Tuesday, 31 January 2012

I spend more time than most looking at seagulls and therefore see my fair share of white wingers, which is why it's pissing me off that in the biggest Iceland Gull influx in my birding lifetime I can't find any whilst my mate Frenchy is swanning around in Scotland tripping over them and seeing a few Kumlien's in the process.
I've been doing the tips and roosts when I can but drawn a blank, until today when driving down the A64 nr Scarborough tip I saw an obvious juv winger from the car but thought it looked a bit big.  I pulled over and sure enough juv Glauc, fuckin ell what do I have to do to score an Iceland?



I've managed to blag myself access onto the tip at Scarborough which should ensure decent views as the birds are often very distant from the public rights of way so I was pretty fired about that until today when they informed me it's the last day of tipping it's now gonna be covered over and landscaped, BASTARD!!!!!

This is what I'd been looking forward to, it's pretty monster but can be a bit hard to see the wood for the trees as it were!

video

I meant to post this link ages ago but forgot all about it so have a look at this seems pretty topical as this post is all about dumps

 http://www.shorebirder.com/2010/11/gulling-at-landfill.html

I nearly pissed myself laughing at this and reckon all gullers have had that conversation a few times.

Anyway here's a Kumlien's I did find a few years ago, seems I'm gonna have to be satisfied with that one cos it's not looking good for this year they'll all be off back home in a few weeks




Thursday, 19 January 2012

Had a couple of hours out this afternoon, was going to go see if the cracking 1st w Caspo was at Wheldrake but by the time I tore myself away from the Snooker it was too late to be worh it.  So I decided on a trip to North Cave where there was a second w Med Gull on the main lake but not many other Gulls so I ventured to Newport tip where there was one Common Gull in the field where they all sit but knack all else.

Shite phonescoped pic cos my camera was still plugged int the computer after downloading the Cattle Egret pics yesterday.  The light was so bright the phone couldn't deal with the contrasty conditions!

With only about an hour or so before dark Fafleet seemed like the best bet.  Turned out to be a pretty good hour in the end with 22 Marsh and a single Hen Harrier hunting over the reedbeds or moving upriver towards Blacktoft to roost.  Many of the Gulls that use the tips in the area such as Holme on Salding Moor, Newport and even Harewood whin at York use the Humber to roost so literally thousands of Gulls were coming in from the north.  unfortunately they were all distant to the east so I couldnt nail the one white winger.  It looked like an Iceland gull prob a second winter or worn faded juv but s it just looked white I cant rule out an albino/leucistic Herring.  I'll probably go down and try to find  vantage point to view this roost in the next week or so as it's cetinly the largest roost in E.Yorks.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

I didn't mention that I saw the Cattle egret at Top Hill on Sunday morning.  I didn't spend long looking at it cos it was through a hedge as it walked round the front garden of Easingwold farm.  So this afternoon I called into Hempholme to have another look at it.  It showed really well along the grass at the side of the boatyard.





All the above pics taken at about 30 metres range in shit light and hand held at 800 ISO.  I really need to get an adapter and cable release for this camera, I reckon the results in good light with a proper set up will be really impressive.

It seems this bird has raised the old argument about supression.  Whilst I haven't had the story first hand I've had it from good sources including the county recorder and one of the lads from Top hill and it seems some of the regulars there were told about the bird by the local farmer and have been seeing it since before the new year but kept it quiet as the farmer asked them not to release news.  Trouble is they said the road and land are private which isn't true and in any case you can park at Top hill and walk half an hour to view it there are also plenty of public footpaths.  It's a shame really as althoough it's not a mega rare bird it's still a good county record and it leaves a bad taste in the mouth.  I have to say I've lost a bit of respect for one person in particular who I have considered a friend for a long time, and might not be quite as quick to let him know about the next decent bird at Spurn.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Jack Frost

Still haven't sorted out the pics of the Bean Geese and Shrikes, I've been too busy fixing central heating and birding so you've had a reprieve!  Being in E.Yorks I'm pretty blessed with decent birding sites, there's North Cave, Swinemoor and any number of sites on the Humber or coast including my favourite Hornsea.  But one site I never give much time to is Top Hill Low, it's got a great track record for pulling in good birds including a particular Falcon we won't mention! But what's struck me lately is just how good it is in winter for general birding.  I had a walk round there on Sunday morning and saw Smew, Pintail, Merlin, Peregrine, and a decent flock of Whitefronts.  In the last few weeks I've done the roost 5 tims and only one had anyone else there so it's certainly not given too much coverage.  Then again long shanks Martin tells me there's only been 2 white winged Gulls in about the last ten years that have roosted on more than one night so maybe it's not worth putting too much time in!  I have at least seen a regular adult Med Gull on most visits and a 1st winter once.


This is an S95 videograb from some footage hand held tonight at about 4.25pm!!!!



It's been pretty nippy round here the last few days and the frost has been spectacular, here's a few arty shots of the frost.





 These are all with the S95 just sharpened and cropped but no other manipulation done.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Happy feckin new year

It appears Yorkslister has been too busy to update the blog!  I'm not too sure what I've been doing though as I certainly haven't been doing much birding, in fact I've done exactly none since early December, apart from when working that is.

In the couple of weeks following the last post I did manage to see the desert Wheatear at Bempton a couple of times, although strong winds made it very hard to get any good pics of it.  Here's the best I managed.



And on the same day I saw a smart adult Caspin Gull pickd out by an eagle eyed Yorks newcomer Lee Johnson at North cave which performed well and allowed pics and video which nailed all the features.  Unusual in yorks as not many records make the grade despite being claimed with increasing regularity.  heres a couple of shots of it.



 Right I'm off but will be updating again over the coming days with Grey Shrikes and Bean Geese, you have been warned!!!!