Friday, 13 October 2017

Count the wildlife that’s counting on you

House Sparrows came top in Merseyside and  Nationally 2017   L Bimson 


RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch 2018
Half a million people are expected to watch and count their garden birds for the 2018 RSPB Big Garden Birdwatch in January.
The world’s largest garden wildlife survey, now in its 39th year, takes place on 27, 28 and 29 January 2018. The public are asked to spend just one hour watching and recording the birds in their garden or local green space, then send their results to the RSPB.
Close to half-a-million people joined in the world’s largest garden wildlife survey in 2017 counting more than eight million birds and providing valuable information about the wildlife using our gardens in winter. The house sparrow remained top of the Big Garden Birdwatch rankings, with starling and blackbird rounding off the top three.

Waxwing in Aigburth Liverpool  L Bimson
Last year’s Big Garden Birdwatch also revealed an explosion in the number of recorded sightings of waxwings. These attractive looking birds flock to UK gardens in winter once every 7-8 years when the berry crop fails in their native Scandinavia. Known as an ‘irruption’, results showed that waxwings were seen in around 11 times more gardens in 2017 compared to the last couple of years, with sightings as far west as Wales and Northern Ireland.
Daniel Hayhow, RSPB Conservation Scientist said: “The birds we see in our garden are often the first experience we have with nature – whether it’s a flock of starlings at the feeder, a robin perched on the fence or some house sparrows splashing in the bird bath. But it may come as a surprise to know that some of our most-loved species are in desperate need of our help as their numbers have dropped dramatically.
“The Big Garden Birdwatch is a great opportunity to get involved with helping our garden wildlife. By counting the birds that visit your outdoor space, you’ll be joining a team of over half-a-million people across the UK who are making a difference for nature. It only takes an hour so grab a cuppa, sit back and see who makes a flying visit to your garden.”
Species such as starlings and greenfinches have seen their numbers visiting gardens decline by 79 and 59 per cent retrospectively since the first Birdwatch in 1979.
Robin in Winter   L Bimson
But it wasn’t all bad news. There was good news for robins in last year’s survey, with the average number seen visiting gardens at its highest level since 1986, helping it climb two places to number seven, its joint highest-ever position in the Big Garden Birdwatch rankings.

Daniel added: “With over half a million people now regularly taking part, coupled with nearly 40 years worth of data, Big Garden Birdwatch allows us to monitor trends and helps us understand how birds are doing. With results from so many gardens, we are able to create a 'snapshot' of the birds visiting at this time of year across the UK. Even if you see nothing during your Big Garden Birdwatch hour, that’s important information too, so please let us know.”
Grey Squirrel eating sunflower seeds  L Bimson

As well as counting birds, the RSPB is once again asking participants to log some of the other wildlife they have seen throughout the year. This year, people are being asked to look out for badger, fox, grey squirrel, red squirrel, muntjac deer, roe deer, frog and toad. 

To take part in the Big Garden Birdwatch 2018, participants should watch the birds in the garden or local park for one hour at some point over the three days. Only the birds that land in the garden or local park should be counted, not those flying over. The highest number of each bird species seen at any one time then needs to be sent to the RSPB.
The parallel event, Big Schools’ Birdwatch takes place during the first half of spring term next year, 2 January-23 February 2018. Further information can be found at rspb.org.uk/schoolswatch
Hedgehog tunnel in fence  L Bimson
Big Garden Birdwatch and Big Schools’ Birdwatch are part of the RSPB Giving Nature a Home campaign, aimed at tackling the house crisis facing the UK’s threatened wildlife. The charity is asking people to provide a place for wildlife in their gardens or outdoor spaces – whether it’s putting up a nest box for birds, creating a pond for frogs or building a home for hedgehogs.


For your free Big Garden Birdwatch pack, which includes a bird identification chart, plus RSPB shop voucher and advice to help you attract wildlife to your garden, text BIRD to 70030 or visit rspb.org.uk/birdwatch  

Registration for Big Garden Birdwatch 2018 opens 13 December 2017.

HELPING YOUR BIRDS SURVIVE THIS WINTER

Mixed finches at feeding station   L Bimson


  As you sit snugly by the fire this winter, spare a thought for our feathered friends. Their survival skills are tested to the limit when winter tightens its grip and food becomes hard to find. Freezing weather is a potential death sentence for many birds, but with just a little water, food and shelter, gardens can become a vital haven for birds and other wildlife

In days of yore the RSPB held a ‘Feed the Birds Day event’ every year on the third week of October.  Nowadays we advocate people feed our birds all year round and the events have ceased. However we at RSPB Liverpool think it’s still a good time of year - as the nights draw in and our birds have less time to feed, to give out a timely reminder. 

October is the month the clocks go back and the winter nights start drawing in - it's the time when birds and other wildlife need a little extra help as the first frost looms. So please fill your feeders, clean your bird tables, put out some water and give a helping hand to the wild birds around you. And the sooner you start feeding them, the more birds you'll see when you sit down to enjoy the RSPB's Big Garden Birdwatch in January! You may be surprised how the number changes according to the food you put out. And don't forget a place to sleep, start putting up nest boxes now to provide roost sites for smaller birds. They will then be used for breeding later in the year.

 


IN COLD WEATHER IT IS ESTIMATED THAT SMALL BIRDS NEED TO EAT 30-40% OF THEIR BODY WEIGHT EACH DAY’

Feeding suggestions.
·         High calorie wild seed mixtures, and straight seeds i.e. sunflower hearts
There are different mixes for feeders and for bird tables and ground feeding. The better mixtures contain plenty of flaked maize, sunflower seeds, and peanut granules.
Foraging Goldcrest  L Bimson
Small seeds, such as millet, attract mostly house sparrows, dunnocks, finches, reed buntings and collared doves, while flaked maize is taken readily by blackbirds. Tits and greenfinches favour peanuts and sunflower seeds. Pinhead oatmeal is excellent for many birds. 
Fat balls,suet cakes and pellets are excellent winter foods. You can make your own by mixing melted beef dripping and a mixture of ingredients such as seeds, nuts, dried fruit, oatmeal, cheese and cake crumbs. use about one-third fat to two thirds mixture. Allow to set in a feeding container, empty coconut shell or simply turn out onto the bird table once solid.
Male Blackcap eating fatcake  L Bimson

Mesh bags – a warning- Peanuts and fat balls are regularly sold in nylon mesh bags. Never put out any food in mesh bags. These may trap birds’ feet and even cause broken or torn off feet and legs. Birds with a barbed tongue, eg woodpeckers, can become trapped by their beaks.




·         Bread: has very low nutritional content and is essentially filler, ideally it should only be fed as part of a varied diet. Soaked bread is more easily ingested than stale dry bread.

·         Windfall and over ripe fresh fruit i.e. Apples, pears & other soft fruit. Dried fruits must be soaked before putting out, sultanas, raisins, currants.
Mistle thrush  L Bimson

·         Peanuts: are rich in fats and are of major importance to tit and greenfinch flocks during the winter and cold spring months. Salted peanuts should never be used for bird food.  

·         Rice and cereals: Cooked rice, brown or white (without salt added) is beneficial and readily accepted by all species during severe winter weather.  Porridge oats must never be cooked, since this makes them glutinous and can harden around a bird's beak. Uncooked porridge oats are readily taken by a number of bird species. It is best offered dry, with a supply of drinking water nearby.

·         Coconut: Give fresh coconut only, in the shell. Rinse out any residues of the sweet coconut water from the middle of the coconut before hanging it out to prevent the build-up of black mildew. Desiccated coconut should never be used as it may swell once inside a bird and cause death 
· 
   Salt: Garden birds are practically unable to metabolise salt, which in high quantity is toxic, affecting the nervous system. Under normal circumstances in the wild, birds are unlikely to take harmful amounts of salt.  Never put out salted food onto the bird table, and never add salt to bird baths to keep water ice-free in the winter. 

Blackbirds fighting over cake  L Bimson
·   Other kitchen scraps: cake crumbs, a little mild grated hard cheese, leftover cooked potato - plain baked, roast and pastry.

·    

   Wiggly worms? Mealworms, yes I know they look like shiny maggots, but they are not so squishy, and handling them is rather like grabbing a handful of animated rice! More to the point the birds love them. Serve live or dried. It is very important that any mealworms fed to birds are fresh. Any dead or discoloured ones should not be used as they can cause problems such as salmonella poisoning.
Robins loves mealworms  L Bimson

'Wild birds are incredibly important in the lives of many people; the RSPB's celebrates this special relationship and encourages everyone to feed garden birds.

Good hygiene at bird feeding stations is sensible.  

When a large number of birds are attracted into an area to feed, the danger of disease increases.
Prevention is always better than a cure, and is the best thing you can do to help the birds.
Monitor the food you put out regularly. If the food is taking days to clear either from consider reducing the amount of food offered. Use a bird table and/or hanging feeders. A ground feeding tray is  easier to keep clean and moved if all the food hasn’t been ate before nightfall.* Rats are attracted to leftover food and often carry diseases, which can affect birds or humans.
Keep bird tables and surrounding areas clean and free from droppings or mouldy food, thus avoiding the risk of infection by providing breeding grounds for parasites and bacteria. Clean and wash the bird table and hanging feeders regularly using 5% disinfectant solution, and try and move feeding stations to a new area frequently to prevent droppings accumulating underneath. Water containers should be rinsed out as droppings can accumulate in bird baths. Your personal hygiene is also important. Please wear gloves when cleaning feeders and bird tables, and always wash your hands when finished

Where is the best place to put a bird table in my garden?

Bird tables should be placed where the birds are safe and will be able to feed undisturbed. Avoid putting them near fences or dense hedges, where cats can easily get to them.  If there is a small bush nearby, birds can use this as a look-out point to make sure it is safe. 
Where cats are a problem, avoid putting food on the ground, but use a bird table where cats cannot reach it.
Place feeders high off the ground but away from surfaces from which a cat could jump.

Place spiny plants (such as holly) or an uncomfortable surface around the base of the feeding station to prevent cats sitting underneath it.

Make the table-stand slippery using a metal post, or plastic bottles around non-metal posts.

Fieldfare and Redwing on Pyracantha.
Plant wildlife-friendly vegetation, such as prickly berry bearing bushes like pyracantha, berberis and cotoneaster and thick climbers in the garden to provide secure cover for birds. These should be close enough to where birds feed to provide cover, but not so close that cats can use it to stalk birds.  This kind of planting may also provide food and nesting sites.




Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Popular site manager retires after four decades with the RSPB


Colin Wells and RSPB Liverpool at the Goyt Valley Hen Harrier day  2015
The RSPB Dee Estuary nature reserve’s long-serving site manager has retired after over 40 years working for the UK’s largest nature conservation charity.
Colin Wells, who came to the Dee in 1984 as warden when the reserve only consisted of the vast saltmarsh at Parkgate, rose to site manager as he helped grow the RSPB’s land-holding at Inner Marsh Farm and Burton Marsh Farm, culminating in the opening of Burton Mere Wetlands’ in 2011.
Colin’s early RSPB career saw him serve short contracts at reserves in Scotland, Yorkshire, Norfolk and Lancashire before being posted to the Dee to replace the warden at the time.
Robin Horner, Area Reserves Manager, said: “Colin’s working life has been devoted to the creation and management of homes for nature. He is an expert in the requirements of coastal wetlands and the wildlife that lives within it and has been instrumental in not only managing the Dee Estuary reserve, but also inspiring local people to appreciate and care for this vitally important site and the wildlife that lives here.”
The Dee Estuary is one of the RSPB’s largest reserves and also benefits from legal protection as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Special Protection Area for the wealth of wetland birds that call it home. The visitor facilities at Burton Mere Wetlands bring the extensive wildlife spectacles of the estuary into close view of fully accessible hides and nature trails allowing everybody to share and enjoy.
Colin Wells said: “It has been a privilege to work for such a wonderful organisation that achieves so much for wildlife as the RSPB.  During my career, I have seen it grow from a small society to the UK’s largest nature conservation charity. With the struggles facing the environment today, it is more important than ever that wildlife receives such support, and I am proud to have been able to contribute to the fight to save it. I’m pleased to have led the transformation of the land at Burton over the past 30 years, and look forward to enjoying Burton Mere Wetlands regularly as a visitor!”
 
 
For further information and to arrange an interview, please contact:
Daniel Trotman, RSPB Visitor Experience Manager, on 07718 699014 or email daniel.trotman@rspb.org.uk  
Or
Annabel Rushton, RSPB Regional Communications Manager, on 01524 581026 or 07793 902 590 or email annabel.rushton@rspb.org.uk.
 
Follow us on Twitter @RSPB_BurtonMere
Like us on Facebook RSPB North West England

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

An east coast adventure

RSPB Liverpool away team at Spurn - L Bimson

We’re off, a 7am start, a mini bus and two cars speeding along the M62 east. RSPB Liverpool’s East Coast weekend had finally arrived.

Our intention was to go straight to RSPB Blacktoft Sands but a recent bird alert told us of a Baird's sandpiper at White Holme Reservoir. This was a rare visitor from North America, so a little detour was required (https://www.birdguides.com/sites/europe/britain-ireland/britain/england/west-yorkshire/white-holme-reservoir/).

On arrival at the reservoir, other birders were evident, raising our hopes. A distant blob on the sandy beach sent half of the group circumnavigating the reservoir; alas, this was to be a mistake as the bird flew and those who stayed on the path got a brief in-flight view, and that would be the last sighting of it for us. 
Whiteholme  Reservoir Path - L Bimson



White Holme is on top of the Pennines – a wild windy, exposed moorland landscape, the wind turbines strangely beautiful in the morning sun.
Pennine view,  Wind farm & Pylons -L Bimson 
Path maintenance workers having a laugh? - N Revera





Some of the other birds observed on the moors were stonechat, red grouse, wheatear, meadow pipits and pheasant.

Leaving White Holme and travelling east towards RSPB Blacktoft Sands for lunch and a much-needed hot drink (http://www.rspb.org.uk/blacktoftsands), a bus bonus species turned out to be two red kites circling over the M62.
           
On entering the reserve, you couldn’t fail to see that the bird feeders and hedgerows were heavy with tree sparrows, chaffinches, greenfinches, goldfinches, linnets and tits
Visiting the hides, we noted reed bunting and hirundines, and heard a Cetti’s warbler in front of the Singleton hide but, alas, only a few saw the elusive bearded tits.

Waders and waterfowl using the lagoons included ringed plover, shelduck, mallard, teal, shoveler, wigeon, little grebe, dunlin, ruff, black-tailed godwits, snipe, redshank and spotted redshank, little and great egret, and lapwings. Several green sandpipers could be seen at the back of the reed bed, whilst several water rails weaved in and out of the reed beds along with some moorhens. A pied wagtail landed on a scrape  –  some of us thought it might be a white wagtail, but no.

On our way back to the car park we were treated to a view of the cutest stoat dashing around the flattened reed bed close to the feeding station.

Amazingly, the reserve still had a meadow with the more spring/summer-like flowers – poppies, daisy’s and corn marigold – in full bloom.

Wildflower meadow RSPB Blacktoft - L Bimson

   

Of the visiting raptors, buzzard, kestrel, merlin and marsh harrier were seen over the reed bed.

What was to follow next was totally unexpected and distressing for our group. One of our members shockingly had his car broken into and some of his possessions stolen; we were all stunned. What made it worse was the car window could not be repaired until after the weekend, which meant our friend had to go home, his trip barely started. Due to this shocking incident, our group decided to head straight for our hotel, Premier Inn Hull North, to drop off our bags, rather than go to another site.

It was after 5pm before we headed for Kilnsea and Spurn (http://data.wildlifetrusts.org/sites/default/files/140630%20SPurn_Kilnsea_map.pdf) for a quick taster before our full day there on Saturday. As we arrived at the fabulous little Bluebell café (http://www.ywt.org.uk/bluebell-cafe), a little grebe cut a lonely figure on the nearby pond. House sparrows foraged over the neighbouring caravan site.  
We called into the lagoon at Kilnsea wetlands, where mute swan, greylag and pink feet joined mallard and teal. Clambering up the bank for a closer view, we were delighted to see little stint and a poor curlew sandpiper with a bad leg http://www.ywt.org.uk/reserves/kilnsea-wetlands-nature-reserve.
Kilnsea wetlands- L Bimson


Back to the hotel, but not before we were treated to a jaw-dropping, close-quarters view of a barn owl flying though some farm buildings close to the road.

Foggy morning in Hull - J Jones

Saturday, and a foggy morning dawned, not that this was going to put us off – nothing like a little bit of atmosphere to enhance the experience. After a substantial and delicious breakfast, we were back on the road. We would be spending the day at Kilnsea and Spurn.


Spurn bird observatory


Spurn observatory gardens - L Bimson

First stop, the impressive new bird observatory, http://www.spurnbirdobservatory.co.uk/. Sadly, we weren’t able to go into the building and take a look as a course was running, but Nathan from the observatory was good enough to take the group on a little guided tour of the site, including Church Field, which houses the ringers’ Heligoland Trap. The field is specially planted for the benefit of the breeding tree sparrows and the many  migrant birds that shelter and re-fuel there on migration. There is a feeding station in the north-east corner (memories of the ringed ouzel we’d seen there the previous October when we came to see the Siberian accentor and shore larks). They have also created some small ponds, which are proving popular with the local toads in spring, and with various dragonflies, some of which were on the wing whilst we were there.
Talking of on the wing, an unexpected highlight of that walk was when a bittern decided to fly overhead – a rare sight and a special one for many. Tour over, we headed up the road near to the Crown and Anchor pub to search the car park for warblers, but no sign. 
Yellow browed warbler -  D Aitkin
We had travelled further down to the Warren to do some seawatching when a bird flew up into the bushes. “A warbler!” Neil shouted. It had an eye stripe; another without an eye stripe was chasing it: we had found our own yellow-browed warbler and a willow warbler! Astonishingly, at the same time Sean found another migrant, a red-breasted flycatcher. This, of course, caused a bit of a commotion and, as the jungle drums beat, other birders appeared out of nowhere!
Red breasted flycatcher - L Bimson

Moving on to the Spurn seawatch hide, we squeezed in and surveyed the waters in front of the North Sea offshore wind farm. Distantly, you could see shearwaters, scoter, skuas, gannets, cormorants, terns and divers flying past the turbines. Back on the Humber shoreline, plovers, godwits and dunlin fed.
Grey plover - L Bimson
Mixed waders - L Bimson


By this time the weather was looking a little threatening so we beat a retreat to the lovely Bluebell café for cake and coffee, and only just in time as the heavens opened and birders ran in – drowned rats, I believe is the saying!

Back to Kilnsea scrape and pool and a walk along Long Bank. A Brent goose appeared to be sleeping on the scrape, a regular long-stayer, we were informed. Viewed from the embankment, a group of pink-footed geese was causing some discussion between the more experienced birders: were there bean geese in this group? Longer bill, orange legs?? I don’t think they reached a consensus. A joy to see, several roe deer and hares could be made out in the high grass of adjacent fields; they were later to be joined by curlew, wood pigeons and godwits. A white flash drew our attention to a barn owl flying low by Long Bank; it briefly disappeared, then landed on a post complete with its dinner! Was this the owl we’d seen the evening before?

The drive back to the hotel was fittingly eventful, as a large gathering of birds on a ploughed field turned out to be hundreds of golden plover, a congregation no less. Safety in numbers was the order of the game as now and then they took fright and flight before settling down again. Mmh, could this be the reason they were so nervous;  further down the road a sparrowhawk sat obligingly on a post, a great view for those on the right-hand side of the bus.
Golden Plover - L Bimson


We must say we had very good customer service in the Kingswood restaurant: they arranged the tables to seat 16, had a varied menu and served our food quickly. Seated together, we all had the chance for a catch up on the day and to relax. Jenny B was hopeful, trying to pay for her bill with her bus pass – should have gone to Specsavers… ha, ha!

Sunday, and a mission to squeeze in both RSPB Bempton Cliffs http://www.rspb.org.uk/bemptoncliffs and Flamborough Head before an afternoon date with a boat.
Lesser whitethroat - D Bradley

Arriving at the reserve, we were quickly on to some warblers in a scrubby patch by the car park. Chiffchaff, blackbird and dunnock gave way to a splendid lesser whitethroat and a male blackcap. Nearby was the bunting feeding station; sadly, the only thing of awesome note was the extraordinary number and size of the rat family that scurried under the feeders!
From the cliffs, a seabird spectacle awaited us: although the seabird breeding season was over, there were still some young, unfledged gannets, clinging to the cliffs with their parents. Over 1000 gannets were still present, bickering, diving, hanging on the wind – terrific!
Bempton Cliffs - L Bimson

Gannets at Bempton - L Bimson
Bempton cliffs gannet families

Other birds espied by eye or scope on and over the sea included guillemots, scoter, kittiwake, fulmars, herring gulls, great skuas and jackdaws!

The reserve visitor centre has had a makeover and now features a nice café and shop to shelter in from any sudden squalls of inclement weather, and yes we did get caught out: whilst on the cliff viewing platform, we endured a rather unpleasant five minutes.
Red backed shrike - L Bimson

We were nearly back on the bus when a sudden shout went out that a juvenile red-backed shrike has been found. Lovely – and smiles all round, especially for Jenny and Laura, as this bird sighting meant they had both reached the 200th species target on the ‘my 200 bird year challenge’ http://www.birdwatching.co.uk/my200/
The 200 club, Jenny & Laura - L Bimson


Onwards, a quick visit to Flamborough South Landing and a stroll through the woods. Another yellow-browed warbler had been seen but we didn’t have time for an extensive search; a great spotted woodpecker and some splendid sea views had to do.

The afternoon saw us getting on the Yorkshire Belle at Bridlington for the RSPB skua and shearwater cruise: a 3½-hour sailing from Bridlington up to three miles off Flamborough Head, looking for migrating seabirds (http://www.yorkshire-belle.co.uk/).
The Yorkshire Belle
Busy at the back of the belle!

Packed to capacity with eager birdwatchers, the Belle sailed out of the harbour walls, and we noted onomatopoeic kittiwakes and clockwork turnstones as we passed. Once out towards the headland, the ‘chum’ – a stinking mix of fish bits –was thrown out at the boat’s stern; this helps attract the birds in close to the boat, so commentators and volunteers from the RSPB’s East Yorkshire Local Group can shout out any sightings.
We were not disappointed: sightings included a fabulous sooty shearwater, Manx shearwater, and all four skuas – bonxie, arctic, pomarine and long-tailed. (Breathtaking bullyboy bonxie harassing gulls.) https://www.bto.org/about-birds/bird-id/bto-bird-id-skuas.
Bonxie bullying - C Mellor

Others seen included assorted gulls, fulmars, gannets, cormorants, guillemots and terns. Not forgetting brief glimpses of harbour porpoise and seals.
A great afternoon and we were pleased to say no one was seasick. And a final surprise: just as we were getting off, we bumped into a birding friend from home, Derek – three hours on the boat and we never knew you were there!
Peaty and the Gansey girl - L Bimson

 
Meanwhile, back on land, after a quick mooch through the town, Debs walked along the prom and ate her lunch watching a few turnstone and sanderling looking for their lunch on the beach as the tide went out. Venturing on to the beach herself, she walked about two miles towards the wind turbines on what was a lovely sunny afternoon. Not far out at sea, juvenile gannets practised their diving technique: a slight upward lift, a half-turn, wings folded and dive, dive, dive, splash! Bob back up and take off, wings flapping ponderously, and start all over again. On the walk back, two common terns flew overhead and then landed further up the beach, among a small flock of gulls, and three young boys stripped down to their trunks and ran into the sea – only to run out again moments later, shrieking with shock at the cold. Debs also encountered her first ever Jackuahuas - Jack Russell x Chihuahua for the uninitiated. Plenty of exotic wildlife to be seen on Bridlington beach!

Fish and chips and mushy peas in Bridlington rounded off the day for us all and prepared us for the long drive home. “Carry on driver!”

119 species seen over three days:

Mute Swan, Tundra Bean Goose, Pink-Footed Goose, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose,  Brent Goose, Shelduck, Mallard, Pintail, Shoveler, Wigeon, Teal,  Common Scoter, Red Grouse, Grey Partridge, Pheasant, Red-Throated Diver, Little Grebe, Fulmar, Manx Shearwater, Sooty Shearwater, Gannet, Cormorant, Shag, Bittern, Little Egret, Great Egret, Grey Heron, Red Kite, Marsh Harrier, Buzzard, Sparrowhawk, Kestrel, Hobby, Merlin, Barn Owl, Water Rail, Moorhen,  Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, Grey Plover, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Knot, Sanderling, Turnstone, Dunlin, Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Baird’s Sandpiper, Redshank, Spotted Redshank, Greenshank, Black-Tailed Godwit, Bar-Tailed Godwit, Curlew, Snipe, Ruff, Black-Headed Gull, Common Gull, Mediterranean Gull, Herring Gull, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Great Black-Backed Gull, Sabine’s Gull, Kittiwake, Arctic Skua, Great Skua, Long-Tailed Skua, Pomarine Skua, Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Black Tern, Guillemot, Razorbill, Feral Pigeon, Stock Dove, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Swift, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, Dunnock, Robin, Wheatear, Stonechat, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Blackbird, Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, Willow Warbler, Yellow-Browed Warbler, Chiffchaff, Wren, Red-Breasted Flycatcher, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Long-Tailed Tit, Bearded Tit, Red-Backed Shrike, Magpie, Jay, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Raven, Starling, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Chaffinch, Linnet, Goldfinch, Greenfinch,  Reed Bunting.

A trip remembered…

The East Yorkshire coast at Bempton had been highly recommended, and it certainly didn't disappoint.  From the wide open spaces of the arable lands to the dramatic chalk cliffs at Bempton itself, the landscape was breathtaking, and as for the birds .... !  I had never seen so many golden plover at one time, or had such close-up views of gannets preening and pairing and floating out from the cliffs into the rising breeze.  A wonderful weekend.   Anne Pope




Laura