Saturday, 30 December 2017

29th December

A little look at Venus Pool late morning produced the usual wildfowl including three Goosanders on the fishing lake along with good numbers of Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings and Chaffinches in the top field with 3 Corn Buntings and a female Brambling.   A walk along the river was then quiet with just a decent flock of 36 Goosanders on Leighton flats of note.

Corn Bunting



SPURN - 27th December

Walked around a very windy Spurn after a late night with the highlight being a smart, dark juvenile Glaucous Gull on the beach opposite the Borrow Pit; other birds included a Buzzard in Church Field (my first at Spurn!) and plenty of waders and wildfowl around Holderness Field / Kilnsea Wetlands with 515 Wigeon, 10 Shoveler, 4 Goldeneye and 30+ Black-tailed Godwits of note.   A Tawny Owl was calling at Kew after dark – also my first at Spurn!

Glaucous Gull

Roe Deer

Brent Geese

Monday, 25 December 2017

23rd and 24th December

Got to Leintwardine in the morning and a little walk along the River Teme produced 2 Green Sandpipers and 6 Little Egrets before a look up on the ridge overlooking the village produced lots of Red Kites and Buzzards in the sunny, clear conditions along with a Sparrowhawk and a few Ravens.   There was then a single Tree Sparrow around the barn at the top (a local scarcity) with a decent flock of Yellowhammers, Reed Buntings and Chaffinches; the highlight came as I was just getting back to Ryan’s house as a single Hawfinch flew west over the house!

                Got back to Wyke on the 24th where a walk round the usual route to Benthall produced another Hawfinch flying round Watery Lane pool (never seen any away from Ludlow in Shropshire before!); a decent flock of 45+ Stock Doves were also around Wyke.   Opened the nets in the afternoon for a few hours and caught 3 Treecreepers, 9 Long-tailed Tits, a fourth Marsh Tit since I’ve been back (didn’t catch any last winter!) and 2 Goldfinches.

Little Egret

Red Kite


Tuesday, 12 December 2017

NORTH RONALDSAY - 12th December

A glorious day with hardly a breath of wind and plenty of sunshine; most of the birds of note were Passerines which popped out in the calm weather around B and E and included 6 Robins, 34 Redwings, 10 Skylarks, 2 Reed Buntings, 9 Meadow Pipits, 16 Rock Pipits and 4 Snow Buntings.   Other birds of note comprised 6 Great-northern Divers and 16 Long-tailed Ducks off Stennabreck, 2 Whooper Swans and 2 Pintail on Ancum and 4 Herons.

Reed Bunting

Rock Pipit


Monday, 11 December 2017

NORTH RONALDSAY - 11th December

A lovely day with light northerly winds and plenty of sunshine (still cold though!); a productive two hour seawatch first thing comprised a Black-throated Diver with 9 Great-northern Divers and 3 Red-throated Divers, 922 Fulmars (with 11 Blue ones including a very dark, almost black looking individual!), 45 Kittiwakes, 6 Puffins, a single Little Auk and 3,431 Auk sp.   Other birds in the north included 14 Snow Buntings, 4 Goldeneye and 5 Pintail.

                The Common Redpoll reappeared at The Lurn (presumably it will try and overwinter now) along with 4 more Snow Buntings, 2 Great-northern Divers and 8 Tysties.


Long-tailed Ducks

Sunday, 10 December 2017

NORTH RONALDSAY - 10th December

The wind mercifully died down from mid-morning becoming very pleasant in the afternoon; I walked round the coast from Gretchen all the way to The Links where birds included 10 Great-northern Divers, 6 Red-throated Divers, 3 Herons, an adult Whooper Swan by Brides, 35 Long-tailed Ducks, a female Common Scoter which flew past Nouster, 5 Red-breasted Mergansers, the wintering Grey Plover, 65 Ringed Plovers, 64 Sanderling, 84 Dunlin, 255 Purple Sandpipers and a Black-headed Gull.   Passerines which came out of the woodwork in the calm weather included 69 Snow Buntings, single Song Thrush and Fieldfare, 11 Redwings, 3 Skylarks, 6 Robins, 4 Meadow Pipits, 12 Rock Pipits and the Chaffinch still around Nouster.

Saturday, 9 December 2017

NORTH RONALDSAY - 9th December

Still very windy with huge waves and long, heavy snow and hail showers; spent a few hours at the top end where the highlights were 3 Glaucous Gulls (two juveniles and a different adult) and a juvenile Iceland Gull (which may have had some kumlieni in there somewhere).   Other birds included 32 Snow Buntings, an increased 7 Goldeneye, 10 Pintail, 22 Bar-tailed Godwits and 21 Curlew.

Juvenile Glaucous Gull

Adult Glaucous Gull

Great Black-backed Gull in the waves

Iceland Gull

NORTH RONALDSAY - 8th December

Incredibly rough weather due to ‘Storm Caroline’ produced a decent, if tricky night of dazzling as I managed to catch a range of birds including 6 Common Gulls, 8 Turnstone, 4 Sanderling, 2 Purple Sandpipers and a Redshank, it was extremely wild out there allowing to walk in amongst flocks of roosting Gulls searching in vain for something unusual and to pick up Turnstone and Purple Sandpipers by hand as they just crouched there!   I could have caught much more but I became choosy, walking past many things looking for more interesting stuff but had to give up as I literally couldn’t stand up around the north end let alone control the net or catch birds safely!

                The day was still very windy with frequent snow and hail showers sweeping through but there were plenty of birds around the coast from the Obs to Brides (where it was vaguely sheltered) with the only highlights being 2 Glaucous Gulls (an adult and a juvenile) off Brides and the Grey Plover still along that coast.

Glaucous Gull

Red-breasted Mergansers

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

NORTH RONALDSAY - 5th December

Wet and windy throughout but the shrinking moon and increasing wind and rain produced a good night’s dazzling with a Water Rail caught in Loch Park and a female Teal caught at Bewan along with 3 Ringed Plovers, a Turnstone and 2 Snipe.


Water Rail