Dec 302013

After a seven & a half hour drive back from our family Christmas holiday in Scotland on Friday 27th December, I simply couldn't face another 8 hour drive to see a Brünnich's Guillemot in Dorset. For me a British tick no less but fortunately I had seen many summer plumaged birds in Norway earlier in the year. So RichardP volunteered to take us to North Yorkshire for a few close encounters with Great Northern Diver & Mediterranean Gulls. It turned out to be a superb day. We found the Diver lurking in Scarborough Harbour and after an hour or so and a lot of patience, we eventually saw the bird down to 10 feet or so. The closest I have ever been to any Diver species. On the sea wall we discovered 8 Purple Sandpiper roosting, a few Shag and Guillemot but little else here. We moved on to photograph the Mediterranean Gulls at Holbeck, one of THE best sites in Britain to see this beautiful gull at close quarters. We had 6 altogether, a mixture of adults and second winters. We moved on to Hunmanby Gap and eventually found the small flock of 8 Velvet Scoter, also here 1 Great Northern Diver, 6 Red-throated Diver and a large flock of Common Scoter. Unfortunately no year ticks and the Brünnich's will have to wait for another day. Hoping it will stick around till the New Year.

GNDIVER-88963697 GNDIVER-89083698 GNDIVER-89323700 GNDIVER-89553701 GNDIVER-90053702

Above five images – Great Northern Diver, Juvenile – Scarborough Harbour, North Yorkshire – 28th December 2013 – Tony Davison©


Common Guillemot – not quiet a Brünnich's ! – Scarborough Harbour, North Yorkshire – 28th December 2013 – Tony Davison©

MED-GULL-90663705 MED-GULL-90873704 MED-GULL-91143707 MED-GULL-91273708 Med-Gull-91363711 Med-Gull-91423712 Med-Gull-91743713 Med-Gull-91823714 Med-Gull-92033715 Med-Gull-92183716 Med-Gull-92253718 Med-Gull-92313719 Med-Gull-92613717 Med-Gull-92743720

Above 14 images – Mediterranean Gull – a mixture of adult winter and second winter  – Holbeck, Scarborough, North Yorkshire – 28th December 2013 – Tony Davison©

Sorry but I can't resist photographing Med Gulls at close range….



Dec 222013
In Pursuit of an Arctic Ivory Gull - Part Two

Last Sunday 15th December, during the late afternoon, news broke that a juvenile Ivory Gull had been found at Patrington Haven on the Humber Estuary, East Yorkshire. What a blow, as yet another Ivory Gull was seemingly tantalising me, especially having dipped the two in Northumberland a couple of weeks ago, I was begining to think I would never catch up with this high arctic gull. Due to work commitments, there was no way of me getting to see this bird until the forthcoming weekend and even then it would have to be Sunday. Fortunately, a few fish had been put out for the […]

Dec 152013
A Bird Worth Twitching - Velvet Scoter!

Eyebrook Reservoir in Leicestershire was one of the first major bird watching jaunts I undertook as a small child. On the 22nd of January 1967 I can remember joining a Derbyshire Ornithological Society Field Trip to this site, seeing my first Goldeneye, Bewick's Swan, Goosander and a range of common wildfowl. Fortyfive years on and Eyebrook is still as good today as it was then. Since about the 8th December 2013, a beautiful drake Velvet Scoter has graced the reservoir, showing incredibly well at times. It is very unusual to get such crippling views of this seaduck. Normally  a distant speck out at sea […]

Dec 102013
In Pursuit of the rare Arctic Ivory Gull

Saturday 7th December not 1 but 2 Ivory Gulls were seen together at Seahouses in Northumberland. An extremely rare event in Britain and one that was too good to miss, so Sunday Glyn, Richard and myself set off in the hope that we might see just one of these superb arctic gulls. On arrival at Seahouses there were plenty of other birders with the same idea but unfortunately the day was a disappointment to all concerned, as there wasn't a sniff of an Ivory Gull anywhere. We spent most of the day at Seahouses Harbour, over looking The Farne Islands, Bamburgh Castle and […]

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