Sunday, 10 January 2016

Wandering about

Bit of local birding this weekend. Yesterday, I checked out some big flocks of gulls in the fields along the ringroad, before moving on to Rufforth where I joined Chris Gomersall to look at a wet field which was pulling in lots of birds. Chris picked out a first winter Glaucous Gull that was having a wash in a pool in a muddy field. It seemed to be getting dirtier the more it washed. A leucistic Herring Gull (1w) on the airfield nearby was interesting and a Short-eared Owl was hunting over the usual field near the village.

Today, headed down the LDV but the floods were massive and everywhere was either inaccessible or the water was so deep there was very little to be seen. The road either side of Bubwith Bridge was flooded and a bit hairy; I wasn't convinced I would get through with the water streaming across, but it was alright and I held my nerve... Ellerton Church proved the best for birding, with c20 Whooper Swans, 62 Shelduck (amazing mid-winter count showing how mild it has been to date), 7 Redshank, c500 Lapwings, 10 Pochard visible. Two Egyptian Geese were by the pool at East Cottingwith. I couldn't get through to Sutton or Thornton the usual ways due to flooded roads, so went round via Allerthorpe and ended up on the Common, so I thought I'd have a look for last week's Lesser Spotted Woodpecker that was found on the Birdrace. No sign, sadly, but I'll try again in a few weeks time when it might be calling. Looks a reasonable area for a pair, with loads of birch and plenty of old veteran oaks.

The road is still impassable down to Acaster, so who knows what's on the floods down at Church Ings....

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