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Preview: Whitby Birding

Whitby Birding

Updated: 2016-05-16T23:30:35.600+01:00


The last post ....


WhitbyBirding is closing as of today. I'm still blogging but posts will be on the Literate Herring blog - click here to go there. Thank you to all contributors and readers over the last few years, it was fun while it lasted.

Hoverflies etc


Thousands of hoverflies through the garden over the last two days, Wednesday evening and yesterday morning were exceptional. Mostly Episyrphus balteatus but other species involved as well. Found the sawfly Urocerus gigas at the new Pannett Park play ground on Wednesday, had probably emerged from the equipment - very blurry pix only, on BBerry.Purple Thorn in the house this morning.Huge numbers of

Ross's Gull?


BirdGuides is reporting a possible adult Ross's Gull on the East Pier, Whitby Harbour yesterday. A bit annoying as I was a few hundred metres away at lunchtime, so it goes .... not much time today either.

Hummingbird Hawkmoth


One Hummer on the Buddlia again yesterday.

Mothing, birding, butterflying etc


Nick and Sandra brought their moth trap around so first thing this morning we were wading knee deep through Large Yellow Underwings to try to discover the quality within. There are still five or six moths unnamed but on the whole we managed to id them without too much difficulty. A Hummingbird Hawkmoth paid the Buddlia a visit whilst we were doing the id, the third this year. Marbled Beauty is

Bits of birding


Dramatic Scaling Dam produced this bit of excitement as the Stoat attempted to murder Moorhens and Mallards.Other birds present included Green Sandpiper.Yesterday I went to Kettleness for a brief seawatch. This produced Manx Shearwater, 4; a medium sized annoyingly distant wader and a small annoyingly distant wader as well as a Whimbrel on the shore. Sandwich Terns were trickling south and one

Autumn arrives


Autumn is officially here, the first Willow Warbler flock exhibiting that pre-migration aggression were in the garden today mixed up with Blue, Coal and Great Tits, Wrens, Robins and a Blackcap. There were eleven Willow Warblers in that group. There was also a younger family party of three or four Willow Warblers with the adult still feeding the young. 20 Lapwings flew over the garden going west

Herring Gulls - orange darvic


I've been seeing a few herring Gulls with single, long, orange darvic rings. These are numbered, 1739 was at Scaling Dam on Tuesday evening. Anyone know who to contact for these? I've tried looking on the cr birding and can't find anything .....

Squally Scaling Dam


Two Icelandic race Blackwits were at the Yorkshire end yesterday evening. Not much else though.

Garden Warbler


Garden Warbler acting suspiciously in the garden this morning. I think they are breeding in the wild raspberry patch where the Whitethroats tried last year.

Mole on the doorstep


Suspect it was escaping rather than trying to get in, the cats pick them up from time to time, especially after heavy rain but they rarely kill them. We occasionally find them running around the living room trying to get out.

Silver Ys


Walking to the Old Nab yesterday I noticed there were quite a lot of Silver Ys, about 60 or so on thistles mostly. Numbers in the garden have gradually built up until today there were about 70 or so on the lavender patch alone, mid-afternoon.

No Whinchats


.... but this was in a tree near home. A species I won't be seeing much of pretty soon.A quick look on the moor found breeding Whitethroats and a Tree Pipit but the reliable Whinchat place proved not so reliable.



The northerly eventually got me out on to the Old Nab yesterday afternoon for a rather damp seawatch. Falling "a over t" down the "bad step" onto the end didn't help. It was always likely to rain and of course it did and I got damp. However, Manx Shearwater, 6; Arctic Skua 1 (adult dark phase); two small flocks of Common Scoter scurrying north, total 28; Razorbill carrying food (looked like sand

More Spot Fly


Working for much of the day put paid to any proper birding but an afternoon visit to Danby Moor Centre (not my favourite place it should be said but the cakes are good) produced two pairs of Sand Martins and a Spotted Flycatcher.A Lesser Black-backed Gull sailed past the kitchen window early afternoon, narrowly missing air space (but it might be a tetrad tick). A Buzzard and the ever noisy

WhitbyBirding not RIP (yet) merely sleepy


A fortnight without a post, what will my ever dwindling readership be thinking?Sadly neglected Scaling Dam continues to be sadly neglected. I've not even peeked at a seabird, indeed the only birding has taken place in the garden. This resulted in Lapwing being added to the garden list on Tuesday as one entered airspace, 71. The Garden Warbler and Blackcap have been absent since last weekend but

Garden Warbler


Part of the Open Gardens involves "scarecrow" making and displaying, this year ours was the life cycle of a butterfly.A Garden Warbler has been singing from all around the garden and once briefly from within it this weekend. The Blackcap is now largely silent but very occasional bursts of sing indicate it is still about, possibly breeding. Over the weekend three young Goldfinch fed on a thistle

Open Gardens


Our "Open Gardens" leaflet can be found here.Rather madly, considering our circumstances, we've agreed to do this. The garden is open to visitors today and tomorrow, 11:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. At the moment it's rather foggy and very wet, not ideal.

Tree Sparrows


A juvenile Tree Sparrow was under the kitchen feeder with an adult this morning, they have clearly bred somewhere very close by.



Small Elephant HawkmothElephant HawkmothElephant HawkmothProbably two Small Elephant Hawks in total and at one point had three Elephant Hawks around the light at once Also plenty of other moths, which will take me a while to id because I'm no great shakes at them.

Sunny Runswick Bay


Dad's Day treat - go to Runswick Bay and have a pub lunch. I'm very fond of the Royal Hotel which serves a good pint of Black Sheep and decent enough grub (fish and chips recommended if you're hungry). You can sit out overlooking the bay and casually bird whilst enjoying these refreshments. This Wood Mouse was in the garden.On the way down the first Herring Gull chick of the season was on a

Hummingbird Hawk


Hhhhmmmmmmmm.... Hummingbird Hawkmoth in the garden this evening (very blurry pix in the gloaming). Rather early in the season methinks.

Bees, butterflies and night noises


So the Painted Lady invasion finally reached here with one early in the week in the garden and one in Whitby and then four in the garden yesterday and at least six today.Bombus hortorumThe bumblebee photos are from last weekend when I had a surprising lack of enthusiasm for birding and stayed at home mooching about.Bombus pascuorum (also saw B. pratorum)Up and about early on Saturday morning my

Garden today and Orkney report


Today both House Sparrow and Tree Sparrow in the garden, the House Sparrow female feeding two young by the feeders. This is the first sighting of this species, common 400 metres away, in the garden for about a year. Also plenty of Siskin and Goldfinch. Willow Warbler are now whoeeeting in the trees. A Blackcap sang briefly from behind the feeders.I managed to repair the pond which had sprung a

Birding time


Awoke early and for the first time in a while felt sprightly before five so ... Initially headed for an Atlas site but it was shrouded in thick cloud so gave up and decided to play hunt the Dotterel again, encouraged by Dave's comments from yesterday. However, Dotterel were laying low, with good reason a male Marsh Harrier was cruising for a bruising. Curlews going beserk, Lapwings distracting