Friday, 31 October 2008


I abandoned a trip to the coast to have a look through the thrushes on the patch this morning; in fact it took me 15 minutes to get out of the garden as I watched Blackbirds and Redwings exploding from all the adjacent gardens and gaining height before moving off westwards -- the Blackbird movement continued to midday with a few flocks of Fieldfares heading west and 2000+ Starlings in several flocks also taking the westward route up the estuary; checking the sallows for a Yellow-browed or Pallas' or even that skulking Bluetail the distinctive call of Waxwings caused me to look up and see a flock of five birds heading west with the other incoming migrants; so 176 for the patch and 203 on the scunny list -- already a scunny record could the patch list struggle on to 180 -- we need a northerly gale with some Little Auks and other seabirds! 

Thursday, 30 October 2008


a terrible day of local weather with heavy to torrential rain all day and a strong easterly wind during the early morning; as the rain eased for a while mid afternoon I thought Waters' Edge would be a good spot for a Pallas's Warbler but the only arrivals were a flock of 10 Song Thrushes and plenty of Blackbirds but on the mud of the rising tide walking behind a Redshank was a first-winter Grey Phalarope -- it flew onto the outflow from the local sewage plant and then made a few more flights before drifting up the estuary on the rising tide; 175 for the patch and 202 on the local scunny year list

Monday, 20 October 2008


I had previously ignored the noisy Barnacle Goose that accompanied the local Greylags in May but today's lone bird battling westwards into the teeth of the gale seemed a little more acceptable; it caused mass panic amongst the local waterfowl as it passed over the pits possibly due to its general resemblance to an Osprey from underneath? taking the patch tally to 174

Friday, 17 October 2008

Leach's and Merg

a twitched Leach's Petrel on the Humber off Read's Island took my Scunny tally to 200 for the year while a first-summer male Red-breasted Merganser on the Humber off Waters' Edge was a patch year tick and took the local list to 173 (still well down on the record years) and the scunny total to 201 with two and a half months still to go. 

Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Spoons take it to 199

after not making much effort to see the adult Spoonbill at Alkborough in the spring and missing it on every visit I thought that Spoonbill had evaded my Scunny area year list so a call informing me that two immatures had just landed there this afternoon prompted a response (I had been there all yesterday afternoon so the birds were certainly new in) just prior to my arrival a helicopter flushed the birds which flew off just as I arrived! fortunately they returned about 5 minutes later and settled in to feed in the main channel taking my tally to 199 on the brink of a first ever 200; not sure if these can be tied to records anywhere else in the UK of late. Spoonbill is still the most silly species missing from my local patch list although several must fly past Barton every year-- I have even seen one from the patch but over the north bank of the estuary in Yorky land

Sunday, 12 October 2008

198 Scunny Anthus richardi

tracking a couple of Lap Bunts we came across this Richard's Pipit this afternoon at Alkborough making my scunny year list 198; it was to say the least elusive