Saturday, 5 January 2013

Birthday Birding!

 I decided to get out early today after unwrapping my presents! Headed over to bubwith first where the water levels have now dropped substantially and was able to park on either side of the bridge, the highlight was an obliging female reed bunting. Also present were wigeon, coot, mute swan, black headed gulls & plenty of lapwing on the strips of land now above the water level.

I carried on to a site where Bewick swans had been reported 2 days before and at last I caught up with these birds which i've been chasing around for the last few weeks with no luck! There were 2 Bewicks in with 7 Whooper swans which was really helpful for comparison purposes, I noticed the Bewicks were more slender than the whoopers and the yellow on the bill is very much a small circle not extending down to a point as in the Whoopers.

         Bewick's Swan - Cygnus columbianus (rear) & Whooper Swan - Cygnus cygnus (front)

I decided to visit Ellerton to pick up some more species for the year list, plenty of winter ducks about with wigeon, shelduck, 7 pintail. The air was full of the noise of hundreds of greylag geese and there were a good number of vocal whooper swans about too.

Heading back home I called in at Duffield Carrs, arriving in the car park a kestrel floated overhead & perched in a nearby tree, but took off as I reached for the camera! From the GS hide it was evident water levels had dropped somewhat but still plenty of water about. The Garganey hide windows are visible again! Present at duffield cars were Pochard (around 65), Moorhen, Tufted Duck, Moorhen, Mute Swan, wigeon, lapwing (in big numbers) and lots of Canadian Geese. The local wren was very showy infront of the GS hide again.

I then went home (late) to set off for the day trip to Whitby for birthday fish & chips on the beach!


On arrival there were a few turnstone about happily running around peoples feet picking up the scraps, are they the new Herring gull?!

                                                             Turnstone - Arenaria interpres

Me and Mrs Kiz went to the beach with our fish & chips to eat them away from the hustle & bustle and walking on the beach I heard a fulmar calling, then another, and another! There were around 20 on the cliffside sat on old nests, some were flying in circles and swooping at the nests, great to see them so close up and in flight above my head.

                                                           Fulmar - Fulmarus glacialis

We finished the day at Robin Hoods Bay as the sun was setting, picking up my final year tick of the day - Oystercatcher.

It was a lovely way to spend my birthday, thankyou to all for your birthday wishes!


  1. nice one Andy,
    stop stuffing your face with fish and chips (only joking!! magpie caf overated) get yourself out on the ldv its cracking at the moment.

  2. Haha I didnt do the magpie we go to a takeout one down the road, no queue and just as good!