We left Nottingham later than usual at about 8.30 as the boat didn’t sail until 4.00 p.m.
It was decided that we went first to Flamborough Head to see what was there. We arrived at about 11.00 am after a short stop on the way. We had heard that there was a Barred Warbler in the area but were not sure where about. We made a few enquiries and we soon looking at a splendid Barred Warbler.
Three of us decided that we would take a walk round the headland to see what else was about. Brian went back to the car as his leg was still in plaster after breaking it.
We had good views of Red Admiral and Painted Lady butterflies along the road before turning off to go across the fields. It was a hot still day and there was not a deal about until we reached the cliffs were Shag and a few waders were seen. As we walked along the cliff top path we noticed a group of birders looking into the field on our left. Upon reaching then we realised a juvenile Great Skua was sitting in the middle of the field. After a search of over half an hour we found singles of Lapland Bunting and Snow Bunting.
After lunch in the car park we made our way to Bridlington for the boat, hoping to see Purple Sandpiper on the harbour walls but to no avail. As we were waiting to board the boat we were surprised to be joined by Pete Smith and his wife, Chris.
The boat trip was very quiet with only a single Shearwater that was not seen by most people but a single Great Skua that gave us great views of how it chased and harried birds for them to discharge their food.
Gannet, Kittiwake and Fulmar were added to this years trips list making a total of 157.
Grey Seal was added to the mammal list while Red Admiral was added to the butterfly list.
A very warm and sunny day slightly spoilt by a strong south westerly breeze which kept the butterflies from flying. A group of seven of us set off along the Ouse Dyke where we encountered the usual selection of large, small and green-veined whites, speckled wood butterflies along with common darter, brown hawker and southern hawker dragonflies. We were even greeted by the call of the resident kingfisher as it speed off up the path.
On entering the site we soon found the first of our target species of common blue, which it became apparent are very abundant all around the site as there is plenty of birds-foot trefoil on the bank tops and sides. The next of our target species for the day was the small copper, only one of these was located at the top of a bank I know from previous visits to be one of the best places to find them. Unfortunately we weren’t so lucky with the small heath which failed to show at all, probably due to the wind whipping across the site.
Dropping down to the river bank to get some shelter from the wind we encountered our next target, brown argus. Or at least the back markers did, by the time the rest of us had backtracked it had disappeared into the long grass. However, we did all get to see this small butterfly later as altogether we encountered six in various parts of the lagoons.
The walk continued in the shelter of the hedge bordering the back of the gravel pits where plenty of common blue damselflies along with other butterflies and dragonflies were taking advantage of the windbreak offered by the hedge. Our return to the site found more brown argus on the central bund between the deep pit and the slurry lagoon, and also along the bottom pathe following the railway line.
By the end of the walk we had encountered ten butterfly species, including those mentioned above along with small tortoiseshell, brimstone, meadow brown and painted lady. Other highlights included two hobby, wheatear, whinchat and various warblers.
Nine of us met at 8.00 p.m. at the Blidworth Bottoms car park as we had been informed that the Longdale Lane car park was closed.
Just as we were to move off we saw a Jay fly across the car park into conifers. Leaving the car park we started walking up the main path when someone spotted a Yellowhammer sitting at the top of a tree. A little latter the Jay flew on again deeper into the wood.
As it was a bright light evening we realised that we would have a while to wait for either Nightjar or Woodcock. We sauntered slowly through the wood seeing both hare and grey squirrel, until at one point, I was completely disorientated and we had to use Tony’s Sat Nav to find out where we were.
With the time at about 9.15 p.m. the first of 3 Woodcock was spotted. We walked a little further and at about 9. 50 p.m. the first Nightjar was heard “churring”. As we waited a small group walk to an other clear area, keeping in touch with the others by telephone. The small group of 3 almost immediately heard a Nightjar quite close by. It stopped and flew but was not seen clearly. A couple of minutes later we had one singing in a tree almost above our heads. This one, a male, flew and gave as good views of the white squares on its wings and tail.
The rest of the group, as they joined us, could hear the bird churring as they approached – then silence! We waited and waited and decided to give it until 10.30 p.m.
At about 10.25 p.m. another started churring and, like the previous occasion flew off. Again the bird started in the tree above our heads. We had wonderful, clear views of it for 3 – 4 minutes before it too flew.
Having obtained our objective and time was going we made our way back to the cars and off home.
The bird trip list now stands at 120 for the year so far.