Lost at deep mid-thicket 8 May 2016

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.

I'll be honest, I'm not sure there ever was a bird here

I’ll be honest, I’m not sure there ever was a bird here

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.

Distant Yellowhammer

Distant Yellowhammer

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.

Meadow Pipit

Meadow Pipit

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:

Male Linnet

Male Linnet

But any brief pose was followed by flight:

Ready to go

Ready to go

Some of that alarm may have been down to the odd predator prowling the undergrowth, one of which did briefly make an appearance:

Honestly, there's an animal here...

Honestly, there’s an animal here…

Can you see it? Yeah, of course you can. There’s a weasel right in the middle of the picture!

There he is!

There he is!

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.

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One Response to Lost at deep mid-thicket 8 May 2016

  1. Pingback: On a high rise seabird city | Why watch wildlife?

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