Tuesday, 14 January 2020

Scarborough Turnstones 2020

Whilst in Scarborough on Saturday 11th, I saw 4 colour-ringed Turnstones with the following ring combinations : white over red, orange over black, green over yellow and blue over white. They were all ringed in Scarborough harbour, and I've seen all these birds in previous years. Here are the details.

White over red was first ringed on 21/03/18. I first saw it on 22/02/19, and again on Saturday. The only other record that I'm aware of was in Shetland on 22/05/18.


white over red

The second bird was orange over black. This bird was ringed in 2014 and I first saw it in Scarborough on 30/03/16 , so it's been around for at least 4 years.

orange over black

The third bird, green over yellow, was ringed in the harbour on 21/03/18 and was first seen by me on 22/02/19, and again on Saturday.

green over yellow

The final bird I saw, blue over white, was ringed in 2014 and was first seen on 30/03/16. Saturday's sighting was my second sighting.

blue over white

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Scarborough 11th January 2020

On Saturday, I spent a few hours in Scarborough, with my wife and daughter. As always, I started off the birding in the Holbeck Car Park, where I caught up with my first Mediterranean Gulls of 2020. In total, I saw 3 adult birds and 1 2nd winter bird, including this darvic-ringed bird (PNN5). This bird is a regular winter visitor to the Scarborough area, having been recorded annually since 2013, when it was ringed, as an adult, 1290km away in Poland . I also had a fly-by Peregrine Falcon, whilst watching the gulls.

Mediterranean Gull PNN5

Afterwards, we had a walk around the harbour and South Bay area, where we added Feral Pigeons, Great Black-backed Gull, Turnstone and Red-throated Diver to the list. Four of the Turnstones were colour ringed, and I'll write another post about them later. The Fieldfare (c.100) were seen feeding in fields on the drive home.

Year List update:
73 – Feral Pigeon
74 – Mediterranean Gull
75 – Peregrine Falcon
76 – Great Black-backed Gull
77 – Turnstone
78 – Red-throated Diver
79 - Fieldfare

Year List Update

Last week, Luke and I visited Linacre (see here). Whilst there, I managed to add several birds to my "year list" (numbers 61 - 71). I was particularly pleased with the Woodcock and Pied Wagtail ( 2 species very rarely seen at Linacre).

The final species, Brambling, was seen at the National Trust's Longshaw Estate, where Jayne and I saw a flock of at least 20 birds in the Beech woods by the small pond.

Year List update:
61 – Mandarin Duck
62 – Grey Wagtail
63 – Woodcock
64 – Nuthatch
65 – Treecreeper
66 – Jay
67 – Chaffinch
68 – Siskin
69 - Little Grebe
70 – Green Woodpecker
71 – Pied Wagtail
72 – Brambling

Tuesday, 7 January 2020

New Year Gulls - Part 2

As well as visiting Rufford Park last week (see here), I also had a quick visit to Alvaston Park in Derby.

The trip was quite frustrating as, although there were 200+ Black-headed Gulls in and around the lake, I couldn't find any darvic ringed birds in the hour and a half I was there! Thankfully, a well known metal ringed bird, VA4073 ( a Danish-ringed bird, born in May 2018, and seen here in November 2018 and November 2019), came to the rescue.

VA4073

Whilst there, I also saw a couple of darvic ringed Canada Geese. Again, these birds were well known, having been recorded here in February 2019 (see here). The birds had originally been ringed at the University of Nottingham in 2016 and 2017.

U48

2N5

Monday, 6 January 2020

Linacre - 5th January 2020

Luke and I had our first visit to Linacre on Sunday morning, and it turned out to be a very good trip with some really interesting records.

First up the water bird numbers: Mallard (122 - a very good total), Tufted Duck (16), Mandarin Duck (28), Moorhen (17), Coot (4), Little Grebe (3), Great-crested Grebe (1), Grey Wagtail (2), Pied Wagtail (1, we only had 1 record in the whole of 2019, so this is a pretty good start to the year), Greylag Goose (2, again a very good record for the start of the year), Canada Goose (2 flying over), Black-headed Gull (28), Kingfisher (1, seen by Luke, but not by me!) and Goosander (1 female).

Away from the water, there were lots of small birds around including: Mistle Thrush, Bullfinch, Siskin, Green and Great-spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch and Treecreeper.

The most interesting sighting of the morning, however, came as we were walking through the woods by the middle reservoir. We noticed a bird on the ground, and soon realised it was a male Sparrowhawk. As we walked towards it, it took off and we noticed it had left some prey behind, a still-warm Woodcock!!! The Sparrowhawk had started to eat its meal, so, after taking a few photos, we left the bird where we'd found it, and hopefully it came back to finish it off when we'd gone.

Woodcock (deceased)

Sunday, 5 January 2020

New Year Gulls - Part 1

In the first few days of 2020 I've had a couple of trips to Rufford CP to get my first sightings of darvic ringed Black-headed Gulls for the year. All the darvic-ringed birds were familiar birds, but I did also manage to find, and read, a metal ringed Swedish bird (details sent off), along with some darviced Mute Swans.

I visited Rufford on Thursday 2nd, and spotted 217A, 237A, 247A (all ringed at Center Parcs, 2km away). 247A was ringed just a few weeks ago on 21st Dec 2020 and this was my first sighting at Rufford. Also seen were: V77K (a Danish bird ringed, as a pullus, in June 2015), EUM3 (a Dutch bird ringed, as a pullus, in May 2017) and P519 (a Lithuanian bird ringed, as an adult, in April 2010), along with a new Swedish bird with metal ring number 6456037, and a British metal ringed bird with the number EL87245 (a bird I'd previously seen here in November 2019).

247A

Whilst at Rufford, I also saw 2 darviced Mute Swans, 108Y and 439Y, both birds that I'm sure were ringed by Sorby Breck Ringing Group. This is my first sighting of these birds here. I'll update the blog when I have the ringing details.

108Y and 439Y

My second visit, on 3rd January, had the same gulls as the day before, and a new one, 230A, which is a bird that was ringed at Center Parcs, on 2nd February 2019, as an adult bird, and one that I'd seen a couple of times in September 2019.

230A

Saturday, 4 January 2020

Year List Additions

Yesterday, I had another day out birding and managed to add another 8 species to my Year List for 2020.

My first stop was the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust's Attenborough Nature Reserve where I managed to add 4 new species (numbers 53 - 56), including a very cooperative  Slavonian Grebe.

Slavonian Grebe

I then drove down to Alvaston Park in Derby to check for gulls (more on that in another blog), where I added numbers 56 - 58. The Red Kite and Sparrowhawk, were added as I drove to Rufford CP.

Year List update:
53 – Egyptian Goose
54 – Slavonian Grebe
55 – Goosander
56 – Stock Dove
57 – Ring-necked Parakeet
58 – Great-spotted Woodpecker
59 – Red Kite
60 – Sparrowhawk