Sunday, 7 March 2010

Filey Brigg

We took the kids off for a long walk around the Brigg today, with a hope for me of spotting some new birds. On the way from Leeds we saw an awful lot of Crows and Rooks nest building, some of the Crows were carrying bunches of twigs bigger than them! Even more amazing was the number of Wood Pigeons we saw on the way there and back, huge flocks of them in some cases over the fields, there seem to be more than I remember seeing before.

As we drove up to the top car park at the Carr Naze pond - Map here - three Oystercatchers flew right over the car. At the pond there were a few more and a small grey bird that I couldn't quite make out - unfortunately I couldn't get a good enough shot to try and id it later either.

We walked up the cliffs a little way seeing a few Skylarks (edit after reading up I think it may have actually been some kind of Pipit as they weren't really staying up in the air, they just dropped back down again?) shooting up in the air around us. I spotted some Kittwakes on the cliff edges and made sure we kept a tight hold of the little one up there, there are no fences along the edges!

We made our way down onto the beach then and walked right along to the end of the Brigg. The kids loved searching for shells in the rock pools and even found a couple of fossilised stones too.

I saw Turnstones and a new one for me - Redshanks, there were 5 down past the cliffs. I spotted birds out on the water but my ID skills aren't good enough to tell what they are, even with my binoculars (which aren't great). The choppy seas didn't help as the birds were bobbing up and down all over the place.

Fortunately I had some help from a nice gentleman who was out spotting the birds and he let me know I was looking at Eider ducks and showed me the male in all it's glorious black and white plumage through his scope. There were Scoters further out but I missed them! The Eider made up for that though, what a gorgeous bird.

In this picture if you look closely (with a magnifying glass!!) you can just see a Turnstone on the rock in the middle.

We spent quite a long time out here exploring everywhere and had a great time. Walking back we saw a Kestrel hovering for a long time over the cliffs and as we were leaving a Peregrine Falcon flew overhead (which I almost overlooked but thanks to the helpful guy from earlier I didn't!).

We were going to visit Filey Dams Nature Reserve, but one of the main roads was closed and there were no signs for it, we got lost and to save frayed tempers we gave it up as a bad job!

So instead after a tip on the Yorkshire thread on Birdform (thank you!) we drove onto Scarborough instead in hope of spotting some Mediterranean Gulls. I always imagine when you go to find a specific bird you have to have lots of patience and a little luck and you might see it. Not with these, they were exactly where they were supposed to be - just waiting right in the car park as we drove in along with some Black Headed Gulls.

I was very impressed, they were in various stages of plumage but the bright red beaks and leg were very distinctive. The boys were unimpressed and my little one had fallen asleep within two minutes of getting in the car! But my husband did show interest and took a few photos and we did feed them a little leftover lunch.

Of course we had to stop for chips before we left and that meant the usual Herring Gulls!

A great day despite the cold and everybody enjoyed it and I got three new lifers - 12 more to the 100!


  1. Looks like a great day out Pam! Eiders are wonderful looking birds aren't they, we saw a great number of them up at Seahouses on the Northumberland coast earlier in the year.
    I like the pic of the rock pool, Ive been reading a lovey blog about the seashore called Jessica's Nature Blog that's well worth a visit. Roll on the big 100!Best wishes, Linda

  2. I love those cliffs, Pam. They remind me of the rocky northern California coast. Unfortunately, the coast and the land for 60 miles inland is really really flat.
    Good luck with adding those 12 birds to get you to 100!

  3. Looks a great place to visit Pam! My goodness the sea looked wild and I'm guessing it was quite a cold day or 'bracing' as my Mother would have called it. Glad you found the Med Gulls. Great pic of the Herring Gull at the end and I bet those chips tasted good after all the walking :)

  4. Linda, the Eider was beautiful a very nice first for me. There were hundreds of little rock pools, which were great for the kids to explore while I checked out the birds!
    Jeff, the cliffs are lovely to see if a little scary from the top! We took loads of photos of them but I don't think they do them justice! Really need to do some work on getting a few more new birds!
    Shysongbird It certainly was a bracing day, we went prepared though & we had the sun so it wasn't too bad, the sea was really choppy though. That Herring Gull came right up to the car screeching at us, must have spotted me carrying the food!


  5. Beautiful pics, Pam! Looks like you had a great time!

  6. Thanks Stephanie, we all did!