Posts Tagged ‘Water Pipit’

A hurried decision to go with the lads from York, Nige S & Mark K was fully justified with a really good days birding. We met in York and with Mark driving, we were soon at Ward Jackson Park in Hartlepool. A couple of Ring Necked Parakeet`s gave excellent close up views on a sunny but cold morning. Next stop was the Jewish Cemetery on the way up to the headland in Hartlepool. The Shore Lark was soon being watched and gave quite a good show. The fish quay in Hartlepool has been used by lots of white winged gulls over the years and, as we managed to be invited in we found a very obliging juvenile Iceland Gull. The bird was photographed many times, some really close shots. We also watched a couple of fishing boats come into dock and chatted with the men on the quayside about the state of sea fishing in Britain. We called at Newburn Bridge on the coast to watch one of the local Mediterranean Gull`s and a few waders as they fed and preened on the foreshore.
At Seal Sands on Teesside we searched for a Spotted Redshank without success, but Nige found a newly arrived flock of Avocet`s, spring is nearly here we all thought. We watched the seals as they used as little energy as possible trying to get into the water, great fun! We headed for Redcar and were soon watching a small flock of Velvet Scoter and in trying to get a bit closer managed to catch a couple of waves in our footwear. Just down the road behind The Stray Café we had hoped to see a small flock of Snow Bunting, but with lots of people and dogs around they were nowhere to be seen. At Marske by the Sea a couple of Lapland Buntings had been seen in the morning. On site birders told us that they had not been seen for a couple of hours. We decided to walk the large stubble field and we managed to encourage one of the Lapland Buntings to fly up and call as it flew around us, very nice indeed. The birds were left in peace to enjoy the food left out by some birders.
As we were so close to Skinningrove it made sense to call in and enjoy the Eastern Black Redstart that seems to have taken up residency there. The bird did not let us down, showing really well and a few pictures were taken. Along with the Rock Pipits, Stonechats & Wrens and lots of enquiring tourists a very nice hour was spent on the sandy beach admiring the Redstart. At Lockwood Beck Reservoir a Water Pipit had been showing all day, well up until we got there! A few Grey Wagtails were seen, but that was all. Our final call was to be Danby Beacon were lots of Red Grouse seemed to be dotted all over the place, they are always good entertainment. The drive back over the North York Moors was very spectacular, especially Rosedale, but being a heavily keepered area the chance of seeing any birds of prey was minimal. We reached York after a good days birding around 5-30pm, thanks for showing me some new places lads.
Dave O.



A trip to a place that I always enjoy visiting was on the cards now that the major autumn rush has finally ended. It was to be a solo trip, as the rest of the A team seem to have “mothballed” their binoculars for the year. A late starting time of 8-30am on a cold, but pleasant (for late November) morning had me at Burton Mere on the Dee estuary by 10-00am. A large group of Whooper Swans were feeding in the distance, but no sign of the almost resident Cattle Egrets. In the reserve centre, news of the Water Pipits was positive so, after meeting up with Kevin Hughes, Bill & Marie from Macclesfield, we made our way out to see them. On the way there a female Hen Harrier was seen and a close Little Egret, good start to the mornings birding. We were soon enjoying views of about 6 Water Pipits in the company of Meadow Pipits and Pied Wagtails. They kept us entertained, as did Kevin who began speaking welsh when another birding pal Ian Evans from Denbigh walked into the hide. A few old birders “tails” came out and we all had a good laugh. Myself & Ian walked out up to the old fort lookout over the Dee estuary, by now it was a little cooler but visibility was great with Point of Ayr, Hilbre Island clearly visible. Up to 3 Marsh Harriers, 2 female Hen Harriers, Great White Egret and finally after about 30 minutes, a hunting Short eared Owl, great birds to watch at any time!

We headed back to the reserve centre for a warm up and then I went back to my car to try to find the location of a female Smew on Newchurch Common near Sandiway. It looked a little awkward so I decided to go down onto Denhall Lane and continue watching the Dee estuary. In about an hour, as it was getting cooler as I left, I saw: – 3 Short eared Owl, 1 Buzzard, 3 Marsh Harrier, 2 female Hen Harrier (missed the male Hen Harrier that had been present) 2 Kestrel, missed a perched Merlin. There was a lot of Little Egret`s around, I counted around 20 birds. Headed for home around 3pm enjoying my cars heater all the way!!

Dave O.

A Little Bustard was found near Bridlington,Yorkshire on New Year`s Eve. A couple of the A Team had not seen this species before, so a trip was planned for Friday the 2nd January (not our usual New Year`s Day trip due to poor weather forecast,Big Mistake) Now Steve K not really known for his “quick off the mark” theory to twitching, took his good lady out on New Year`s Day and saw the Little Bustard,well done Steve. On a bitterly cold morning the other 4 members of the A Team left Newhey at 7am reaching Fraisthorpe by 9am with myself driving. The narrow road down to the beach car park was surrounded by around 100+ birders all looking rather sad, the bird had not been seen or froze to death? After about an hour we decided to rescue what was left of the day and head for Bridlington Harbour. It’s around 25 years since most of us have been there, when we did an RSPB “Seabird Cruise”. A couple of Purple Sandpipers and lots of Turnstones were seen. A call at South Landing, Flamborough was next with Rock & Water Pipits seen, quite a few Red Throated Divers and a few Common Scoter also. A visit to the Grindale area was next but, to continue the “dipping” theme of the day, no sign of the reported Rough Legged Buzzard. On the journey over to Wakefield we would have expected to see a couple of Red Kite`s, but they were also not seen. At the Calder Wetlands near Wakefield the Blyth`s Pipit was looked for twice and the theme continued we just not connecting. A few duck species were added then a Common Snipe was seen and declared “Bird of the Day”. A day to forget really as it was very cold. A nice early return over the hill into Lancashire and we all hoped for better luck in 2015. Around 60 species were seen on the day so not a bad start.

Dave O.

A  full “A” team enjoyed a day out, starting from Dawlish Avenue at the back of Marshside Marsh, Southport.It was very cold and the hoped for Spoonbill was not seen.At the old sand winning plant,  spring finally arrived with 3 male Wheatear seen,its been a long, cold winter,but, they brightened up the mood! At the deserted RSPB hide lots of Avocets were seen and as we searched the marsh for White Fronted Geese we found the Spoonbill.At this point a small falcon was seen chasing a Meadow Pipit,we then all watched a magnificent Merlin for about five minutes as it hunted down its prey,unforgetable! On the outer marsh lots of Pink Feet were seen then a couple of Barnacle Geese but not the White Fronts. Next stop Burrows Marsh on the Fylde as the tide was rising,  for the Water Pipits.It took a while but we had pretty good views of a couple of them and we left all very happy.At Conder Green Pools a Greenshank was seen.We made our way to Leighton Moss then home via the Trough of Bowland and managed to see lots of Red Grouse


Dave O.