Monday, September 2, 2019

Broom East GPs

Dropped into Broom after a survey and the Pectoral Sandpiper was still present and slightly closer to the viewpoint then previous visits.

There was a good selection for the hour spent there with the highlight being a Kingfisher that successfully fished from the pool, devouring its catch while sat on the muddy margins.  Not something I had seen before.

Other highlights were a juvenile Little Ringed Plover scuttling around the muddy fringes, two Common Snipe, Common Sandpiper, four Lapwing, the Garganey, an increase to three Wigeon, and four Shoveler.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Broom East GPs

The day started with a wander through the local countryside.  It was incredibly relaxing, there was hardly a soul around, but equally not much in the way of wildlife.  Just two Whinchat held station along a hedgerow off the Wallington Road and six Yellow Wagtail over.

Later at Broom, the Pec had relocated elsewhere, but the Garganey remained with a single Common Sandpiper, Common Snipe, and two Green Sandpiper.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

Broom East GPs

After a recce across to Broom East Gravel Pits the evening before, I discovered that a scope was essential here.  I discovered this as I couldn't really see anything across the scrape apart from the huge gathering of boisterous Greylags and a smattering of wildfowl.

It looks great, and previous records boast a tidy selection of scarce vagrants as well as a healthy list of migrant waders.

The water levels are low at the moment exposing a fair amount of mud - perfect for wading birds.

A first proper look at this south Bedfordshire site resulted in the continuing Pectoral Sandpiper, a great inland record and only my third for the UK.  A really well marked juvenile that flew in after being absent for most of the afternoon.

Other waders here included singles of Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, and Common Snipe.

Wildlife numbers were generally low, still early days but good variety led by an eclipse Garganey along with 32 Teal, two Wigeon, and three Little Grebe.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Local sightings

It's hot these days, not that I'm complaining but spending too much time out in the full glare of our sun isn't sensible.  A quick cycle out of town exploring my new environs in North Herts was well overdue.

It's great to be out in the countryside again.

The reported Whinchat were still present just off the Wallington Road with six present along a hedgeline that held three Corn Bunting, a Yellowhammer and a Common Whitethroat.

Later from the flat balcony, a Yellow Wagtail flew low over, two Red Kite and a Common Buzzard were thermalling high over the town, and at least 15 late Swift were hawking insects against a glorious blue late summer sky.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Frampton Marsh RSPB

Days at Frampton are seldom dull, and at this time of year when wader migration is reaching its zenith, this east-coast area of mature saltmarsh typifies the landmass providing an oasis for wading birds as they arrow south from their arctic breeding grounds.

The sunflower meadow close to the visitor centre was really eyecatching.

It was a humid afternoon but with a keen breeze that made scoping across the marsh challenging at times.  Particularly in the ultimately successful attempt at connecting with the Buff-breasted Sandpiper that eventually showed itself associating with a group of linearly dispersed Lapwing distantly across the marsh.

A mere fifteen minutes earlier, the long-staying Long-billed Dowitcher was seen roosting close to the sea wall with a Black-tailed Godwit, of which at least a hundred were spread widely across the marsh.

There were plenty of wader highlights with two Wood Sandpiper seen adjacent from the top car park, two Curlew Sandpiper on pools close to where the 'buff-breast' was busily feeding, and an adult Little Stint close by.

In addition, Avocet, Common Snipe, Dunlin, a juvenile Little Ringed Plover from the visitor centre, Ringed Plover, and a lone Whimbrel on the seaward side of the reserve served up an agreeable waderfest.

Other noteworthy species seen were plenty of Yellow Wagtail, and a great record of the most northerly Wasp Spider ever sighted in the UK.

Friday, June 28, 2019

Pyramidal Orchid

A decent spread of Pyramidal Orchid on survey in North Kent including a rare white form.

Sunday, June 9, 2019

Flamborough / Bempton Cliffs

This part of East Yorkshire is absolutely spectacular.  The rugged cliff faces that stretch out from Flambrough Head up to Bempton and beyond provide the stage for a dramatic and breath-taking seabird spectacle.

The viewpoints overlooking the cliffs give the public grandstand views across the cliff-face, the home to thousands of seabirds.

Incredible numbers of KittwakeRazorbillGuillemot and Gannet swirling around this epic landscape.

The trip started at midday Saturday, a spontaneous decision to head away and by five, we arrived at the Lighthouse car park at Flamborough.  I made tracks immediately to connect with the male Black-headed Bunting that sat out in the open on a gloomy afternoon, preening, roosting, before making a dash to the top of the hedge-line where it paused briefly before disappearing into the adjacent field.

I then disappeared as the weather was closing in.  Heading back to the car park where the female Subalpine Warbler wasn't as elusive as suggested, feeding in a Sycamore close to the path.

Subalpine Warbler twitch

It started to rain heavily so we retreated to return the next day to a bright and sunny day to views as the one captured below.

We walked round the headland via South Landing before heading back for a stop at Bempton Cliffs. 

Wow - what a place!  Absolute magic - I was blown away.

So many birds, lulled me into believing that we live in a fertile and prosperous land rich in bio-diversity.  Sad to think that these creatures are under massive pressure due to our unrelenting destructive activities at the expense of the scene I was witnessing.  Why would we destroy this?  It's inconceivable that we as a race are so profligate when it comes to the protection of the natural world.

Our Planet - I will fight to the end to ensure that we protect it.

For now, I was so chilled, so happy watching this lot.

Interesting 'bridled' Guillemot

There were plenty of Painted Lady butterflies along the cliff-top with at least 25 seen along the path.

Sad to see this deceased Mole by the roadside at Flamborough.