Sunday, 12 October 2014


The good birding weather (northeasterlies and rain) arrives tomorrow, so ascending out of the fog-bound Vale of York in to glorious sunshine on the Yorkshire Wolds this morning reduced my optimism of seeing anything good at Flamborough.

Nevertheless, you just never know on the east coast at this time of year, so I headed over to Old Fall. Lots of Tree Sparrows around, with several parties in the hedge and heading off south. Lots of Skylarks too, plus a few Meadow Pipits. Not a lot in the hedge on the walk down towards Old Fall plantation, but my new radio suddenly crackled in to life with Lee Johnson stating there was a Radde's Warbler in the Gorse Field! Yikes! Nice for this to be the first message on my radio. So walked swiftly down Old Fall, round the sheep and on to the permissive path where I bumped into Lee and a few others. The bird had been showing in the hedge but had flicked across into the gorse. No worries, the conditions were idyllic, so surely it would be actively feeding. Whilst I waited, a fine Stonechat, a couple of overflying Brambling and a pair of regal Roe Deer provided a distraction, but after an hour and a half I began to wonder if the little Sibe would ever show again in this massive patch of cover.

John B and Martin G took the initiative and decided to give the field a walk and although the Radde's remained frustratingly hidden from all bar MG at first, it eventually gave itself up and showed gloriously in the rough grass and brambles at the edge of the gorse patch. What a stonker! Looked very yellow and olive at a distance, with salmon pink legs and a whacking great supercilium that blurred over it's forehead. What a beauty! It showed so well that I managed a bit of phonescoping! I am sure some of the big lens folk will have got some cracking shots.

After a bit, I decided the Sibe Thrush wouldn't find itself, so I headed back round Old Fall where a Yellow-browed Warbler was calling from the depths and five Bramblings wheezed overhead. Still lots of dapper Tree Sparrows around but more unexpected was a Barn Owl that flew across and into the plantation, much to the consternation of the local Wrens, followed by a lovely Weasel on the path next to the hedge that approached quite close. Headed to the north side, which revealed a few more migrants including two Chiffchaffs and six Blackcaps, plus a rather fine Redwing.

Tree Spug, Weasel and fem Blackcap.

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