Despite the fairly poor forecast I thought it would be worth having a trip up the coast to catch up with a few birds that would be ‘new for the year’.
I set off from Beverley in light rain and not long after setting off I saw the first good bird of the day, a barn owl hunting near the new bypass.
The rest of the journey was relatively uneventful, the highlight being the fact that the rain had stopped and once in Scarborough it wasn’t a bad day all things considered.
First stop was Holbeck for the Mediterranean Gulls, I was a bit disappointed that there was no sign of the pristine summer plumaged individuals that had been recently, nonetheless a new ‘tick’ for the year.
Onward to the harbour and I was hoping for great northern diver however I had to be content with a rather smart displaying rock pipit as well as a few shags fishing in the bay.
A whistle stop visit to Forge Valley yielded marsh tit, displaying nuthatch and greater spotted woodpecker. Overhead a buzzard was calling and the woods were alive with Springtime birdsong.
The third venue for the day was Filey. I headed for the Country Park and was greeted by good numbers of oystercatcher and gulls feeding on the wet grass on the cliff top.
More rock pipits were around Carr Naze and as I descended the cliff a very obliging great northern diver hunted just off the old wooden steps.
As I made my way around the Brigg there were good numbers of cormorants and more shags and at least another great northern diver.
I had a brief glimpse of the semi-resident long-tailed duck before it seemingly vanished. Good numbers of guillemots were flying into the bay and settling on the relatively calm water.
A gannet flew past south and a fulmar flew overhead.
I made my way to the end and it was then that the weather took a turn for the worse. There were at least half a dozen purple sandpipers on the Brigg end and they were quite photogenic as they fed over the wave splashed rocks. They were joined by ringed plovers, dunlin and the odd oystercatcher.
By now the rain was torrential so I began to make my way back. Another scan over the bay revealed the long-tailed duck had re-appeared and I thought (despite the rain) that I’d have a go at getting a photo. It was having none of it and within 10 minutes it had swum a couple of hundred yards offshore.
Finally the exhilarating climb back up the cliff was made all the more interesting with torrential rain making conditions underfoot somewhat challenging.
At the car park some lads were just preparing for a day’s fishing-must be crackers going out in that weather I thought….