Sunday, December 01, 2013

A Day At The Seaside.....Saturday 30th November 2013.

With the prospect of a decent days forecast...yes i know what your thinking after last week,Chris and myself made our way across the Yorkshire Wolds to my favourite place,Scarborough.Nothing had really been reported apart from a few bits and bobs a few days earlier on the sea,but it is a fine winter birding destination.As we arrived in fairly dreary conditions to say the least,we made our way along Marine Drive,which by looking at all the seaweed on the road it was certainly living up to it's name.When we decided to try the Watermark Cafe...it would be rude not to,before carrying on to Scalby Mills.After a lovely Bacon and Egg sarnie and hot mug of tea..thanks Chris,it was down to business.Thankfully at this time of year,unlike the local councils around us,it is free parking in the area,so no parking fee was most welcome.As we got the gear together and several layers of warm clothing,it was apparent that their were quite a few big gulls present bathing in the freshwater outflow from Scalby Beck.But unfortunately we didn't get to look through them as some idiot woman with two yapping mutts flushed everything.We got to a fairly decent vantage point and i looked on the sea while Chris searched through the Larids.It soon became apparent that the sea wasn't going to provide that much in the way of highlights with us only logging a hand full of Eider,Common Scoter,Gannets and Guillemots as well as a couple of Red-throated Diver all moving north.Around the many pools at least 40 Wigeon and 1 Purple Sandpiper were seen and after much searching through the gulls,no white wingers but 2 colour-ringed Herring Gulls,1 with a Orange darvic on its Left leg inscribed in black with 1789 and silver ring on right and the second bird with metal ring on its left leg and again an orange darvic inscribed in black with 2218 and also 3 or 4 'Argentatus' Herring Gulls.The latter really are stunning brutes and are always great to see along with their Great black-backed cousins.As we walked back towards the car,a Chiffchaff was in the bushes at the back of the Sealife centre car park,something a little different after looking at all the marine life.We then decided to concentrate our remaining hours of the day around the harbour/South Bay,this proved to be more fruitfull and provided us with some great sightings and one cracker!.After parking up at Marine drive and enjoying views of the male of the pair of Peregrines huddled on the cliff out of the wind and views of the local rock climbing Fox,it was time for another refuel at the 'Teapot' cafe.After enjoying a warming hot chocolate with all the trimmings,we made our way to the East pier to see if there were any Purps roosting.Sure enough they were there and eventually a respectful count of 42 birds were seen and i managed a few decent shots after traversing the huge boulders which they roost on.These birds really are smart and it is the largest roost gathering in Yorkshire of these arctic breeding Calidrids and are always part of our visits here.As we made our way around to the harbour mouth,the first bird i clapped eyes on was a cracking juvenile Great-northern Diver and he/she dived straight away.This gave us time to get the cameras set up and he/she surfaced this time even closer.This species is a special one for us Lincolnshire based birders and we were chuffed to see one again.Hopefully it will steer clear of all the anglers around the harbour.In South Bay 1 female Common Scoter,3 Great-crested Grebe,2 different adult Med Gulls and a single 1st winter drake Eider were seen and in and around the harbour 3 juvenile Shag and 45 Turnstone were seen and gave the usual cracking views.One of the latter birds was colour ringed blue over red on it's right leg and dark green over lime green left leg,this particular bird Chris and myself had seen before.We enjoyed more views of the local gulls and as the light began to deteriorate we ended the day with more great views of the superb Great-northern.Another great visit to my fave part of the world.
North Bay.


Fox on Castle Headland.

Juvenile Great-northern Diver,Harbour mouth.

Juvenile Great-northern Diver,Harbour mouth.

Juvenile Shag in the Harbour.

Turnstone in the Harbour.

Purple Sandpiper,East Pier.

Purple Sandpiper,East Pier.

Juvenile Great-northern Diver,South Bay as the sun went down.

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