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Friday, September 20, 2013

Overnighter at Flamborough Head ... Kestrel cameo, close up little waders and a night on the cliffs!

Quick overnight trip up to Flamborough Head to sort out a house sit this week was pleasing enough though it did rain a lot and there wasn't much doing bird wise ... plenty of Gannets moving North & South off the Head itself plus a few Common Scoter, Meadow Pipits in off the sea and a single Arctic Skua and Red Throated Diver was all I could manage. Clearing skies and a burst of evening sunshine made a brief visit to South Landing, the site of Yorkshire Wildlife's splendid Living Seas Centre, made the trip worthwhile though.

I went a bit snap happy with a female Kestrel that was hunting along the cliff top .... not all as sharp as I wanted but considering that the majority of my images are hand held shots, not bad. So here's my hunting Kestrel cameo .....
Kestrel series1, South Landing, Flamborough

Kestrel series2, South Landing, Flamborough
Kestrel series3, South Landing, Flamborough

Kestrel series4, South Landing, Flamborough
Kestrel series5, South Landing, Flamborough

Kestrel series6, South Landing, Flamborough
Kestrel series7, South Landing, Flamborough

Kestrels are one of our most masterful of birds, sadly on a bit of a decline at the moment, they're synonymous with the British countryside and we've all seen them hovering by the roadside. Its those funny 'sticky out' feathers on their forewings (called alula or bastard wings and easy to see on the above pics) that enable them to hover in the sky as they scan the ground for prey... anything from small voles to earthworms.

Back on the shoreline, the tide was well up and the amongst the small selection of waders probing around I was intrigued by one that was noticeably bigger than the half dozen or so Dunlins ... frustratingly it didn't hang about but when it flew off I saw no white rump which would have made it a Curlew Sandpiper ... damn it could have been a Pectoral Sandpiper. No time for a pic either ... damn... another one gets away!

Got some nice close ups of Dunlin and Turnstone though .... all turning into Winter plumage but all looking good in the evening light
Turnstone, South Landing, Flamborough
Dunlin, South Landing, Flamborough

Dunlin2, South Landing, Flamborough

Juv Eider Duck, South Landing, Flamborough

Out to sea there was a single Eider Duck, looked like a young one to me ... not the best of pics but at least the sea looks good!

The Van.... Thornwick Bay, Flamborough


And so, after a meal and a couple of pints in Flamborough village, time for bed ... and ok it rained all night but what a place to wake up in the morning.....

Looks like I'll be doing a house sit in a lovely little cottage looking after 3 lovely cats mid October .... peak time for winter birds coming in...should be good!


  1. Nice set of images Tim, you can't beat a kestrel.
    The turnstone had me smiling, they're a true character

  2. Cheers Doug, agreed ... have to say that it was your recent excellent kestrel photographs that inspired me to devote so much time to this one.