Sunday 22 May 2011

Yorkshire Coast 22/5

An early start this morning (22nd) saw me leave Sheffield at around 03:30 with Filey being the destination (via York to pick up Staines). Collected him with some minor confusion in navigation through York, and were at Filey caravan site for around 05:30. We split up on arrival at Long Lane; not knowing exactly where the bird was, we decided it for the best. Staines went north towards the sea, and I headed south. A speculative scan around 50 yards down the path and - boom - there it was! An outrageously attractive male Rustic Bunting, scrotting around on the floor some 20 yards in front of me! Quick call to Staines saw him charging down the path to meet me, and we enjoyed some splendid views in perfect harmony, with no one else about. As my camera battery has died and the charger is in Lincolnshire, I borrowed Staines' Samsung for a record shot. In the poor early morning light this was as good as it got:

A gaudy bird that is not done justice by the picture; there are some nicer ones on BirdGuides.

Buoyed by an early success I forced Staines in to accompanying me to Easington - forgot how grim the drive is down the Holderness coast; the roads are crap! A nice enough (albeit blustery) walk down to the lagoons south of the caravan site at Easington saw us connect with the long-staying Tawny Pipit frequenting the sandy area between the two lagoons. It was nice to obtain extended views of this bird as it fed leisurely amongst the marram grass - the only other Tawny Pip I'd seen in the UK was a bird flying around over a field in Norfolk six years ago. There was also a Wheatear here, as well as a few Yellow Wags. Good movements of hirundines south (of all three species), as well as a few small flocks of peeps powering through and a Little Tern or two offshore.

Back in Sheffield by late morning. Tired now (revision is a bore hence I'm writing this), but well worth it. Great morning.

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