Tuesday, 30 October 2012

The Waxwings are coming!

The Waxwings are coming, aren't they? - Ian Smith
 Things have predictably quietened a bit in the last couple of days, however, Waxwings are starting to pop-up inland now as well as on the coast. Could this be another Waxwing winter? Time will tell. Otherwise pretty much status-quo, the exception being a Shorelark that flew south at Spurn.

One of two Olive-backed Pipits at Sammy's Point, Easington on Saturday - Ian Smith

The Bluethroat at Easington Lagoons late last week - Ian Smith

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Bright bits of a dull weekend

As expected the coast produced a decent passage of Little Auks including this one at Filey Brigg
- Dave Mansell
The strong northerlies Saturday produced the expected movement of Little Auks along the coast as well as a selection of other seabirds, Long-tailed and Pom' Skuas, Grey Phalarope and a Black Guillemot at Filey, which is always a good Yorkshire bird. Bush-bashing was difficult however, although the birds were out there as proven by a surprise Short-toed Lark at Spurn, and couple of Olive-backed Pipits and a Little Bunting at Easington. Good numbers of thrushes, particularly Blackbirds were grounded and many flocks of Starlings came in off the sea sometimes with the odd Little Auk thrown in. Woodcocks, Black Redstarts and Ring Ouzels were also a-plenty and a sprinkle of Waxwings brightened up the dull weather.

The Black Guillemot that's currently lingering at Filey - Dave Mansell

Friday, 26 October 2012

Still a few bits and pieces today including Great Grey Shrikes at Easington and Old Moor + a sprinkle of Waxwings. Seabirds included a scatter of Little Auks along the coast (first of many?), a Leach's Petrel at Spurn and a juv Sabs' past Long Nab Scarborough. Most interesting record concerns that of a White-billed Diver photographed flying over Flamborough yesterday. A Yorkshire lingerer would certainly be welcomed, particularly by the 'new kids on the block'.

Thursday, 25 October 2012

Jack Snipe at Spurn - Ron Marshall
Predictably a few birds again before the onslaught of colder weather reaches us. Dusky Warblers at Flamborough and Long Nab, Scarborough. Olive-backed Pipit at Spurn by Borrow Pits this aft. Bluethroat still at Easington Lagoons. Pallas's Warbler Filey. Richard's Pipit Brotton, Four Cranes still at Goole Fields. American Wigeon, drake Anglers CP. still.

Jack Snipe at Spurn - Ron Marshall

Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Inland rules ok - Where else would you expect a Pallas's Warbler?

Highlight of the day was a Pallas's Warbler at Hatfield Moors. The bird showed to a handful of observers late afternoon at Boston Park. The Little Bunting remains at South Gare, albeit illusive(do hope they are looking very carefully at this bird following events on Shetland?) and likewise the Bluethroat at Easington Lagoons. Four Cranes again visited Goole Fields.As for the predicted OBP - well that (or they?) were at Flambrough on Monday and Tuesday. We didn't know - honest!

Hawfinch trapped at Spurn yesterday - Rich Willison

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

News so far today: Bluethroat, Easington Lagoons, Richard's Pipit, Kilnsea (early am), Little Bunting, South Gare.
No Radde's, Dusky or OBP yet............................

Monday, 22 October 2012

Spurn sets the Ring-tone!

Short-eared Owl at Spurn, Ron Marshall
Mist and light north-easterlies along the coast saw the long awaited great arrival today. Spurn's numbers were always likely to stand out, among which were 57 Ring Ouzels, 21,000 + Redwings, nearly 10,000 Fieldfares, 800 Goldcrests, a record 2,675 Brambling and 20 Black Redstarts. Also seen there today were Richard's Pipit, Yellow-browed Warbler, Hawfinch, Lap' Bunting and a Storm Petrel. Most other sites had lesser numbers of the commoner species listed above but surrounding east coast County's had the likes of Olive-backed Pipit, Red-flanked Bluetail and Dusky Warbler. It doesn't take a genius to make this prediction but - surely tomorrow?

Sunday, 21 October 2012

A quiet weekend overall with the most  noteworthy birds being the Pallas's Warbler at Flamborough and the American Wigeon at Anglers CP. Hardly big fodder for late October. New arrivals included a couple of Rough-legged Buzzards, one at Langsett and the other at Sleddale which is probably Yorkshire's most reliable spot for this species. Most intruiging report was that of an adult Franklin's Gull flying north past Saltburn yesterday. Now that would be nice.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Pallas's Warbler - Rich Willison
The Pallas's Warbler continues to grace the headland at Flamborough and a Wryneck was discovered nearby in 'Booted Gulley' at South Landing. Lapland Buntings are increasing with birds logged over Spurn, Long Nab Scarborough and Sunk Island today.

The Pallas's Warbler at Flamborough - Rich Willison

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

Not too much change today with the Tawny Pipit still lurking between Easington Lagoons and Beacon Ponds (+ Bearded Tit at Spurn) and  Spoonbill/s at Fairburn/Swillington Ings and Blacktoft Sands RSPB.

The Tawny Pipit is still present today - Rich Willison
 And so is this bonny Bearded Tit along the Canal at Spurn- Rich Willison

Monday, 15 October 2012

Strange happenings

A strange sort of weekend in the County really neither good or bad. Best bird had to be the Tawny Pipit found at Easington Lagoons on Saturday. Tawny Pipit is a scarce bird in Yorkshire, so was it really coincidence that it was  in the very same spot as one there last year? It also played very hard to get most of the time, just like last year's bird did and last but not least it was found by the self same person. Remarkable! So could it be last year's bird? Well, the jury's still out on its age but the 2011 bird was trapped and ringed and this one isn't. At least we don't think it is. So that would presumably make it a different bird unless of course the scrap metal thieves have been at it again...................  

The Tawny Pipit at Easington Lagoons in one of those rare moments when it didn't  play hard to get.
Photograph - Mick Turton
Today's main birds are: Pallas's Warbler at Flamborough, a juv Black Guillemot off Filey Brigg late afternoon and the Tawny Pipit still at Easington. And fridays big talking point was that of a Lanceolated Warbler at Long Nab, Scarborough apparently seen by just one lucky observer. Oh well!

Thursday, 11 October 2012

Place you're bets!

He's back! 
It seems the wind only has to fart from the east and birds appear along the coast. That's exactly what happened today as Flamborough and Spurn soon received RB Fly's with the latter site also attracting Yellow-browed Warbler and best of all a Radde's which was trapped at The Warren although it went to ground pretty quickly after release. Earlier this week four Common Cranes were at Goole Fields where a Honey Buzzard was seen passing over. A drake American Wigeon that appeared at Anglers Country Park is presumably last winters bird. A Cory's Shearwater seen passing south at Skinningrove Tuesday may well have been the bird seen at Flamborough next day. A Dotterel made a brief visit to the Top Fields at Filey. Interesting conditions over the next few days might hopefully do the business and the weekend invasion of birders at Spurn will surely produce something. Filey has been in decent form recently considering how little there's been on the coast in general this autumn, but of course the last few year's have seen the big prizes fall to the Great White Cape. Watch this space!

The drake American Wigeon at Anglers CP. today - Ron Marshall
(and header picture)

Tuesday, 9 October 2012


Tick as a parrot?
Following the recent article in Yorkshire Birding (Volume 20, pages 26 - 33) by David Hursthouse and Martin Blick covering Ring-necked Parakeets in Yorkshire, including their status and ‘tickability’, and an appeal for Yorkshire birders to let us have their views on the matter, a decision has now been taken to allow the species to be countable in The Yorkshire Listers League Table. The appeal for opinions met with no opposition to the species being deemed countable and the decision also falls in line with that of The Yorkshire Naturalist’s Union who state in the latest (2010) Yorkshire Bird Report ‘Due to increases in the feral British breeding population and to keep in line with BOURC’s decision to give it a C1E* categorisation, this species was moved into the main list in 2004. With small populations in neighbouring counties, it has now been decided to add this species to Yorkshire’s Category C list.’ We are aware that many, if not almost all participants of the Yorkshire Listers League will be able to add Ring-necked Parakeet to their tally, however, in the interests of accuracy we do need you to let us know this. As always, the ‘common sense rule’ must apply so please do not count any obvious escapee. For those already in possession of the electronic version of the Yorkshire Listers League List, Ring-necked Parakeet should be inserted between doves and cuckoos. Alternatively, as always, an updated version is available from yorkshirelists@blueyonder.co.uk which of course is also the address at where to let us know you have added the species.

Although the east coast has been pretty quiet recently it was action-stations inland when a 'ring-tailed' harrier which had been present at Firsby in South Yorkshire since around 10th September was sussed to be an adult female Pallid, that's the general opinion anyway. The bird chose a fairly small area of set-a-side to roost but despite this was somewhat erratic in its choice of bed, sometimes choosing to kip elsewhere. Despite this, with determination, most visitors were able to nail it with Saturday (October 6th) being its best day, however, even then it was not necessarily easy. At the time of writing it seems to have gone AWOL but hopefully may yet choose to return.

The Firsby harrier generally thought to be an adult female Pallid - Justin Carr

 Justin Carr
John Hewitt

This Yellow-browed Warbler was photographed at Ogden Water in late September - Brian Sumner