I decided to take my new camera for a walk round Skipwith this morning. It was a beautiful day, cool but bright and sunny. Highlights included several Jays, 2 Spotted Flycatchers (my first local area ones of the year!), single Hobby, 11 Buzzard all in a kettle (and very vocal), single Kestrel, 2 Sparrowhawk and a massive tit flock, made up mainly by Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, a few Goldcrest and a couple of Great Spotted Woodpecker and Chiffchaff but none of the hoped-for Yellow-browed Warblers! Also had a few Wigeon flying around with the Mallard. Further interest was provided by lots of dragonflies, mainly Hawkers and Darters I think? I also managed the following photographs with the new camera. Will hopefully get better as I learn the correct settings etc...
Presumed Hawker sp?
Presumed Ruddy Darter?
I then went across to Bank Island at Wheldrake to check out the wader habitat, about the only bit in the whole valley at the moment, but it does look good (had Grey Plover here last week). There was near to 100 Lapwing, 1 Greenshank, several Common Snipe and 28 Golden Plover. A flock of about 125 Black-headed Gull dropped in, and in with them was a first-winter Mediterranean Gull. As I was leaving a flock of 17 Pink-footed Geese flew through heading south.
My last stop was North Duffield Carrs to check on the Marsh Harrier roost. It was really quiet tonight with only 5 Marsh Harrier seen coming in to roost. Most interest was from a distant Short-eared Owl that was getting mobbed by a Carrion Crow. The crow soon lost interest and the Short-eared Owl remained sat on the fencepost for the next two hours! When I arrived at the hide I'd just missed a Hobby, no doubt attracted by the huge number of hirundines present (thousands of Swallow and House Martin tonight - really impressive). There was also a distant Barn Owl out hunting and a roving flock of over 60 Goldfinch and Linnet. No pictures from here as everything was distant and the light faded rapidly.
All in all an enjoyable day, though the coast is calling for tomorrow!