North Yorkshire – 14/02/2019

A day of mainly sunny conditions with light cloud, a light southerly breeze blowing. Temperature reaching ten degrees C.

A bit of a road trip into North Yorkshire today for a few birding year ticks, before the main invertebrate season starts. First two ticks were Nuthatch Sitta europaea and Marsh Tit Poecile palustris at the Forge Valley Feeders. Jay Garrulus glandarius and Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major where the other main highlights.

Wykeham Forest Raptor Viewpoint

Wykeham Forest - 14/02/2019
Wykeham Forest - 14/02/2019

Next stop was Wykeham Forest Raptor Viewpoint. Goshawk Accipiter gentilis was the main attraction, and they didn’t disappoint, several birds present, though distant over the far side of the valley. A few Buzzard Buteo buteo were also out over the forest. The second tick for this location was Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra, several birds present at the viewpoint and back ar the car park.

Filey Brigg

Filey Brigg - 14/02/2019
Filey Brigg - 14/02/2019

Filey Brigg was the third location for the day. Three year ticks here. A first-winter drake Velvet Scoter Melanitta fusca was the highlight, Gannet Morus bassanus and Sanderling Calidris alba being the other firsts for the year. Several other waders were out on the Brigg with Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima, Dunlin Calidris alpina, Knot Calidris canutus, Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula, Redshank Tringa totanus and Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus all present. Good numbers of Red-throated Diver Gavia stellata out in the bay and also passing south, a single Great Northern Diver Gavia immer also in the bay. Hundreds of Guillemot Uria aalge were moving south, a few Shag Phalacrocorax aristotelis also off the Brigg, with on particularly showy individual shown below. Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus and Fulmar Fulmarus glacialis were the other noteworthy additions to the day list.

Back in the East Riding, a nice find on the way home was this pair of Barn Owl Tyto alba, rounding off a superb days birding.