Wednesday, 12 May 2021

Bempton

A couple of weekends ago the weather forecast was fine (for the most part) so we made a last minute decision to visit Bempton, of course we were up and out early. It was lovely and sunny when we got there. 

The Jackdaws looked particularly stunning in the sun, such beautiful birds. 

It was good to be out again and good to hear the noise of all the birds on the cliffs, you forget just how nosiy they are and it's a wonderful sound! 

Kittiwakes


Gannets


Herring Gull



Gannet


Guillemots


Gannet Squadron! 



Puffin


Gannets


Puffins




Razorbills



From one of the viewpoints we watched this Gannet gathering grass below us when another came in and stole it right from it's beak! It managed to gather more and make off without further harassment. 









Meadow Pipits (and Skylarks) were singing all over the cliffs


By the visitor centre Tree Sparrows were in full song and a Blue Tit watched from the roof as we stopped for some much needed tea to warm our hands!



Our luck is holding as we got back into the car just as it started to rain and noticed that the queue of traffic for parking spots was very very long! 

Rules are relaxing further next week, I believe hides will be allowed to open and one way systems in some places will be stopped, fingers crossed things keep moving forward and i'll be visiting some of my favourite reserves very soon. 

Saturday, 1 May 2021

Finally..........

....made it out for a walk outside of the local patch! I had a couple of days off to repair a bit of a DIY disaster, which went better than expected, thankfully. So we had a free day and got out early to Swillington Ings (St Aidan's) hoping with it being a week day it would be fairly quiet, which it was. 


The sound of the Gulls as we got out of the car was deafening! My husband spotted one of the Little Owls in the dragline compound - a good start to the day. 

Too distant for my camera but the Little Owl is on the fence


Mallards and a Rabbit under the feeders

I heard the first of many Sedge Warblers as soon as we got near the water along with Reed Buntings, Lapwings, a Common Tern flew over and Sand Martins around the sand bank. Everywhere we walked we could hear the Black- headed Gulls, they nest all over the reserve and eventually you get used to the noise. I saw my first  Swifts of the year (now I just need them back on the patch). 

Lapwing


Grey Heron




Reed Bunting


Walking around the main lake to the causeway, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaff, Robins, Blackcap were singing. The view back towards the visitor centre was lovely, the weather was perfect for walking (and we got back in the car later just before it rained too).



Chiffchaff


The Swans were showing off around the edge of the causeway, we could see Shoveler, Shelduck and Gadwall.
Gadwall


Mute Swan


Walking between the reedbeds I saw movement in the reeds over the water -  a Bearded Tit, one of those birds that I always have trouble seeing and it just popped up in front of me! Then as we walked by Astley Lake, lots of pinging and there were at least 4 Bearded Tits in the reeds next to us - what a joy, we watched them for a few minutes, I gave up trying to get a good photo they were constantly on the move. They quite made my day!





Turning back towards the visitors centre a  Grasshopper Warbler was reeling, Meadow Pipits, Linnets and a Wheatear were along the path. A chap kindly pointed us in the direction of Whimbrels so we took a detour and found them easily, a life bird for me! Today was definitely going well!

Linnet 


Meadow Pipit


We stopped for a tea before we left and just sat a while soaking up the atmosphere. I didn't realise just how much i'd missed getting out, I love my little home patch but it was really good to be somewhere else for a while!



Thursday, 1 April 2021

An Exciting Tick

We've had a couple of hot sunny days this week, it's meant i've been able to sit out in the garden after work and watch the birds, bees and butterflies. 

Sat on the bench yesterday evening I noticed a bird  flying over and almost dismissed it as a possible juvenile gull (which i'd never be able to identify!) but luckily I grabbed my camera and took a few distant shots and had a closer look. Then got a little bit excited but posted a few of the photos to twitter for confirmation first as I pretty much talked myself out of what I thought it would be - an Osprey!! What a patch tick and what a 'garden' tick too, a first for the patch and only my second sighting of one ever...........and from my garden bench.

Ok the photos aren't the best and are heavily cropped but who cares, it's an Osprey!!





So I have to say I am very happy this week!

There's also been Chiffchaffs in the garden too, the odd Butterfly when it was warm, gutter Starling is trying hard still to attract a mate, the Sparrows are gathering nest materials, i've been down to the woods a couple of times and it's just been a lovely week all round really.

Chiffchaff






Peacock Butterfly


Gutter Starling!


The other Starlings are busy splashing the water out of the bird bath as soon as I fill it.



A pair of Greenfinch briefly visited the feeders



We get Collared Doves, Feral Pigeons and Woodpigeons on a regular basis, one day maybe we'll get a Stock Dove



In the woods we've heard Chiffchaff and saw three Great Spotted Woodpeckers chasing each other around. After thinking that the Jays had disappeared from the woods someone posted a picture of one a few weeks back and another couple found a Meadow Pipit on the Pit Hills, birds to look out for! 










The temperature has dropped down again now, the two days of sun were brief, we're looking a minus 1 and possible snow over Easter weekend. Not ideal for sitting in the garden on Osprey watch........