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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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Birding In The Mist.

I thought I could hear a metallic sound from inside the mist.
Steve Farley
I got up went to Spurn Point, it was misty the end. Well to be honest that's how it could have been the sea mist was that bad, but it was beautiful, different and interesting. I have a bit of a fascination with sound and when there is little to see and you are focused on listening, sound becomes very important. Myself and Phil drove down past the visitor centre and sat in the car with the engine off just for a couple of minutes.

From the sea mist you could hear, you could hear things that perhaps you wouldn't be able to hear if you had vision or would have ignored at least. We could hear the Brent geese but had no idea where they were, well not strictly true, they were where they always are. Because you couldn't see, you focused on every sound, every little detail within the sound too. We heard very common birds like the Reed Bunting but when you only have the sound you almost doubt yourself as you don't have that second tier of identification and yes I do mean second.

I thought I could hear a metallic sound from inside the mist, the kind of sound that conjures up all kinds of wonderful things in your brain, like "Full English" sausages, eggs and bacon. The metallic sound I had in my head was knives and forks in the Discovery Centre. I told Phil that the mist was getting worse and after his quizzical look he got my drift. Breakfast!

The mist did clear a little while we were inside and although early the wonderful woman did cook us our staple. By the time we were done the light was breaking through the mist and things were on the up. We decided to go back to Kilnsea and start our visit all over again.

We could hear Teal and Wigeon from the roadside and through the binoculars we could just about make out the displaying Goldeneye. There was plenty of Curlew appearing then disappearing as the mist came and went in seconds. All in all this was a different and very rewarding birding experience. It would be great to spend some time birding with a blindfold on, the drive would be interesting but if you managed to get where you were going how many birds could you identify?
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Above and below: These two birds were making rather a lot of noise in the mist, but when it cleared they were silent.
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This was my first Yellowhammer of the year, noisy in the mist and silent in the light. A striking bird.
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Below: Scaup, after Spurn we went to the Humber sailing club to look for the reported Red Throated Diver but we didn't see it but got these amazing Scaup in the different stages of plumage.
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Bittern, Bearded Tits then your mate poo's on your head.

St Aiden's is a relatively new RSPB reserve in the heart of Leeds. The reserve in Allerton Byewater is on reclaimed land from the coal mining industry. I don't often visit St Aiden's as it's one of those multi use reserves with every type of recreational activity. These activities include cycling, dog walking, jogging and even open water swimming. Many of these as you can imagine do not seem to fit with a RSPB reserve.

People with dogs off leads are the largest problem for me, many are completely inconsiderate and quite genuinely think they own the place. I do not have a problem with anyone with a dog on a lead and picking up after their animals.

I had seen many images of Bearded Tits over the last few weeks all from this reserve and understand how unconcerned with all the activity of their human watchers they are. This week I had seen close up wonderful images of these usually elusive birds taken close up with phones, It was time to visit. Friday morning was a two hour window before a hospital check up, and off I went.

The morning was beautiful with a staggering sunrise and low lying mist. At one point I did wonder if I would see anything never mind a small bird such was the mist. The reserve was as usual locked and does not open until 9.00am. You can park outside and walk in so this I did, it was warm, really warm and hopes were high. I was armed with a great little map from Phil Smithson, this had circles on it exactly where the Beardies had been seen last so there I went first…aaaand nothing. In fact everywhere I went there was nothing, nothing at all.

I walked up and down the path many times and saw nothing, no small birds at all. I have grabbed defeat from the jaws of success many many times but this is embarrassing. Children had fabulous images of these birds on their Fisher Price photographic equipment. After wearing out a pair of shoes I gave up and started walking back to the car. I saw a group of crows mobbing something low over the reeds, but what was it?

A bittern flew over the reeds low and slow, in complete silhouette you could still tell this was a Bittern and this was better than any Bearded Tit, I convinced myself.
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Above and below, Bittern. A superb bird to see in flight.
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I couldn't dip on a Bearded Tit within a few miles of my home surely. Its now 3.00pm and I finished work and I was thinking about those Beardies again. The temptation was too much and off I went, camera and 600mm lens in hand. There was a group of birders in exactly the same spot as I was this morning, so they were there, I was sure of it. I walked very fast towards the birders position and there it was a single Bearded Tit, walking up and down on the path perimeter.

Walking up and down? I have seen many beardies in my time but have never seen them behave like this. Up and down, up and down the path it went, never flying and never climbing. I have seen them drinking low down in reedbeds but not like this. The bird was completely unconcerned with the three birders photographing it, the lenses within inches of the birds body, well not quite! But if you have seen Bearded Tits/Reedlings you will know how difficult and elusive they are. This bird was posing, defiantly posing!

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Below: Greylag Geese, but not good friends.
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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 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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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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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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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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Alkborough again...

Godwits of the Bar Tailed variety, Teal and a couple of Marsh Harriers were all present as was a rather fast Water Rail, just in front of the hide, no time to get the camera focused unfortunately although the Rail was so close I would have hit it on the head with the lens.
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