Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Let me know when that tide's coming in won't you

Friday 26 May 2023

Puffins & Razorbills - Bempton Cliffs

The East coast of Yorkshire is a lovely place, and at this time of year its cliffs are jam packed with breeding sea birds. Puffins, Gannets, Guillemots, Razorbills, Kittiwakes and Fulmars fill the air, sea and land. The sight, sounds and smells are a joy to behold. I recommend a visit to anyone who can get across there at this time of year. I've been many times and it never fails to produce.

There were not too many Puffins around this year. Maybe avian flu has had an impact or the long term problem of food shortage is taking it's toll. Not being very big birds, it was a case of scanning for those orange feet and the famous bill. They just put a big smile on my face when I see them.


Good numbers of Razorbills were lovely to see. Quite often when I see these birds they are floating a long way out at sea, or whizzing past at speed, so it was nice to see them at close quarters on the rocks.


This one made sure the Pigeon knew he wasn't happy with him flying past.

Tuesday 23 May 2023

Temminck's Stint - Thornwick Pool

A lovely weekend away on the East Yorkshire coast provided quite a few birding highlights, with most of these had at Bempton Cliffs. But news of a small wading bird just a short walk away at Thornwick Pool was very unexpected. A Temminck's Stint!!

I had been to the pool the previous day in search of a Wood Sandpiper and an earlier reported Red-backed Shrike. Neither were seen, so I wasn't too expectant when I was walking to the hide on this occasion, but just a few feet away there was the very small Stint in all it's glory in superb sunlight. My second of the year, but the first that didn't require a scope and wasn't obscured by long grass. I was so pleased to get some decent images. It's unlikely I'll get anything as good or clear again. To add icing to my cake, a hard to spot Lesser Whitethroat was singing outside the hide.

Temminck's Stint

Wednesday 10 May 2023

Barn Owl

This Barn Owl has been around for some time close to home. It likes to do a circuit or two of it's favourite field and then disappear for a while. For a large bird it is quite surprising how well they can conceal themselves in grass. It's a real joy to watch in any sort of weather, but when the sun comes out in the late evening it just lights up the sky with it's flight.

Barn Owl

Thursday 4 May 2023

A Bumper Day on the Patch

Birding on a particular patch can be quite disheartening at times, especially when you see lots of good birds appearing all round the country. You're just hoping that one drops in when you are there and that will make you happy. Birding where I do at Woodford, straddling the Cheshire and Greater Manchester border, seeing a Linnet can be a good day, whilst on others it seems completely devoid of all life. I've had some very good birds here, and most have appeared at this time of year. Trusting my notes from previous years, I made a special effort last week to visit during my lunch breaks and after work. I was rewarded beyond belief.

In just one day I had found a male Redstart at lunchtime, followed by a female after work. Added to that followed a Yellow Wagtail and two male Whinchats. Also thrown into the mix were Common Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plovers, Ringed Plovers, Stonechat and Barn Owl. I'd have been happy with this list if it was spread over 5 years, but to get them all in one day was really quite special. What's more the sun was out, and I was able to get some good record shots of them too.

I do hope this isn't all my luck used up, and that I can have more days like this on the patch in the weeks and years ahead.

Female Redstart (centre picture)

Male Redstart hugging the hedge

Male Whinchat with his back to us

Now facing us

This Yellow Wagtail was on the golf course, while I had myself behind some trees for cover

 Record shot of a Ringed Plover (left) and Common Sandpiper (right)