Sunday, 29 September 2013

Its grand up north!

A nice couple of days on the glorious Yorkshire coast over Fri and Sat catching up with some of the migrants. First stop, Broomhead Reservoir, just north of Sheffield, to catch up with the Two-barred Crossbills that have been frequenting the area for the last month or so. While finding the parking spot was easy, finding the area where the Corssbills were been seen was a bit trickier. All the info said they were seen regularly in the Larch's around the feeders, but could I find the feeders? After about half an hour wandering down different paths I eventually found the feeders. There was a small flock of about 20 Crossbills flying around the area but only Common Crossbills could be id'd. After some 2hrs a Crossbill flew up into a dead tree and a quick glance through the bins showed two broad white bars across the wings. Tick. Up to 4 were seen inc 2 splendid crimson males.

From there it was across to Spurn. Although up to 12 Yellow-browed Warblers had been found that morning, they were proving difficult to catch up with. Eventually one showed itself well in scrub close to the canal scrape hide. A short sea watch produced a Bonxie and Pom Skua heading north, a single Sandwich Tern and half a dozen Little Gull, Red-throated and Great Northen Divers. However birding was hard work with little showing. A call into the new Kilnsea wetlands reserve saw an increase in bird activity with migrant Whinchat (2), Redstart, Wheatear and Lesser Whitethroat showing.

Saturday and a day out at Flamborough Head. Old Fall plantation held up to 5 Yellow-browed Warblers, some showing exceptionally well - down to 3 feet (too close to focus the bins on!), superb. I always enjoy seeing these little Sibe' gems which were a real rarity when I started out birding some 40 odd years ago. A Red-throated and Pied Flycatcher where also in the plantation, the Pied showing better than the Red throated. While watching the Y-b's a Brambling flew over.

Near the lighthouse I bumped into a couple of the birders we met at Backwoods back in Jan. We filled each other up on the later parts of each of our trips to Goa, before talking about future trips. After that it was a three hour sea watch, which produced very little except a passage of 18 Red-throated Divers. Highlight, however, was a pod of around 15 Bottlenose Dolphin's which performed brilliantly passing the twice in 40 minutes. 

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