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Hatfield Moor. 2020
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We did go to Lincolnshire but we went to Hatfield Moors first. There was a long staying Great Grey Shrike, it had been reported near the Polish War Memorial by many. We arrived at first light and to our astonishment there was a building in the car park. Was it really that long since we had been?

The new building is the
Humberhead Peatlands National Nature Reserve  I have tried to get definitive information about the building, its purpose and who can use it without success. When I get better information I will put it on here. The facility looks impressive and one chap told me "it wasn't for the public" only schools can use it. This I take with a pinch of salt as in this day and age education is for all and I really do not believe anyone would limit a market like that.

Back to the Shrike, we never found it, we did see a Peregrine at great distance and we left having had a great walk with great views. The Shrike was reported again within a hour of us leaving this wonderful site. Just marvellous!!!

I went to the dark side, Lincolnshire!

We left Hatfield Moor and headed for Alkborough Flats, The site on the dark side, Lincolnshire that is, Alkborough has all that you need for a great days birding. And within moments of arrival we were treated to a display by two Marsh Harriers, these unmistakable raptors were just flying and interacting with each other, probably a female and first year.

Within a few minutes a third Harrier was present and almost certainly this was the male. We watched these for about 30 minutes until they went out of sight. We walked up the main path towards the river but we were stopped by flood water. There were hundreds of geese and Golden plover in the fields around.
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You always live in hope don't you! Will I, won't I, that's the question. We were walking back in the direction of the car and out of the blue we heard the unmistakable ting ting of the Bearded Reedling or Bearded Tit as most like to call it. Even though you can hear them and you know you're close you can't always "get your eye in".

We eventually saw our birds first two, then three and four, all quite vocal as they usually are. The sun was shining and in my very humble opinion it does not get better than this. All the wows are now ebbing away as you look at this truly enigmatic of birds, feeding without a care in the world and they don't give a dam about your presence.
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Above: A passing Little Egret, once a rare sight but now quite common. It wasn't too long ago when a Little Egret would attract the attention of all, including the battle hardened twitcher.
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Scarborough Waxwings and much more

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Beep Beep that was the rare bird text alert from Birdguides, it's 4:55pm 22/12/2019 more waxwings in Scarborough…Fantastic. Phil would be at mine at 6:30am in the morning and there was a very good chance we would see this beautiful enigmatic visitor to our shores. To be fair they have been long stayers but many many birders were making the trip for nothing. The Waxwings were in a residential area which always bothers me because not all residents are that tolerant of birders parking outside their homes, even if parked perfectly legally and with consideration.

We arrived in Scarborough about 7:45am and as we approached the area we could see a group of birders with cameras and scopes. I pulled up outside a house and immediately the door opened, oh dear. Are you birdwatchers asked the lady, yes I replied, do you mind if I park here for a while? No problem came the answer, a very big smile went in her direction. What is the bird you are looking at? A Waxwing! A what? Came the reply. I decided to show her a picture of the Waxwing on my phone. Wow she said, would you like a cup of tea? Err you're not going to get me in the house and murder me are you? People are not usually this nice to strange men who park outside their homes. She laughed out loud and asked questions about birds, what a fantastic lady.

Other people were telling us that they were seen half an hour ago but no sign now! Marvellous. We soon tracked them down but they were very mobile and quite high up in the main. We walked down a few side streets towards the edge of a park and soon we were back on track. And as if by magic they all landed in a tree in a garden about 100 meters away. Many many people both individuals and families came over to talk to the strange people with cameras and scopes, they were all inquisitive and perfectly nice, what a great start to the day.

Thank you to the friendly people of Crossgates, Scarborough for tolerating the invasion, and I don't mean the Waxwings.
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Majestic in the sunshine, the Waxwings look down at all the strange birders
We eventually left Crossgates in Scarborough and went down to the harbour area after a full English breakfast in a cafe. It's a hard life trudging the country in search of wildlife!

It was cold, very cold and we weren't that hopeful that we would see much but we found a pair of Red Throated divers not too far out. I love these birds, not so red throated in the winter, more black and white in fact, but non the less amazing. The cold temperatures wouldn't bother this Loon much as it breeds in the Arctic.
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Below: Cormorant sunning itself in the freezing conditions. These are almost always overlooked, Oh its just a Cormorant you hear people say, but just look, is it really just a Cormorant? Or should it be Wow a Cormorant?

We also saw the usual couple of Purple Sandpiper among the rocks but last time I climbed up the wall I fell and smashed my camera in front of quite a few people. I've never felt so stupid, although I have looked just as stupid many times.

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The complete scientific name of 'our' cormorant is Phalacrocorax carbo (Linnaeus 1758). It appears black at a distance, but closer inspection reveals that the individual feathers have a green-blue sheen bordered with black, which produces a scale-like effect. The cormorant has broad, webbed feet, a rather long neck and a large, strong bill with a sharp hook at its end. In summer, adults show white patches on the face and a neat circular patch on the flanks. Immature birds are more brownish-black and most have a whitish belly in particular in their first year of life.
Wykeham Forest is among the largest forests managed by Forestry England and it's in Scarborough too. Within moments of leaving your car you are transported into a world of wildlife. We parked at Bakers Warren overlooking the vast valley of Langdale. Leave the car and walk east and you are in Treecreeper, Crossbill and Goldcrest country immediately. There are plenty of other birds and wildlife here too. Raptors can be seen here all year round, Buzzards, Peregrine, even Osprey and Honey Buzzard make an appearance from time to time. We saw this Treecreeper and Goldcrest within a minute of leaving the car.
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The Treecreeper is one of those birds that is hard to spot but once you do you can't keep your eyes off. It will walk up a tree trunk and down a tree trunk upside down. It's one of only a few birds that can walk upside down feeding on the grubs and insects it finds under and on the bark. If you want to know a little more and what it sounds like use the link below.
Tweet of the Day, Treecreeper - BBC Radio 4
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Bumble Wood, Wheeldale Moor.

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I've driven through the Wheeldale valley many times and although beautiful, I have never really explored. We visited with friends and as our friends know the valley much better than we do, we explored and explored. The area around the Wheeldale Beck is a really interesting area for birds of all kinds.

I picked up a Jay almost immediately and a Tree Pipit soon after, but I spotted a quick flash of another bird out of the corner of my eye wrongly thinking Stonechat! After I had properly composed myself and keeping one eye on a fast moving raptor in the distance, I refocused my bins and there it was, Whinchat!

Now in this part of the country Whinchat are not something you see every day and with those spindly legs they always look like they shouldn't be able to stand up.

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Above and Below: Whinchat
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Above: Lapwing with its iridescent coat.
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Above: Broad-bodied Chaser, female (Many Thanks to Keith Gittens From Yorkshire Naturalists)
Wheeldale Moor has Cropton Forest on its borders and Cropton produces some of the best birding in the North Yorkshire Moors with all the usual woodland species and Common Crossbill to boot. Raptors of all species are either resident breeders or frequent visitors to this very diverse area.

Without moving very far at all I had 26 species including Black Grouse, Blackbird, Bullfinch, Buzzard, Carrion Crow, Chiffchaff, Curlew, Goldcrest. Honey Buzzard, Jackdaw, Jay, Lapwing, Linnet, Oystercatcher, Pied Wagtail, Red Grouse, Redpoll, Reed bunting, Ringed Plover, Sky Lark, Starling, Stonechat, Tree Pipit, Tree Sparrow and Whinchat.

Many other birds are in the area including Turtle Dove but sadly not seen by me or my friends on the day. If you like snakes then it’s not uncommon to see them sunning themselves on the quieter paths in the morning and evening sun.
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Hartoft To Danby Beacon

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We were heading to Hartoft Rigg, a place where I know Crossbills are easy to see along with many other species including Siskin, Goldcrest and the occasional Goshawk. As we started to climb out of Cropton one bird stood out and that was Northern Wheatear, literally on every rock, post and fallen tree, they were everywhere. I have never seen so many Wheatear in one area albeit a large one.

I can remember when I used to have to go to Spurn Point or get very lucky on the east coast to see a Northern Wheatear and when you spotted one it was quite exciting. Yes I have led a very sheltered life and little things and all that! But that was true and now literally hundreds which have clearly bred. Hartoft Rigg is a very beautiful part of gods own country "Yorkshire" and when you stand there looking out over Rosedale valley and the forests that surround you it really does remind you of the natural beauty of our country.

And as you stand and pontificate, you may also forget your troubles and the fact you can hear the almost guaranteed Crossbills behind you, yes three of them chirping away saying hello I'm here, you came all this way to see me. And there they were, as always in the very tops of the tallest trees. Phil immediately picked up a Siskin and as we know Siskin are becoming increasingly hard to find, with the Latin name
Spinus spinus these beautiful birds would light up anyones day.

Sometimes Siskin are seen in quite large flocks, 100 were seen at Castle Howard relatively recently and 52 at Pocklington canal. These flocks are quite rare and localised and getting rarer and even more local as we systematically devour our arable land and farms.
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Above: We have my best efforts to photograph the Crossbills, the trees are very tall here and this is at the very top, that's my excuse and I'm definitely sticking to it.

Below: Phil soaking in the sun looking out over the Rosedale area probably letting go of life frustrations. Phil could also hear a Cuckoo and at the same time I was listening to Goldcrest and a whole army of Chiffchaff. The sounds from these birds was prolific and one day I may blog about the mental benefits of just sitting and listening to the natural world, especially on a day like this one.
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I watched this Coal Tit for quite some time gathering nesting material and cramming as much as possible into its beak. It kept dropping bits and it would fly and recapture the tiny bit then compose itself fly off and moments later return to the same spot. The process would start all over again.
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Above: Meadow pipit.
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"Breeding Male Northern Wheatear look like smaller Great Grey Shrike".
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On the moors between Hartoft and Danby Beacon we saw hundreds of Pipits, Northern Wheatear and Red Grouse. This particular Red Grouse was patrolling this wall and fence like it was the border between his world and ours.
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Bempton & Flamborough

A 6:00 start so a 5:15 alarm did nothing for the way I looked all day. What little hair I have left was stuck out like I'd been plugged into 240 volts and it was cold, very cold. We got to Bempton and surprisingly the first thing you noticed was the cold and the wind, ooo and the lack of people. There were birds though, hundreds of them, fledgling after fledgling and all making noise like their lives depended on it, fantastic, I was alive!.

We had a look around the bushes near the visitor centre for Goldcrest and maybe even a Firecrest, they had been seen in the previous week, but not today. Once I stood in the very same spot in the overflow car park looking out to sea and specifically a fast moving black cloud. This particular black cloud was moving towards me and it was Goldcrest, hundreds of Goldcrest.

We started walking down the hill towards the sea and could hear a Linnet but could not see anything, then as Linnet do, he went up to the highest point and I had him in my sight. Even from this distance we could hear the Gannets, now as many of you will know the main Gannet colony is a good 4 to 5 hundred meters to the right but it sounded like it was 10 paces in front of us.

As we got to the cliffs and looked over there were Gannets, hundreds if not thousands of them, Razorbills and Guillemots too. Has there been a huge population explosion? Im not sure but it did seem a little cramped and not as I remember. The noise was truly breathtaking, there is nothing like a good seabird colony to blow out the earwax and remind you that birds are wonderful, uplifting and inspiring.

We watched as the Gannets tore away the grasses from the cliffs, flew to their partners and give the vegetation to them to make the cliffs a better place to live. Was this coastal erosion we were witnessing as thousands of seabirds rip the grasses from the banks, well no not really. What was evident is the pair bonding, Gannet, Razorbill, Guillemot and Kittiwake all seemed to be busy with the business of being with, squabbling with or bill fencing with there beautiful partners, even a few Puffins too.
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We watched as the Gannets played in the extremely strong winds, they just look like they are doing it for fun and as you observe over time, small groups seemed to gather, then one bird would fly up and hover in the wind and land. Then another one from the same small group would do the same and so on and so on. Beautiful and almost prehistoric looking birds playing and practicing their flight in the winds, I could watch it all day.
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Now when it comes to the most preened of birds, the Giorgio Armani of birds the Guillemot has to fit the bill, especially if it's a Guillemot with its eye markings (Bridled) they just site themselves as if to look down on all that lay before them, majestically and magnificently they preen and clean almost constantly. Then when they fly its like a bullet no matter how much wind they just cut through, no hovering just the fastest way from A to B.

I suppose the same can be said for their cousins the Razorbill, I think all Auks are magnificent and among my favourite bird families.
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Above: Guillemots (Bridled)

Below: Razorbill
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Do you think some birds just fly for fun ?. I do.
Steve Farley
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We all have all time favourite birds and this is mine, the magnificent Fulmar. A superb flyer and a bird of the coast, often thought to be a mix between a Shearwater and a gull. Very distinctive with that beak but often misidentified. Almost gull-like, this grey and white seabird is related to the albatrosses. The fulmar flies low over the sea on stiff wings, gliding and banking to show its white underparts then grey upperparts.

At its breeding sites it will fly high up the cliff face, riding the updraughts. They will feed in flocks out at sea. They defend their nests from intruders by spitting out a foul-smelling oil and definitely not the friendliest of birds.

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Above: Puffin
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I think I must have led a very sheltered life as I can't remember ever seeing snails of this number taking refuge in this way, there were thousands of these in Flamborough. Every tree in a certain part of North Landing had snails in every crevice and many much higher than this one.
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Ok not the best shot of an Owl but this Tawny Owl was keeping very hidden in the cold winds, if you look very closely you can just make out an eye…I think.
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Above: Chiffchaff
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Brayton Barff, Wheldrake, Lower Derwent Valley

Brayton Barff is quite close to where I live and is one of those places that you know about but rarely visit. I have to say that every time I go I am really pleased about the birds I see but always disappointed at the number of dog walkers that scream at their animals. We walked from the car park and up the path, veered left then romped up the very steep grassy bank. The scene looked great with lower lying mist and just sound for company.

Mist concentrates the mind and the hearing, Chiffchaff were everywhere, well a bit of an exaggeration but we could hear three in a very short distance. A distant woodpecker drumming, then a Willow Warbler in the mist a truly fabulous sound so early in the year. One of my favourite birds is the Treecreeper and Brayton Barf never fails,
can you spot the treecreeper in the image below? Treecreepers are difficult to keep track of at the best of times let alone in the mist.
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Can you spot both treecreepers? One in each misty picture, a bird that never disappoints at Brayton Barff.
Brayton Barff info.
The path is well-surfaced throughout (hard and smooth), with a consistent 2 metre width. Mostly gently undulating, however some sections are quite steep.

By car: Our free car park is located off Barff Lane, just west of Brayton (please note there is a 2 metre height barrier).
From Selby: Follow the A19 heading west. Stay on the A19 as it branches to the left by the town hall. After about 11/2 miles, turn right onto Barff Lane. After about a mile, the car park is on your left.

By public transport: There are bus stops within walking distance of Brayton Barff.
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And onto Wheldrake and Lower Derwent Valley
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Aglais io, the European peacock, more commonly known simply as the peacock butterfly, is a colourful butterfly, found in Europe and temperate Asia as far east as Japan. It was formerly classified as the only member of the genus Inachis. Seen here on the path from the bridge down to Tower Hide.
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Yes I know just another Little Egret, but they are truly stunning birds and this is more like the scene from a rice paddy in Asia rather than a Saturday afternoon in York. There were so many Chiffchaff that I lost count and after half an hour "then there was one" we counted seven in about a hundred meter stretch. I've always considered good fortune to be on my side and seeing one or perhaps two was fortunate but seven!
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As you will see below we have "just a Wren" but this Wren gave a number of us the runaround for nearly thirty minutes. The problem was the call, the Wren is probably the first bird you get to know from your very first book and when you hear it, it's a Wren! Well this Wren did not sound like any Wren I have ever heard and so concluded three birders.

This Wren sounded more like a cross between a Ceti's Warbler and a Reed Warbler and as you can see from the fluff on its back this is a young bird, could it have picked up its strange call from its surroundings perhaps? Probably not.
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Little Grebe like little bullets, and above three Little Grebe, one in the bubble of air playing in the sun.
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It's Ruff at Frampton

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Its 5.00am on Saturday 9th March, Phil will be here at around 6.00am and we will be off to Frampton 80 miles away and two hours in the car. We have high hopes, not just because we have seen great reports including Green Winged Teal and Long Billed Dowitcher, but because we always enjoy this massive reserve.

One hour and 45 minutes later we were there, we had sunshine all the way, bright skys and light wind, not the forecast we were led to believe. I was looking forward to walking too, not just birding, I absolutely need to clear my head of the strains of the last week and especially the last few days. I was hoping the walk would take my thoughts in a different direction.

The notice board on the small but perfectly formed visitor centre is informative and usually very up to date. Dowitcher we were told by a helpful chap had been seen this very morning, perfect. We set off walking around this site and the first thing we noticed was the temperature was falling and the wind increasing and increasing fast.

Black Tailed Godwits and Wigeon were everywhere, hundreds of Godwits and tens of thousands of Wigeon. Avocet was seen within a few minutes, about 40 in a clump. I was taking many photographs of the real treats on offer. We had superb close views of a Skylark and both of us got superb images. Ruff were sporadic but showing really well and again we had great views and I had great photographs for this very blog.

A huge flock of Brent were heading for us and with superb lighting I put my camera to my eye and in the viewfinder was a message “card error” and the saga begins 550+ shots lost the super fast cheap card I had just purchased was a fake a good fake but a fake and I had bought two of them. The dirty stinking *&$%£ b*+=2£! Had robbed me, not happy. I had proper cards back at the car but now quite long way away. Lesson learned!

We had several looks for the Dowitcher but to no avail and now it was time to get a coffee and arm my camera with some new cards that worked. So off to the visitor centre we went. Coffee in hand a group of loud and very confident chaps entered the centre all proclaiming their birding prowess and their knowledge of the warden and the site. Actually, they were just a little boisterous and happy to be alive. Where is the Dowitcher, one of them asked and the dutiful warden showed them on a map exactly where we had been looking, it’s there, he said, and it’s been seen again this morning.

Off they went at high speed, and shortly after so were we. We walked down to the area where we were told and there was the clump of joyous birders all excitedly pointing at the Dowitcher and exactly where we had looked 45 min earlier. We raised our bins and looked, we started taking many many photographs on my not so new cards. After a few minutes I was looking at the bird and thinking impure thoughts about its identity when Phil said “I thought Dowitchers had dark legs and were a bit browner” me too I said. Is this a Dowitcher Phil asked, but really knowing it was doubtful. No I said I don’t think it is! Then Phil said it’s a Spotted Redshank.

I walked back to the group of birders and asked are we sure this is a Dowitcher? And In very loud voices they all shouted “no” its a Spotted Redshank, It’s a good job we are not birders one of them screamed and everyone laughed.

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A couple of views across the reserve, Frampton is big skys and massive landscape.
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Above: three shots of the iconic Brent goose showing how different they can look in different lighting situations.
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Above: Avocet.
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Above: Lapwing. One of our most striking of birds, often overlooked and under reported. This is one of those birds you see virtually everywhere and often say "it's just a Lapwing" well, as you can see here they are magnificent birds.
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Above: Black Tailed Godwit.
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Female Mallard
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Male Mallard.
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Above: Pintail
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Above: Pochard
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Pochard doing what Pochard do. Sleeping or keeping an eye on you, then swimming away and showing you the back of their head.

The wind was becoming a real problem with gusts nearly having us off our feet, and if you saw the size of me you would understand how fast the wind would have to be! We started walking around the Sea embankment and every bird that passed us, mostly pipets were doing 220 MPH in the wind. Wigeon Wigeon everywhere, there was thousands, and Brent geese in large flocks.

We kept seeing Golden Plover flocks fly up near the visitor centre and they looked magnificent in the odd beam of sunshine. Big dramatic skys with big dramatic sounds from the wind had clawed all the thoughts from my mind and it felt cleansing.


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Above: Redshank.

Below: Ruff
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Below: Spotted Redshank
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Spotted Redshank are much rarer and much more difficult to find in the field, often misidentified and overlooked there are thought to be around 100 wintering and between 500 - 600 on passage. A beautiful elegant bird and a real head turner.
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Teesside Revisited

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Above and right Grey Plover, this beautiful bird was alone among many Lapwing and 150 Redshank. Unfortunately the bird was distant but it did stand out among all the other birds.
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Above: Black Tailed Godwits, I personally don't see many of these on my travels or maybe I'm just not observant enough. This flock was quite mobile for about an hour before settling on the mudflats just near the seals at seal bridge, Greatham creek, on the A178. There is a new car park a few hundred feet before the bridge and new footpaths with superb disabled access to the viewing screens mentioned in a previous post.

Over the road to the right is a new walkway that takes you down to the Seaton on Tees channel where there is a hide but no public access to the hide I'm afraid. From here you can walk south through a scrub for about three quarters of a mile. You have Greatham creak to your left and every time I've been seals have followed me down the creek to the open water.

If you are prepared to be a little more adventurous you can walk with the creek to your right down a narrow spit of land. This gives you views of Greatham creek to your right and the vast set of pools and scrubland to your left called Greenabella Marsh. Here we found
Greenshank and Avocet and a large concentration of Little Egret with at least 11 birds visible with the naked eye. The Avocet were the first I have seen this year and always for me ring in the spring.

As you drive up to this area and just before the RSPB reserve at Saltholm is Cowpen Marsh, this open expanse of marshland is always worth a look for passing raptors and owls of both Barn, Tawny and Short Eared variety. There are a couple of pull ins where you can stop and have a look but the owls are nearly always seen from the A1185 near Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park. This is left at the roundabout just past the fire station after Saltholm.

Now, Saltholm for me has never been about birds so much as the cafe and now the cafe does not produce breakfasts, yes you heard right, does not produce breakfasts, has little to offer. That is unless you want to see the most
ridiculous waste of money turret hide in the world of grumpy birding. OOOO I'm told by my wife that the shop is superb for gifts for said grumpy git, how many cups does a birder need? At least six I'm reliably told.
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Above: Greenshank.
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Above: Little Egret
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Above: Avocets

Below: Red Brested Merganser.
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These are not great photos but they are unmistakably Red Brested Merganser and once again I do not see many of these birds around.

Long bodied ducks with a thin bill and a punk rock haircut, unmistakable in their look and their determination to always move forwards with hair flowing in the wind.
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The Champions of the Flyway
Bird Race

Champions of the Flyway 2018



It’s 7.15pm and I’m sat in the Ron Cook hub on the York University campus. I’m looking out of the windows at birds in silhouette to see if I can identify them, some I can and some I can’t Heslington is really quite ethereal at night in the winter. Last night I went to a talk, a lecture, a piece of information delivered expertly by a fellow if somewhat better birder. The Champions of the flyway was the title “a talk by Mark James Pearson” @fileybirder.
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ALKBOROUGH SEPTEMBER 2017

Alkborough Flats and the area of Alkborough is not in Yorkshire, however this is most definitely one of my favourite birding spots. Yesterday, 17th September 2017 I visited with long term birding friend Phil Smithson. Phil picked me up at 6.15am and we set of in very poor visibility, low heavy fog but with a strange glow above. Our route, M62, M18 didn't clear at all until we got into the Burton Upon Strather area and then only slightly. We were determined to get out of the car and at the very least walk and listen, and what a soundscape. The first sound I heard was of Reed Buntings, hundreds of Reed Buntings, Then a single Cetis Warbler and a loud symphony of bird calls & alerts all coming from the fog.
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SALTHOME, GREATHAM CREEK AND SURROUNDING AREA

A very curious seal. Greatham Creek, near Salthome. Imagine a wildlife paradise and youll probably think of the Farnes, Kielder or Weardale. It is unlikely youll conjure up a picture of smoke stacks, cooling towers and a nuclear reactor but that is the paradox of Greatham Creek
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BOU changing to the IOC

If you are a birder you will have or will eventually come into contact with a bird list of some kind. Whether your list is a printed list or a list in an app but a bird list non the less. There are several kinds of bird list but here in the UK we tend to use the BOU list "British Ornithology Union" This gives us names we all know and many understand and relate too.
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Hutton, East Yorkshire

I was in Hutton East Yorkshire this weekend and although the weather was awful the sound was great for anyone who cared to listen. I was stood in a gateway on a country road and because the winds were so high the birds were static, the sounds wonderful and the lighting beautiful
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Its all about the Godwits


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Well, the weekend had just about every weather front the British Isles has ever seen. On Saturday I ventured to Alkborough and the weather was amazing with blue skies and not much around on the birding front. I did manage to film some displaying Mallard and Teal, you can see this on the film page under media. I then moved on to North cave Wetlands and again not much but think the high winds kept most birds down. A study reveals that more than half of the worlds Godwits and Curlews face extinction you can read more here Godwits.
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On our way to moo moo land

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It's all about Respect

Driving down the motorway today, M62 in fact, there was a large lorry carrying cows. On the rear of this lorry was a graphic, "on our way to moo moo land" Tasteful, I think not, funny I think not, why would you pay for this kind of decal if you had any respect for the animals you are carrying, in charge of?

I couldn't get the name of the haulage company or I would have challenged them on this disrespectful and quite frankly offensive statement. I am a meat eater, a total carnivore but I hope with some respect for animals and their welfare.

There Has been Icelandic Gull at Taphill Low, Waxwings at Hemphome, Long Tailed Duck at Hornsea Mere and Black Redstart at Flamborough. Waxwings were also seen at Dunsville and Rotherham in South Yorkshire. The Palid Harrier was also seen at Welwick Saltmarsh and I must go over to see it as it's not on my list.

Fairburn Ings also had waxwings by the visitor centre and a couple in the village.

I have been listening to the excellent
BBC podcast series on the east Asian Flyway, this four part series tells the real story of this flyway birds use in world wide migration from Australia and New Zealand up through China's Yellow River. I've put a link on the soundscape page under Media.
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wykeham-wood

This weekend I spent in Wykeham, North Yorkshire. Wykeham forest is a working forest with birdlife in abundance, the only problem is the abundance did not show themselves to me. I could hear, Nuthatch, Woodpecker an entire forest full of Tits and Finches but without many sightings. In the distance I could see Red Kite, Buzzard but not close enough to get good views. I really will have to try harder next weekend when I'm staying in Hutton, East Yorkshire. There has been plenty of waxwings about this weekend and all avoiding me.

So this week we have had Firecrest and Waxwings at Blacktoft, Glaucous Gull at Swillington Ings, Long Tailed Duck at St Aidens, Waxwings at Swillington, Short Eared Owl at Bempton, Hen Harriers at Blacktoft, and the Pine Bunting is still at Dunnington.

Beautiful Light

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