Friday, 31 December 2010

2010 Review Part 1


January got off to a good start with this black-throated thrush at newholme in North Yorkshire.The product of some very cold weather it hung around for quite a while.


Another cold month.I had a trip up to Filey and managed some record shots of these long tailed ducks, also plenty of common scoter and eider along with a sprinkling of common waders.The woodcocks at the feeder centre at Tophill rose to 3 always at a distance.

Long tailed duck



We had a long weekend in North Yorkshire which gave me an opportunity to get some shots of a red grouse.Also the bittern at Tophill was a legacy of a very cold winter.


Red Grouse


April was a fairly steady month.Usual spring migrants at Spurn but nothing particularly outstanding. Of note the water pipit below was only the 16th ever at Spurn.

Ring Ouzel

Water pipit


May was a fairly quiet month plenty of the usual suspects including garganey at Swine Moor, common Spring migrants at Spurn, and odd common waders at Patrington Haven.The highlight for me being the purple heron at Welwick.The distant shot below was taken at Patrington Haven looking East.


Purple Heron


Reed Warbler



June was rather quiet around East Yorkshire so I went travelling to find the birds.I had a trip to Norfolk with 3 target birds in mind.Firstly I saw the stone curlews at Weeting Health, then over to lakenheath for the golden orioles and finally finished up at welnet for the long staying bluethroat-a long but great day out.I also wnt up to Fen Bog for the whinchats and also saw some good insects including large heath, small pearl-bordered fratilliary, golden ringed dragonfly and keeled skimmer. During yet another trip away I went to Frampton Marsh and Gibraltar Point-fairly quiet but the corn buntings and turtle doves were nice.


Corn Bunting



2010 Review part 2


I spent a lot of my time at Patrington Haven, this monthwithout the true rewards I was hoping for.The waders were not particularly obliging, but the little egrets were some compensation and the med gull was a nice suprise.

Barn Owl

Little Egret

Little Egret

Mediterranean Gull


August threw up a couple of rare birds and I was pleased to finally get a shot of a common crane.I went up to Bewholme to catch up with the relatively long staying bird that was frequenting the Bewholme/Hornsea mere area.The white winged black tern was another nice bonus and although I took over 100 shots of this bird it was very difficult to digiscope, the one below was only one of 6 that were worth keeping.The undoubted highlight this month was the acquisition of my new camera and lens.

Common Crane

Pied Flycatcher

White Winged Black Tern


September heralded the start of one of the best Autumns in recent history on the East Coast.rare bird after rare bird turned up and for me the best birds included citrine wagtail (Spurn) and eastern olivaceous warbler (Flamborough) but alas no pictures of either. There was a good mix of scarce birds and I was particularly happy with my shots of the red-breasted flycatcher.All photos below were taken at Spurn apart from the western bonellis warbler which was at Bempton.

Barred Warbler

Common Rosefinch

Great Grey Shrike

Red Breasted Flycatcher

Spotted Flycatcher

Western Bonellis Warbler


The superb Autumn continued into October with one particular Sunday being the most memorable.Favourable winds combined with right time of year and good light made for fantastic conditions.All shots below were taken around the Spurn area.The rose coloured starling signalled an abrupt end to what was a brilliant Autumn.


Jack Snipe

Pallas's Warbler


Rose Coloured Starling


Yellow Browed warbler


November was a fairly quiet month for me I got out on a couple of trips once to Hornsea mere to see a greta skua giving distant views and also to see the long staying rough legged buzzard at South ferriby.

Great Skua

Rough Legged Buzzard


December brought one of the coldest starts to winter in living memory. not good news for the birds but gave some great photo opportunities.The barn owl was at Flamborough feeding over frozen fields, fieldfare at stony creek feeding on berries, the goldeneye was at Hornsea Mere in a small pool of unfrozen water whilst the peregrine stalked the gulls at the same site. The lapwing was feeding on frozen flooded fields at Kilnsea.

Barn Owl




Peregrine Falcon

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Winter gets harder....

The recent wintry weather has given some great opportunities for photography.
I set off for Spurn last Sunday but only got as far as Easington before the snow got too bad.Whilst on the way back I went round Sunk Island and it was here that a row of bushes laden with berries held a flock of thrushes which at times were very obliging. The weather was a mix of snow showers and sunshine and this gave some greatlight.
Next I went for a couple of hours at Allerthorpe Woods. Just the usual common species here, very tame and starving hungry.Unfortunately there were mo bramblings.
Lastly I had a morning at Hornsea Mere there is a small area that is ice free and amongst the mallards and coots there is a small party of goldeneye.
Mostly theye kep their distance but evey now and again they venture quite close and again prove to be very obliging.
There is also a juvenile peregrine falcon and this was causing chaos amongst the gulls although it didn't take anything whilst I was there.
One thing is for sure -all the birds are starving and whilst it helps with the photos, it will be a lot better when it thaws so they can feed up for the next bout of cold weather and with the way this winter is going it won't be far away.