Friday 30 December 2022

York Ring-necked Duck!!

Andrew Schofield found a cracking drake Ring-necked Duck at Castle Howard this afternoon. I dropped everything and dashed out to see it, before it got dark. I met Duncan down there and we enjoyed good views of this smart bird as the light faded. If accepted this will be the ninth record for York and the first away from the Lower Derwent Valley. There has been only one other sighting in the area since I returned to the York area in 2010, a drake at Bubwith Ings on 10th October 2019, which had sadly gone the next morning. 

Also present at CHL, a Great Egret, several Goosanders, lots of Mandarins and a modest gull roost.

Tricky conditions for phonescoping, with strong winds and failing light!

Monday 12 December 2022

Paying Homage to the King

Finding myself not far from the beach the other day, it seemed rude not to pop a little farther up the coast to pay homage to the drake King Eider, that had turned up at Redcar. The bird was showing on a rolling sea, feeding on the Mussel beds just offshore, with a gang of Common Eiders. Attendant young Herring Gulls attempted to steal Mussels brought to the surface by the ducks. His highness was tricky to watch, disappearing underwater frequently and being hidden by the swell when on the surface, so I spent quite a bit of time getting arriving birders on to him. I walked back, pausing to enjoy a large flock of Sanderlings and Turnstones, and a solitary Red-throated Diver fishing in the surf.

Click here for a video montage of the king on YouTube

Friday 9 December 2022

Out of a Clear Blue Sky

Working at home gold yesterday, when this smart Brambling dropped in out of the clear blue sky. 

It spent the morning feeding on Rowan berries and spilt seed under the feeders, and occasionally having a drink. A very handsome bird, it fed well so I was surprised not to see it again today. 

All pics through the slightly steamy window, so not great!