page contents Birding Home

Welcome to @Yorkshirewild
birdwatching in Yorkshire and beyond.
Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Click on any of the main green headings to make that sections images interactive.
twitter. .


It's cold, very cold I wanted to see the Loons in Scarborough Harbour. The Common Loon or Great Northern Diver is a large member of the Loon family of birds. It's 5.00am and a one hour forty five minute drive to Scarborough Harbour and yes I am observing all and I mean all Covid-19 restrictions. We are all in this country expecting a full lockdown in the coming days so I suspect this will be my last trip for some time. I intend to see no one and speak to no one other than through the mask that saves people from the shock of my ugly mug.
I got there just as light was breaking. There was a chap already waiting and I could see he was one of those types that never stops moving, up and down the walkway. "I saw them I saw them" he said, Ah very good I said. It's a Loon he said, Certainly is, I said. Have you seen one before he asked? Yes many times but always good to see another, especially three together! What time does the cafe open he asked, Well, he had obviously mistaken me for the walking talking larger version of Google but that's okay. I just wanted leaving alone really. He never stopped moving but was friendly and knowledgeable and kept a respectful distance in these Covid days, that was appreciated.
Stacks Image 2869
Stacks Image 2871

Short Eared Owl. Bempton Cliffs.

Same day and a different location, this was Bempton Cliffs. The site was surprisingly busy with car parks almost full. People just want to get some space really. Everyone I saw was socially distant and respectful. I was only there twenty minutes as the light was fading fast. I managed to get the shots below before the light went then a slow drive home quite satisfied with my last day of freedom.

Stacks Image 2873
Stacks Image 2877

Rubbish Images,Great Birds, Garden First.

Just another one of those days, damp, very foggy and not worth going out of the house for "any reason". I'd been doing rubbish stuff all day and now it's 3:00pm and what little light we had was fading fast, there was even fog in the garden, a first I think. My wife said do you want a cup of tea…Yea got on then, please! Have you seen all those birds in the corner of the garden she said as she was walking into the kitchen!

I just stood up, there was the usual Wren on the wall, a group of about ten Long Tailed Tits in the Sycamore tree, the usual group of Coal Tits on the feeders and the fence. Goldfinches and other tits flying around and the usual Blackbird on the decking post trying to outstare me through the glass. Sometimes he wins sometimes he doesn't. But he always tries, he has that look…Who do you think you are! And I think, no one. I'm just the guy that puts the food out…Foodie Man, that's me.
Stacks Image 2832
Above & below, the beautiful Goldcrest, Britains smallest bird. A massive garden tick for me and a huge thrill to see.
Stacks Image 2834
Out of the corner of my eye I could see some birds deeper into the leafless and lifeless autumn bushes, I just stared into the half light. A chaffinch hopped out but I realised there was something smaller, much smaller, I ran to get my camera. As I grabbed it I turned it on, thought what could it be and removed the lens cap whilst maintaining traction on the wooden floor in my socks, all in one action, Impressive Eh!

It was a Goldcrest, yea you heard it, a Goldcrest, in my garden, I was so thrilled, my observation skills were all there, intact, Who Da Man.
Stacks Image 2836
Above: Long Tailed Tit, one of many.

The next day we went for a walk and we could see a large flock of birds in the distance flying towards us, it was a mixed flock of mostly Fieldfare with Redwing interspersed, about 600 - 800 birds, a magnificent sight. Still very foggy I got a few shots just for the record.
Stacks Image 2838

Filey Brigg, Scarborough.

Our last time out before our second lockdown, where do you fancy going Phil asked, anywhere warm said Steve. Well Phil assured me, even guaranteed, it would be dry, perhaps a little blustery he said! Now I trust Phil, but his face said one thing and I could hear his brain saying "you're gonna get wet, very wet you lightweight". When we arrived in the car park it was a little windy, I opened the boot of the car and the wind got hold of some of the contents and before you could blink they were fifty metres away.

As we walked down towards the beach the skys opened up and that rare old thing the sun started to show itself and within ten minutes we had the images below.
Stacks Image 2779
Stacks Image 2785
Stacks Image 2787
Stacks Image 2789
The kestrel was hunting all the time that we were there, the walk down to the brigg and the whole walk back took a couple of hours and this little master of the sky was hunting the whole time.
Don't walk on the rocks, there very very slippy my mind said, I'm fine said my brain.
Steve stupid Farley
Stacks Image 2809
I don't know the history of Filey Brigg but I've always remembered it right from my childhood. As a child it was one of those forbidden places, "don't go down there, the tide will cut you off and you'll have to be rescued". You could see the waves crashing on the rocks, a frightening place, a place you didn't really want to go, even though you all know at the age of 9 "I was actually Superman".

As we got closer we could see the Rock Pipits above our heads, skittish and loud. Different Gulls, Black Backed, Black Headed and those you're not quite sure about. Cormorants sunbathe on the rocks as Purple Sandpipers, Turnstones and even Pigeons forage below their feet.

As you look at the sun, the surf and the beauty of the birds, people's voices linger in the air as your legs start doing a Linford Christie animated run in mid air and you hit the rock, your whole body paralysed with pain as onlookers say "stupid man" Ooo the joys of birding.
Stacks Image 2811
Stacks Image 2813
twitter. .

October 25TH UPDATE

It's been more than five months since I last posted on my blog. For those of you that don't know I have an imaging, manufacturing business and employ people, this I have found very difficult over the last seven months. I have been in business for over 30 years and largely enjoyed it, but when you're making decisions about other peoples lives when the circumstances are out of your control and are been taken at government level, it has at times been unbelievably stressful. The act of going birding has been way down my list of priorities and at times I have even felt I shouldn't be going when so many people are genuinely suffering.

Below is all the birding I have done all year with the exception of a couple that I feel are just wash out days not of any note. It will tell you where they were taken and a date but not much more. And from now on I will post more regular updates, more photos, and definitely more narrative. It will take me a while to get back into it, but I will get there, if you are reading this Thank you. All this week I will be uploading and writing.

Brown Shrike Thursday 22 10 2020

The Shrike had been at South Elmsall near Pontefract for quite some time before I got off my bum and went. I had seen many images and had quite a few texts and emails letting me know what I was missing. It's only 30 minutes away from where I live so off I went. Meeting Phil there at 10:30am we then yompt the half mile or so to the bird. As I had basically come from work I was wearing nice shiny patent Doc Martens not wellington boots and the mud in places was 200mm deep. With shoes caked in mud we entered the last field you can see from the image below, nice long wet grass! This took all the mud off and polished the shoes to perfection, Looking good. :-)
Stacks Image 2439
The image above is showing just how far we were away from the Shrike. The bird was in the bush at the far right corner on the edge of the frame.

There has been many discussions as to what kind of shrike this is and all sorts of notions, some founded and some unfounded. For me I was unsure and on twitter called it a Northern Shrike which covered even or most eventualities.

I then read Jonno Ladleys blog "
Birding Dad" and the science just stacks up. Have a read.
Stacks Image 2443
Stacks Image 2445


The Hoopoe have been with us for a while before I decided to go and see it on the 8th of October. The weather was very changeable and at the point of getting in the car it was actually drizzling. When I arrived in Collingham there were about 20 birders all pointing their cameras at the small object on the cricket pitch. The small object could not give a damn, it just did its own thing. Sometimes flying up into a tree, but only for a few seconds and then back it came to the adorning crowds.

Below is the sound of a Eurasian Hoopoe.
Stacks Image 2640
Stacks Image 2642
Stacks Image 2644
Stacks Image 2646

Alkborough Flats, Cherry Cobb Sands, Sammy's Point

Alkborough Flats, Cherry Cobb Sands, Sammy's Point on Saturday 10th October 2020. It was a cold wet day to start with, low laying fog or mist covered most of the land around Alkborough Flats in North Lincolnshire. For the first couple of hours we didn't see a thing but as the day progressed things started looking up.

By the time we got to Kilnsea and to the back of the church it was a bright sunny day. We were there for a Yellow Browed Warbler in the cemetery, we could hear it but we could not see it in the dense bushes. Two Goldcrest paid us a visit and went immediately into the same bush, they kept hoping out but too fast for me to get a photo.

All the time we could hear the Yellow Browed, but no sign, even with six of us looking.

Stacks Image 2532
Stacks Image 2534
Stacks Image 2538
Stacks Image 2536
Stacks Image 2540
We moved on to Sammy's Point just up the road, now bathed in sunshine and looking promising. Large floats of birds were coming in off the sea and flying north up the humber. Linnets below and the Stonechats above were just some of them.
Stacks Image 2528
Stacks Image 2545
Stacks Image 2542


It was just one of those days not much happening, overcast, misty, and very muddy. Then all of a sudden redpoll! Not much els to say really. I like Redpol !!! Poor quality shots, sorry. I would like to say it was the excitement of seeing them but its just poor camera work.
Stacks Image 2631
Stacks Image 2633
 Page 1 / 5  >>

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.
 Page 1 / 1 
 Page 1 / 1 
Stacks Image 26


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.
Read & see More...

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.
Read & see More...

Its all about the Godwits

UntitlYorkshire Wild Logo
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.
Read & see More...

On our way to moo moo land

UntitlYorkshire Wild Logo
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.
Read & see More...

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

Read & see More...

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.
Read & see More...
 Page 1 / 1