Saturday, 31 December 2016

Post 451 - Dreary December? No! Brilliant Birding!

Fly on a dried out umbellifer on the 18th Dec
Hey everyone, just enough time to squeeze in a last post for 2016. I always wonder what I'll be able to find this time of year, in the dead of winter. Well it's been so mild that there has still been the odd insect to find and I have seen the odd fly around at places like Silton Forest.

Willow Tit at Sutton Bank
Of course something that you can see all the year round is birds. This December has been quite good for me in birding terms. I've had a few great walks over the Christmas holidays, staying quite close to home too. The first was a trip to Garbutt Woods, a Yorkshire Wildlife Trust reserve where Dad and I walked up the cliffs to Sutton Bank and had a well earned hot chocolate and a tea at the visitor centre. I love watching the feeders there, and we had a great view as we were sat outside as we had Esme with us. The feeders were alive with Chaffinches, Great Tits, Blue Tits, Coal Tits but the reason I like them is that you can often see a Willow Tit or a Marsh Tit here and while we were having dinner sure enough a Willow Tit showed its face.

England's Finest View
A friendly Robin sat on the wall while we ate too, watching for crumbs I think. Looking up at the Robin we also noticed a Treecreeper looking through the moss on the wall. First time I've seen one that's not on a tree! Heading back down we stopped for a look at England's finest view which was grand even on quite a dull day!

Cracking view of a Buzzard
Now one of the things that I find quite frustrating about Kestrels and Buzzards is that they are always sat nicely on a fence post, on a tree or on a telephone wire when either I have forgotten my camera or as we zip along the roads at 50mph. I see loads of these birds but the chances to photograph them aren't very frequent. So it was a lovely surprise when we pulled up at a local pet store to see a buzzard sitting in a field just about 10 or 15 feet away from me. Well my camera was with me and I sat and snapped away while I had the chance, an awesome raptor encounter. It seemed happy just milling about this bit of field. At one point it flew up onto the roadside verge then made quite hard work of scrabbling back through a fence. I must have watched it for about 20 minutes, an awesome raptor encounter!

The Eastern Black Redstart at Skinningrove today
I had some time this morning and wondered if there was chance that I might manage to get another birding session in so Dad and I decided to look at what was around locally. Before Christmas I'd heard there was an Eastern Black Redstart around at Skinningrove so we checked if it was still about. It was! So Dad and I got into the car and had a trip that way, It's not so far from us, less than an hour away, but we've never been before. Following the directions we'd found about where to see it we peered over a jetty wall. Before the words 'I wonder where it is'  were out of my mouth it appeared on a rock just a few feet away from us. I hadn't even got the camera ready! I had to wait a while before I could get a decent photo but while we waited we had a look around and saw a few Fulmars a bird I've not seen before that I can think of. Also around were quite a few Turnstones, Herring Gulls, Rock Pippets, Black Headed Gulls, Oystercatcher, and a Great Black-Backed Gull. Sadly we didn't see the Glaucous Gull or Red Throated Diver that a birder on the beach told us were around. I might have seen the Diver but it was a long way off and I didn't have my scope so I'll be looking for that another day!

Well, not a bad December I think.

Hope you all have a very Happy New Year and I look forward to seeing what I can find in 2017!

Wishing you all a wildlife filled 2017 :-)

Hope you enjoyed,


1 comment:

  1. Love that amazing shot of the Buzzard Zach, stunning! Happy New Year! - Tasha