Monday, November 18, 2013

Super Serin and Hornsea highlights......17.11.2013.

After hearing on the Bird Information Services that the 1st winter male Serin was still present near Flamborough village on Saturday,Chris and myself headed up to the Yorkshire coast in search of this little Mediterranean stunner.The journey up was pretty trouble free apart from a few misty patches and as we arrived it was just beginning to get light properly.After having a quick drink and something to scoff we made our way around to the birds chosen weedy field.At first no birds were to be seen for the first 15 minutes,but after a little encouragement the bird immediately appeared flying around calling.It eventually settled again,but out of sight in the tall vegetation and was loosely associating with a small flock of about 20 Goldfinch.We patiently waited as the bird occasionally called and then suddenly the whole flock flew up did a couple of circuits and luckily this time landed in the hedge bordering the field.At last we managed some good views as the bird perched in full view showing his streaky plumage and yellowish ear covert surround and face,a little beauty!.We walked nearer and managed some better views before all the birds flew back into the field to feed.After enjoying these good views of the bird and after seeing a female Roe Deer in an adjacent field,we made our way back to the car,when a fellow birder called out a Firecrest.It was watched feeding with a tit flock in the tops of the trees on the edge of the Millennium wood and gave some nice views before disappearing again,a very nice bonus.After our great start to the day we decided to celebrate with a visit to the Cliff end had to be done.We planned to visit Hornsea for the rest of the day and that is were we headed next.The relatively short journey was only held up by the usual 'Sunday' drivers and on arrival at the main car park,the first goodie of our visit was seen a Black Swan...ahem!.We got the gear together and within 30 minutes we had seen the female Long-tailed Duck and 1 Great-white Egret and also a colour-ringed adult Black-headed Gull with the inscription Y20 on a white colour ring on it's Left leg,silver BTO ring on the right.The LTD we only managed distant views of all day,but the Egret showed pretty well and better was to come later.As we scanned around from Kirkholme Point we added a drake Goosander,10 Egyptian Geese and another Great-white Egret to the days sightings.The Egyptian Geese not being particularly common in E. Yorks.After watching the original GWE which was loafing on one of the islands it then flew and joined the second bird right in the far corner of the mere,two birds together was a first for both Chris and myself and was great to see.After spending a good hour from our viewpoint it was time for another cuppa and of course we had to have a cake as well,the cafe being well worth a visit in the future for the staff alone.We then made our way around to the far side of the mere and walk the fields to see what we could find.The first bird we saw as we walked through the gate was a cracking close flyby from one of the Great-white Egrets from earlier before it again disappeared later being seen perched atop one of the tall trees on one of the islands.Our walk along the fields revealed a single Chiffchaff feeding in one of the reedbeds and a single juv/1st winter Scaup flew in to join a mixed flock of Tufties and Pochard.As the afternoon progressed some decent numbers of gulls began to arrive to bathe and roost and Chris managed to pick out 2 Med Gulls,the first a 2nd winter bird flew in bathed and then flew north east out towards the sea,the second bird an adult flew in and remained on the mere to roost.It was great to see these two Meds and i always like to see them even if they are commoner nowadays.Much searching through the good numbers of larger gull species revealed nothing of note.As the light began to deteriorate we made our way back to the car after another great day out in this fine county.
1st winter Common Gull.

Record shot of one of the Great-white Egrets.

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