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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Early morning on Hatfield Moor and a very late Swallow record

Decided to stay another day over in the Hatfield Moor area with my mate Mark, late finish and several glasses of wine over a chicken curry and chips equalled an early night plus I'd already emailed the local recorder of Hatfield birding blog that we'd be out again in the area with some better pics to contribute, so we had to make the most of the early morning before the expected rain (forecasted for midday) set in.

So we were up at sunrise and on the moor for 7.00 am

It was cold!

We were soon on to good birds (you can't beat being up and at it first thing) with several flocks of overflying Redpolls, Siskin and a single Brambling. This was about the best of a pretty frustrating attempt to capture Redpolls in the treetops, I took about 30 shots and was a bit dismayed to find this was my best effort!

Fared a bit better with some reasonable shots of Great Spotted Woodpecker (pic right) and Willow Tit (pic below) from a hide that had an adjacent bird feeding station but what with the poor light and some unwanted flash effect from inside the hide these could have been tons better - here's my best couple of shots of both species -


So, although not covered in glory as far as my photographic prowess is concerned me and Mark had a good day, always fun to be out and about with my best mate nattering about nothing in particular and putting the world to rights.

No more pics from today but on the way back I had about 400 Pink Footed Geese in fields nr Goole and then stopped off at Skipwith Common. Not much - 4 Jays, a Sparrowhawk, 100 or so Fieldfare and a couple of Goldcrest but then out of nowhere, in grey skies, light rain and a biting wind I had an incredible late Swallow! Not just a glimpse either, I watched it struggling against the elements for a good 10 mins then saw it again about 30 mins later - it had made 200 yards on what will surely be a tricky southward journey. Excellent record and easily my latest ever Swallow record and after a bit of research on the net very close to a UK record for late Swallows - 11th Nov.

I wasn't finished there either, I stopped off at Thorganby to have a look at the flooded Derwent and had a couple of Goosanders along with 6 Pintail, about 600 Wigeon and 250 Teal.

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