Tetney 29/04/17

SE F4 with sun in the morning and light cloud in the afternoon. The usual circuit covered.

On the humber: Great Crested Grebe and the usual 6 Common Scoter.

Birds of prey: Marsh Harrier, 2 Common Buzzard, Peregrine and 2 Kestrel.

In the bushes: 3 Blackcap, 4 Common Whitethroat, Lesser Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and 2 Willow Warbler.

Other highlights: 5+ Whimbrel, Cuckoo, 2 Wheatear, 7 Yellow Wagtail (4 NW), Swallows and the odd Sand Martin moving mostly NW for most of the day, Linnets also moving NW, Reed Warbler.

Other wildlife: Brimstone and Holly Blue butterflies were the first seen in the area this spring.
the 2 Roe Deer were still in the dunes.

No patch year ticks today.

Male Wheatear

Tetney 28/04/17

Out with DW. Covered the usual circuit but also walked and covered the northern boundary of the patch.
Weather was quite variable - a mixture of sunny spells, light cloud and occasional light rain. Wind was largely an F4 NW dropping to F3.

Bird of the day was undoubtedly the drake Garganey seen flying up the humber - Garganey is a tough bird to get in the area due to no suitable habitat for them.

On the humber: The 6 Common Scoter still.

In the bushes: 14 Blackcap, 4 Common Whitethroat, 6 Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler.

Birds of prey: Marsh Harrier, 4 Common Buzzard, 2 Kestrel and 2 Short-eared Owl.

Other highlights: 7+ Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, 4 Grey Partridge, 2 Red-legged Partridge, Cuckoo (1st of the spring), 2 Yellow Wagtail, Wheatear, 3 Sedge Warbler, 5 Reed Warbler with Swallows and Linnets moving NW during our visit.

Other wildlife: 2 Roe Deer in the dunes, Common Seal, Orange Tip butteflies and a Drinker moth caterpillar.

2 patch year ticks today: Garganey and Cuckoo
2017 patch total: 135

 Not a combination you often see 

The first time I've ever come across a message in a bottle (well, jam jar) washed up on the beach. I don't think it had travelled far though - the sender lives in Keighley, West Yorkshire. Sent 31st June last year (though last time I looked there were only 30 days in June)

Horseshoe Point 26/04/17

An evening visit with the Lincs Bird Club Grimsby Area Members. A raw and blustery N wind but sunny.
Highlights: 1 Pale-bellied Brent Goose with 100 Dark-bellied, 2 Greenshank, c40 Whimbrel, 60 Grey Plover, 370 Oystercatcher, a flock of 7 Arctic Tern NW (my 1st terns of the year/patch tick as viewed flying through the patch), Wheatear, 3 Swallow NW and a House Martin NW.

1 patch tick: Arctic Tern
2017 patch total: 133

Tetney 25/04/17

Morning visit only. Out watching the humber at first light. Tricky conditions with the temperature only 2°C and a raw F5 NW making it feel much colder than that. A largely sunny morning.

On the humber: Gannet NW, 3 Common Scoter, 3 Pintail NW, drake Red-breasted Merganser NW.

Birds of prey: Marsh Harrier, Kestrel and a Short-eared Owl.

Other highlights: 5 Whimbrel, Greenshank (1st of the spring), Grey Partridge, Yellow Wagtail NW, 3 Swallow NW, 3 Blackcap, 2 Common Whitethroat, 2 Sedge Warbler, 4 Reed Warbler, Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler.

Other wildlife: A Brown Hare was on the beach and 2 Grey Seals close in to the tide edge.

3 patch year ticks: Pintail, Red-breasted Merganser and Greenshank.
2017 patch total: 132

Tetney 23/04/17

An F2 W appeared to have swung to a NE by mid-afternoon. A predominantly sunny day.
Nothing exceptional today but there was a good selection of waders for an area which lacks any freshwater pools or scrapes. Also nice to see hirundines and Yellow Wagtails moving through during most of the day.

On the humber: 6 Common Scoter, 2 Avocet appeared to come in off, briefly landing by the tide edge and then heading S.

Birds of prey: 3 Common Buzzard, at least 2 Kestrel, 2 Short-eared Owl were still present and both were hunting early afternoon as well as early morning. One of the buzzards headed NW along the beach and was the only raptor noted on the move today.

In the bushes: Very quiet. 3 Blackcap, Common Whitethroat and a Chiffchaff all apppeared to be territorial birds rather than passage migrants.

Other highlights: 7 Whimbrel (5N, 2W), 10 Golden Plover, Little Ringed Plover, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, 2 Grey Partridge, 2 Red-legged Partridge, 13+ Yellow Wagtail NW, alba Wagtail NW, hirundines not counted though largely Swallows heading NW with a few Sand Martins seen - only a single House Martin recorded. An increase to 2 Sedge Warbler and 2 Reed Warbler along Tetney Lock. Probably the best record of the day was a very late Snow Bunting that passed over calling and heading NW.

Other wildlife: Orange Tip butterflies and St Marks flies now on the wing, whilst Brown-tail moth caterpillars were all along the beach - an annual sight along our coastline.

No patch year ticks today.

With a lack of suitable habitat, this Little Ringed Plover stopped off in the saltmarsh. I thought this might be a tricky species to get for the Tetney area but that's now 3 for the spring (2 flyovers) and I know of 2 others also seen. It will always be hard to get good waders here but the beach will be seeing large numbers of migrant waders passing through in the coming weeks. Waders on a large expanse of beach is difficult to check compared to checking a scrape from a hide but I'm sure a Broad-billed Sandpiper or maybe even a Kentish Plover will pass through at some point - finding them is the big challenge!

The only raptor seen on the move today was this Common Buzzard that flew NW.

It's that time of year when you see plenty of Brown-tail moth caterpillars along the beach - in windy conditions many can be seen being blown along the beach.

Tetney 21/04/17

A visit to the northern end of the patch first thing with DW followed by our usual circuit at the central/southern end.
A largely cloudy day with brief sunny spells. Wind W-NW beginning F3 but soon increasing to a blustery F5.

On the humber: Red-throated Diver and 5 Common Scoter.

Birds of prey: Marsh Harrier, 3 Common Buzzard, 3 Peregrine, Merlin, 2 Sparrowhawk, 2+ Kestrel, Short-eared Owl and Barn Owl. One of the Common Buzzards was seen heading towards the Lincs coast from Spurn before continuing NW upriver and a Sparrowhawk came in off from Spurn only a couple of minutes after the Buzzard.

In the bushes: 10 Blackcap, 3 Common Whitethroat, 6 Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warbler and a pair of Bullfinch.

Also: The Black Brant was with 225 Dark-bellied Brents, a Greylag Goose flew out E towards Spurn, 4+ Grey Partridge, 6 Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper (1st of the spring), Wheatear, 12 Swallow NW (also several territorial birds), 10 Sand Martin (8 NW, 2E), 6 Yellow Wagtail NW, Grey Wagtail NW, 4 alba wagtail NW, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler (1st of the spring) and a flock of 60 Linnet (+ a few small groups heading NW).

Interesting sighting of the day was a single Barnacle Goose initially seen flying over calling and later seen with the Brent flock - this bird was seen heading S with some Whimbrel at Spurn the previous day before joining the Brents there. A late date for a genuine vagrant and there is a small feral population nearby at Cleethorpes but could it be a late straggler? Hanging out with Brents is at least a positive sign. Case unanswered so it remains unticked for the year.

2017 patch ticks today: Common Sandpiper, Common Whitethroat and Reed Warbler
2017 patch total: 129

 1 of 2 Black Brants in the county at present. Comparing dates it seems feasible this individual is commuting between Spurn and the Tetney/Horseshoe Point area. No overlap of dates and parties of Brent Geese are frequently seen crossing the humber between the two areas, including today.

Note the colour-ringed Brent in the above photo - I was too busy concentrating on getting a photo of the Brant that I failed to notice it at the time. I have noted a colour-ringed bird also wih a red colour ring here before though, back in November - this individual was ringed on spring passage in the Netherlands in 2015 and then recorded through the spring of 2016 at Spurn, then in Holland and Germany.

It's not unusual to see Roe Deer prints on the upper areas of the beach but can't say I've seen them heading way out to the tide edge before.

Covenham Reservoir 19/04/17

Light S, cloudy with occasional light drizzle. 
An evening visit with the Lincs Bird Club Grimsby Area members.

Main highlights: Drake Garganey, 56 Tufted Duck, Common Buzzard, 2 Little Ringed Plover, Ruff, c300 Swallow, c60 Sand Martin, single House Martin, 16 Yellow Wagtail and 7 White Wagtail.

Weelsby Woods, Grimsby 19/04/17

Another passage Ring Ouzel was present in the same area as the previous 3 birds from just over a week ago. Nearby were 2 Common Whitethroats (1st of the spring) and 2 Lesser Whitethroats.

Tetney 15/04/17

Covered the area with DW.
A cold F3 NW soon became F5. Prolonged sunny periods.
A surprisingly productive day considering the conditions. I certainly wasn't expecting to see hirundine passage into a cold NW headwind.

Bird of the day was the 2nd Osprey of the spring that flew low NW up the estuary.

On the humber: Great Crested Grebe and 6 Common Scoter.

Other birds of prey: Common Buzzard, 3 Peregrine, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, 2 Short-eared Owl and a Barn Owl.

In the bushes: Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat (1st of the spring), 5 Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler.

Other highlights: The Mute Swan count was up to a new high of 19 birds, 2 Whimbrel (1st of the spring), Little Ringed Plover, 2 Grey Partridge, 5 Wheatear, 16 Swallow (15 NW), 2 Sand Martin NW, House Martin NW (1st of the spring), Sedge Warbler (1st of the spring) and 63 Linnet (24 NW).

4 patch year ticks: Whimbrel, House Martin, Lesser Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler.
2017 patch total: 126

Horseshoe Point 12/04/17

An evening visit to Horseshoe Point with the Lincs Bird Club Grimsby members. A sunny evening but a blustery and cold NW wind.
A flock of 80 Brent geese held a Black Brant and a Pale-bellied Brent. The Black Brant was presumably the sane individual we saw next door at Tetney on 07/04.
Also seen: Hen Harrier, Peregrine and a Yellow Wagtail NW.

Weelsby Woods, Grimsby 11/04/17

A walk literally across the road to Weelsby Woods to look for the Ring Ouzel found there yesterday by TH - I was pleasantly surprised to find 3 Ring Ouzels there today. A Swallow was also seen at nearby Gooseman's Field.

Distant record shot of one of the Rouzels. There has now been 5 Ring Ouzels in the Weelsby Woods/Gooseman's Field area in the last 3 days - this is a traditional spring stopover area for them.

Tetney 09/04/17

Hottest day of the year with the temperature reaching a high of around 21°C. Sunny all day but spoilt by the strength of the wind which soon increased to a very blustery F5 SW.
A bit of a half-hearted attempt today as my health hasn't been up to scratch. Also the beach held at least 3 (possibly 5) nudists, which always makes for uncomfortable birding!

Highlights: Common Buzzard, 2 Wheatear, Yellow Wagtail NW (1st of the spring), 2 alba wagtail NW, 3 Swallow NW, 2 Sand Martin E, 3 Fieldfare, Blackcap, 2 Willow Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff and a Goldcrest.

One patch year tick today: Yellow Wagtail
2017 patch total: 122

Wheatears are no longer being encountered as single birds

Tetney 07/04/17

A cloudy day. F3 NW with the temperature around 11°C though the wind chill made it feel like winter rather than spring, so not surprising the list for the day had a wintry feel to it.
Out with DW.

Bird of the day was the smart Black Brant with a flock of 175 Dark-bellied Brents.

On the humber: A Red-throated Diver and 2 Common Scoter south.

Bird of prey highlights: Hen Harrier, 3 Common Buzzard, 3 Peregrine, Merlin, Short-eared Owl and Barn Owl.

In the bushes: 3 Chiffchaff

Other highlights: 96 Golden Plover, Common Snipe, 9 Grey Partridge, Fieldfare, 5 alba wagtail NW, 15 Linnet NW and a pair of Bullfinch.

Other wildlife: Common Porpoise and the bizarre sight of a Field Vole scurrying along the tide edge.

No patch year ticks today. Black Brant isn't classed as a separate species from Brent Goose - well, not yet anyway.

Tetney isn't Tetney without a Black Brant making an annual appearance

Field Vole with a death wish - we managed to usher it back to the safety of vegetation

Tetney 03/04/17

An F3 S wind soon became an F4 SW. Largely sunny with the temperature around 15°C.

On the humber: A drake Common Scoter was the only notable sighting.

Bird of prey highlights: 2 Marsh Harriers NW including one in off and quartering the marsh before heading NW, Common Buzzard, Peregrine and Short-eared Owl.

In the bushes: 2 Blackcap, Willow Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff and 3 Goldcrest.

Other highlights: 2 Grey Partridge, Swallow NW (first of the spring) and 2 Fieldfare.

Butterflies: 2 Peacock and 5 Small Tortoiseshell.

One patch year tick - Swallow
Total: 121

Tetney 31/03/17

A F3 SW soon became a blustery F5. A sunny day with the temperature reaching around 15°C.
Covered the area with DW.
The most productive visit to the patch so far this year.

The humber: Very quiet with nothing of note.

Birds of prey: An Osprey seen hunting over a saltmarsh pool, then over the tide edge and later seen on the mudflats eating a fish, 2 Marsh Harriers - including a male in off the humber which then carried on heading inland, 2 Common Buzzard, Peregrine, Merlin and Barn Owl.
In nine Tetney visits this month a total of seven Marsh Harriers were seen migrating through the reserve - I wonder just how many passed through undetected? Passage should continue through April.

In the bushes:  Willow Warbler and Blackcap (both firsts of the spring), 7 Chiffchaff and 10 Goldcrest.

Other highlights: 300 Pink-footed Geese NW in 2 skeins, 4 Avocet, Green Sandpiper, 75 Golden Plover, 4 Grey Partridge, Sand Martin NW (first of the spring), Wheatear, 10 alba wagtail NW, a female Ring Ouzel showed well often perching on an adjacent fence, 3 Fieldfare, Redwing and 6 Linnet NW.

Butterflies: Small White, 5 Peacock, 5 Comma and 4 Small Tortoiseshell.

6 patch year ticks today: Osprey, Green Sandpiper, Sand Martin, Ring Ouzel, Blackcap and Willow Warbler.
Total: 120

Female Ring Ouzel 

Distant record shot of the Osprey which was frequently harrassed by gulls.
My joint earliest Osprey record.

 Plenty of Brown-tail moth caterpillars are now becoming active in the countless webs woven on the Sea Buckthorn bushes