Thursday, 26 March 2020

The Coast

As you might be aware we are now on a lock down in the UK for at least three weeks, I am working from home so it's garden birding for me for the foreseeable future. This post is from a day out we took a while back before everything changed.

We took a day out to the coast to try out our new car (not new new but hopefully one that doesn't eat money in repairs!) and give it a good run. The East coast is one of our favourite places - Filey, Bridlington, Scarborough.......

An early stop at the Holbeck car park in Scarborough on the off chance of a Mediterranean Gull, we didn't see any but the sun was shining and we had a walk down to the sea anyway.

It's a long way down

And a longer way back up....phew!!

On to Brid, the weather by now was a little mixed, cloud, sun, wind and it was pretty quiet everywhere. The tide was coming in and Turnstones were up on the walls around the harbour and I managed to spot two Purple Sandpipers on the beach.

Purple Sandpipers

Taking a bath with some Turnstones!


I saw a Cormorant on the marker, looked away for a few seconds and it had been replaced by a Gull!

There were Gulls everywhere of course, i'm still working through IDing them!

Herring Gulls

Black-headed Gull

Lots of Redshank were in the harbour

We found quite a few shells along the tideline and a few dead fish, some kind of Flounder perhaps?

A plant root I think?

Then my husband found this fossil - we've never found one before so it created a bit of excitement!

In the walls along the jetty's lots of snails were hiding.

This was the scene on the way home

I think nearly everyone who checks in on the blog is probably affected by Covid-19, I hope you're all staying safe and continue to do so. 

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

Signs of Spring

More news on the Blackcap in the garden, the male has become a daily regular usually early in the morning filling up on berries and fat balls. I spotted a female occasionally but never at the same time. The male this past week has started to sing from the Sparrow roost and from the top of our Laburnum. Yesterday I finally saw the pair of them together and they fed on the Cotoneaster berries together and did again early this morning!

Exciting news as we've never had a long staying Blackcap let alone a pair like this. I've been reading up on them and I think it may be a bit early for breeding but as we back onto a park there are some suitable areas which would be good habitat for nest building! Of course they could disappear tomorrow but in the meantime i'm enjoying every moment of having them in the garden.

Male taking a breath in between singing

Male and female together at last!

Elsewhere there are plenty of signs of spring, a Song Thrush has been singing from the same tree each time we've visited the woods, and just yesterday we spotted a pair mating, another male was singing further along in the woods. 

After single sightings over the past couple of years a pair of Treecreepers flew right in front of us last week and landed in the nearby trees. Another good sign. Though it's odd that the Nuthatches seem to disappear over winter, where do they go?

In the ponds and streams frogspawn is appearing in large piles, Frogs were still busy all around the main pond yesterday morning. 

Elsewhere the trees are full of bird song, Magpies are trying to build nests, when not fighting off Crows and male Blackbirds are chasing each other around the trees.

Blue Tit

Carrion Crow


First Greenfinch spotted in the woods this year


Blackbird looking fierce after chasing off another male!

The first Marsh Marigold of the year

Lots of buds and blossom are bursting through

The reeds are growing again


Hopefully i'll still be able to update on the Blackcaps in the next post, fingers crossed!