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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. :-)
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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.
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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.
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In mid September we paid a visit to the Nene Valley in particular Ferry Meadows. This was essentially a non-birding break however who could resist the ring necked parakeet which has bred here for a number of years. The birds had not been seen for a few days and returned to their favourite feeders just as we were passing, so a couple of quick snaps.
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North East, Salthome, Zinc Road and the Gares

I love the North East of England, especially the coastal areas just below and above Seaton. With it's mixture of industry both working and derelict and wide open spaces and amazing beaches. I once took a friend and he was astounded at the contrasting landscape and the beauty therein. I've been there many times and the birding is always great but of course there is also lots of other wildlife.

Butterflies, Seals, Fox and other mammalian wildlife are all there if you look close enough. Recently there have been porpoise, and even Minke and Orca seen just off the coast, a truly magnificent sight.
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Above: Chalk Hill Blue (I think)
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Above: The gentle Kittiwake
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Above: Three shots of the Guillemot, keeping out of the way of the Kittiwake.
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Above. The majestic Sandwich Terns & one below.
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Below: Common Tern with its catch.
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Below: Left, Redshank and on the right Black Tailed Godwit.
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Below: Black Tailed Godwit.
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Above: Golden Plover and the smaller Dunlin.
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Above: Curlew Sandpiper.

Below: Redshank.
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The one thing you can be sure of when you pay a visit to Bempton Cliffs is that there will be birds, thousands of them. Bempton is of course famed for its Puffins and Gannets. The Gannet colony being one of the largest in the world and one of the noisiest.

However there are many many more, amongst birders it is an area for scarce birds, rare birds and some of the scarcest birds to hit our shores. These birds, driven by the winds can turn up anytime and anywhere along this amazing strip of coastline.

Below: Gannets, Guillemot and Jackdaw.
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At this time of year the breeding season is in its full noisy flow, Life and sometimes death are all around you, a truly breathtaking place.
Left: Kittiwake with young.
Below: Kittiwake, Meadow Pipit, Puffin, Razorbill Young.
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