Checked the waders off Horseshoe & it soon became clear I wasn't going to find a Broad-billed, Kentish or Terek when all that was there were 40 Oycs & 4 Ringed Plovers. There has clearly been a large scale departure of waders on the humber over the past few days, also noted by others on the upper reaches of the humber & at Spurn. Still a few Painted Ladies heading up the coast at speed and my first migrant Silver Y of the year.

Silver Y

Random rainbow photo not taken today at Covenham Res

Lincs birding Update

Not out birding today - my body wouldn't take it, probably something to do with getting in at 4am after a night on the town (well I am only 36 you know & not quite ready for bingo just yet).
Thought I'd have a look at what's currently happening on the Lincs birding scene. The vast majority of records are not surprisingly coming from the southern county sites of Freiston & Frampton, not surprising as the RSPB have invested considerably on creating ideal habitat on these 2 reserves - bet it's a bit of a "dude fest" down there though. Here in the north of the county we have to work a little bit harder (no such "on a plate" RSPB luxuries here).
So what birds are around? Single Red-necked Phals at each of the above sites and a plastic goose - was a Ross's Goose, in the company of Canada Geese & at the end of May, going to be anything other than plastic?
Barton area and the Tetney to Rimac stretch quiet. Gib quiet (less records coming from here than Frampton and Freiston).
Surely there must be a Broad-billed, Kentish or Terek out there somewhere so I'll try to do my bit tomorrow. Be sure to check back for full details of my imminent failure.

Grainthorpe Marsh

My 2nd Fulmar in as many days close in to the tide edge off Grainthorpe Marsh. A male Peregrine seen taking out a pigeon. A Pale-bellied Brent was with 109 Dark-bellied (the Brents often linger late here). Also: several Little Egret, 2 Whimbrel, Barn Owl, Yellow Wagtail, Corn Bunting & 3 Painted Ladies.


Checked the high tide this evening but surprisingly few waders present. A Fulmar flying around over the tide edge was the star bird. Also seen: 3 Little Egret, 5 Brent Geese, about a dozen Oystercatcher, 4 Sanderling, 9 Dunlin, 60 Ringed Plover & 2 Cuckoo, A Painted Lady butterfly shot through.

A blank on the Bee-eaters

News of 5 Bee-eaters seen next to North Somercotes had been jumping in the car again & hitting the coast. The Bee-eaters had been present since at least yesterday evening but news didn't reach the ears of the birding world until today. Seen at 3pm, I was on site from c4.15pm but 4 hours of scanning the area produced none of these rainbow birds. Plenty of birder coverage in the surrounding areas but still no sign. I did however have one colourful bird fly over, a drake Mandarin Duck! Barn Owl also seen.

Lincs Sprosser

Hadn't planned to go birding today but when I got a call to say there was a Thrush Nightingale on the patch I was soon in the car and putting the pedal to the metal. Thrush Nightingale was a lifer for me, I had dipped on one at Gib a few years ago & it wasn't looking good this time either, as the bird skulked in a dense area of sea buckthorn & elder. It didn't help that the bird didn't sing at any point but my patience was rewarded when eventually I observed the skulky sprosser taking flight to another bush. Thrush Nightingale becomes my 2nd lifer in the UK this year & the added bonus of it being seen in my home county as well.

Gib & Covenham 14/5/09

The dull skies with cool easterlies made it feel more like autumn at Gib rather than spring. With overnight rain and the easterlies hopes were high but the bushes were very quiet. Only birds on the move were terns, hirundines & swifts. Highlights: 27 Avocets, 8 Common Sandpiper, 7 Common Scoter, 9 Eider, 2 Gannet, c40 Commic Tern, c30 Little Tern, Sandwich Tern, 2 Turtle Dove and a Fulmar over the saltmarsh!
Dropped in at Covenham on the way back for the White-winged Black Tern but the star bird had moved on. Did see 7 Black Tern, 3 Arctic Tern, 1 Common Tern, Hobby & 4 Common Sandpiper.

Cinnabar Moth - the caterpillars feed almost exclusively on ragwort, ingesting cyanide contained in the ragwort.

Hungry sea & townie Kittiwakes

Made a (non-birding) trip to the East Yorks coast on Monday. The Kittiwake pairs have increased annually here in Bridlington town centre & clearly like the town life.
Crippling views to be had from those top windows.
I'm also guessing ear plugs are an everyday essential for the residents.

The pics below show the frightening pace of coastal erosion. Taken at Skipsea compare the shots from Apr 04 & May 09.

April 2004

May 2009

You can see the road in the top left corner of the 1st shot. I would give it a miss driving down the road these days - the potholes can be pretty big.

April 2004

May 2009

Again, compare the road on the above two pics.


Strong easterlies with heavy showers today.
Thought I'd have a break from the coast today so headed inland to Messingham. A Wood Warbler was a surprise find, it sang 4-5 times and I had brief views of it in the tree canopy before it disappeared in the blustery conditions. 4 Black Terns went through (an influx of these stunning terns occured in the UK today during strong easterlies). 2+ Common Tern, Green Woodpecker, Cuckoo & Garden Warbler also present. Messingham is of course a dragon/damselfly mecca but today was far from ideal conditions. Not surprisingly I failed to locate any Hairy Dragons but a few damselflies were found sheltering in foliage.

Blue-tailed Damselfly

Red-eyed Damselfly (inc close-up)

Agapanthia Villosoviridescens (thanks to Adrian for the ID)

Donna Nook/Pyes Hall/Grainthorpe Marsh

Sunny and warm am but it clouded over pm and with a NE wind picking up, it created chilly conditions. Best bird of the day was a late Redwing at the RAF base. Also seen: 10 Whimbrel, Greenshank, 2 Cuckoo, 1+ Turtle Dove, 5 Wheatear, 5 Lesser Whitethroat, plenty of Whitethroats now in, 2 Blackcap, 3 Sedge Warbler & Reed Warbler (the last two being patch year ticks). Steady passage through of Swallows with a few Swifts and a Sand Martin.
Best butterflies were Wall Brown (year tick), Orange Tip, 2 Small Copper (year tick) & 2 Green Hairstreak.

Water Crowfoot

Small Copper

Stonebridge to Grainthorpe Marsh

Not much to shout about today. 3 Whimbrel were on the marsh. A Short-eared Owl was still at Pyes. 2 Cuckoo, 5 Wheatear, Lesser Whitethroat & plenty of Whitethroats. On the butterfly front I had my 1st Green Hairstreaks of the year. Finally after all the years I've been going to Pyes I did come up with a patch mammal tick...

Pyes Wildcat (record shots) - a patch tick
As you can see from the bottom shot the individual is unringed & has no neck collar. It was extremely wary and within seconds of clocking me it bolted into the main bushes south of the haven. At no point did it respond to silly noises made with my mouth. Note the black & white plumage, pink nasal area & piercing eyes.