Didn't quite pan out as planned but hey it rarely does! Equally rarely is there never something a bit 'unexpected' turning up - that's the nature of birds on the move and although we dipped out on a Great Grey Shrike and by all accounts most of the winter thrushes made landfall in Norfolk, we had more than enough to keep us happy throughout the day.
|2 caught & ringed Stonechats|
You've heard the saying 'a bird in the hand is worth 2 in the bush' .. of course you have, but what does mean? I should know but it's an easy google search so if you're bothered you'll know soon, but by way of a slightly clumsy link here's 2 birds in the hand and 1 in a bush!
|1 of many Goldcrests on the headland|
|Short Eared Owl, Buckton|
Little chance of this getting caught up in the mist nets though, a superb Short Eared Owl we watched in off the sea and then get predictably harassed by corvids!
Yeah the light wasn't the greatest!
Back at Flamborough and doing a stint of sea watching from the lighthouse these were a pair of unexpected ducks - Velvet Scoter. Much rarer than the most often seen Common Scoter they're a treat to see so close to coastline. Mainly coastal in their wintering grounds south of the Arctic circle, they're more associated with boulder strewn lakes and wooded shorelines in their breeding grounds of Northernmost Europe
We also had a few Red Throated Divers on the sea here, plus some Common Scoter and someone had recently spotted a Grey Phalarope and a Little Auk on the sea earlier in the morning. The only other thing we saw on the sea were this pair of frolicking Seals ... looked like they were having fun in the warm and mild conditions.
Other birds of note both here and at Buckton were some impressive numbers of passing Skylarks (200ish), a Wheatear, about 20 Song Thrushes and 200+ Blackbirds, 30 Meadow Pipits, 1 Brambling, 1 Siskin, 10ish Chiff Chaffs and 10ish Blackcaps (one of which, a female with the wind blowing its red cap into a plume I thought for a second was a Waxwing.... one of those slightly embarrassing id moments!) Oh and we did see a few Redwings (about 15) and 2 Fieldfares eventually.
We might not have had the numbers of migrating birds, the weather was maybe too quiet, but always good to be out and about when any birds are coming in from distant lands and moving through in front of you. That Short Eared Owl was the highlight for me ...a good bird to have anywhere.
And you just can't leave the cliffs at Buckton without photographing at least 1 Gannet and hoping that it comes out like one of Steve Race's!
......maybe next time!!