29th January – A Wheatear in January??

Posted: February 5, 2012 in Bird Watching, Rochdale, Rossendale, Twitching
Tags: , ,

One of our merry band had not seen Desert Wheatear in this country before, so, a trip to see the long staying one at Bempton Cliffs, Yorkshire was organised. Steve B had broken his toe and was sporting a nice pair of open toed sandals for the trip, talk about “getting cold feet”. Chris B was at the helm with myself and Rip Van Bob K riding shotgun! A report of a White Stork near Fraisthorpe on Saturday needing following up but no joy, only a strange bunch of non birders secreted in a layby, what were they up to? At Bempton we made our way to the area the Desert Wheatear had been frequenting to be met by a shower that lasted about twenty minutes and managed to give us all a good dousing! We were treated to lots of Gannets, Guillemots, Fulmars, Rock Pipits and a Shag (sorry) as we waited for the “star” bird to appear. The bird duly obliged and gave stunning veiws down to about ten feet for about half an hour, lots of pics were taken. Steve B was a little “under the weather” by now having been saturated by the deluge but he “manned it out” and managed to fill a couple of rolls of film of the bird. Onto Hornsea Mere and again no sign of the grey geese reported earlier, a nice large flock of Barnacle Geese landed on the water though. A Cattle Egret was looked for at Top Hill Low, again without any joy (what is it about that place that I dont like) A Little Egret seen as we left that area, had us grabbing our bins, well spotted Steve. Our final stop of the day was to be the Anglers/ Wintersett complex near Wakefield,were we picked up Great Crested Grebe, Black Necked Grebe, Smew on Wintersett, all pointed out to us by a lady from Keighley that Chris B thought had previously “stalked” him ? At Anglers the same lady showed us the bright American Wigeon along with the masses of other wildfowl in the area. We all picked up about 14 year ticks on our latest adventure and apart from the weather all enjoyed it.
Regards,
Ozz.

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