Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Desert Beauty and Scarborough Bits.......

As both of us were on our Christmas hols,Chris picked me up today and we headed into gods own country to see if we could manage to see the still present Desert Wheatear at Bempton and mop up on some goodies at Scarborough also.As we arrived at a drizzly Bempton,talk about de-ja vu,we made our way around to the Staple Neuk viewpoint and began searching for the Wheatear,when i eventually got onto him feeding as on my previous visit around the deserted Gannet nests.Eventually we managed some nice views of the bird as he was finding plenty of insect food amongst the nooks and crannies of the cliff,a great relief to see.This bird was first seen in the 3rd week of November and looks like it may winter.Also here was a single Short-eared Owl hunting a set-aside strip,giving decent views as another band of low cloud passed over.After enjoying this Desert cracker we made our way over to Scarborough.Holbeck car park was the next stop,were the expected Med Gulls put on a great show after being enticed down with some Dairy lea sandwiches and cheesy wotsits.There were 3 adults and 3 1st winter birds,the 1st winters being particularly appealing and included 1 bird which had a silver BTO type ring on its left leg,who knows where it has originated,no doubt eastern Europe.Off the car park i managed to pick out the Great-northern Diver feeding out in South Bay and hoped for better views later.After eventually finding a parking place along Marine drive,we were treated to some nice views of the resident pair of Peregrines as they rested on their cliff top home,what majestic birds this species are,casually surveying the marine kingdom.Around the harbour and south bay was were most of the action was and i quickly spotted the Great-northern Diver again for the second time today,about half way across the bay,giving fairly good views,with that super smooth diving action,just slipping below the surface of the water,along with 9 Common Scoter,3 Red-throated Diver,7 Great-crested Grebe,half a dozen Shag and several Guillemot dotted about over the calm sea.In the harbour only a single Great-crested Grebe and Guillemot showed today,although a couple of Red-throated Diver gave really nice views through the scope nearby.As the tide began to come in,the Purple Sands began to gather at the east pier to roost and gave great views as they jostled for position to get out of the way of any incoming waves.It was really nice to get such good views of this super little wader with 21 birds gathered on 1 rock together and a decent total of 34 being seen overall.An excellent day apart from the dodgy weather early on.

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