Wake up, 5 to 6, wierd how that happens when you have an alarm set. Coffee, stroke dog, pile into car. Still dark, drizzling, east wind - excellent.
Painful drive over the Wolds in fog behind very early Sunday drivers. On to the verge by The Viking, North Landing, Flamboro'.
Goldcrests in tiny Hawthorn by the side of the car. A flash of yellow stripes in the grass at my feet - Siskins - wierd! Not the usual view; tired or tame. Or both. The air is alive with bird calls. Wheezing Bramblings, hundreds of Redwings and Song Thrushes. Blackbirds. A tucking Ring Ouzel. A Chiffchaff zips across the road, making my heart beat that little bit quicker. Another birder appears. He has just found a Yellow-brow. Nice.
The sky lightens; it is full of birds. Thrushes coming in-off suddenly drop like stones into the hawthorns and elders, seeking a little respite. A Blackcap skulks, pretending to be something rarer. More Goldcrests. Two more Ring Ouzels. A rather bemused and noisy Great Spotted Woodpecker in-off. Robins 'ticking' everywhere. This is great! First news arrives; a Great Grey Shrike a couple of fields away. I am joined by Russ and John B. A Redstart zips out of the hedge and zips back in again. Fieldfares over. More Siskins feeding in low weeds. A deluge of Chaffinches and Bramblings pours overhead, many unseen, some joining the hordes of Tree and House Sparrows lining the hedges.
We are really grilling everything, really trying hard. Another Redstart, plus a Whitethroat. Down to the landing; looks good for a Black Red. There's one! A cracking jet and red corker with glowing white wing patches. A female Redstart nearby and two Stonechats make fine companions, enjoying the pile of hedge cuttings some moron has dumped in this idyllic spot. More Goldcrests - some just in, feeding in the grass, some along a barbed wire fence in the middle of a field. Two Peregrines overhead make the local Kestrels nervous; one was clouted yesterday. A large flock of Mippits in the clifftop fields fail to harbour anything else. Chiffchaffs tail-dipping in the brambles. Reed Buntings along the wires, teasing me. Song Thrushes all over the place. News of another Great Grey Shrike and a LEO on the head comes through. Disappointment that the cafe is closed. Another Ring Ouzel, this time a fine male.
Where is the Bluetail? They seem to be everywhere else! Late morning, it is slowing, but it seems Goldfinches have arrived (bizarrely!) I have to go. A fantastic four hours. Nothing rare, but heaps of fun. And then somebody jams a Radde's at Filey...Doh!