Revisiting some old pics

Grey-headed Wagtail
Kos, May 2008

Having trawled through some old photos taken when I visited Kos in May 2008, I came across the above shot which I must've clearly overlooked at the time. All of the Yellow Wagtails I encountered during my week trip were Black-headed Wagtails (Motacilla flava feldegg), or so I thought! The above individual clearly fits a migrant Grey-headed Wagtail (Motacilla flava thunbergi) - click the photo for an enlarged image. All of this is personally significant as it's the first time I've encountered this race of Yellow Wagtail. The moral of the story - make sure you check any photos you've taken very carefully!

Close to home

With plenty of snow & ice on the ground I decided not to venture far, covering the area between Cleethorpes Leisure Centre to Tetney Marshes along with Tony Housman & Ian Shepherd. Weatherwise it was sunny and clear but bitterly cold. I was pleasantly surprised at the list we built up so close to home. Notable birds seen were: 4 Little Egret, 4 Whooper Swan, 40 Pink-footed Geese, 3 Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 60 Common Scoter, Merlin, Ruff, 8 Snipe, Barn Owl, adult Med Gull, Kingfisher, Stonechat, Brambling & Bullfinch.

Adult Med Gull
Med Gulls have been particularly hard to come by this winter - normally at least a couple of birds are present in the Cleethorpes area

Scene from Svalbard? Nah...its Cleethorpes Boating Lake where the feral Barnacle flock now numbers 40+. They successfully raised young this year (believed to have been born on the boating lake islands - well, there isn't exactly much arctic tundra around these parts is there?). Also note the dodgy hybrid goose - a poss Barnacle x Ross's?

Winter sunrise

Tetney Marshes doing it's best to look like arctic tundra

19/12/09 - An old friend returns....

Having heard great news that the Canadian-ringed Turnstone had returned to Cleethorpes for yet another winter (seen by Bill Brooking 12/11/09), I was pleased to catch up with the bird for the 3rd successive winter at North Cleethorpes (Bill had seen the bird at the southern end).
Nothing else of note seen except for a Peregrine that went through and caused the inevitable panic amongst the waders.

Colour-ringed Turnstone back for at least it's 3rd successive winter. This individual was ringed at Alert, Ellesmere Island, Canada. Alert is the northernmost permanently inhabited place in the world, being only 508 miles from the North Pole.

Tourists don't exactly flock to Cleethorpes in winter

Covenham Reservoir

First chance I'd had to visit Covenham to take in the two juvenile Great Northern Divers present there and both gave close views, often next to each other. A confiding Water Pipit was in the SW corner. Also present: 85 Pinkfeet through, a pair of Pintail, single Scaup, Common Buzzard showing well perched in a nearby tree, Green Sandpiper & 3 Grey Wagtails.

Horseshoe to Seal City 6/12/09

I need to shed a few pounds (no comments!) so decided to walk from Horseshoe and on to the patch as far as the Seal Mecca at Donna Nook. The weather was sunny but a moderate SW didnt help. Highlights were: 3 Pale-bellied Brents, 1 Peregrine, at least 1 Merlin, 2 Barn Owl, 102 Twite & a Lapland Bunting. A passerine that flew past giving the impression of hardly any tail had me thinking Woodlark but after working my way through a waterlogged field in walking boots and thus getting my feet and legs well and truly soaked, I managed to conclude it was just a tail-less Reed Bunting!
Sight of the day was watching a Merlin persistently trying to catch a small passerine, then out of nowhere a Peregrine appeared and had a brief swoop at the passerine. In the mayhem that ensued the passerine escaped and the Merlin, no doubt unhappy at the intervention of the Peregrine, went chasing the considerably larger raptor off it's patch - feisty little characters those Merlins!

The entrance to Donna Nook car park.
The pictures above & below show the reasons why I generally don't visit my patch in winter

How much for a seal burger?

As the sun goes down so the temperature plummets on the coast