Sunday was a delightful day and a trip to the coast beckoned. This was a slight gamble as the East Coast had been virtually impassable due to a thick sea fret the day before. But fortunately there was nothing but some light haze when we arrived.
We went to Flamborough first in the hopes of spotting an elusive hoopoe round the lighthouse. This is a bird I’m yet to see, and have wanted to see since it topped the list in the iSpy books when I was a kid. Sadly, elusive in this case meant ‘non-existent’. But the bushes around the head are always good for incoming Spring migrants, so well worth checking.
Unfortunately, the problem with dense thickets is, as above, spotting anything can be a challenge. There were fleeting glimpses of Linnet, Lesser Whitethroat, Wren, Yellowhammer, Dunnock, Meadow Pipit and Willow Warbler. Probably Blackcap and Spotted Flycatcher too. But getting any of them to sit still and prominent wasn’t so easy.
What the morning was therefore, was an auditory test. Picking out the songs and alarm calls of a multitude of species. So a distant ‘little-bit-of-bread-and-no-cheese’ signified the Yellowhammer seen above.
This pipit made a rare appearance above the horizon, unlike the assorted warblers that all stayed determinedly distant and elusive. There are photos, but none I feel happy to share!
The bird of the day was the Linnet, and there were pairs of this delightful little finch everywhere. But, again, not so keen on sitting out and open. The males were as bright as I’ve ever seen them:
But any brief pose was followed by flight:
Some of that alarm may have been down to the odd predator prowling the undergrowth, one of which did briefly make an appearance:
Can you see it? Yeah, of course you can. There’s a weasel right in the middle of the picture!
The weasel played peek-a-boo for a couple of minutes, but getting a photo was point-and-hope as he was snaking in and out of the tussocks. He did do one classic pose up on the hindlegs, but was gone before cameras could be raised in anger.
That was it for the morning, and in the afternoon we headed for the seabird city of RSPB Bempton Cliffs, which will be our next blogpost.