Sunday, December 07, 2008

Gripped off again, again, again, again

A Cormorant flew past this morning and then returned to fly over the house, disappearing before I could be alerted from my slumbers. So not only two in four days in the tetrad but a garden tick as well as it entered air space.

There have been Bullfinches around the garden for the last few days, both commoner woodpeckers, Great Spotted Woodpecker on the feeders, the occasional Redwing and Fieldfare and one Siskin.

Things are quiet on the rat front too but for a dog sized critter in one of the vegetable recycling bins - gives you a bit of a start when you're chucking the tea leaves in.

Not much doing at the moment. I cruised over to sunny Scaling Dam this afternoon hoping for some gull action. 9 Great Black-backed Gulls and a dozen or so Black-headed Gulls were a bit of a disappointment. There were 148 Teal, 18 Wigeon, 207 Mallard and 2 Goldeneye but in gulls there was a significant shortage.

Off to Sandsend then. 2 Red-throated Divers and 8 or 9 Shags. But gulls were also in short supply here with just 100 Black-headed Gulls and 30 or so Herring Gulls with but 10 Common Gulls. There was a Rock Pipit or two here as well.

Off to Whitby then. Here there were gulls, not huge numbers but gulls none the less. Three or four hundred Herring Gulls, and a few hundred Black-headed Gulls. The usual chip feeding created a flurry of larid activity. Also off the East Pier there were 61 Common Scoter, 4 Eider off the Harbour entrance and a few Shags and 3 Cormorants. Oystercatchers and Turnstone were also in evidence.

Feeding larids chips

At dusk a decent sized roost of Black-headed Gulls gathered off the Spa, about a thousand I estimated. Despite these being sortable no more interesting species could be found amongst them.

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