Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Last birding of 2014

The final, last minute shopping today was done just after lunch so I had a couple of hours to spare before getting things ready for our guests arriving tonight. Where to go to? Not enough time for North Duffield so settled for Wheldrake wood. Lots of vehicles in the car park so just managed to find a place to park that did not look too icy. A walk around the wood found the other walkers, kids, dogs,3 men planting trees and views of 3 robins.

A short drive to Bank Island to find the car park there full. Stood on the viewing platform and had a look around. Several crows, 1 greylag goose and gulls going to the Humber to roost.


On the way home I came across a flock of fieldfares and managed to get some photos from the car.

No new birds to add to my year list so 233 is the final total. A very Happy New Year to you all and thanks for reading my blog.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

North Duffield Carrs; last visit of the year.

I  arrived at the reserve just after 2pm and walked straight to the Garganey hide. I presumed that the far stretch of water was frozen as the whooper swans, Canada and greylag geese and lots of ducks were all huddled together on the "moddle" stretch of water. There were very few waders present compared to my last visit. A few lapwing flew about as did a small group of dunlin and three snipe.
A whooper swan decide to leave the rest of the herd and flew closer to the hide.

It remained there during the rest of my stay and no other swans joined it. A wren was busy hopping about in the vegetation and then landed on one of the fence posts.

The flock of wigeon closest to the hide were busy feeding on the grass one minute and then without any apparent reason they would fly back to the water.
The light faded earlier tonight and there was no sign of a barn owl.

I have seen 59 different birds at the reserve this year and look forward to more visits in 2015.

Monday, 29 December 2014

Glaucous gull at Hartlepool.

My last day with Chris in 2014 and we set off on a wild goose chase. Lesser white front geese had been reported from Nosterfield so we decided to call in on the way to Hartlepool where we hoped to see a glaucous gull. There was a lot of ice at Nosterfield and the birds were on then far side of the water, where the sun had melted the ice and there was open water.
We could see wigeon, teal, mallard, goldeneye, curlew, lapwing and dunlin but no geese. So we set off for the quarry part of the reserve only to find it locked. In the field opposite the entrance were some Canada and greylag geese, but we could not clearly see all of them, so we decided to head for Hartlepool.
The gull had been reported from the fish quay so we parked there and scanned the water and roof tops for glaucous gull,

No luck, so we decided to have a look around the area and from the headland we could see, knot, redshank, purple sandpiper, sanderling, oystercatcher and ringed plover.

 After another visit to the fish quay, we visited Newburn Bridge where we added med. gull to our day list.

A trip down North Gare road produced a few wigeon, lapwing and curlew, so we decided to return to the fish quay for a third attempt. We joined other birders and scanned the rooftops looking at the gulls, but no joy. Then we saw a fishing boat come in to the harbour with lots of gulls and cormorants following.

Then we saw a glaucous gull fly out of the harbour and join in with the other gulls following the boat into the fish quay and we lost sight of it. A nice chap who worked in the fish quay opened the automatic gate and allowed us in to look for the gull and we found it stood on the edge.
 I decided to move to get a better picture

The bird appears to have some damage to one wing.

After saying thanks to the chap for letting us in we left and decided to call at RSPB Saltholme.
Here we saw a flock of barnacle geese flying around.

 A nice end to our last day out and the glaucous gull was my 233 rd of the year, my best year yet,