Monday, December 23, 2013

Barmston beauty and Hornsea Highlights....22.12.2013.

With the prospect of a free day today,We headed over to East Yorkshire again firstly to look for the Kumliens Gull which has returned to Barmston for it's second winter and then on to Hornsea for the remainder of the day.As we arrived at the car park on the dwindling coastline at Barmston,we were sat in the car waiting for the sun to come up properly,when several groups of Herring Gulls were seen along with good numbers of Common Gulls also flying south.When all of a sudden a white-winged gull flew into my field of view and it was THE Kumliens.It flew past us heading steadily south with a small group of Herring Gulls until we lost it in the direction of Ulrome.We then got the kit together and found a way down onto the beach.As i jumped down onto the beach,a small bird shot off to the left of us and we went to look for it.I soon relocated it and to our surprise it was a 1st winter male Black Redstart,we got some views of the bird,before leaving it and we were going to return when the light was better to try and get some images of it.We walked off along the beach watching a steady stream of Gulls moving south,90% of which were Herring,but couldn't relocate the Kumliens.Several scans of the sea only revealed half a dozen Red-throated Diver and Great-crested Grebe,but little else.We walked back north along the beach and it then began to pee down.After the shower passed,we managed to relocate the Black red and in cracking light and this time we managed some decent images,what a cracking little bird.We searched a bit more for the Kumliens but sadly could not relocate it.Later we found out that our friend Martin Hodges had the Kumliens roosting at Tophill Low in the D-res roost,what a great find for the reserve.The only non bird highlight here was a couple of Lesser-spotted Dogfish found washed up dead unfortunately,but what lovely examples of this mini shark species.After our visit to Barmston we then travelled over to our second site for the day Hornsea Mere.After something to eat and drink we began to search for the reported birds here and within an hour we had logged Grey Phalorope,female Long-tailed Duck and 1 of the Great-white Egrets.Unfortunately all three were only observed distantly,the Grey Phal was watched feeding with its distinct spinning feeding action along the edge of the reedbed to the right of Kirkholme point.The Long-tailed Duck was watched preening between the two large islands and the Great-white Egret was watched very distantly in Decoy bay sheltering from the wind in the reeds.The usual superb numbers of wildfowl were seen also from our vantage point including at least 35 plus Goldeneye.Earlier we had decided to stay for the gull roost and we made our way around to the south side of the mere.From our viewpoint on the edge of the second field we managed to find the female Common Scoter and then 2 female Scaup in a flock of mixed Pochard and Tufted Duck.Numbers of gulls started to trickle in and we kept a close eye on them when Chris saw something dive along the edge of a reedbed which he thought may have been a Common Scoter.It soon surfaced and it wasn't a Scoter,but a cracking Slavonian Grebe.The grebe gave cracking views as it caught several fish and it was great to see one after quite a while for us both.After enjoying some superb views of the grebe we returned to looking at the gulls and they began to arrive in really good numbers,particularly the large species.Chris then called me over to an interesting looking bird and i looked through his scope and we both said Caspian Gull.At first the discussion was that it was a First winter,but it was showing a pale grey mantle,which was a feature of 2nd winter birds.The more we watched the bird,it was apparent that this was most definitely a second winter Caspian,with it's  gleaming white head,long drooping blackish bill,with dirtiesh pale base,black and white chequred coverts,long black primaries and grey mantle.A cracking find for us and well picked out by Chris,we watched it over the next 20 minutes before we eventually lost it in the poor light as the sun went down.What a fitting end to a superb days birding with us finding the Black-red,Slav and the icing on the cake the Caspo,we travelled home both happy boys.
Lesser-spotted Dogfish,Barmston.


1st cal yr. male Black Redstart,Barmston.

1st calendar year male Black Redstart,Barmston.

1st calendar year male Black Redstart,Barmston.

1st calendar year male Black Redstart,Barmston.

1st calendar year Common Gull,Hornsea Mere.

1st calendar year Common Gull,Hornsea Mere.

Drake Mallard,Hornsea Mere.

Black Swan,Hornsea Mere.

No comments:

Post a comment