Saturday, 5 January 2013

LDV Birding

Spent the day round the south of the York recording area today. Tomorrow is the Bird Race which I can't take part in due to other commitments, but I figured I'd go out today and sell my sightings to Tim, Ollie, Jack and Chris' team - The String Quartet.... (Read about last year here)

Where to start... Morning walk with the dogs produced the standard 3 Barn Owl, including 2 that were hunting together just 10ft in front of me! There seemed to be more Fieldfare and Redwing about this morning, a few Tree Sparrows flew through and a small flock of Yellowhammer were noted, but little else really, though a flock of 8 Lesser Redpoll was nice.

I then headed over to Foggathorpe Pools where I had a very nice selection of birds including: over 500 Pink-footed Goose heading north (in 4 flocks of over 100 birds each), Snipe, 2 Crossbill, 10+ Brambling, 15+ Siskin, 20+ Lesser Redpoll, 2 Bullfinch, Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, Goldcrest, Jay, Red-legged Partridge, 80 Teal, 8 Wigeon and then the usual common stuff... though this was a highlight in itself  with 2,500 Wood Pigeon sounding like a train steaming through!

Next I decided to check out Aughton to see if the Bewick's Swans were still about, and they were. Had 3 of them in with about 9 Whooper Swans. They were a fair deal closer than the other day when I was viewing them at North Duffield. I got some shots, one of which you can actually read the darvic ring (yellow left leg 702) details of this bird here. On to Bubwith Bridge where I counted 70 Pochard, a new high-count for me here. The water is dropping, finally (picture below). There was also Pintail, Wigeon, Teal etc...

I decided to drive down to South Duffield to look for Corn Buntings and in doing so found an incredibly impressive mixed flock including: 200 Tree Sparrow, 120 Corn Bunting, 20 Yellowhammer, 20 Reed Bunting, 35+ Linnet, 15+ Chaffinch and several hundred Fieldfare and Redwing. A lone Sparrowhawk was patrolling but this area looks spot on for Merlin!

Back at North Duffield for lunch and another flock of Corn Bunting, 20 this time, with another 10 Lesser Redpoll and 500+ Fieldfare and Redwing. Also here Great Spotted Woodpecker, Long-tailed Tit, Kestrel and Sparrowhawk.  A quick visit to Thorganby didn't produce too much though 148 Dunlin was good on recent numbers (and water levels) - thanks to Tim for counting!, Shelduck, Goldeneye and (another) a very showy Barn Owl was cool (though camera in car)!  Finished the afternoon back in the Geoff Smith Hide but it was pretty quiet to be honest! A couple of youngish Lesser Black-backed Gull in with the gull roost, Pintail, and surprisingly no Barn Owl!

Looking forward to tomorrow now!

Bewick Swan "Yellow left 702"

Bewick's Swan

3x Bewick's Swans and 3x Whooper Swans

3x Bewick's Swans + 2x Whooper Swans

Bewick's Swans

Bewick's Swans

Whooper Swans

The floods at Bubwith

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