Saturday, 15 July 2017

Whitby and Scarborough

Last weekend I was up in Whitby and Scarborough with the family. Whitby was quite quiet Birdwise, but I did spot a well known Herring Gull, with a darvic ring 1R1B.

Herring Gull 1R1B

I say, well known, because I saw this bird in exactly the same spot ( the top of a dustbin on the pier) back in July 2015 (see here). There were lots of other Herring Gulls around, along with the odd Fulmar and a pair of Shags. Red Admiral butterflies were present in good numbers (10+), and 4 Small Tortoiseshells were also seen.

Scarborough was a little busier. There were hundreds of pairs of Kittiwakes in and around the town centre and cliffs, including several with growing chicks.

Also present were Herring, Lesser Black-backed, Great Black-backed, Black-headed and Mediterranean Gulls (3 of the latter, including 1 adult in full breeding plumage, on the sea by The Spa).

Mediterranean Gull

Turnstones were seen in the harbour, along with a small flock of 10 Redshank, a few more Kittiwakes and a pair of Rock Pipits that were carrying food to an unseen nest.

Rock Pipits

Monday, 3 July 2017

Common Scoter at Linacre ... again!

Back in September 2016 there was a record of 4 Common Scoters at Linacre Reservoirs (see here for details). I didn't manage to see them then, so when I saw a record and photograph of a male Scoter at Linacre yesterday (2nd July) on my email tonight, I had to get down to see if it was still there. Unfortunately, I "dipped" again!!! Here's the photo from yesterday. many thanks to the photographer J O'Neill, for letting me use it.

Common Scoter

Despite not seeing the Scoter, I did record the first evidence of breeding for the Tufted Ducks in 2017, with 1 female and 4 small ducklings seen. Also present were: Moorhen; 3 chicks, Coot; 3 chicks and Great-crested Grebe; 6 birds, 5 adults and 1 juvenile.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Silver-studded Blue

For the last few years Jayne and I have visited a super site in Carlton in Lindrick, Nottinghamshire, to see some lovely butterflies; Marbled White, Dark Green Fritillary and Silver-studded Blue. We've always managed to see the first two species, but the third one has been a little trickier!! Thankfully, this year we managed to drop lucky, seeing at least 1 female and 1 male.

Silver-studded Blue (male)

Silver-studded Blue (female underwing)

Silver-studded Blue (female upperside)

Dark Green Fritillary

Marbled White

Other butterfly species seen were: Comma (1), Red Admiral (1), Ringlet (10+) and a small skipper species (either Small or Essex; 1 of which was reported by another visitor).

Marbled White, Ringlet and Meadow Brown

Saturday, 1 July 2017


I haven't seen Bee-eaters in the UK since 2002, so when I spotted news of 7 birds in Nottinghamshire on the Birdguides website, I knew I had to travel down to see them. Today, we had a family trip and got great views of 4 of the 7 birds as they flew around the site near East Leake. Here's my best attempt!!


The RSPB had set up a car park and viewing facilities, and I bought this pin badge to supplement the views I'd had!


Whilst there, we also got good views of several Ringlet butterflies, including this individual with its wings held open, not something I've seen very often.


Year List update:
175 - European Bee-eater

Monday, 26 June 2017

Spotted Flycatcher

I was up in Ripley, North Yorkshire at the weekend enjoying my son's wedding(!). In a quiet moment, I had a walk around the village where I spotted a pair of Spotted Flycatchers, who were busy "flycatching" in the church yard, and returning to an unseen nest. Both birds were very confiding, and posed beautifully on the various gravestones. A very nice "year tick".

Spotted Flycatcher

Whilst there, I also had a walk down to the nearby Ripley Castle and River Nidd, where I had another pair of Flycatchers collecting food, as well as Grey Wagtails feeding at least 2 juveniles, a fly over Grey Heron and several pairs of Jackdaws visiting nest holes. Other species recorded in the village including Pied Wagtail, House Sparrow, Starling, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon, Goldfinch, Goldcrest, Red Kite, Swallow, nest building House Martin and Swift.

House Martin

Year List update:
174 - Spotted Flycatcher

Sunday, 25 June 2017

All Gone!

It's been 3 weeks since I last blogged about the Starling nest in the nestbox on my house, so here's an update.

The 4 chicks hatched on 4th June, and were ringed, by me, on 10th June.

Starling pullus

3 of the young survived to fledging, bringing the total to 8 from this box this year. They were still in the box on 19th June, including this adventurous individual.

19th June 2017

The birds fledged on 20th June (Thanks Lydia for the sightings), and spent a short while in the garden, before flying off to who knows where. hopefully, the rings attached will be read somewhere, and I'll get an update on their whereabouts.

20th June 2017

Now that the nesting season is over for this box, I'll update the BTO's Nestbox Challenge website. See you all in 2018!!

Monday, 19 June 2017

Mute Swan 089 and Family

Back in February I blogged about a darvic ringed Mute Swan (ringed by Sorby Breck Ringing Group) that had taken up residence at Holmebrook Valley CP in Chesterfield (see post here). At the time I mentioned that he had set up a territory with a female bird. Well, as the title suggests, the pair have been successful, and last week I went down to see the birds with their 3 cygnets.


089's partner and cygnets

As well as the swans there was also a pair of Greylag Geese with 4 goslings.

Greylag Geese

Two species of damselfly were also seen, namely: Blue-tailed and Common Blue Damselflies.