Sunday, 5 September 2010

East Yorkshire (Flamborough & Hornsea): 3rd Sept 2010.

Above: Olivaceous Warbler twitch on the south side of the legendary Old Fall Plantation.

With my car in for a service, I got my wife to dump me at Brockholes for five hours or so enroute to work in the hope a Curlew Sandpiper would fly through as there are quite a few appearing at coastal Lancs sites. My visit only lasted one hour though, as Dave Bickerton kindly offered a lift for the Eastern Olivaceous Warbler at Flamborough, a bird I was particularly keen to see, giving me only enough time to note a juv Ringed Plover on No1 Pit and the continued presence of the eclipse drake Garganey on the Main Pool before Dave collected me. Janet Davie made up the final team member.

Arriving at Flamborough at c12:00, we were soon insitu on the southern side of Old Fall Plantation where several excellent scope views were had of the Olivaceous on and off over a c2.5hr period. I didn't get any photos, preferring instead to concentrate on getting views of this very educational bird, a species I last saw in Greece way back in May 1994. 1-2 Pied Flycatcher, Willow Warbler and a Spotted Flycatcher were in the same area.

Whilst there a shout went up of Buzzards, of which there were 21 in all, thermalling S/SW to the east of Old Fall Hedge. Almost immediately came calls of up to two Honey Buzzards amongst them, but try as i might in the c1.5 minutes all/most of the birds were in view all I could connect with was Common Buzzards.

Following the Olivaceous we walked south down the Old Fall Hedge then walked a route towards the Lighthouse, Bay Brambles and along the road back to the field car park. Many Linnet were present, another Buzzard went south, single Sparrowhawk, 3 'flava' Wagtails and very pleasing was two sightings of flyover Lapland Buntings (3+4).

We missed a Barred Warbler at the Bay Brambles by seconds, and an hour scanning the wider Bramble area produced 2 Lesser Whtethroat, Common Whitethroats, juv Stonechat, House & Tree Sparrows.

Next stop was Hornsea Mere, where a Common Crane had been present for a few days. The bird was eventually found very distantly, visible only through a small gap in the bankside trees on the far side of the Mere, a great spot by Dave. If we hadn't have been stood in the very spot we were we would have dipped it, pure and simple! Even at this distance, the Crane gave pleasing scope views. A Black-necked Grebe was very conveniently, although distantly, bang in line with the Crane, mid-water. A check of the visible shoreline before we left revelaed a juv Greenshank and three juv Ruff 20+ Teal and a Red Crested Pochard.

Talking to a local, I enquired as to how many Little Gulls were currently roosting on the Mere. "Very few" was his reply to which he also mentioned there were only small numbers offshore as well. A total contrast to the mind boggling 15,000 that roosted here a few (several?) years ago. What a hell of a spectacle that must have been! A fine piece of Halibut in Hornsea rounded off the day nicely

Above & below: Adult Common Crane, Hornsea Mere, digiscoped with camcorder at great distance!

Below: Black-necked Grebe, Hornsea Mere.

Below: To absent friends, thanks once again for the Sandwiches Tim (in-joke).