Category Archives: 12) Hoopoe to Woodpeckers

Eight of Eighteen

The Challenge Series: AUTUMN

One of the chapters covers the British Great Spotted Woodpecker and the Northern Great Spotted Woodpecker. New material on identification based on bill, moult and wing markings plus new questions about where these irruptive immigrants really come from. For more on the content and how to buy the book click HERE.

juvenile Northern Great Spotted Woodpecker, October, Brydon Thomason. Shetland Nature

juvenile Northern Great Spotted Woodpecker, October, Brydon Thomason. Shetland Nature

 

Five Bee-eaters and a Red-backed Shrike

at Flamborough

Of course lots more here and you may have already heard. We got some proper spring colour today on the East Yorkshire Coast:

More (nicer) photos and news on the Flamborough Bird Obs website

Come on cough it up! the hard bits of insects don't digest very well a and get regurgitated.

Come on cough it up! the hard bits of insects don’t digest very well a and get regurgitated.

male Red-backed Shrike added value to an already cool day

male Red-backed Shrike added value to an already cool day

Red Letter Day

29th May 2012

Bit of a red letter day for me personally! Guiding at Spurn and finding a European Roller with Kieren Allinson, should have been enough for anyone’s day. We also found a Turtle Dove and saw  a Golden Oriole, before heading drove north…to Hartlepool, where we saw the ‘Orphean Warbler’. Incredible! bit more on the warbler later. For now, nice to see the Roller has turned up a little further north in Aldbrough for more people to enjoy.

 European Roller, Spurn, 29th May 2012

It’s some day when Golden Oriole and (rare) migrant Turtle Dove become also rans…

Turtle Dove, Spurn peninsula, 29th May 2012. A fine start to a day which just got better and….

Bee-eaters, Golden Oriole, Nightjar

and friends.

17th May. Spurn.

Early morning didn’t look too promising. Conditions rather still. However this is Spurn! The Golden Oriole was still present just along from our caravan. I had flushed it in a magic moment the previous evening. Beautiful low sun, heading off on beach walk, not expecting to see anything! Watching it again (in flight) mid morning Andrew from Westmere Farm radioed through to say a visitor had reported a Bee-eater. (He actually added – if anyone was interested!) headed straight over. Not one, but 2 European Bee-eaters. Found by ‘Sarah’, who had looked out of her room window at Westmere to see these 2 bright coloured birds perched on the nearby wires. Flip! Makes a good reason to stay at Westmere Farm! They hung around for about half an hour before heading off west. Magic! Other birds of the day included several (brief) views of the Golden Oriole, a male Nightjar down the peninsula and a variety of other migrants around Pied and Spotted Flycatchers, Firecrest, Whinchat etc. I really enjoyed watching the blackish-legged acredula type Willow Warbler along the canal banking. Counted 210 dark and 2 Pale-bellied Brent Geese on the Humber.

2 Bee-eaters. Surely they can make anyone’s day in Britain. I love that they were found by a couple staying at Sue and Andrew’s place at Westmere Farm. Perched on the wires from the bedroom window. Only Spurn!

Golden Oriole. Almost  a caravan tick (it is about 300 metres away from where I am typing this). It was singing this afternoon. Aging and sexing Golden Oriole on plumage is (apparently says Spurn warden P.C.) a bit of a nightmare.

male Nightjar near Wire Dump. Females don’t have white spots in the wings. Lack of obvious white corners on the tail made me wonder if this is a young male (2nd cal year).

enjoyed watching this brown and white Willow Warbler with blackish-looking legs. May is classic month for ‘acredula‘ types which breed further north and east.

Not rare but lovely views of migrant Sand Martins as they pause at the Warren

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