Monday, 29 April 2019

St Aidan's

A couple of weekends back we spent the morning at St Aidan's (I might one day actually post about somewhere within a couple of days of going!), it was another glorious day. We had a look on the dragline for the Little Owls and Kestrels but spotted neither.

One patch of grass had lots of cobwebs, strange they were only in the one spot though?

Lots of posing from the Swans

I caught this Redshank on the main lagoon

First ducklings of the year

There was plenty of colour with the Gorse.....

and loads of Daisies too

We saw a few butterflies - Speckled Wood, Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock

There were Warblers everywhere, including a showy Grasshopper Warbler..........which we missed but my husband did hear. We did see/hear Whitethroat, Reed and Sedge Warbler, Cetti's, Blackcap and Chiffchaff too.


Reed Bunting

We also saw Linnet in the gorse bushes, a couple of Common Tern on Astley lake. A couple of Mediterranean Gulls were on the main lake, which we saw thanks to some nice chaps with scopes! We heard Bittern booming a few times as we walked around and finally saw a Kestrel as we were on our way back to the car park.

A cuppa and a chat with the lovely folks at the visitor centre and we were off home.


Tuesday, 23 April 2019

A day at the coast

Despite it being Easter weekend and a record hot one at that we went over to Scarborough on Saturday (my daughter's choice again). We are a bit restricted for family days out with my husband working a lot of weekends at the moment. So we were up and off early in order to try and avoid some of the crowds.

We spent a little time in Peasholm park,which is a well known spot for hand feeding squirrels, though someone forgot to tell them it was breakfast time today, mostly it was Pigeons and Gulls looking for food! The lake does have a fair few birds - Mallards, Coot, Moorhen, Tufted Ducks, Swans, Canada & Hybrid Geese and of course lots of Herring Gulls. A few Crows were holding their own and we saw a couple squabbling with the Gulls and coming out on top!

Tufted Duck

Canada Goose

Feral Pigeon


Herring Gull

There is an island in the middle of the lake which used to be open to the public many years ago, I remember going across to it as a child (about 35 years ago!) and it having lots of rabbits, which we had to be careful not to let across the bridge. It is now open to the public again and it was odd to be crossing that bridge after so long. It's well kept and lots of flowers were blooming including Primula and Bluebells. At the top is a Japanese garden complete with pond full of fish. We saw Long-tailed Tits flitting around the trees and could hear a Chiffchaff. Across from the island on one of the mini islands used in the boat battles here a Grey Wagtail was wandering around.


A waterfall runs from the top of the island into the lake


Onto the front and the sun is already shining, we may have had a bacon sandwich to set us up for the long walk around Marine Drive............

I spotted this bird on one of the slipways on the walk around and the one in the second two photos on the way back later in the day - Rock Pipit I believe, i'm not sure if it's the same bird though.

Of course everywhere we went there were Gulls, the staple of the British seaside! We also found a couple of Turnstones on one of the piers. 

Herring Gull

3 CY Herring Gull (I think, probably wrong but I gave it a go!) with a Turnstone

Herring Gull on a fork lift truck


This Lesser Black-backed Gull was flying around the open air theatre

On the cliffs along Marine Drive lots of Kittiwakes are nesting, watched over by Peregrine, we spotted one sat in a crevice, too far off for a decent photo though. We saw the birds spooked a few times and they go crazy, calling and swooping about before settling again. 

The crowds were overpowering by early afternoon so we made the walk back along Marine Drive to the car and home. 

Thursday, 18 April 2019

Blacktoft Sands

We recently spent a morning a Blacktoft Sands, it wasn't a bad day weather wise, a bit dull and breezy but it's finally getting warmer! There were lots of small birds around the car park - Robins, Wren, Tree Sparrows, Tits etc... and several around the reserve itself, Dunnock, Reed Bunting and we even had a brief burst of song from a Cetti's Warbler.


Great Tit


We saw a Marsh Harrier from the reception hide, in fact we saw them from every hide, they were mostly flying over the distant reeds with some coming a little closer, it's certainly the place to go if you want to watch these birds! We spotted Snipe and Ruff around the edges of the water and many Avocet, we counted 27 on one island alone. 



Lots of Black-headed Gulls were on the islands from the Marshland Hide, a few Shovelers, Gadwall and Mallard too

Black-headed Gulls

Bottoms up! Shoveler


Ousefleet is flooded (always amazing to see after seeing it dry with grazing ponies last time we visited) and full of ducks, mostly sleeping Teal but Wigeon, Shoveler, Mallard, Shelduck and more Gadwall too.




Greylag Geese

Elsewhere we saw Canada and Greylag Geese, a Little Egret, a few Sand Martins, a distant pair of Oystercatchers and a lone Butterfly which was gone before I could tell for sure what it was!

A pleasant morning walk and we'll be back later in the year hopefully to see few more Warblers!