Thursday, 10 May 2012

Local MEGA: Hooded Crow

Chris Gomersall found a very nice local rarity this morning: Hooded Crow. Unfortunately, following in the chain of great local birds this Spring this one was a flyover too! Hopefully it will get pinned down over the next couple of days. Think the last one may have been about 1984/85 so would be popular with many local area listers. Even some of the oldies!

I had an early start this morning and was sat in the hide at North Duffield between 0515 and 0700 however I really needn't have bothered. The visibility was poor at best. The best I could manage was a single Great Crested Grebe and 1 Wheatear. Not a lot else to add this evening either.

After work this evening I thought I'd take a drive round the local area to check the fields for downed migrants after we'd had several heavy showers.

The first field held 2 Ringed Plover, a Redshank, Common Sandpiper and 4 Pied Wagtail and a small flood held a smart male Garganey that showed well amongst the vegetation, a few pics off my phone below.

Drake Garganey looking one way (phone-scoped) 

Drake Garganey looking the other way (phone-scoped) 

Drake Garganey hiding below a wave (phone-scoped) 

Drake Garganey finally showing the goods (phone-scoped)

A little bit further along and I came across a large field that had just got the crop germinating, it was clear there was a fair bit of movement in the field so I stopped to take a look, and I was glad I did. First bird I got on was cracking male Linnet, the second bird was a spectacular male Whinchat,  its always nice finding these in inland lowland sites, especially in Spring when they look like this! I got a couple of pics on my phone just in case it flew off before anyone else got there! Pretty sure this is the first record of this species in the York recording area this spring. I think they are commoner on Autumn rather than Spring passage here.

Male Whinchat (rain on the scope = black blobs!) (phone-scoped) 

Male Winchat (phone-scoped) 

Male Whinchat (phone-scoped)

Also in the field was 2 Corn Bunting, several Skylark, single Wheatear, male Yellow Wagtail and what I think was a distant male 'Channel Wagtail'. Unfortunately it never came close and was chased off by the male Yellow Wagtail. All I could manage was the worst than usual phone picture.

Presumed 'Channel Wagtail' (very distantly phone-scoped

The final field I checked on my way back home held at least 3 Wheatear, 2 male and 1 female Yellow Wagtail and 6 Corn Bunting.

Believe it or not, the Whinchat was sat at the end of a rainbow!

Found a Whinchat at the end of the rainbow...


  1. That Whinchat even looks good in your photos! Gutted this wasn't there in the afternoon!

  2. haha you cheeky sod!! It probably was there, you probably just missed it!!!