With heavy, thundery showers this am, I only ventured our for 4hrs in the afternoon to Tetney when it felt like another day with clear skies, sunshine & mild temperatures. A handsome drake Goosander on the lock was the star bird. Other highlights were more typical coastal winter fare - 3 Whooper Swan, 21 Pink-footed Geese, 2 Pale-bellied Brents with 473 Dark-bellied, Peregrine, Merlin, Short-eared Owl, Barn Owl, 4 Lapland Buntings & finally a pair of Bullfinches next to the chapel. A wasp that wouldn't leave me alone was the only remnant of summer. The Short-eared was actually my 1st of the autumn and only got up at virtually last light, gaining some serious height and was last seen heading towards Humberston Yacht Club - actively migrating?

Covenham Reservoir

With strong winds I thought Covenham was worth a visit today. A good selection of duck present with the best bird being the drake Red-crested Pochard that has been in the area for sometime now. Other highlights: 15 Goldeneye, 6 Wigeon, 5 Teal were noteworthy for here, 9 Redshank, single Dunlin and a high count of 161 Cormorant. Great-crested Grebe, Little Grebe, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard all on the res as well.


With strong to gale force southerlies and frequent persistent showers, I decided not to venture far today. Checked N Cleethorpes first to see if a Purple Sandpiper had come back to winter but no joy. Only bird of real note in the difficult conditions was the female Scaup still present on the boating lake in the company of 16 Tufted Duck. 3 Pochard were also on the lake.


Pochard - smart duck

Greater White-fronted Goose or hybrid (with Greylag Goose left)

(click for larger image)
I think the council are aiming a little too high with the bird species they are hoping to attract to the boating lake, especially considering the size of the reedbeds (see below). I also don't fancy your chances of seeing the damselfly they have chosen to picture.

Shorelark surprise

Hit the coast with Tony Housman & Ian Shepherd today. On approaching Thoresby Bridge we picked up 3 Whooper Swans with 24 Mutes and then moved on to Trusthorpe to have a go at a seawatch in the (admittedly light) NE's. The sea was quiet and we gave up after just over an hour, totals were: 3 Red-throated Diver, 15 Gannet, 1 Pink-footed Goose south, 7 Eider, 12 Common Scoter, 4 Wigeon, 10 Teal & a Guillemot on the tide edge.
3 Bearded Tit were seen at Huttoft Pit along with 7 Whooper Swan on fields N of the pit. No sign of the Huttoft Cetti's.
We decided to finish the day at Brickyard Lane were there had been a flock of Snow Buntings hanging around. Having just got onto the beach I clocked a small group of birds crouched feeding with my bins, putting the scope on them expecting them to be Snow Bunts, a few expletives came out of my mouth as I realised I was looking at 5 Shorelarks! Seeing these reminded of some great winters gone by when I saw regular flocks in the Donna Nook area (including a flock of 90 birds at Pyes some 10 years ago. Sadly this species has been very scarce along the coast since, with these being my 1st since a single bird at Freiston in 2006. Let's hope this winter is a better one for them. We also saw 25 Snow Bunting & 10 Twite in the area to complete a very productive trip to the Brickyard Lane area.

Some absolutely dire record digiscoped shots of one of the birds

Kirkby Pits 7/11/09

Yet another dip, this time for the drake Ring necked Duck (which had been there for over a week up to and including the previous day). No Caspian or Yellow-legged Gulls on the tip. Highlights were 150 Pinkfeet south, 9 Egyptian Geese, 3 Common Buzzard, Green Sandpiper, Green Woodpecker & Grey Wagtail.

Great Black-backed Gull, Herring Gull & Carrion Crow give a doll the eye

Practising with the Swaro AT80 HD and Panasonic DMC LX3.
I was quite pleased with this digiscoped shot of this 1st winter Herring Gull on the tip, taken at some serious distance. It's good enough to ID the bird & I should be able to get a record shot if I come across anything scarcer on the tip.

Great Mullein