Monday, 23 March 2015

Spring Surprises!

Today we were in two minds on where to go, Coast or Cleveland, after a good 10minutes or so photographing the 4 Waxwings outside my house me and my Dad both decided we would go to the coast. We had a couple of target species which were the Black Bellied Dipper in Harpham which was still sticking around, Black Redstart and Scandinavian Rock Pipits on South Landing beach and the Red Necked Grebes of Sewerby.


Our first destination was the long staying Black Bellied Dipper at Harpham although we have seen this bird in the past it is in a very beautiful spot with some of the clearest waters I have ever seen (we even saw a Trout jump). More or less as soon as we stepped off the little wooden footbridge we spotted this confiding little bird and only seconds later Mark (someone I know off Twitter) and Nigel appeared who we seem to see pretty much everywhere we go, it was great to catch up with them. Also on the beck I had brief views of a Kingfisher fly by which unfortunately my Dad missed (unlucky Dad).

Black Bellied Dipper
We then headed of towards Sewerby in hope of seeing the Red Necked Grebes. As soon as we arrived at the right spot, well at least we hoped it was the right spot, we started scanning the sea for the Grebes. We spotted a couple of Eiders, Shags but not a single Grebe. After a while Mark and Nigel arrived as they had basically planned the same day as us, with the help of them we spotted a Grebe but sadly it was miles out to sea so it was just to hard to identify. We spent a little while more waiting and hoping the Grebes would appear but sadly they didn't in the end. We then moved onto South Landing for the Black Redstart and the Scandinavian Rock Pipits.
As soon as we arrived on the beach, tons of Pipits flew over our head and we noticed they were coming down on a big line of seaweed to feed on what ever they could find. As we got closer we knew they were all Rock Pipits but the bad thing is they were really flighty but with a bit of patience they came right in front of us, we reckon we had about 5 Scandinavian Rock Pipits in amongst the seaweed, a few were more strongly marked than others.
Scandinavian Rock Pipit
We failed to find the Black Redstart but the amount of birds flying around it could have easily still been present. We then headed off to Buckton as we heard some Short Eared Owls were showing very well around the area. After about a ten minute walk we arrived at big group of gorse bushes, we had a quick scan round but no Owls but I did manage to pick out a Corn Bunting in one of the bushes. Also in the area there was lots of Yellowhammers, Linnets and a single Goldcrest.
Corn Bunting
 As we were walking along a woman stopped us and said have you seen the Short Eared Owl, we went no and then she very kindly showed us one sitting in the bottom of some vegetation in a field! It was fairly close and we got our best ever views of this cracking species! a really nice bird. As we were watching it my Dad moved to a better area to view but instead of seeing that one he found another one! Soon though a woman came along with a dog and flushed them but as we saw the other two fly up another joined them! A great experience watching 3 together. They then all landed a little further away but one kept on going and landed on a post. The dog walker then walked right up to it and it didn't budge one bit, she must have been about 5 foot away from it! I mean why couldn't that be us! We then saw Mark and Nigel once again and told them about the Owls as they hadn't seen them yet, in the end they saw them to.

Short Eared Owl
Someone then informed us of a Rough Legged Buzzard in a field just about a miles walk from where we there so we went to take a look but we didn't see it in the end but on the cliff we did see a cracking Peregrine!


  1. Super account of a great day - captured superbly ;))
    Well done Ellis