The officially peculiar seal of Topcliffe

A visit to some friends yesterday turned out in unexpected fashion.  Despite being about 72 miles upriver from the Humber Estuary, there has been a Common Seal there for the last few weeks and it has featured on news reports across the world.  The afternoon was spent watching the sea life rescue services attempt to catch it and return it to the sea.  There is, or at least was, a lot of fish in this bit of river, so the seal was having none of it and remains at large.

Dip dip

Strid Woods is glorious at this time of year, but sadly worse for the lack of Wood Warblers (good job we found one in the New Forest).

Of a few singing Pied Flycatchers, one posed well for us, and Karen found a Dipper sitting quietly and close under a bridge.

A rosy glow

A trip to the Yorkshire coast without 500 pictures of Gannets?  Apparently it is possible if you spend all your time at Flamborough instead of Bempton Cliffs.  You can get some smart birds too.

Six legs good, two legs better

Back to birds today with a trip to Dungeness.  There won’t be many days’ birding in the UK when a Hoopoe doesn’t get into the top three birds, but it was a rubbish distant view, whereas the Kentish Plover (still too distant for a good photo), Bittern and Great Crested Grebes, were excellent.

(These photos are better viewed at full resolution, so click on View full size below the picture.)

Two legs bad, six legs good

What no birds?  An afternoon out butterfly hunting on Saturday, yielded some nice butterflies and a bit more besides.

Turtle Time

An evening trip out to see some Turtle Doves looked to have been in vain, but one turned up as we were about to give up and gave us some cracking views.  No purring, but it would have been drowned out by the Nightingale belting out from the bush behind us.

Still Clinging On

Wood Warblers aren’t doing well in the south.  Not long ago they bred regularly in Sussex, but now we have to go to the New Forest to find them and they’re getting harder there too.  Fortunately we had one today, and it was reasonably cooperative.  There are a few pictures from last weekend too.


Sunshine Returns

Another sunny day and an afternoon that started well with a new bird for the house list, in the form of a Honey Buzzard on its way north.  No photos of that, but a Bee Fly was laying eggs by the pond.  A trip to Pulborough yielded the hoped for Tawny Owl chicks, Nightingale and Adders.