12 Mallard.
Whitemoor Haye.
57 Coot, 63 Tufted Duck, 12 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Mallard, 3 Greenshank, 12 Teal, 250+ Lapwing, 1 showy Hobby.

Alrewas GP.
circa 60 Tufted Duck, 1 Kingfisher, 20+ Great Crested Grebe, 15 Mallard and 1 Common Sand.
National Arboretum.
A few Mistle Thrush, Bullfinch and Grey wagtail.
Junction Pit.
2 Mallard (that really was all, rubbish really).
Croxall Wides.
1 Kingfisher, 5 Mute Swan, Meadow Pipit over, 1 Grey Wagtail.
Whitemoor Haye.
Due to lots of kids on the pool I didn't bother checking although a quick glimpse saw good numbers of Coot, 2 Little Grebe,  and 3 Greenshank plus the odd Tufted Duck.  Around the lanes I added several Tree Sparrow, Meadow Pipit, 5 Mute Swan and a Chiffchaff in a Long-tailed Tit flock.

26-9-13, Whitemoor Haye.
 5 Great Crested Grebe, 176 Coot, 27 Mallard, 45 Teal, 40+ Tufted Duck, 2 Black-necked Grebe, 2 Gadwall, 12 Lapwing, 1 Snipe, 8 Wigeon and 2 Little Grebe.

27-9-13, Whitemoor Haye.
119+ Coot, 16 Mallard, 24 Wigeon, 3 Pochard, 54 Tufted Duck, 2 Gadwall, 31 Teal, 7 Great Crested Grebe, 4 Snipe, 3 Shoveler, 1 female Pintail, 230+ Lapwing, several Tree Sparrow and 2 Grey Partridge.

That's the blog up to date, tomorrow it is an early start to get up to the east coast.  We are currently in the midst of a movement of Yellow-browed Warblers plus several Red-breasted Flycatchers and hopefully tomorrow we can connect with them plus the hope of the odd lifer.  Spurn is the starting point then we will follow the pager and then on Sunday I have tickets for the Skua and Shearwater cruise out of Bridlington. Cheerio for now.

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

7-9-13, Spurn Migration Festival

Well it was here, a full days birding at Spurn all for the 1st migration festival ever held. I was booked on the sea watching in the morning and noted from the sea watching hide Manx Shearwaters, Bonxies, several Sooty Shearwaters, 5 Common Scoter, loads of Gannets, 1 Marsh Harrier heading south, Fulmar, 2 Red-throated Divers, Sandwich Terns and a Whimbrel plus 2 Whinchat that were perched on the fence behind the sea watching hide. From there it was back to camp for a bit of brecky. Now, without going into to much detail, I had a nightmare the night before with the inflatable bed so I had to shoot off and sort something out. Once back news soon broke of the Common Rosefinch that ha been trapped near the pub. I shot round the corner and was soon on a female/juvenile Common Rosefinch (lifer 325).  After that I had. Walk around the site when news came out about a Red-backed Shrike nearby. I was soon on site and the bird was perched on a fence before flying over to a barbed wire fence then it flew to the ground, picked up a bumble bee, flew back to the bared wire fence and put the bee on one of the barbs. Brilliant, watching the shrike take advantage of man using the fence as his larder.  After that high I decided to take advantage of the lighthouse being open at the tip of the spit and climb up to the top of the lighthouse and looked out over the spit. Totally amazing experience but I did not like going back down!!!!!
Th rest of the day was taken up with dipping on a Wryneck and a guided walk around Sammy's Point.  Birds added throughout the day were Garden Warbler, Yellow Wagtail, Black and Bar-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Greenshank, several Wheatear, Med Gull and Spotted Redshank. Oh and about 500+ Redshank roosting on a pool at high tide. Cracking.
Free camping and access all around Spurn plus guides on hand and some good birds, not a bad way to spend a day.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013


Having looked around the blogs I regularly scan I saw advertised on Birding Frontiers a migration festival at Spurn.  Hmmmm, I thought, Spurn at the beginning of Autumn could be fun. I had only previously been there once before, a few years ago and I was rewarded with a Greenish Warbler in the pub car park. This looked like an ideal opportunity to have a weekend at Spurn purely birding. Great,  checked the calendar and bugger, work Saturday, golf match Sunday. I managed to get Saturday off and the ticket and camping was booked and finally on was on my way up in torrential rain however this was not going to be a straight forward trip to the east coast via A38, M1, M18 etc. I headed long the A50 to Long Eaton and then up to Attenborough as a White-winged Black Tern was present and would be a nice addition to the year list. After pulling up and parking the bird was showing on the lake next to the visitor centre but was showing better around by the sailing club. An hour later and I'd had good views of the bird plus some distant photos.
Back n the road and three hours later I was at Spurn, tent up, booked into sea watching and a migration walk and then I had a couple of hours spare so I went up to the sea watching hide. Several Manx Shearwaters, Bonxies, Gannets and Fulmars were all that showed.

Thursday, 5 September 2013


Well silly season is up on, silly and not Scilly as I am sure some posts will be saying soon, I ain't good or brave enough for the Scilly isles yet, maybe one day!!
Any way, silly season, why I hear you ask? Tomorrow I am heading off to Spurn point for the inaugural migration festival however it is looking like a couple of weekends too late but whatever it will be a bit of fun.  I am there until early Sunday morning then I head to Leeds for two days of golf. Back home Monday night, Tuesday is a day off but full of work and little fun then rest of the week busy at work.
Saturday I should have a fishing match but I am going to a ploughing match (anybody awake yet). Hopefully I might be able to get to Whitemoor Haye in the afternoon then early Sunday morning it is back up to Hull for a golf holiday until Wednesday night. Thursday I am thinking of blasting over to Norfolk for a couple of days, back home Friday night then Saturday I am representing CRT in the neural WICAC ( waterways industry course angling championship). Sunday I will be chilling but will get down to Whitemoor Haye. A week at work then off up north again, this time Bridlington for a skua cruise. That's September in a nut shell. So if anyone can keep an eye on WH that would be old, you may have better luck than me.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013


With work yesterday I was unaware of the presence of a North American wader not too far away from home.  A Stilt Sandpiper had located itself at neumanns Flash near Northwich but I didn't look at my pager till I was at Whitemoor Haye.  Collins you plonker. No beer Saturday night and by 06.30 I was on the way to Cheshire.  I was on site around 08.00 but although I had been here before for something I didn't know where the flash was so guess who started off walking the wrong way.  Yep, me.  Now I am having a few problems with my phone, it turns on only when it wants too.  Fortunately I got it working, checked a map and soon saw the error of my ways, turned round and I was soon watching the flash from a path and before long I found a small wader on the edge of a small spit with loads of gulls, a Stilt Sandpiper, a lifer for me.  It was a kind of plump looking bird but constantly remained feeding in the water and did not show its long looking legs or fly.  There was also a couple of Ruff around too and not much else.
From Neumanns Flash I decided to head back around home and popped into Blithers for a chance of a Little Stint.  I mainly walked along Admaston reach to Blithe bay and noted loads of LRP's, at least 6 Ringed Plovers, 7+ Dunlin, lots of Yellow Wags, 3 Greenshank, 1 Ruff, a smart Whinchat, and a single Osprey.
Last stop for the day was Whitemoor Haye and not a lot was still present.  2 Little Egrets, a Greenshank, and a few Tree Sparrows.  Golly!!!!

On a positive front my laptop is now operational so hopefully I can start brightening up this blog with photos.

31-8-13, Whitemoor Haye.

Well it doesn't really get any better but I still find myself standing in the quarry entrance with the crappy warning from the security cameras telling me I have been identified as an intruder and scanning the shores hoping for waders and still very little is happening and, most probably, not going to happen.  This week has been affected with a lot of disturbance around the lake as I have been down there several times and people have been wondering around the shorelines during the evenings.  Croxall is pretty poor currently however it could be better place or a bird to take refuge than Whitemoor Haye.
Birds noted were 13 Mallard, several Yellow Wagtail, 2 Greenshanks (the only bright light), a juvenile Great Crested Grebe, a female Sparrowhawk, a couple og Grey Partridge calling and several Tree Sparrows and Common Whitethroats.