Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Recent Roundup

Hawfinch in the Worsbrough Valley - Carl Dixon. A few around at the moment.

December in Yorkshire can often be the quietest month of the year and so far there has been little for the Yorkshire birder to get excited about with the exception of shed-loads of Waxwings. These berry guzzling beauties have been pretty much everywhere, but are particularly prominent in South Yorkshire where flocks of up to 400 are carrying out ‘supermarket raids’. 

Waxwing, Hoyland - Pete Garrity. Shed-loads around at the moment!

The odd northerly blow has given sea watchers a little bit of reward with a few Little Auks (mostly Spurn), a Pom’ Skua (Flamborough) and even a Sooty Shearwater (Filey) recently. The main excitement however, was reserved for the fortunate few, with a brief-visiting King Eider at Filey on 8th easily the highlight so far. Wintersett Reservoir remains as good as anywhere at the moment with the returning drake American Wigeon being joined by a couple of Long-tailed Ducks (one still present), a drake Smew and several Scaup, not to mention the odd Caspian Gull coming into the gull roost. And judging by today’s news, a visit to West Yorkshire may need to take in a visit to Mirfield too, as apparently, the adult Ring-billed Gull has returned to Sands Lane Gravel Pits for the third consecutive winter. The odd Hawfinch is getting sighted in the County at the moment, definitely a bird worth looking out for. Bitterns are scattered around, Old Moor RSPB being the ‘best chance site’ and currently and there is the odd Mandarin about too, though as always Hackness Lake near Scarborough offers the best chance of connecting, 27 birds (14 drakes) displaying from in (well up) and around the trees this weekend - a spectacular sight indeed!

One of up to four Bitterns seen recently at Old Moor RSPB - Jeff Wragg