Monday 12 February 2024

A Walk Around the Local Patch

 A beautiful afternoon encouraged a walk around the local patch: the cemetery and woodland burial ground. Although sunny it felt cool at 7C in the chill wind. It was also wet with many of the paths flooded. Highlights were the female great spotted woodpecker, the large numbers of goldfinches that were about and a pair of bullfinches.

Entrance to the Woodland Burial Ground
Great spotted woodpecker
Great spotted woodpecker
Herring Gull
Herring Gull
Herring Gull
Bullfinch

Saturday 10 February 2024

Lesser Yellowlegs at Frampton

 Although the day began with fog over the Lincolnshire Wolds, as we approached Boston it cleared to give a mild and largely sunny day. As is so often the case here, the overriding memory is one of wheeling flocks of waders and geese and the echoing calls of birds over the marsh: the whistling of wigeon, peewit calls of lapwings, bubbling song of curlew and the more gutteral calling of brent geese. The first bird seen and photographed was a superb kestrel hovering over the car park.


The day began, as usual with coffee in the excellent cafe and an unsuccessful attempt at locating the, by now, famous lesser yellowlegs. Giving up on this American vagrant we made our way to the 360 Hide before returning at 12.30 to satisfy the grumbling in stomachs. The bacon bun was excellent and this time the yellowlegs turned up trumps giving plenty of close-up opportunities for photography. I am ambivalent about these odd rarities; the chances of this bird finding a made or its way back to America are neglible. For the moment, however, it appears to be fit and well. 







Following lunch we headed down to the sea wall where we made our way to the East Hide and returned to the visitor centre via the 360 Hide. During this walk we were able to feast our senses on the wealth of birds present. Arriving back at the centre we were ready for a cup of tea during which we were treated to the sudden arrival of a flock of whooper swans which landed just in front of us. The light had nearly gone now but there was just enough to secure a record shot.

Avocet
Avocet
Lapwing
Lapwing
Pintail
Teal
Teal
Whooper Swans
Wigeon
Wigeon
Wigeon
Wigeon
Wigeon
Wigeon

Sunday 4 February 2024

A Late Afternoon Visit to Cleethorpes.

 A late afternoon visit to Cleethorpes with Malcolm and Maureen rewarded us with 23 species, the highlight being bar-tailed godwit.

Bar-tailed Godwit
Redshank
Dunlin

Friday 2 February 2024

A Second Visit to North Cave Wetlands.

 The day began overcast but as the afternoon wore on the sun came out to give magnificent light. Heather's brother and his wife were staying with us and were keen to visit this excellent location. There were still large numbers of brambling at the feeders and it was good to see a good few siskins. Tree sparrows were still present in good numbers and we enjoyed some close views of bullfinch. We saw 41 bird species in all, highlights being siskin and brambling.

Brambling
Brambling
Siskin
Teal
Tree Sparrow

Thursday 1 February 2024

A short session at the feeding station.

 A quick trip out the the wood to top up the feeders gave me enough time for an hour in the hide. The feeders were buzzing with activity, largely tits but a couple of nuthatches are coming down. There seems to be much more activity than the last few years - good to see.  There was an atmosphere of spring in the wood: snowdrops and aconites in flower and birds singing especially a very vocal great tit. A wren visited briefly but there is still no sign of a woodpecker. It was bright sun but chilly at 7C.

Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Blue Tit
Great Tit
Nuthatch
Pheasant

Tuesday 30 January 2024

Novartis Ings and the Humber Bank

 Making the most of a trip to the tip, I decided to visit Novartis Ings and the Humber Bank. Although overcast and cold (7C) the sky cleared during the afternoon to give wonderful light. I was pleased to find the hide open (apparently from 8.30 - 2.30) and if it is closed viewing stations have been created in the fence - excellent.) as the tide was out there was not a lot to see on the Ings but there was plenty of wader activity on the Humber mud. I saw 28 bird species the highlight being a huge flock of golden plover which at one point wheeled into the air before settling to roost again, a magnificent sight.

Novartis Ings
Novartis Ings
A large flock of golden plover on the Humber mud.
Looking towards Immingham
Grimsby dock tower in the distance.

Monday 29 January 2024

An overdue walk around the local patch.

 A dull, grey day but mild at 12C. I misjudged my timing, starting out too late. Not only did I lose the light but I found myself locked in and had to go a long way round to get out. I managed 15 bird species, highlights being a singing song thrush and goldfinches feeding on the alders. The regular aconites were in flower on the usual grave and lichens added a splash of colour on a dull day.