Autumn is officially here, the first Willow Warbler flock exhibiting that pre-migration aggression were in the garden today mixed up with Blue, Coal and Great Tits, Wrens, Robins and a Blackcap. There were eleven Willow Warblers in that group. There was also a younger family party of three or four Willow Warblers with the adult still feeding the young. 20 Lapwings flew over the garden going west and there were Swifts and Swallows trickling west as well.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
I've been seeing a few herring Gulls with single, long, orange darvic rings. These are numbered, 1739 was at Scaling Dam on Tuesday evening. Anyone know who to contact for these? I've tried looking on the cr birding and can't find anything .....
Posted by Alastair at 9:32 am
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
The northerly eventually got me out on to the Old Nab yesterday afternoon for a rather damp seawatch. Falling "a over t" down the "bad step" onto the end didn't help. It was always likely to rain and of course it did and I got damp. However, Manx Shearwater, 6; Arctic Skua 1 (adult dark phase); two small flocks of Common Scoter scurrying north, total 28; Razorbill carrying food (looked like sand eels); piles of Sandwich Terns feeding including at least one juvenile, Gannets, Kittiwakes made up a reasonably entertaining two hours.
Earlier at showery Scaling Dam a flock of 52 Mistle Thushes, feeding on bilberry on the moor perhaps, two Cuckoos, an adult and a juvenile, and the first Green Sandpiper of the autumn were fair recompense.
Posted by Alastair at 9:22 am
Sunday, July 12, 2009
Working for much of the day put paid to any proper birding but an afternoon visit to Danby Moor Centre (not my favourite place it should be said but the cakes are good) produced two pairs of Sand Martins and a Spotted Flycatcher.
A Lesser Black-backed Gull sailed past the kitchen window early afternoon, narrowly missing air space (but it might be a tetrad tick). A Buzzard and the ever noisy Kestrels completed my day.
Small Heath was in the garden yesterday.
Posted by Alastair at 11:08 pm
Saturday, July 11, 2009
A fortnight without a post, what will my ever dwindling readership be thinking?
Sadly neglected Scaling Dam continues to be sadly neglected. I've not even peeked at a seabird, indeed the only birding has taken place in the garden. This resulted in Lapwing being added to the garden list on Tuesday as one entered airspace, 71. The Garden Warbler and Blackcap have been absent since last weekend but the Chiffchaff still sings from the valley and a pair of Kestrels have at least two fledged chicks making their presence known by loud hunger calls.
An evening at the pub last Saturday started well as we had to stop the car to allow a Woodcock and her family to cross the road on Limber Hill. Later that evening Nightjar and roding Woodcock were heard at one of my regular spots. These were all rather good Atlas / Birdtrack data.
Yellowhammer fledglings have been ever present in the garden along with Coal Tits.
A social evening up the dale resulted in the discovery of three or four pairs of Swift breeding in a farmhouse roof and House Martins have been located at a number of places, although the village colony appears reduced this year.
An Atlas visit to a nearby square resulted in the discovery of Spotted Flycatchers, more House Martins and a local first for me a Kingfisher.
A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was a visitor to the garden again last Saturday. Butterflies are now everywhere in the garden with Ringlet and Meadow Brown being present in some numbers and two Small Skippers joining them. This is along with the ever increasing Red Admirals, Painted Ladies and Small Tortoiseshells which are feeding on the Valerian. The Budlia is about to bloom now providing additional feeding for the butterflies and moths.
Disaster of the week was Louise gripping me off severely by seeing the Graemeshall Loch Great White Egret whilst house hunting up north as I was stuck here working and looking after the offspring. Those who aided and abetted in this dastardly deed (which included a mobile call whilst she was actually looking at the bird) will receive their comeuppance in due course. GWE is a species I have failed to connect with in UK (largely, it should be said, through a slack attitude to twitching one), so salt has now been rubbed vigorously into the wound.
Slightly ameliorating this has been Voda's generosity in providing me with a Blackberry. A picking error resulting in a rather fine bit of kit arriving through my door. (I did own up and they told me I could keep it). This may result in mobile blogging, although my current rate of learning to use this tool is likely to result in that event occurring in 2023. At the moment I am severely challenged to get it to operate on my WiFi - I thought I'd cracked it but then it dropped the connection and I couldn't get it back, maybe low battery?
Posted by Alastair at 12:46 pm