Saturday, 28 June 2014

Saturday night ticks at Fairburn Ings.

All of my jobs done for the day I planned to go to North Cave, as I could park outside a hide, and shelter from the rain. However a quick check on Surfbirds tweets informed me that a couple of spoonbills were at Fairburn Ings, in front of Lyn Dyke hide. So of I set and arrived just before six pm. As I walked along the path  I could see lots of little egrets in the small pools of water.



From the hide I could see redshank, lapwings, ringed plovers, gadwall, teal, cormorants, mute swans, starlings, coots, moorhens, a single common tern, carrion crows and black headed gulls. In the distance I could see the two spoonbills who were resting with their beaks hidden under their wings.


 The rain had stopped so I decided to leave the hide and go to the hide near the visitor centre, the gates are locked at eight pm so I had about an hour. As I walked along the path leading towards the visitor centre lots of sparrows were having a bath in the puddles.
 From the hide I could see a grey heron, a pair  of avocets and their two young, lapwings and a teal.


The avocets were very protective of their chicks, and kept chasing the grey heron and the lapwings away if their chicks wandered near the birds. As I watched a saw another bird flying away from the chasing avocet and could recognise from the white rump that it was a green sandpiper. When things quietened down  and I scanned the scrape and saw three green sandpipers.
To the left of the screen their is a feeding station and greenfinches, young great tits and a reed bunting were busy feeding.



 To the left of the feeding station is a sand martin bank and a deadly game was taking place. The sand martins were flying in to feed their young on a regular basis, however their comings and goings were observed by a magpie, who was looking for food for their young.

Time to go before I got locked in the car park!
Many thanks to you all as this week the number of hits on my blogs has reached over 9000.

Thursday, 19 June 2014

June evening at Blacktoft

Football on the telly so I went to Blacktoft Sands. Only saw 2 other birders, 2 ladies from Sheffield. They had spent about 4 hours at the reserve and had seen little egrets and a bittern flying twice.
From the first hide that I visited, black headed gulls dominated the area, flying round attacking anything that came near their young. One young gull was on the water in front of the hide and was trying to get an adult to feed it.
From the last hide, where I met the two ladies there was quite a bit of activity.
On an island cormorants were stood with their wings out drying.
 
 Grey herons were out of our sight but were getting attacked by black headed gulls and after a while flew away.

A marsh harrier flew over the reed bed some distance away.

The sun was now hidden behind clouds  so it was time to make my way home,  a magpie was on the path and was reluctant to fly away.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Spotted redshanks at Blacktoft Sands

A couple of hours birding at Blacktoft Sands this morning. Cloudy and misty type rain as I walked to Ousefleet hide. As I turned left off the long path a sedge warbler was perched  on an unbelifer, singing.

The land in front of the hide is usually dry at this time of year, but the combination of a high tide and several days of heavy rain has resulted in a small pool of water.
 
Among the birds were curlew, spotted redshank and black tailed godwits. I have cropped the photo as the birds were quite a distance away.
A marsh harrier flew over and disturbed all the birds.

The curlews left but the other birds remained, to give the visitors to the open day something nice to look at.
 
 

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Trains, dragonflies and foxes.

A day of many tasks. First was down town to the post office to renew my driving licence, using a digital pen was a new experience! Then to the tourist information office for a t shirt for the Tour de France Grand Departe! Then some shopping and back home for 11am. Just time to pop along the road and catch the first of three steam trains to visit York today.

After this colourful train went by it was then the steam train.
 
After lunch it was back to see another steam train.
Chris then sent a text to say that he was going out and would pick me up in 10 minutes and off we set for Saltholme in the hope of seeing a roseate tern. When we got there we were told that the tern left 30 minutes ago.
We walked to the a hide where we saw some water rail chicks cross a clearing. We passed a pond dipping area and took some photos of damselflies.

 
We headed off to another hide in the hope of seeing sandwich terns, but no luck. We were able to take photos of dragonflies on the way to and from the hide.



On the way back to the car we came across a fox that we had seen earlier with her cub. 



 
 A male reed bunting was in the car park singing and did not mind us taking pictures.
 
Another quick but pleasant trip to Satholme.




Visit http://chrisdownes.com/blog to see the pictures Chris took today.