Monday, 30 December 2013

2013 Photo Review

Well its the end of another year so I thought I would add 12 photos , 1 from each month that I liked and that summed up the highlights of the month.
Thanks to all that have looked at the photos and read through my blog that I began this year.Hopefully 2014 will see me reach new places with new wildlife to share.

Dunnock at SSSI Messingham Sand Quarry Reserve during our snowy week.

A visit to Twycross Zoo for Valentines Day and getting to watch the female Western Lowland Gorilla care for her newborn.

Watching Badgers on my birthday in the Speyside Wildlife Hide at Rothiemurchus near Aviemore during our trip up to the Scottish Highlands.

Seeing the gannets back at RSPB Bempton Cliffs in East Yorkshire
Getting closer to Great Skuas than I probably wanted to, on Handa Island off North West coast of Scotland

My first ever trip over to The Farne Isles to get up close to Puffins & Arctic Terns.

It was a good year for hawkmoths in our garden but finding my first ever Orange Moth at Chambers Farm Wood in Lincolnshire was a highlight.

This was the month of the Rutland BirdFair where I met some old online friends and new ones as well as heroes such as Jonathan Scott & Simon King.Unfortunately they are all beaten by the spectacle of watching Red Kites swooping around the Dumfries & Galloway countryside.

The first ever Spurn Migration Festival at YWT Spurn Point happened in this month.A brilliant new event that will get even better this year.Plenty of fellow birders, Red-Backed Shrikes and ending with this stunning Hummingbird Hawkmoth.

The Red Deer rut started and we got to watch it at our local country park Normanby Hall in North Lincolnshire.

The arrival of the grey seal rookery at Donna Nook on the Lincolnshire coast where we saw newborn pups feet away.

During a week of gales & tidal surges causing flooding in the local villages along the Humber & Trent a surprising sight of 1000's of knots and lapwings on the Humber sandbars near the Humber Bridge.

Thank you again to all who have read my blog and hopefully will continue too if I can get out to places and manage to get things to share with you all.
I look forward to seeing what everyone else gets to during 2014.
Take care.
A Happy New Year to all and I hope you all have a fantastic 2014.


Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Grey Seal Spectacle on the Lincolnshire East Coast

Its been a while since I posted anything on here so thought I would finally get chance today.

From October to December, on the east coast of Lincolnshire there is a beach called Donna Nook where you can have an amazing wildlife experience viewing a grey seal colony rookery.Around 1500 seal pups were born here last year.

 It is nearly always very cold with the wind blowing in off the North Sea and the military training goes on with jets flying over the colony without a hint of disturbance to the seals below.

Last week we spent a couple oh hours here before the cold, mixed with my arthritis got the better of me.
The highlight of the trip had to be arriving just as a cow had given birth.This is what the new arrival looked like after 10 minutes from birth.
More of the white furry characters that were dotted all over the windswept beach.
There were stories happening all over the beach, between cows & bulls, cows & cows or cows and their pups like this one.
Awww, please play mum.
Mmmm, its chewy.
Oi, get off me.....slap.
Oh, lay shut up and lat still and let me get some rest.
I love you really.

Cow fights occur when they get a bit too close to each others pups.
Suckling pup

Another fun event.
"Hey, Frank don't smile for the photographers"
"Eh, what did you say?"
"Aww Frank, too late, what did I just say?"
"Haha, Vera, what's ee like?"
Donna Nook is also a great place to do a spot of birdwatching.With flocks of lapwings, goldfinches, starlings, redshanks as well as shelducks, wagtails & various gulls(have even seen a Glaucous Gull here previously), there is always something to see amongst the grey seals.

 I really do recommend a trip to Donna Nook during the late months to see one of Britains best wildlife events.
There, finally a new post :) Thanks very much for reading and for taking the time to look through the many photos.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

The First Ever Spurn Point Migration Festival Sept 6th-8th 2013

Here is my account and photos from the 1st migration festival at Spurn Point in East Yorkshire.
I had a great 2 days at the point where there was plenty to do such as moth trapping, sea watching, migration walks and lectures.

On the way to the migfest on the first day I came across this roe deer with her offspring just north of Kilnsea.
A few minutes later I took this photo of the sunrise.It was about 6.30am.
After signing in at the reception tent we headed up the point towards the observatory and sea watching areas.
There were plenty of juvenile swallows flying around and resting on the fences.

In the bushes were goldfinches and on the mudflats were redshanks, ringed plovers, dunlin & little egrets.
Goldfinch enjoying the morning sun.
Redshanks on the mudflats.

The highlight for me of the first day had to be seeing my first common rosefinches(unfortunately no photos) and my first red backed shrike at a distance hunting bees.
Red Backed Shrike
 After catching a bumble bee.
A walk in the afternoon up Beacon Lane produced this resting migrant hawker.
The following morning I was up and out along the mudflats with the tide still in and was able to watch a group of little egrets.

The lighthouse was open and had been turned into a gallery so we decided to make the climb to the top.It was hard work epsecially as the last part was practically vertical and I was that slow hobbling up that I held up a couple of old ladies.
The climb was worth it though for these views.
Looking back up Spurn Point.
 View out to sea.
 At the base of the lighthouse.Taken by Majella Fox.
 Having a break on the beach after the climb.Taken by Majella Fox.
We then spent some time with the sea watching group where we saw arctic skuas, manx shearwaters,golden plovers and a red throated diver.
There was also a small starling murmuration of about 200 birds on the reserve.
 Just before we left we were treated with a hummingbird hawkmoth that flew into the reception tent.It was moved onto a migfest shirt for a bit of media exposure.:)
My full list of sightings for the weekend.
1.Dunnock 2.Curlew 3.Swallow 4.Starlings 5.Goldfinch 6.Gannet 7.Mallards 8.Herring Gull 9.Red Backed Shrike 10.Wood Pigeon 11.Little Egret 12.Common Rosefinch 13.Greenfinch 14.Black Headed Gull 15.Redshank 16.Great Black Backed Gull 17.Shelduck 18.Knot 19.Ringed Plover 20.Snipe 21.Cormorant 22.Mute Swan 23.Moorhen 24.Magpie 25.Grey Wagtail 26.Meadow Pipit 27.Chaffinch 28.Coot 29.Robin 30.Wren 31.Housemartin 32.Pintail 33.Tufted Duck 34.Dunlin 35.Yellow Wagtail 36.Lesser Whitethroat 37.Greenshank 38.Manx Shearwater 39.Linnet 40.House Sparrow 41.Arctic Skua 42.Golden Plover 43.Blackbird 44.Collared Dove 45.Willow Warbler 46.Buzzard 47.Red Throated Diver 48.Sparrowhawk

Other sightings of interest.
Roe Deer, Common Darter, Migrant Hawker, Large White, Small White, Small Tortoiseshell, Red Admiral, Speckled Wood, Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Grey Seals & Angle Barred Pug.

You can keep check of all the sightings from the sea watching and on Spurn Point during the migration period at

Lastly a massive thank you to all the volunteers who helped make this first migration festival such a great weekend and a masssive success.Already looking forward to the next one in 2014.