With a brisk easterly wind blowing I spent the morning at Long Nab where good numbers of Gannets were heading south back to the colony at Bempton. A trickle of wildfowl were on the move and included Goosander, Common Scoter, Goldeneye, Eider and Shelduck, whilst two adult Little Gulls provided added interest. A short walk across the nearby stubble field produced a single Jack Snipe.
Yesterday I spent the day with a regular client taking in some sites on the North Norfolk Coast. An excellent day in the field bagged us the long-staying Western Sandpiper at Cley, together with the very obliging Coue's Arctic Redpoll at Kelling, Snow Buntings on the beach at Salthouse and the obliging Great Grey Shrike near Fakenham. With the usual large numbers of wildfowl and waders plus Marsh Harrier, Buzzard and Peregrine and some beautiful winter sunshine it was a lovely day out.
I spent most of last week away at a new survey site in southern Scotland. As its an upland site, predictably things were fairly quiet, but the local Crossbills were busy singing and nest building. The occasional flock of Pink-footed Geese, a Short-eared Owl, Peregrine and a Merlin made up most of the other interest and there were excellent numbers of Red Grouse on the moor.
After the NW gales of last week it was perhaps to be expected that some white-winged gulls might arrive in the area. A Glaucous Gull was found at the Seamer Landfill Site on Friday, so I decided to look for this on Saturday morning. No sign of the Glauc, but I was pleased to discover a 2nd winter Iceland Gull at Seamer Tip Pools. It didn't linger long as the inevitable dog-walker flushed it. However, it was seen later in the day at nearby Burton Riggs.
After the gales yesterday I took a tour of some local sites. At Potter Brompton Carr a flock of Wigeon totalled a pleasing 43. Not exactly earth-shattering, but a pretty good count for this location. 21 Mute Swans, 15 Teal and a Gadwall were also present here. Seamer Road Retail Park was next, which of course is typical habitat for Waxwings. Two had been seen here yesterday and they were still present. Nice views of those, but the dull light meant that the pics weren't up to much. A visit to the harbour was uneventful apart from a few roosting Purple Sandpipers, two Kittiwakes, a Great Crested Grebe and a Razorbill in South Bay. I couldn't find the Black-throated Diver, reportedly still present this morning. Finally Johnson's Marsh hosted 79 Teal and 6
Freelance ornithologist and tour leader based in Scarborough, N Yorkshire.