Monday, July 22, 2013

The North Yorkshire Coast....Sunday 21st July 2013.

After hearing week long reports of Minke Whales being seen from Filey and Scarborough,Chris and myself decided to try and see if we could encounter one.After arriving at the North Cliff C.P.,we paid our parking for the day and made our way down to the Brigg.As we walked along the beach from Coble landing we came across the sad sight of an immature Harbour Porpoise which looked like it had either had a run in with a boat or Salmon net,as it had it's dorsal fin missing.What a shame for this lovely animal to end it's life in such a way!.We then carried on along the beach seeing 5 Whimbrel overhead and a single bird on the Brigg side,which showed nicely through the scope.Eventually we made it to the seawatch shelter after traversing the slippery rocks and seaweed and settled down to look on the sea.We put in some serious effort over the next 9 or so hours along with several other observers,but didn't manage a single Minke.Minor compensation was had in the form of another Harbour Porpoise,this time thankfully actively feeding amongst a melee of Gulls,Gannets and Auks.Also seen around the Brigg from the sea mammal world included a lovely Harbour Seal,which gave superb views,with its lovely speckled coat and a single Grey Seal also hunted off the Brigg side.Bird wise the sea wasn't totally bereft of highlights,with us seeing a single Adult Med.Gull,7 Adult Little Gull(South),8 Manx Shearwater(North),800 plus Common Scoter(North) and at least half a dozen Arctic Skua moving south,with cracking views of the locals too,which included Puffins,Guillemot,Razorbills and Gannets.After returning to Carr Naze and meeting up with our friend Chris Bell,we got talking about what we had seen and he showed us a photo of a funny bird he seen earlier and it was a Juvenile Crossbill,so we went to try and locate it.After about ten minutes we found what we thought was the same bird,but after gaining some images of this bird it was apparent it was a different Juvenile....why couldn't it have been a Two-barred!!.We couldn't really complain as this bird showed superbly down to about ten feet away as it fed on Aphids on the stalks of the numerous Umbellifers growing on the Naze top,what a little cracker!.This was a behaviour i had seen before after finding a male and female Parrot Crossbill in October 1990 at Donna Nook in Lincolnshire,were these birds licked Aphids from Cabbage leaves.The bird had a few green feathers coming through in the plumage,this no doubt being an indicator of juvenile female plumage?.As time was getting on we made our way back to the car seeing many Five-spot Burnet Moth and Common-spotted Orchids on the way.A quick refuel stop at the Country park cafe for a cuppa and we then headed over to Scarborough.A look on the sea off Holbeck car park produced 7 Med.Gulls,these included 3 Adults,2 3rd calendar year and 2 2nd calendar year birds.The adults and 3rd calendar years,were just beginning to lose their summer heads and looked a tad scruffy,but they are stunning Gulls.Also here were Common-spotted and Pyramidal Orchids adding a splash of colour on our walk back to the car.The day was ended by a superb talk by Robin Petch and Stuart Baines on the Cetaceans of Yorkshire and the Humber,which was very interesting and eduacational...we are now both hooked!.A fantastic day out again in beautiful North Yorkshire.

2nd and 3rd calendar year Med.Gulls,Scarborough.

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