Saturday, 29 September 2012

Water, water every where!

Once again York has suffered flooding. Luckily for our family, our daughters house did not get flooded, but they had to move everything upstairs.

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Flamborough Head

Students from the school I work at, have field trips to Flamborough Head each year, and my job was to visit to check that future visits would be ok. My friend Chris kindly drove us there.  We needed to check the tide level at certain times, so that the school trip could be planned. I climbed down the steps onto the beach and walked to the cove at the end of the beach.
Once i had established the state of the tide, we started to watch birds. We met a couple who had seen a small flock of birds, which they thought were linnets, but felt that it was possible that other birds were also in the flock.We watched them for a while and saw two wheatears and some meadow pipits, but sadly no exciting birds on migration. We sat on our chairs and used our telescopes to look at birds out at sea. About 3 miles from the shore, lots of gannets were flying about but we were unable to see any other birds.
Closer to shore we saw some snadwich terns, fulmars and oystercatchers.On the rocks below us some seals had hauled themselves out, and lots of people stood to look at them. Every hour I had to return to the other side of the head to take pictures of the tide.We stayed until 3pm and then set off for home. No sign of the rain that was promised, so all in all not too unpleasant a day.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

All at sea, well sort of!

Chris and I decided to go cruising! Today was the first day of the RSPB Shearwater/Skua from Bridlington. We left York nice and early as we had not been able to book a place and wanted to be at the front of the queue.

The weather was glorious when we got to Bridlington and we were one of the first people on the pier. Very soon the organiser arrived followed by other people and we were soon on our way. The sea was very calm and we could see gulls flying near the shore. as we got a bit further out to sea, we saw our first "special" bird a juvenile pomerine skua. We then saw guillemots, razorills and puffins on the sea close to the boat, and we also saw gannets further out to see. Poprpoises were to be seen on either side of the boat and some of them were quite close. One of the lookouts then spotted a "bonxie" further out to sea and it came closer to the boat and most people got a good viw of it.
It was a very quiet day birdwise and it was time to head back to Bridlington Harbour. We then saw some manx shearwaters near Flamborough Head and more porpoises. Once back in the harbour we headed off for Old Fall Plantation, Flamborough Head to look for an arctic warbler. We walked along the edge of the field until we came to a couple of birders. They told us that they had just seen the bird and it had flown into a nearby hedge. We climbed over the stile and joined about another dozen birders who were all looking at the hedge. I put my new rucksack down and folded out the seat and started to eat my lunch, keeping an eye on the hedge. There was some movement in the hedge but it was goldcrest and then a blue tit was seen. A spotted flycatcher was flying about catching insects in the afternoon sunshine. A couple of birders then spotted some movement further down the hedge and the arctic warbler was on the move again after a wait of about an hour. It was flitting about in the hedge giving us odd views of its eyestripe. It eventualy dissapeared into the undergrowth and we decided to head home.
Anothe good days birding, thanks to Chris and for me the last day of the holiday.
213 birds seen so far this year and my life total is now 280.