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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Snow Buntings, Peregrine, Iceland Gull and lots more in Bridlington Bay

 Decided I needed to see the sea couple of days ago so headed for my nearest n dearest sea spot, a place called Auburn, a couple of miles South of sunny Bridlington. It's a wonderful stretch of beach in the Winter months and apart from a few lugworm fishermen, the occasional beachcomber and the even more occasional surfer, there are few people about along this stretch of coast and a walk Southwards towards Barmston nearly always results in something turning up either on the sea and beach or in the surrounding fields .... and once again, I was not disappointed!

Stacks of waders about with good numbers of Oystercatcher, Knot, Sanderling, Dunlin, Turnstone, Redshank and 3 Grey Plover but highlights of the day were 12 Snow Bunting flushed from stubble fields, a sub adult Iceland Gull along the shoreline and a couple of superb Peregrine swoops on the waders. 2 rubbish pics of the Peregrine and Iceland Gull apart I didn't manage to capture the days 'mega' birds but hey ho, that's often the way of it ... plenty of good shots of waders though and I was also attracted to some of the other gulls that seemed to be thronging the coastline.

First off, here's the rubbish pics of the mega birds!
Iceland Gull

OK yes its just a blur of a gull flying away but it's my first Iceland Gull for many a year so it had to be reproduced! (looked great though the bins .. I had it coming towards me right along the shoreline and only then did I think to get the camera out .. fair enough!)
Pretty much the same case here but even a blur pic of a Peregrine Falcon (and lets face it, that's exactly what many a sightings of this raptor are for most of us) ... it's worth having a go because it captures the moment! 

Shame I wasn't quick enough to get at least one shot of the Snow Buntings but as soon as I'd flushed them they were off.... good 'year bird' to get out of the way though!

There was an incredible amount of shellfish / crab debris on the beach so no wonder there were plenty of waders about and in the main they were more intent on feeding than being camera shy which was good for me ...  here's a nice Sanderling at rest followed by some action pics of  Sanderling versus Crab (Sanderling won hands down!)
Full on animal action and beach gore galore.... who needs Monsters V Aliens!!??
Oystercatcher action on the shoreline ......

........ and digging into the les fruits de mere

..... panning out revealed a couple of Knot in the foreground, a common enough wader and numbering in the 10s of thousands in paces like the Wash, they're surprisingly uncommon on more traditional beach sites.

The Knot's smaller cousin ... a Dunlin here, almost in focus but think I'd be more excited if I were a seaweed enthusiast!
...... and whilst a lone Grey Plover watches on from the shoreline

....... i realise that I'm 'gull phobic', not in any clinically insane way, just have a massive blind spot when it comes to getting enthusiastic about what most folk call 'seagulls', and yet I've just seen my 3rd ever Iceland Gull! Mmmhh .... maybe I need to 'get into gulls' a bit more, maybe you do too .. or are we going a bit over the top here and in danger of becoming white winged and nerdy before our time? You judge ... here's my top 3 gull pics of the day
Common (or 'Mew') Gull
Great Black Backed Gull .. have to say that does look pretty awesome!

Another Common Gull ..... is that some poor creature's eyeball in it's gob?

Fair do's ... Gulls can be entertaining and I'm guilty as charged for not entertaining them as much as I could with my lens .... will post more (how happy are you about that?)

All in all a great day. Also seen but not photographed were at least a dozen Great Crested Grebes on the sea, 8 Common Scoter, 10 Wigeon, a single Red Throated Diver (s), a few Fieldfares, Redwings and Song Thrushes and a couple of Skylarks.


  1. I like the Sanderlings, my favourite wader, I'm partly in agreement about gulls I like them and enjoy photographing them but half the problem with me is the ID of certain gulls I always need a packet of Anadin. Sounds a great spot, next time I'm at Bempton I'll have a look around.

  2. Definitely worth a look Doug, take the road out of Brid towards Beverley and turn off right at Fraisthorpe.

    Thanks for the comments, i've seen some awesome Sanderling pics on your blog and the ones above are without a doubt the best photographs. I so need a faster lens for more pin sharp pics but my style is not helped by being completely tripod allergic!!

  3. Me too in reference too a tripod, I opt for a monopod instead much lighter, less cumbersome etc, thanks for the direction shall definately give it a visit.