The last words of my previous blog entry were an announcement to the birds that I was ready for them, a challenge that one bird in particular took up!!!
Yesterday was the first day this week that I woke feeling human as at last my migraine cleared up. I decided to catch up on a couple of things, so first I caught up on the blog and later I began sorting photos that had arrived for our scrap book. Before I got far with the book I got news from Peter about a brilliant bird that had flown in and his suggestion was that we should, “go, go, go!” The only catch was that it was in Yorkshire, what to do that was the question. Quick look on Booking.com meant we found somewhere to spend the night so we grabbed a case with a few essential, got optics and were in the car and off. We knew we would arrive after dark but also that we would be close by to strike early!
So what bird is that I hear you ask? Aha, what is the bird in question? Well it is a Siberian Accentor and it is the first on mainland Britain, the first for the UK was on the Shetland Isles only last week!
Bless Ian for driving as we arrived a couple of hours after sunset and found our place for the night. We received a lovely welcome and arranged a breakfast bag to take with us as we would be out before breakfast. Alarm was set but not needed we were awake and keen to get out. When we arrived at Easington (just a few miles away) it was manic! Cars and birders everywhere! We found a spot and walked to the site where a long queue was waiting for their turns to view the bird. We joined the queue!The picture shows a little bit of the queue but can you see the lack of women? Why is birding such a male heavy hobby?
The atmosphere was lovely and everyone co-operated with the system, wait in the queue, get ushered over in turn and after a very short while get moved on! Very funny but we all got to see the bird so no one was complaining and everyone was free to join the queue again if they wished. We didn’t but we did return later in the morning when this is how things looked!
So on our second visit we were free to enjoy the bird properly! This time I got photos that actually show the bird so we were really delighted to have a second shot. A lovely little bird and we were VERY pleased to have taken Peter’s advice to “go, go, go!” I suspect the weekend will get busy again.
Apart from seeing the Siberian accentor we haven’t had any birds to add to our year list but we have seen some smashing birds none the less. Between our two trips to Easington we went to Sammy’s Point and it was just the sort of place I love and the still early light added to it.
I was pleased to find a Ring ouzel which was quickly joined by a second one and by the time we moved on there were six!
Whilst at Sammy’s point I have never seen so much bird movement and that really did feel magical! I have never seen so many Goldcrests, warblers, buntings, Robins, winter thrushes and more, it was simply alive. There were of course lots of birders there and everyone was chirpy as all had been and seen the Accentor so for us all any thing else was going to be a bonus. Another treat was to see Woodcock in flight, I am pretty sure I haven’t seen that before. Of course the appearance Wheatears always adds its own magic, today was no exception. We saw a lone Swallow, I don’t suppose we will see many more this year.
We were having such a good time that we decided to return to our B & B, Dunedin Country House, which we had already checked out of, and have a coffee and see if they had a room for us for another night. I am sitting in it now so indeed the answer was yes! We would certainly recomend staying here, they are friendly, welcoming and accomadating.
We couldn’t be so close to Spurn without a visit so we headed there too. I must confess to being uncertain which of the shots are Spurn and which are taken at Sammy’s point (it’s been a long day!)
There had been several reports of birds that would have been ticks for us but unfortunately we couldn’t connect with any of them. None the less we saw some good birds including similar birds to those seen at Sammy’s point, no Ouzels but we did see a Jack snipe and this lovely Shore Lark. We saw a small group of Shore larks early in the year but got no recognisable photos so I was pleased to get a go today!
We had hoped to see a Pallas’s warbler but no such luck even though there was at least one in the area. Other birds evaded us but we really did have a cracking day. When we went for our second trip to see the Siberian accentor as we walked up the road to it we were delighted to see this Redstart, another bird we had earlier in the year but again no previous shots (as far as I remember!).
Our parting jaunt for the day was a second trip to Sammy’s point, after a short walk Eastward we decided to go Westward instead! This direction took us down a path between the sea and a dyke, plenty of warblers were taking advantage of the reeds! When we were nearly back to the car we saw a Pied flycatcher on the stones by the sea.
Amongst the birds that were reported but only seen briefly, not by us, was a Rose coloured starling in a church yard. I include this photo for one reason and one reason only, the opportunity to tell you about my Star Wars moment. See the picture and then imagine my very best Obi Wan Kenobi voice …”These are not the Starling you are looking for!”
Now for the absolutely last pictures for today, these are to illustrate what I have in common with the bird of the day, the wind really does play havoc with hair/feathers.
So today has been a magical day and having just had a good meal (we missed lunch) we are relaxing ready to see what tomorrow may bring. We are planning to go to Donna Nook and hope some good birds have similar plans!!!