Having missed out on a Pallid Harrier last year in Teeside, on the day that a certain football team shipped 6 goals to the eventual champions. We thought that a trip to Patrington Haven, Yorkshire would be in order. It’s a good job that we already have Pallid Harrier on our list, because we were again, unsuccessful. It was just me and Bob K that made the trip with the rest of the A team indisposed. We arrived with no news about the harrier on a bitterly cold “spring” morning, it was more like the middle of December. Much searching revealed 3 Marsh Harriers, Whitethroat, Reed & Sedge Warblers, Cuckoo and an impressive array of waders with the Grey Plovers looking quite spectacular in the spring finest. A small flock of Brent Geese also graced the haven. After a couple of hours in the freezer we headed back to the car. We went to Spurn to follow up on a report of a Golden Oriole. The bird was soon located as it flew out of a bush that also held a caterpillar catching Cuckoo, the Oriole flew from the Canal Scrape area towards Beacon Lane. We had another go for it along Beacon Lane and the bird again gave fairly close flight views across a rape seed field, the yellow colours were quite splendid! We left the Spurn area and had another go for the Harrier, but, as we arrived we were told about a male Red Backed Shrike north of Easington Lagoons. Back to Spurn then. We used a short cut to the north of the area and we had great sightings of the first year male Red Backed Shrike. Two Little Terns then flew just behind us and landed in the sandy area and we got some pictures of them. A final look at Kilnsea and an Egyptian Goose along with the Greylag Geese was a nice bird to catch up with, We headed for home Pallid Harrierless, again, but we picked up about 8 year ticks each. Hope the weather gets better?

Dave O.


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