Thursday, 29 October 2015

Virkie - Catfirth - 1.10.15

With nothing new to go and see we went looking for our own birds and to try and boost the trip list. Before we'd even left Gulberwick a Merlin zoomed through after a poor passerine. We headed to the famous Pool of Virkie and bumped into the other group who had already cleared up what was on offer! Here we saw Grey Plover, Ruff, Bar-Tailed Godwit, Knot and Goldeneye with a few Pink-Footed Geese and a Lesser Redpoll flying over.

I then suggested going to visit the Sumburgh Hotel and have a walk around its famous garden. The list of things seen here is impressive so imagine my surprise when I saw the garden! Far from being wild and overgrown there was a small lawn with stone walls and and L-shaped area of no more than a dozen trees! Despite this lack of cover I still managed to pick up the 2 YB Warblers reported but failed to find the Spotted Flycatcher. A Snipe took off from a flooded field nearby and another Lesser Redpoll flew over briefly landing on the aerial of the hotel.

We looked on the map to see where to head next and it was decided to head just along the road to Hestingott. Here we stood alongside another tiny garden but with a bit more cover but in the 20 minutes or so we were there we had another 2 YB Warbler (are you sensing a theme here?!) and a fairly showy Red-Breasted Flycatcher. This unremarkable garden over a couple of days had held these 2 species plus Barred Warbler and Blyth's Reed Warbler!

We then got news that the Arctic Warbler had been seen again so off we headed towards Cott. On arrival the others were already here and despite heavy drizzle we stuck it out again for nearly 2 hours only for a YB Warbler to be seen. Fed up with this bird we set off again only to get a missed call from Brendan G that it had showed again soon after we left!

We headed to Catfirth with the intention of finding Otter but despite our best effort we had no luck. Only a Black Guillemot, a few Eider and another Slavonian Grebe were see. A quick trudge alongside the nearby plantation saw only a Goldcrest added to the list.

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