Sunday, 23 August 2015

The Brampton Bee-Eaters

On the way back from York I decided to nip in on the bee-eaters that set up home just outside Carlisle. Two pairs had set up burrows amongst a thriving colony of 500 sand martins in an active quarry. The RSPB had wisely suppressed their presence until the eggs hatched, however, one of the nests failed due to a cliff slide. Since news of the nest was released the remaining pair and their helper had been incredibly popular.

When I arrived today the quarry couldn't have been more like the Mediterranean; the weather was warm and windless and the steep quarry sides radiated the heat back - it was baking. In my eagerness to get to the view point I passed three groups of slogging birders heading up the slope, and by the time I reached the first stop I was toasted. 

Happily, one bird dropped in as soon as I arrived, and the adults were visiting the nest every 10 minutes or so. Not only that, we had great views of a hobby hunting martins over the quarry. I snapped away for an hour before heading back to the car for the last 4 hours in the car.

The pictures aren't amazing as the birds kept their distance from our side of the valley, but the views were great. 

Friday, 21 August 2015

Spot the Crake....

Guess who's had time off!? Me that's who.

I dove down to York to see Matt, but on route I went to Goole. Well near Goole. I headed to Blacktoft RSPB reserve in search of spoonbill and spotted crake... Well, as usual, I dipped on the spatulate white one. But I catch up with the crake, after only 45 minutes watching too. See if you can spot it as well!

Squint a little, its obvious

Too difficult? Try this one....

One closer to 400!

Today I headed over to see the folks at Spurn. I knew there was a wryneck around; more importantly,  there was a spoonbill on the Humber. Driving in I ignored the masses pacing the hedgerows outside Rose Cottage and headed straight for the Warren... but, again, the long legged git had hopped it. Despondent, I went for a wander around the triangle (I'd find my own bloody bird), and as I returned to the car - passing the other birders - the wryneck hopped out into the road in-front of me... I didn't know whether to be smug or annoyed... but I did get this great size comparison. Oh well, maybe I'll get one over the weekend.