I spent a day going round most of the key birding sites in Scarborough with Stuart. Not much around that was new, but a solid set of birds were seen.
Harbour – We refound all three divers, Red-Throated, Black-Throated & Great Northern, as well as the Slavonian Grebe. Great Crested Grebe is still hanging around, as well as plenty of Shags. 45 Purple Sandpipers were on the roost, which may be the greatest amount that I have ever seen there. I also took three pictures that I think are blog worthy.
The first is a decentish picture of a Cormorant:
The second is my new ‘best-ever’ Turnstone picture:
And the last is of a headless seagull on the slipway:
Now, I don’t know what could do that to gull, but I really would like to find out. I mean, it seems unlikely that other seagulls would peck its head off, doesn’t it? So what has the requisite skills and desire to just steal a gull’s head?
Peasholm – Only bird of interest was the Mandarin, which, whilst I had seen it last Sunday with Stuart, had then disappeared all week when I had gone to try and get a better picture. Of course it returned today, shortly after I informed Stuart that I thought it had gone because I hadn’t seen it all week. It was hanging around at the left hand side of the island, where the light was worse so it was more difficult to get a decent picture, and was spending its time chasing around the larger Mallards who seemed to be scared of it for some reason.
Burton Riggs – Nothing. There never is. Well, to be fair, there were a few gulls and a Great Crested Grebe. It astonishes me that this place, which must have as much open water as the mere, attracts almost nothing. I think it is because the locals use it purely to burn things, drive their motorbikes round like twats, and dispose of household waste – as well as walking dogs round it like racists. Nice places are not for dogs, because they ruin them. I can prove this; both Tophill Low and Spurn Point do not allow dogs on site – both are lovely.
Seamer Tip Pools – Female Pintail was still hanging around with the Mallards, and there was a sad-looking Mute Swan. Huge numbers of gulls in the nearby fields, but the sun was directly behind them making viewing difficult. We had a look through all the crows (as a Hooded Crow had been reported several times over the past couple of weeks) but there were no sightings of anything unusual. Also saw Sparrowhawk, three Mistle Thrushes, and several Redwing.
Scarborough Mere – Usual assortment of ducks & geese, as well as the drake Red-Crested Pochard. Also saw several Redwing, and a possible Bullfinch.
Just as we had finished all the birding from the day, we get a text telling us that a Grey Phalarope had just been seen flying out of the Harbour. Either we had missed it earlier, or it had entered since. Which ever it was, that was a real shame, as I have yet to see one.